Dun solicit dunnnnnnnn!
Do we hear that? Is …. Is …. Is that Monday Night Football’s music?!
Welcome back, “Monday Night Football.” Oh how we’ve missed you. From Jon Gruden’s smoothie operation to a football itself, we’ve longed for we like a Stark longs for a family reunion. Finally, you’ve done it behind home and retaken your legitimate place above a battlefield.
To acquire us behind to “Monday Night Football,” dual matchups wait this week, with a
New Orleans Saints
Los Angeles Chargers
. This preview will concentration on a Saints-Vikings matchup, and we can find
In a lead-up to a game, new Saints using behind
, who spent a initial decade of his career using by defenders in Minnesota, admitted he wants to “stick it” to his former team. Unfortunately for Peterson, we usually don’t see that happening. For reasons I’ll get to below, I’m holding a Vikings in this season’s initial installment of “Monday Night Football.”
The prediction: Vikings 24, Saints 21
How to watch, stream
- Kickoff: Sept. 11, 7:10 p.m.
- TV: ESPN (Check internal listings)
- Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)
1. Home Brees vs. Road Brees
is one of a biggest quarterbacks in a story of a game. But he isn’t a same quarterback on a road. That’s not to contend Brees has been bad on a road. He usually isn’t superhuman divided from a Superdome.
Alleviating Brees’ highway woes is a fact that a Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium is lonesome by a roof (). In Brees’ career, he has posted a 102.5 passer rating in domes while his rating drops to 90.3 outdoor and 91.0 in stadiums with retractable roofs. Brees will be indoors Monday night. That matters.
But there’s another reason since Brees might onslaught in this game.
2. The Vikings’ widespread delegate
The Vikings exaggerate one of a league’s best defenses, privately since their delegate is officious dominant. That delegate should be means to hoop a Saints’ high-flying aerial attack, that is led by Brees and receiver
First adult is a Vikings’ 27-year-old cornerback
, who snagged 5 interceptions in 14 games final season. According to Pro Football Focus, Rhodes authorised an NFL-low 47.0 passer rating in coverage.
Fifth on that list — one symbol forward of
, who authorised a 62.0 passer rating. Newman, 39, usually totaled one interception final season, that is since he’s mostly ignored as one of a game’s best corners. But he shouldn’t be overlooked. He deserves praise, generally deliberation his age.
Together, Rhodes and Newman surrendered 65 receptions on 131 targets (49.6 percent) for 674 yards (5.1 YPA) with 3 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions, per PFF. You won’t find a improved cornerback duo, statistically speaking.
It’s value noting, that Newman isn’t even a Vikings’ second cornerback. That purpose belongs to a younger, yet most some-more unsuitable
, who is listed forward of Newman on a abyss chart. Last season, Waynes racked adult 3 interceptions and authorised 4 touchdowns and a 77.4 passer rating in coverage, according to PFF. Those aren’t bad numbers — his passer rating in coverage ranked 18th among all cornerbacks — yet it’s unfit to know that chronicle of Waynes a Vikings will get Monday night.
Take a demeanour during his weekly grading draft around PFF:
Waynes stays a Vikings’ biggest doubt symbol streamer into a deteriorate and this game. If Waynes is during his worst, Brees will carve him up.
And afterwards there’s
, who landed with a Vikings final week via trade from a Seahawks. In 2016, Brock picked off usually one pass with a
San Francisco 49ers
, yet he was PFF’s 21st highest-graded cornerback. Unfortunately, Brock is .
Even if he can’t play, a Vikings are good versed to forestall Brees from popping off. we didn’t even discuss Vikings reserve
, who finished final year as PFF’s 12th-best safety. There’s a reason since a Vikings gave adult a third-fewest flitting yards final year and, according to Football Outsiders, featured a eighth-best flitting defense. That reason is Mike Zimmer and a gifted players he gets to manager up.
3. Peterson won’t get personal revenge
The healthy response to a prior territory might be to indicate toward Peterson and
. Can’t a Saints gaunt on their using game?
It’s loyal that a Vikings are worse during fortifying a run than a pass. But they’re not awful, usually average. A year ago, they ranked 20th in rushing yards allowed, 17th in yards authorised per carry, and 16th by Football Outsiders’ metrics.
Still, a thought persists. Why don’t a Saints go run-heavy instead of contrast a Vikings’ proven secondary? They substantially won’t since that’s not what Sean Payton does. The Saints ranked 19th in rushing attempts final season, 20th in 2015, 19th in 2014, 26th in 2013, 29th in 2012, and — we get a point. Meanwhile, they ranked second in pass attempts final season, second in 2015, second in 2014, fourth in 2013, second in 2012, and — again, we get a point.
Part of that is since of to a Saints’ horrific defense, yet it also has to do with Payton carrying Drew freakin’ Brees to chuck a ball. And to no one’s surprise, they’re damn good during throwing a round around. Last season, they finished fifth in yards per try and tied for a second-most flitting touchdowns.
Even if a Saints opt for a some-more offset proceed on Monday night, it’d be startling to see Peterson “stick it” to his former team. For one, he’s 32 years aged and coming off a critical knee injury. Two, he’s in a swarming backfield with a incumbent, Mark Ingram, and a adorned rookie,
. Ingram and Peterson are listed as co-starters on a abyss chart, so design them to take on likewise sized workloads.
The over/under for Peterson’s rushing outlay in this diversion is set during 54.5 yards. I’d take a underneath deliberation a final time we saw Peterson he was averaging 1.9 yards per lift and a subsequent time we see him he’ll be bursting carries with Ingram. Now, if he were confronting a invulnerability identical to his own, I’d be some-more optimistic. But he’s not.
4. About that Saints defense
The Saints’ invulnerability is not a Vikings’ defense. They’re on a other finish of a spectrum.
Last season, they authorised a sixth-most yards and a second-most points in football. They were the second-worst invulnerability by DVOA. Things aren’t going to get improved in 2017. To pill a problem, a Saints went out and drafted cornerback
with the 11th altogether pick. Lattimore might be a best rookie cornerback and he might be a good actor eventually, yet awaiting one actor — one rookie — to repair a disaster that is a Saints’ invulnerability is seeking distant too much.
Yes, I’m also wakeful that Saints brought in linebacker
, yet I’m selecting to omit that signing since Te’o is coming off a ripped Achilles and he wasn’t any good before pang that injury. They also sealed linebacker A.J. Klein, yet Klein has never started some-more than 8 games in a season.
Keep in mind that a Saints mislaid defensive lineman
for a season . That’s not their error or Fairley’s, yet his deficiency will be felt on a field.
This eternally awful Saints invulnerability will be awful again. It’ll start Monday night.
5. Stop with the
And so, Bradford is going to knowledge a successful outing. That’s mostly since of a Saints invulnerability being stranded in a permanent state of uselessness and also since of Bradford’s ability as an NFL quarterback.
Let’s stop with a Bradford bashing. He’s not a awful quarterback he’s done out to be. In his initial deteriorate with a Vikings, he set an NFL record with a 71.6 execution percentage. The common response to that stat is that he finished all of those passes since he’s a dink-and-dunk quarterback. That’s not indispensably false, yet to put his character of play into context, his 7.02 yards per try ranked 19th in a NFL.
, an purported gunslinger, averaged 0.01 some-more yards per try than Bradford.
Furthermore, even yet Bradford doesn’t go low often, when he does, he’s unstoppable. According to PFF, Bradford amassed a third-highest passer rating (121.5) on passes that trafficked during slightest 20 yards downfield. Only
were improved in that department.
Bradford also gathered a 20:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio and generated a 99.3 passer rating, that ranked one symbol behind Brees’ passer rating. He did all of that notwithstanding removing sacked 37 times or, put another way, he averaged a pouch on 18.8 percent of his dropbacks (tied for a sixth-highest pouch rate, per PFF). He overcame that by a league’s second-highest passer rating underneath pressure, according to PFF.
No one is observant Bradford is on a same turn as Brees, yet he’s a plain quarterback when healthy, a quarterback who gives his group a possibility to win.
Bleacher Report’s Doug Farrar, who knows some-more about football than we ever will, agrees. In his weekly quarterback rankings for Bleacher Report, Farrar ranked Bradford as a sixth-best quarterback. Here’s why:
And that’s a genuine story of Bradford’s 2016—he schooled a opposite complement and was wholly fit notwithstanding maybe a misfortune pass-blocking descent line in a league. Bradford is means to do this since of his good accuracy, and that starts with his mechanics—he stairs into throws with fit motion, and he also throws with a clarity of expectation that will concede his receivers to pierce into tangible openings. That clarity of timing elevates him in to a NFL’s tip turn during a position. Only
had a improved quarterback rating underneath vigour final deteriorate than Bradford’s 87.7, and with a Vikings upgrading their descent line a bit in a offseason, that should assistance a bit.
Bradford and a Vikings’ offense drew a auspicious matchup to kickoff their season. Look for Minnesota — with rookie
personification a large purpose too — to feat that matchup.