All eyes will be on running back Adrian Peterson when his former team, the Minnesota Vikings, faces his new team, the New Orleans Saints, in the first of two Monday Night Football games for Week 1. The game will begin at 7:10 p.m. ET on ESPN (live stream via WatchESPN) from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Peterson, the all-time leading rusher for the Vikings, had a contentious relationship with the team for the past few seasons. This offseason, they moved on from the future Hall of Fame running back and Peterson joined the Saints. His reunion with his former team isn’t taking long at all.
Of course, Peterson feels he was wronged by the Vikings, and is eager to punish them. The Vikings are uninterested in making a rival out of a player who was so important to their franchise, but they’ll face him all the same on Monday.
Plus, of course, Drew Brees, Melvin Ingram, Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen and plenty of others absolutely worthy of the spotlight will be in action for the game.
Minnesota started the 2016 season with five consecutive wins despite starting Sam Bradford at quarterback, but went on to lose eight of their next 11 games, a rough season. Bradford is back as the starter with Teddy Bridgewater still out with an injury.
The Saints had three losses to start their 2016 campaign and struggled throughout the year. They did have a couple quality wins, including one over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8, but ultimately they’re as hungry for improvement and a new outlook as the Vikings are.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
- Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.
- TV: ESPN
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: Minnesota is favored by 3.5 points.
Saints at Vikings news:
- You don’t talk about long snappers unless something is seriously wrong, and that’s definitely the case for the Saints. They went through several long snappers before landing on Jon Dorenbos, but a physical revealed an aortic aneurysm that required season-ending surgery. The Saints are now going with Zach Wood, who was signed on Saturday.
- The Vikings are relatively healthy going into Monday’s game, with only three players limited in the Friday practice session.
- Adrian Peterson wants to “stick it” to the Vikings — and every team the Saints play this season.
“Of course I want to stick it to them. I want to stick it to everyone we play. But going back to Minnesota, playing the Vikings? Yeah, I want to stick it to them.”
- The Vikings defense, to their credit, think they have what it takes to stop Peterson, a longtime member of the Minnesota franchise. Defender Everson Griffin said it will be “fun.”
“It’s going to be fun to go up against Adrian. I’ve known him for eight years now. But the biggest thing is going out and beating the New Orleans Saints. We’ve got to go out there and stop the run. … It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be electric.”
- The Saints are a bit more beat up than the Vikings, with Trey Hendrickson, Terron Armstead and Nate Stupar set to miss the game, while Stephone Anthony is questionable with an ankle injury.
- The left guard position will be an interesting one for the Vikings going into Week 1. They released Alex Boone, who was just one year into a four-year deal he signed as the starting left guard. Recently, former Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said that Boone was cut for being out of shape.
Saints at Vikings prediction:
SB Nation’s panel of experts wasn’t unanimous when it comes to this game. Of the eight experts picking, five went with the Vikings while the other three picked the Saints. The OddsShark computer is also going with the Vikings. The full SB Nation Week 1 picks can be found here.