While the New Orleans Saints have many more distractions away from football, the Vikings and Saints may not be all that different in the troubles they have faced on the field in the last week. The Saints travel to the Metrodome on Sunday.
The Saints did a wonderful job of blocking out all the distractions they faced going into their season opener with the Carolina Panthers
, but the odds were really stacked against them in their "home" opener.
While they didn't use the fact that they played the New York Giants
in Giants Stadium as an excuse, the Saints didn't put their best foot forward with the nation watching at the end of a weekend that was dubbed the NFL Hurricane Relief Weekend.
One week after doing almost everything right in an emotional and gutsy win at Carolina, the Saints came back down to Earth on Monday night with their 27-10 loss to the Giants.
The list of problems was long and quite embarrassing to many of the players. Six turnovers, a missed field goal and 13 penalties — including five on special teams — took their toll on the Saints.
The Giants seized the opportunity to pounce on the Saints, scoring three plays after the Saints fumbled the opening kickoff on a reverse.
The Giants went on to turn the Saints' first three turnovers into 17 points, making it easier for their defense to keep applying pressure to quarterback Aaron Brooks
. He threw three interceptions, lost one fumble and was sacked four times while under a heavy rush most of the night.
"You know, we just weren't very good," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "They beat us up in special teams, we had way too many turnovers and we had self-inflicted penalties. We just didn't get the job done today."
WR/KR Michael Lewis was carted off the field with an ACL injury to his left knee after he went down while returning a kickoff in the fourth quarter of Monday's game with the New York Giants. He will be out for the season.
RCB Fakhir Brown did not play against the Giants because of a knee injury that occurred late in practice on Saturday. The extent of Brown's injury and his return was unknown Monday night.
WR Az-Zahir Hakim was inactive for the game with the Giants after re-injuring his pulled right hamstring in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers.
SLB James Allen, who missed most of training camp and all four exhibition games with a bone bruise on his left knee, was not active for Monday's game.
TE Shad Meier, who had a setback in late August after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee earlier in the month, was inactive for the second straight week. His return is uncertain.
MLB Alfred Fincher, who had surgery on a broken right hand on Aug. 27, was inactive for the second straight week. It is not known when he might return.