Though the New Orleans Saints could become a playoff opponent, I was focused on the play of the Minnesota Vikings. It's good to see them lose a game, but I was interested to see how they lost the game.
- How did QB Brett Favre play without WR Sidney Rice? TE Visanthe Shiancoe did well in the first half, taking advantage of LB Jonathan Vilma in coverage, but the Saints made an adjustment to take him out of the game in the second half. He was their leading receiver, and their second leading receiver was WR Greg Camarillo, who only had one reception and only played late in the 4th quarter. Favre never seemed able to get WR Bernard Berrian involved. It looked like WR Percy Harvin rarely practiced with Favre this preseason (which is partially true) and he only had 1 reception despite being the intended target 5 times. It reminded me of 2006 when Favre only had one reliable receiver (WR Donald Driver) and he struggled as a result. It looks like they miss Rice, and he can't come back fast enough.
- How about their offensive line play? Not great, and Phil Loadholt struggled when he was forced to move over to left tackle. ESPN has reported that LT Bryant McKinnie suffered a finger injury, and it doesn't sound serious. C John Sullivan will never be a great lineman and he got schooled on the only sack they allowed. But they gave RB Adrian Peterson just enough room to find some openings.
- How about their secondary? They struggled early and let the Saints get open deep along the sidelines, but then made some adjustments (maybe their safeties were playing closer to the sidelines?) and the Saints couldn't find the soft spots in the defense afterwards. Not a great game, but they aren't a sieve either.