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What New Orleans Saints fans need to know about the Minnesota Vikings

Saints-Vikings kick off the season Monday, Sept. 11 at 6:10 p.m.

Here are 10 things New Orleans Saints fans need to know about the Minnesota Vikings, the Saints' Week 1 opponent:

  1. Who is their coach? Mike Zimmer. He enters his fourth season as head coach and the Vikings are 26-22 under his leadership. Prior to his arrival in Minnesota Zimmer was the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati from 2008-13. Zimmer also was the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys from 2000-06, serving on the same staff as Saints Coach Sean Payton.
  2. Who is their quarterback? Sam Bradford, the former No. 1 overall draft pick from Oklahoma and a former Heisman Trophy winner. In 2016, his first season with Minnesota, Bradford set an NFL record for completion percentage (71.6 percent) and a franchise record for completions (395) becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw five or fewer interceptions while attempting more than 550 passes.
  3. Who is replacing Zach Line as the Vikings go-to running back? Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray are listed as 1-2 on the depth chart. Cook, the leading rusher in Florida State history, was selected with the 41st pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
  4. What's the name of their stadium? U.S. Bank Stadium. It opened in 2016 and will host the Super Bowl at the end of the season.
  5. Who were their 2017 draft picks? Running back Dalvin Cook, center Pat Elflein, defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, linebacker Ben Gedeon, receiver Rodney Adams, guard Danny Isidora, tight end Bucky Hodges, receiver Stacy Coley, defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, linebacker Elijah Lee and cornerback Jack Tocho.
  6. Tell me one player on defense the Saints need to be wary of? Right defensive end Everson Griffen, an eight-year veteran from USC. Griffen had eight sacks to go along with two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 2016. He is a consistent performer, registering 12 sacks in 2014 and 10.5 in 2015. He has made the last two Pro Bowls.
  7. What are some stats from the 2016 season that will give me some insight in the Vikings? They were third in the league in total defense and sixth in opponent scoring average. Minnesota has a tough, hard-nosed defense that is difficult to score on. The Vikings also were tied for fourth in turnover margin at 11, 19 spots ahead of the Saints. They were also first in kickoff return average at 27.3 yards a return.
  8. Who leads in the series between the teams? Minnesota leads in the regular season, 18-10. The teams last met Sept. 21, 2014 with the Saints winning 20-9.
  9. What's the name of that huge horn they use to fire up their crowd? It's called the Gjallarhorn and the Vikings have produced an informative video about it you can watch here.
  10. If I'm traveling to Minneapolis for the game, where should I go to eat, drink? Glad you asked. Check out our travel guide to Minneapolis for everything you need to know.
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