Mike Zimmer hopes Minnesota Vikings thrill home support in Saints clash

Carolina Panthers reportedly making claim about Cam Newton’s injury to avoid concussion protocol punishment

The Minnesota Vikings managed to take full advantage of the bye week to rest up some of their veterans in preparation for their NFC Divisional Game versus the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

They had at least one takeaway in 13 of the next 14 games, giving the ball back to their future Hall of Fame quarterback during an eight-game win streak after the 0-2 start. They have the NFL's best defense, and quarterback Case Keenum has been playing well for long enough that it's harder to see him laying a stink bomb in the playoffs than continuing to do the job.

The Vikings have the best defense in the National Football League, both in total yards and points allowed.

"He can get out of tough situations better", says Saints Pro Bowl corner Marshon Lattimore. Or maybe, if the Saints win on the road tomorrow, they'll get to invite the Falcons back to the Superdome for an all-NFC South NFC Championship. I really enjoyed the time I spent with those teams, but you quickly get back to preparing for the Saints. "If I perform like I know I can we're going to be good". Bradford dressing for the game would not necessarily mean he would play ahead of Bridgewater, and it would be a significant step if the Vikings were to put him on their 46-man active roster for the game at all.

It may be tough to make predictions about certain statistics for Sunday's game because of the incredible one-on-one matchups, but we tried to make a few.

"He's a good player", Shurmur said of Remmers. Minnesota's defense is elite in all three levels. The Saints were tenth in points allowed.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9). But Brees is a different matchup than most. Plucked off the Jaguars' practice squad late last season, he's been one of the bigger surprises on the team this year. Minnesota's linebackers and defensive front featuring Everson Griffin and Linval Joseph will also face the tall task of shutting down New Orleans' two-headed backfield of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Since then though, both teams have changed drastically. Among them: 28th to ninth in scoring touchdowns on possessions after passing the 20-yard line, and 19th to third in third-down conversions. In that game, Ingram and Kamara combined for 35 yards rushing and 74 yards receiving, while competing with the since-jettisoned Adrian Peterson for touches. Case Keenum started the next three games.

"He's a guy you want to play for", wide receiver Adam Thielen said.

The Boston Globe reported Bradford will suit up for the first time since Week 5, but when asked about the report during his news conference on Friday, Zimmer said, "I don't know how the Boston Globe would know because I haven't made any decisions yet". He has the rare opportunity to bring the Vikings to a hometown Super Bowl win, which would be the first in franchise history.