The National Folks Picking the Vikings over Saints

The National Folks Picking the Vikings over Saints
Jan 5, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) catches a pass for a touchdown against Minnesota Vikings free safety Harrison Smith. Mandatory Credit: Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings (2-1) are 2.5-point favorites three days before a showdown with the New Orleans Saints (1-2) in Week 4.

The Saints clumsily lost to the winless Carolina Panthers and now must tread water in the NFC’s budding playoff picture with an upside-down record. The Vikings conquered the Detroit Lions, 28-24, in a whirlwind game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 3.

According to NFLPickWatch, a website that logs NFL experts’ weekly picks, about 81% of folks believe Minnesota takes down New Orleans in London. The Vikings have a 23-13 (.638) all-time record against the Saints.

Jan 5, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports.

Several notable personalities forecast a Vikings win over the Saints. As of Thursday, these individuals predict Minnesota sending New Orleans to the pit of despair with a 1-3 record:

Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News elaborated on his prediction, “Saints quarterback Jameis Winston is struggling with interceptions, and Za’Darius Smith should be able to pressure Winston into at least one of those. The health of Dalvin Cook (shoulder) is a concern. Minnesota can’t throw 40 times with Kirk Cousins every week.”

Explained: What's on Tap for Week 4 with Saints
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports.

Pete Prisco picked the Saints and explained the choice, “The Vikings rallied to beat the Lions, but they haven’t looked the same on offense either. Where is Justin Jefferson? Plus Dalvin Cook could be out. This could be a low-scoring game, which I think the Saints will find a way to win.”

The Vikings-Saints rivalry fully took shape in 2009, when New Orleans controversially ousted Minnesota from the NFC title game. The Saints won the Super Bowl two weeks later over Peyton Manning’s Indianapolis Colts.

Since then, Minnesota returned the favor, knocking New Orleans out of the postseason in 2017 and 2019. But on Christmas day of 2020, in the regular season, the Saints bashed the Vikings on national television, 52-33.

Sunday’s game will be the first the Vikings see the Saints sans Drew Brees since 2005.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).