The New Orleans Saints will take the field for a prime time game against the Minnesota

 The 5-1 Saints have won five
straight games after an opening loss New Orleans
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, while the 4-2-1 Vikings have won three straight after
a slow start to the year. This will be the third meeting between the Saints and
Vikings in less than fourteen months, all in Minnesota, site of today's game.
Last year, Minnesota defeated New Orleans in the regular season opener, 29-19,
then beat them again 29-24 in a divisional playoff thriller. This will be the
34th meeting between the Saints and Vikings, with Minnesota holding a 22-11
record in the match ups. This includes a 14-3 record of the games played in
Minneapolis, and a 3-1 advantage in postseason meetings. Photo by Jed
Jacobsohn/Getty ImagesThe first meeting between the two franchises was in 1968,
a game played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. Despite turning the ball over 7
times, the Saints prevailed over the eventual NFL Central division champs by a
score of 20-17 by forcing four turnovers themselves, including a 94-yd.
touchdown return of an interception by defensive back Bo Burris. The Saints
weren't so lucky when the teams next played, during the 1970 season, their first
ever meeting in Minnesota. The Vikings, who would finish that year with a 12-2
record and champions of the NFC Central division, would force four Saints
turnovers and score two special teams touchdowns in rolling to a 26-0 victory.
It was the first of six meetings in the next seven years against the Vikings
where New Orleans would score 10 points or less, scoring as many as ten only
once, while losing all six contests. Minnesota was one of the top teams in the
conference during that stretch, missing the playoffs just one time from 1970-78,
and winning the NFC title three times. The Saints on the other hand, were often
near the bottom of the league's standings. The average score of those six
meetings between 1970-76 was 29-7 in favor of Minnesota. New Orleans broke their
six game losing streak against the Vikings in the 1978 season opener. Despite
being outgained in total yardage, 424-321, the Saints won the game 31-24 on the
strength of six forced turnovers. The 1980's started as much of the '70's decade
was for the Saints against the Vikes. The teams played eight times between
1980-90, with Minnesota winning six. Included among those was a Wild Card
playoff showdown on January 3, 1988. New Orleans had qualified for the playoffs
for the first time in their twenty year history. After jumping on top of the
Vikings early with a touchdown pass from quarterback Bobby Hebert to Eric
Martin, the Saints lost complete control of the game. New Orleans would complete
only 11 of their 31 pass attempts on the day, gain just 149 total
yards New Orleans
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, and turn the ball over six times as they
were pulverized in front of their own fans, 44-10. The Saints would manage to
notch their first ever win in Minnesota in five tries during the 1985 season, a
30-23 victory. They would meet six times during the 1990's, with New Orleans
winning two of the match ups, including their only shutout of Minnesota, a 26-0
win in 1991.Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty ImagesThe first time New Orleans
played the Vikings at the turn of the new millennium was a divisional playoff
clash in Minnesota on January 6, 2001. The Saints had won their first ever
playoff game the week before, but were no match for the Vikings on the road.
Minnesota's Hall of Fame wideouts Chris Carter and Randy Moss combined for 241
receiving yards and 3 scores in a 34-16 win. The Saints would win a 28-15
rematch in New Orleans the following year, the only win against the Vikings
while losing 8 of 10 between 1994-2008. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesThe
New Orleans franchise has had slightly better success against the Vikings since
coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees joined forces in 2006, going 4-3
against them overall. One of the biggest moments in franchise history took place
on January 24, 2010 against these Vikings. The Saints were hosting their first
ever NFC Championship game, and the game was highlighted by a showdown between
two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks; Brees, and Minnesota's Brett Favre. The
Saints have been plagued by turnovers throughout much of this series, but on
this day the tables were turned. The Saints defense forced five turnovers, and
advanced to the first Super Bowl in franchise history despite being outgained
475-257 in total yardage and giving up 31 first downs. New Orleans cornerback
Tracey Porter intercepted a Favre pass at the end of regulation to send the game
into overtime at 28. Once in the extra frame, Saints running back Pierre Thomas,
who had 99 offensive yards and two touchdowns on the day, returned the opening
kickoff 40 yards to set up terrific field position then later on the drive
converted a 4th and 1 run. Just minutes later, kicker Garrett Hartley kicked a
40-yd. field goal to send the franchise on to Super Bowl XLIV. That was the
first of four consecutive victories against the Vikings, the longest winning
streak the Saints have had in this series. Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty
ImagesThat streak came to an end in last year's regular season opener, when the
Vikings handled the Saints with ease in Minnesota. The playoff rematch during
the division round in Minnesota however, would go down as one of the most
heartbreaking and shocking losses in New Orleans Saints history. The Saints had
clawed back from a 17-0 halftime deficit to grab a 24-23 4th quarter lead with
just seconds remaining. On the final play of the game though, Minnesota
quarterback Case Keenum completed a miraculous 61 yard touchdown pass to Stefon
Diggs to pull out an improbable 29-24 win.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsGoing
into the 2018 season, many considered this match up a preview to yet another
postseason showdown between these two. The Saints will be facing the sixth
different Viking quarterback in as many meetings tonight. This time it will be
former Redskins signal caller Kirk Cousins, who has had alot of success in two
previous meetings against New Orleans while with Washington. The Saints must
find a way to control Minnesota wideouts Diggs and Adam Thielen, who had a
combined 28 receptions for 461 yards and 3 touchdowns in the two games last
season. Starting corner Ken Crawley will be a healthy inactive for this
game Womens
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, likely meaning that newly
acquired Eli Apple will receive the bulk of snaps opposite of Marshon Lattimore
at cornerback. New Orleans will attempt to heavily pressure Cousins with Cam
Jordan and a talented defensive line, hoping to force him into rushed throws and
potential mistakes. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty ImagesDrew Brees has averaged
293 yards passing and thrown 16 touchdowns in his seven games against Minnesota,
but has often been under heavy pressure from a formidable Vikings front. New
Orleans must be able to establish an effective running game against Minnesota,
something they have often been unable to accomplish during the Brees/Payton era.
A banged up Minnesota defense will be without star linebacker Anthony Barr, and
cornerback Xavier will be hobbled with a leg injury, although they may get elite
pass rusher Everson Griffen back. Saints offensive stars Michael Thomas, Alvin
Kamara, and Mark Ingram are the focal points of Brees' productive offensive
attack, but will be tested by one of the league's best defenses. New Orleans is
coming off a physical victory on the road over the Baltimore Ravens where they
set the tone of the game early. Expect the team to try and do the same early in
this game on both sides of the ball. Despite what the Saints players have said
all week, this is certainly an emotional game for them after last year's playoff
outcome. It will also undoubtedly be a key determinant in potential playoff
seeding down the stretch of the season, something not lost on this Saints team
focused on a championship goal. Saints 30Vikings 28 Rich Eisen was interviewing
Jay Glazer on his show about the Saints interest in Patrick Peterson. Glazer had
confirmed the Saints’ interest and he said coach Sean Payton was actively
looking for cornerback help. Seconds later Rich’s phone goes off and he turns to
Glazer, asking him if he had heard that the Giants were trading Eli Apple to the
Saints. Adam Schefter is my first source saying it is so. The former Ohio State
5 Star prospect was drafted 10th overall by the Giants in the 2016 NFL Draft. As
of week 7 in 2018 Eli has one interception, twenty pass defensed, two forced
fumbles and three fumble recoveries, with 123 tackles. Of note is the fact that
Apple was suspended by the Giants, for the 2017 finale for arguing with the
coaches. Tensions were also high between Apple and his teammates. Teammate
safety Landon Collins said Eli just needs to grow up. Hopefully he has.In 2018
Apple has started 5 games, defending 5 passes, had 20 tackle and 3 assist, with
one forced fumble and no interceptions. The Saints have about 2 mil in cap space
and Eli Apple’s cap hit for 2018 was $4,132,451. Of course some of that has
already been paid through the first 7 games, but Mickey Loomis may have to
massage some other contracts to make the necessary cap space.Cap info update.
Apple cost the Saints $1074,990 this year and 2.51 mil next. Saints can also
pick up his 5th year option in 2020. It is also reported that the Saints are
giving their up their 4th round in 2019 and a 7th in 2020.How do you like dem
(Eli) Apples Saints fans?
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