NFL Week 8 Game Preview: Saints (5-1) at Vikings (4-2-1)
Sunday Night Football offers a marquee matchup of division leaders as the New Orleans Saints travel to Minnesota.
Coming off a 37-17 shellacking of the Jets, the Vikings seem to have righted their ship after some early season malaise. They are the only team in the NFC North to not take a bye week and that extra game victory is the difference in the standings. They need a win to stay out front.
New Orleans needed a little luck to keep their Week 8 game against the Ravens from going into overtime. Justin Tucker’s shocking missed extra point with only seconds left provided the winning margin. Tucker had made all 222 extra points of his career prior to that.
The Saints march in on a five-game winning streak. Their opening weekend loss to the Fitz-magic enhanced Buccaneers is a distant memory now that their defense is reasserting itself a bit.
Quarterback Drew Brees is assaulting the record books. He grabbed the all-time record for passing yards in Week 6 and threw his 500th touchdown last week. Brees is chasing Tom Brady (currently with 504) as they both could pass Brett Favre’s second-best total of 508 soon. Peyton Manning’s 539 mark is in jeopardy next.
Kirk Cousins is doing his best Brees imitation, throwing touchdowns and making plays despite subpar offensive line play. Of course, having Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs to throw to helps. Minnesota’s defense rebounded from some subpar efforts, too.
Injuries and notes:
New Orleans acquired cornerback Eli Apple from the New York Giants Tuesday to bolster their pass defense.
Defensive tackle Jay Bromley needs surgery on his arm and was placed on injured reserve. Fellow DT Taylor Stallworth is questionable for Sunday, as is safety Marcus Williams.
Three offensive linemen are listed as questionable, including both tackles.
Minnesota’s defense is beaten up with cornerback Mike Hughes ending his season with a torn ACL and fellow corner Xavier Rhodes questionable with an ankle sprain.
Safety Andrew Sendejo, linebacker Andrew Barr, and defensive tackle Linval Joseph are also listed as questionable on the Vikings’ injury report.
Offensive tackles Riley Rieff (foot) and Tom Compton (knee) are both limited this week in practice.
It was a rough start for all the Vikings players and coaches, but a return to their winning ways has everyone calmer for now. Coach Mike Zimmer has everything under control. Even his kicker had a perfect game last week.
Sean Payton continues to reign over the Saints’ team with no signs of distress. 5-1 does that for a coach. It will be interesting to see how he works his new cornerback into the mix and how that affects the Saints defense going forward.
How to watch the Vikings vs Saints game
NBC Sports will broadcast this Sunday Night Football contest throughout the country. But if you are one of the brilliant Americans who learned how internet television can save you hundreds of dollars while providing top-notch entertainment, you might watch the NBC telecast on DirecTV Now.
DirecTV Now offers live stream NFL action from every NFL broadcaster without expensive equipment or lengthy contracts.
Internet TV providers like DirecTV Now, Fubo TV, and Sling let you watch every game for a fraction of what cable and satellite cost. Check out their websites and take advantage of their free trial periods.
Who will win the Vikings v Saints game?
Both of these teams have built up some momentum heading into Week 8. Only a win will guarantee each team remains in sole possession of first place in their respective divisions.
But somebody has to lose and that somebody will probably be the team with the most serious injuries. Drew Brees knows the Vikings have issues at the corners this week. Look for him to take advantage.
Final score: Saints 31, Vikings 24