On Sunday, not only are they playing in hostile territory, but the Saints will be playing one of the top defenses in the league, a winning offense, a team with a better record, and one that is clearly healthier.
These were generally the thoughts of Sportscaster and talk show host Eric Asher who participated in a live streamed "Saints Stream" interview with Bayoubuzz on Friday afternoon.
Below is part of the initial segment of the interview which we pick up as Asher is comparing the Panthers to the Vikings: You can watch the balance of the interview by sliding to the 4:26 mark:
....it was a difficult proposition against a very very good Carolina defense and Cam Newton who they were able to contain. A very similar situation this week, you step up in class. You know the Minnesota Vikings are a very very good football team they are division champions for a reason and they got the first round bye for a reason.
And one of the things you have to look for going into this game is similar to what we saw last week-- Saints have to win at the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense. They have to limit, if not again eliminate all turnovers and for this week because they did have a chance to be able to play last week where I get a lot of players that have never had an opportunity to do play in an NFL playoff game, it kind of bodes in their favor to at least have one under their belt that going into into US Bank Stadium with with again at least an opportunity played a playoff game, while and I think that it goes well for the Saints-- to get the Kinks out and also did not have that awe of playing in the playoffs for the first time.
But with that said you're going on the road, you're going on the road in a very difficult place to play in Superdome in terms of again the loudness of the stadium, the ferocity of the fans and oh by the way your stepping up in class in terms of a football team, the Minnesota Vikings are a very very good football team on both sides of the ball but exceptional on the defensive side of the ball.
Yea, they're number two in terms of their passing defense, am I correct?
Yes and let me tell you something--across the board, they are one, they're one of the best teams against the run, against the pass, they create turnovers. When you just look at the defensive side of the ball there are six to seven you can even say eight players that are among the best at their position--again at least at every level of defense all three levels of defense they have players that are considered some of the best their position, that's why it's going to be a very difficult task for the Saints this weekend and on the flip side, the injuries they on defense, you know at some point you know just logically, you would think that would catch up with them--they been able to mask those injuries thus far. It'll be interesting to see if they'll be able to do against the Minnesota team in a very very difficult place to play.
Injuries-wise, why don't you tell us what the Saints are looking at in this game?
Well, one of the big injuries that you have to worry about Andrus Peat going out. You know he came in as a number one pick as a tackle, really didn't play well in that tackle position, but he just doesn't have the feet to play a left tackle position in the NFL and he's not really comfortable on the right side of the line. The Saints found a nitch for this guy putting him in at the left guard position in between Max Unger at Terron Armstead--two of the best at their position in the NFL and the guy has excelled. He is at a dynamite run-blocker, he is great in terms of the screen game, also being able to get on the swing pass, also give it again the second level blocking that he does within the running game, he's a big massive guy, a massive guy, so he's tough to move and you talk about the strength of that defensive line, the interior of the defensive line for the Minnesota Vikings--he's going to be missed.