The New Orleans Saints began their defense of the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship last night with a 14-9 victory over Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game in the Louisiana Superdome.
The Saints didn’t look great, but they did what they had to do to get the victory as they relied on a stingy defense and a strong second half rushing attack to win this low scoring between two teams many figured to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
With that in mind, I’d say that only the Saints proved that they belong in any kind of early season Super Bowl discussion. The fact that New Orleans won in such an unconventional manner is a great sign for Who Dat Nation, because Drew Brees is at the peak of his QB powers right now. As long as this team stays healthy, there’s no reason to think that the Saints aren’t capable of making another run at a title.
The Vikings, on the other hand, were not impressive – at least offensively – and did not strike me as a team that should be taken that seriously. In short, the Vikings have no legitimate #1 wide receiver and a shaky, overrated line that only got worse as left tackle Bryant McKinnie left last night’s game early in the fourth quarter with a finger injury, forcing mammoth right tackle Phil Loadholt over to cover Favre’s blind side. That, right there, is one bad combination to have for Favre and the Vikings.
Everyone talks about the New York Jets being overhyped this season, but I think the Vikings might take that title when it’s all said and done. There’s just a lot more holes on this team than most people anticipated, and I look for the NFC North to run through Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.