It has been eight long months since the New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, which saw them defeat the Indianapolis Colts in one of the most thrilling championships in the game’s history. Tonight (September 9), everybody gets to hit the reset button and start on the road to Super Bowl XLV. The season kicks off with the Minnesota Vikings traveling to New Orleans for a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game (which the Saints won 31-28 in overtime following a complete meltdown by the Vikings that saw them commit some costly turnovers, including a late interception that lead to the Saints game-tying score that sent the game into an extra period).
Though he again teased the idea that he would retire, Brett Favre is back again as the quarterback for the Vikings, looking to avenge himself against the team that nearly represented the end of his professional career. The Vikes have essentially the same team as they did last season, which means they will have a potent offense (though they’ll deeply miss receiver injured Sidney Rice) and a defense that has a few holes. They should be players in the NFC North, though they will face stiff competition from the Green Bay Packers (a popular Super Bowl pick this year) and the sleeper Detroit Lions, who should surprise a lot of people.
On the other side of the field, the Saints are coming off a Super Bowl victory, so they didn’t change much of anything as far as their roster goes. They have one of the most dynamic offenses in the game and a defense that has a way of converting huge plays and scoring defensive touchdowns. Some people are worried about the “Super Bowl hangover” (wherein the team that wins the championship phones it in the following season), but the Saints are still an incredible team.
According to our MTV News experts, the Saints will come out the victors tonight. Their offense is too strong and the defense will be swarming on Favre (and running back Adrian Peterson) early and often. In fact, one could suggest they will be “In Pursuit of Vikings” — just like Amon Amarth.