The New Orleans Saints are officially in Week 1 mode, focusing on their Monday Night Football showdown with the Minnesota Vikings. While there’s certain to be a lot of storylines heading into the matchup, perhaps no bigger one exists than Adrian Peterson returning to face off against his former team.
After being drafted as the 7th overall pick in 2007 by Minnesota, Peterson has filled up the stat sheet and received numerous awards and honors in his 10 seasons. However, the Vikings elected to go in a different direction for 2017 and declined to pick up Peterson’s option, making him a free agent.
The Saints swooped up the veteran running back on a two-year, $7 million deal at the end of April, and the buzz surrounding him has been high ever since. Heading into the season, the plan of attack for Sean Payton’s offense is anyone’s guess when it comes to how they’ll split reps between Mark Ingram, rookie Alvin Kamara, and Peterson. Peterson is certainly in top shape, and will certainly experience a variety of emotions next Monday.
As Mark Craig of the Star Tribune captured recently, Peterson is ready to have a revenge tour after appearing in just three games in 2016.
“Of course I want to stick it to them. I want to stick it to everyone we play. But going back to Minnesota, playing the Vikings? Yeah, I want to stick it to them,” said Peterson. The All-Pro running back also said that he envisions the Saints starting and ending the season in Minnesota, where Super Bowl LII will be played.
Peterson certainly feels he has a lot to prove, and rightfully so. He was quick to point out the numerous amount of teams interested in his services upon getting released and why he ultimately chose the Saints over the Patriots, Seahawks, and several other unnamed teams.
“There’s more love here, I guess, because it’s Louisiana and there’s a lot of Southern people. New Orleans and the Saints have more of a family-type feel. It feels right.”
Expect the Adrian Peterson storyline to dominate this matchup, even though there’s a ton of other areas that are equally, if not more important. The Saints look to capture their first season opening victory since 2013.