Thursday 9 September is sure to be
a glorious day for pigskin lovers on island. That is because the first game of
the NFL regular season takes place at 7.30pm Cayman time on NBC.
On the schedule is a rematch of the
2009 NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota
Vikings. Back in January the Saints just squeaked by courtesy of a late interception
by Brett Favre. Since then the teams have had mixed fortunes. New Orleans went
on to win their first Super Bowl and stage the biggest party in the history of
Bourbon Street. Minnesota meanwhile dealt with another off-season about Favre
From there the Saints saw a lot of
upheaval as running back Mike Bell and linebacker Scott Fujita departed while
cornerbacks Darren Sharper and Tracy Porter have dealt with injuries. The
Vikings lost Sidney Rice for half the season and receiver Percy Harvin looks
like a ticking time-bomb with all of his migraine issues.
Nevertheless the primary match-ups
should remain the same on Thursday: New Orleans’ juggernaut offence trying to
out-score and demoralize the Minnesota defence and Brett Favre looking to pick
apart the Saints’ secondary. Based on their last encounter Thursday’s match
looks to be equally close. The Saints will have some fun and put points on the
board behind the arm of Drew Brees and the theatrics of Reggie Bush. Favre will
find the likes of Bernard Berrian and Vishanthi Shiancoe down-field for big
gains while Adrian Peterson will get his carries.
Ultimately even though I feel the
Vikings will eventually overtake New Orleans for a Super Bowl spot this year it
will not happen overnight. Favre will have issues in the passing game early and
that should be obvious in a 27-20 victory for the Saints.