Vikings need to contend with revitalized Saints running game

Published 7:58 am Friday, January 12, 2018

The Vikings already had played every possible opponent in Sunday’s NFC division playoff game this season and got the one they probably know the least about.

Not only was that game way back in their Sept. 11 opener, the New Orleans Saints will have an entirely different running game in Sunday’s 3:40 p.m. kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium. And this time it’s a good one.

When the Vikings beat the Saints 29-19 back in Week 1, Adrian Peterson was New Orleans’ top running back. He ran six times that Monday night, gaining 18 yards, an inauspicious showing in his first game since leaving Minnesota as a free agent. It never got much better.

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Peterson ran a total of 27 times for 81 yards and no touchdowns in four games for the Saints before being traded to Arizona to make room for what has become the best tailback tandem in NFL history: Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, the first two running backs to each earn at least 1,500 yards from scrimmage in the same season.

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