But when you look at NFC teams like the Rams and the Saints, I find myself stretching to believe that we have a chance to get past them in the postseason. We have played with them, yes. And on any given night, if our Defense is clicking, we can beat either of those teams. But what I haven’t seen this year is our ability to beat good teams consistently and much less beat them in consecutive weeks which will be required in a postseason run.
The Rams home field advantage is not a disadvantage to their opponents but rather simply taking a stronger advantage away from other teams. What I mean by this is that while you would always choose to play a team like the Saints outside their building, you do not receive the same advantage the Saints do when playing in front of their home crowd.
So as of now, I believe that if the Saints play the Rams in the Super Dome, the Saints will win. But if the Saints play the Rams on their turf, I’d say this game is 50/50. That is how high of a price tag I place home field advantage when it comes to the Saints and the Super Dome. And wherever the Vikings play in the playoffs, this is the road block I do not want them to try and run through.
The Vikings Defense has gone through a lot of ups and downs this year. But as of right now I believe that they are finding their stride. And it is in that reality that gives us a shot against teams like the Rams and Saints, because this shows a very different look from what they are used to seeing in the NFC. But even if our Defense is dialed in, that slows down these teams but it doesn’t stop them.
Now you look to our offense. I think the Kirk Cousins move gave our team the best chance to win and while his contract was the largest in the NFL for maybe two months and will continue to become fractional to the big deals that will be made for the next 3 years. He has brought out the best of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs and if that is all he does – that puts us in a better place to win big games.
What worries me is the deflected passes and our offensive line. If you give Cousins time and a clean pocket, he will put up big numbers. But if you don’t give him that, no matter how much our defense slows these powerhouses down, we will not win.
I have not given up on this team. But we are definitely up against it when it comes to representing all of the NFC. For these upcoming road games between the Patriots and the Seahawks, I have them picked to go 1-1 on this road stint. (gut feeling is we win in New England and Lose in Seattle)
However, if we were to take both of them and go 2-0….. If our Defense is on point and our O-Line can create a clean pocket for Cousins for 2 straight games against 2 playoff caliber teams…. I will be very optimistic when running into this postseason. The Super Dome will remain the 1 place I don’t want the Vikings to play, BUT if we can build up some momentum I would not count us out of that game. And lets be honest, it will definitely be a great story line to meet the Saints again in the postseason.