The New Orleans Saints (1-2) will travel across the pond to take on the Minnesota Vikings (2-1) as they will look to end a two-game losing skid. New Orleans is 2-0 in games played in London with wins coming in 2008 against the Chargers and in 2017 against the Dolphins.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints Game Information:
Current Records: Minnesota Vikings (2-1) vs. New Orleans Saints (1-2)
Date/Time: October 2nd @ 8:30 a.m. CT
Where to Watch: NFL Network (Commentators: Play-By-Play Kevin Kugler, Analyst Mark Sanchez)
Spread: Vikings (-2.5)
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints Series History:
The Vikings lead the all-time series against the Saints, 19-12 in the regular season. The last time the two teams met in the regular season was in 2020 where the Saints took the 52-33 victory on Christmas Day.
Previewing the Saints Heading Into Week Four:
The Saints offense continued to struggled in their week three matchup on the road against the Carolina Panthers. The black and gold was unable to score in the first half and it was too late for them for their offense to spark a comeback against Carolina. New Orleans’ offense has been out of sorts this season.
There is some concern for the Saints heading into their week four matchup against the Vikings as Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas have yet to practice this week. Andy Dalton has been taking the majority of first teams snaps with Winston being absent at practice. Offensive coordinator, Pete Carmichael, spoke on if there was a decision of who would be starting on Sunday:
“Winston was preparing “mentally” for the game in London and a final decision on whether or not he would start would be made by Allen.”
If Winston is unable to go the Saints would rely on Dalton to take over starting quarterback duties. The injury bug has hit the Saints, but some players were activated this week leading up to the game in London.
Marcus Davenport, J.T. Gray and Tre’Quan Smith were all full participants at practice this week. They are expected to see the field on Sunday against Minnesota. Other notable injuries that will be monitored is Jarvis Landry, Ryan Ramczyk and Andrus Peat. There are still question marks if they will see action or if they will have to sit out.
Scouting the Saints Opponent: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings were able to bounce back with a thrilling 28-24 home victory over the Detroit Lions. Minnesota currently sits at 2-1 on the season with wins against their NFC North foes, the Lions and Packers. The Vikings have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL and will be able to test the Saints secondary.
Minnesota’s offense is dealing with a key injury as Dalvin Cook dislocated his shoulder in the third quarter against Detroit. Cook did return to practice on Thursday after he was “day-to-day”. Head coach Kevin O’Connell spoke on the status of the star running back heading into this weekend:
“Cook is feeling better and better and that they would try to get him some work to give him the best chance to be out there Sunday.”
There is still optimism that Vikings fans could see Cook on the field, but if he were unable to go they would turn to Alexander Mattison.
The defense for the Vikings is led by a defensive front that can impose their will on opponent’s rushing attacks. Minnesota has only allowed 137.7 rush yards per game and 4.7 yards per rush. It was a Minnesota defense that ranked 21st in the league last year. The return of Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith has improved the Vikings run defense.
Prediction for Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints:
The Saints have gotten off to a slow start to the season and a key part of that is the inconsistencies of the offense. Winston hasn’t been able to keep his turnovers down as he already has five interceptions in the last two weeks.
The key for New Orleans in their matchup against Minnesota will be able to establish an effective run game to relieve pressure off of Winston. The run game has been non existent for the black and gold in the last two weeks. It is in dire need of getting going for the Saints to avoid falling to 1-3 on the season.
Both defenses are talented and Minnesota’s defense has improved up front. On the other hand, the Saints defense will have to do the best they can to keep the air attack leveled for them to have the best chance of winning this game.
Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 23, New Orleans Saints 20
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