Vikings vs. Saints: 3 Things to Watch in Week 16

Three things to watch in the New Orleans Saints Week 16 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
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The New Orleans Saints (10-4) play their final regular-season game of 2020 inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Christmas Day against the Minnesota Vikings (6-8). The Black and Gold look to snap a two-game skid and clinch the NFC South with a victory. Here are three things to watch in the NFL's lone Christmas Day matchup.

Can Brees and the Offense Brush Off the Rust?

Drew Brees: A Greater Sense of Urgency

Drew Brees' return to action following 11 broken ribs did not go according to plan. The NFL's most accurate passer completed 44% of his passes on Sunday and still managed 230+ yards and 3 touchdowns en route to 27 offensive points. The poor outing was headlined by a slow start for the Saints offense and a lack of separation from the wide receiving corps.

The inexperienced wide-outs will make another appearance on Christmas Day with a short week of preparation. News of reinforcement for the Saints receivers may come in rookie WR Marquez Callaway. The Tennessee product is designated to return from injured reserve and is eligible for game action on Friday.

Unfortunately, for the Saints, there has been a small sample size of a healthy offensive arsenal this season. Although the Who Dat Nation may not see that until the playoffs, seeing a healthy Drew Brees returns to form and have a group clicking on all cylinders would be a welcomed Christmas gift on Friday afternoon.

Kamara vs. Cook - A Battle of RB Royalty

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Two of the league's most explosive running backs and 2020 Offensive Player of the Year candidates battle it out on Friday afternoon inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Both Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook have impressed since being drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. The duo has combined for 10,843 scrimmage yards and 89 touchdowns in their young NFL careers and aims for more fireworks this weekend.

The pair of 2021 NFC Pro-Bowl selections play against each other for the third time in their NFL career and the second time in the regular season. Cook has rushed for 221-yards and 2 touchdowns across the first two meetings. Kamara, on the other hand, has rushed for only 52-yards and has one receiving touchdown.

A Chance to Put the Ghosts of Christmas Past to Rest

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The Minnesota Vikings have haunted the New Orleans Saints multiple times over the past 3 seasons, including two heartbreaking playoff losses. Friday, while it does not carry the same weight as the playoff matchups with the Vikings, New Orleans has a chance to put some Ghosts of Christmas Past to rest and defeat the Vikings for the first time since their playoff exit last season.

With a victory, the New Orleans Saints would not just earn a four consecutive NFC South title. They would also eliminate the Vikings from playoff contention. Since the Payton/Brees era began in 2006, the Saints are 5-4 against the Vikings, including playoff games.

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