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Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints: Game Preview

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS–NFC NORTH (13-4) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS–NFC SOUTH (14-3)

 

SERIES

 

 

VIKINGS

SAINTS

LEADER (REGULAR SEASON)

18-7

STREAKS

7 of past 8

COACHES VS. OPP.

Childress: 1-0

Payton: 0-1

COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD

1-1

2-1

VS. COMMON OPP.

(REGULAR SEASON)

Min.: 4-1 (Car. 0-1, Det. 2-0, NYG 1-0, StL. 1-0)

NO: 4-1 (Car. 1-1, Det. 1-0, NYG 1-0, StL. 1-0)

PLAYOFF RECORD

19-25

3-6

LAST WEEK

W 34-3 vs. Cowboys

W 45-14 vs. Cardinals

LAST GAME

10/6/08: Vikings 30 at Saints 27.  Minnesota K Ryan Longwell kicks game-winning 30-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in comeback win.  Vikings CB Antoine Winfield returns blocked FG 59 yards for TD.  New Orleans RB Reggie Bush has 2 PR-TDs.

LAST GAME AT SITE

10/6/08

LAST PLAYOFF

1/6/01: Saints 16 at Vikings 34.  Minnesota QB Daunte Culpepper throws for 302 yards & 3 TDs, including 53- and 68-yarders to WR Randy Moss. Vikings WR Cris Carter adds 120 receiving yards & TD in NFC Divisional Playoff win.

BROADCAST

FOX (): Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver & Chris Myers (Field reporters). Westwood One Radio: Dave Sims, James Lofton, Hub Arkush (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 124 (WW1), 125 (Min.), 123 (NO).  XM: 124 (WW1), 103 (Min.), 102 (NO).

STAT LEADERS

 

PASSING

Favre: 363-531-4,202-33 (T2L)-7-107.2 (2L)

Brees: 363-514-4,388 (3C)-34 (1L)-11-109.6 (1L)

RUSHING

Peterson: 314-1,383 (2C)-4.4-18 (1L)

P. Thomas: 147-793-5.4-6

RECEIVING

Rice: 83-1,312 (2C)-15.8-8

Colston: 70-1,074-15.3-9

OFFENSE

379.6 (3C)

403.8 (1L)

TAKE/GIVE

+6

+11 (3L)

DEFENSE

305.5 (2C)

357.8

SACKS

J. Allen: 14.5 (1C)

Smith: 13 (2C)

INTs

Griffin: 4

Sharper: 9 (T1L)

PR

Reynaud: 10.3

Bush: 4.8

KR

Harvin (R): 27.52 (3C)

Roby: 27.47

PUNTING

Kluwe: 43.9

Morstead (R): 43.6

KICKING

Longwell: 132 (3L) (54/55 PAT; 26/28 FG)

Hartley: 37 (10/11 PAT; 9/11 FG)

 

 

NOTES

TEAMS MEET for 3rd time in postseason (Minnesota 2-0).  Vikings lead all-time regular-season series 18-7.  Meeting marks 5th time in NFL history top-2 scoring teams in NFL meet in Conference Championship Game.

 

VIKINGS Participating in 26th postseason, tied for 4th most in NFL history.  Have 19 playoff victories.  Vikings have NFL-high 9 players named to Pro Bowl: DE JARED ALLEN (3rd), ST HEATH FARWELL (1st),QB BRETT FAVRE (11th), rookie WR-KR PERCY HARVIN (1st), G STEVE HUTCHINSON (7th), T BRYANT MC KINNIE (1st), RB ADRIAN PETERSON (3rd), WR SIDNEY RICE (1st) & DT KEVIN WILLIAMS(5th).  Team averaged 29.4 points per game, 2nd best mark in NFL behind NO…Favre was selected to 11th Pro Bowl, most ever by QB.  Had career-high 107.4 rating & reached 30+ TD passes (33) for 9th time, most in NFL history.  Ranks 2nd in postseason history with 453 comp., 5,545 pass yards & 43 pass TDs.  Has TD pass in NFL playoff-record 19 consecutive games.  Threw for postseason career-high 4 TD passes in Div. Playoff.  At 40 years, 106 days old on Sunday, will become oldest QB to ever start Conference Championship Game…RB Peterson rushed for 1,383 yards & 18 TDs, joining HOFers EARL CAMPBELL & BARRY SANDERS as only players with 1,300+ yards & 10+ TDs in each of 1st 3 years.  Peterson’s 18 rush TDs were franchise record for season.  Has 6 rush TDs in past 5 & 2 rush TDs in 2 career playoff games.  Selected to start Pro Bowl in each of 1st 3 seasons, 1st RB since Sanders to accomplish feat…Club is only team in NFL history with 6 players with more than 40 receptions: Rice (83), Harvin (60), TE VISANTHE SHIANCOE (56), WR BERNARD BERRIAN (55), RB CHESTER TAYLOR (44) & Peterson (43).  WR Rice was 2nd in NFC with career-best 1,320 yards.  Had 141 receiving yards & 3 TDs last week, tying NFL postseason record.  Became 3rd player in past 25 seasons with 3 TD catches in 1st career playoff start (STERLING SHARPE, WILLIE JACKSON).  WR-KR Harvin was named AP Offensive Rookie Of The Year.  Tied for NFL rookie lead with 60 catches & 790 yards.  Led NFC rookies with 8 TDs (6 rec., 2 KR).  Set team single-season record with 2,081 combined yards (1,156 KR, 790 rec., 135 rush) & 2 KR-TDs.  Shiancoe was 2nd among NFL TEs with 11 rec. TDs.  Caught 11-yard TD pass in Div. Playoff.  Offense was 2nd in NFC with 62.3 TD pct. in redzone…Team ranked 2nd in NFC in total defense (305.5) & rush defense (87.1).  DE Allen has 3 sacks & 2 FF in last 2 playoff games.  Had 14.5 sacks & is only player in NFL with 14.5 sacks in each of past 3 seasons.  CB ANTOINE WINFIELD had 59-yard blocked punt TD & sack in last game vs. NO.  DE RAY EDWARDS had 3 sacks & FF last week.  LB BEN LEBER had INT & FR last week.

 

 

SAINTS:  Led NFL with 510 points, 9th most points scored by team in NFL history.  Topped NFL in total offense (403.8).  Ranked 4th in pass offense (272.2) & 6th in rush offense (131.6).  Only team in NFL to rank in top 6 in both.  Club won 13 games, most in franchise history, incl. team-record 13-game winning streak.  Saints have 5 players selected to Pro Bowl: QB DREW BREES (4th), G JAHRI EVANS (1st), S DARREN SHARPER (5th), T JON STINCHCOMB (1st) & LB JONATHAN VILMA (2nd).  19 different Saints scored TD this season…QB Brees set NFL record with 70.62 comp. pct. (363 of 514).  Led NFL with career-high & franchise-record 109.6 rating.  Owns top 4 marks in club annals.  Had 4,388 pass yards, 4th consecutive 4,000-yard season.  Has only 4 4,000-yard seasons in team history.  Tied own club record with 34 TD passes.  In 4 playoff games, has completed 65.2 percent of passes for 1,163 pass yards (290.8 per game), with 8 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 99.5 passer rating.  Has led NO to 2 NFC Champ Games in past 4 years.  In last game vs. Min., threw for 330 yards & TD…RB PIERRE THOMAS has 10 TDs (7 rush, 3 rec.) in past 10 home games.  Led team with career-high 793 rush yards.  RB REGGIE BUSH has 333 scrimmage yards (111 per game) & 4 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec., 1 PR) in 3 career playoff games.  Has scored TD in all 3 career playoff games & became 1st player in NFL history with 80+ yard TD in 2 straight postseason games.  Had 46-yard rush TD & 83-yard PR-TD in Div. Playoff.  Became 2nd player in postseason history with rush TD & PR-TD in same game (HOFer CHARLEY TRIPPI) & 2nd with 80+ & 40+ yard TD in same game (RICKY SANDERS). Had NFL-record tying 2 PR-TDs in last meeting vs. Min.  WR ROBERT MEACHEM led team with career-best 10 TDs (9 rec., 1 FR).   Averaged 16 yards per catch.  WRMARQUES COLSTON led team with 70 receptions & 1,074 yards, his 3rd 1,000-yard season in career.  Tied Meachem for club lead with 9 rec. TDs.  In Div. Playoff, Colston had 6 catches for 83 yards & TD.  WR DEVERY HENDERSON averages 24.6 yards per catch in postseason.  Had 44-yard TD catch last week.  TE JEREMY SHOCKEY had 17-yard TD catch in Div. Playoff.  Ranks 4th among NFL TEs with 469 catches & 5,280 yards since 2002…S Sharper tied for NFL lead with 9 INTs.  Set single-season NFL record with 376 INT return yards.  Had 3 INT-TDs & has 11 in career, 2nd most in NFL history.  LB Vilma led team with 110 tackles.  Tied career-high with 3 INTs.  S ROMAN HARPER was 2nd on team with 99 tackles.  DT SEDRICK ELLIS had sack last week & has sack in 2 of past 3.  CB TRACY PORTER ranked 2nd on Saints with career-high 4 INTs & had 12 PD.