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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 23, 2010

NFL capsule: Minnesota at New Orleans


Associated Press

MINNESOTA (13-4) At NEW ORLEANS (14-3)

6:30 pm. ET (1:30 p.m. Hawaii time), Fox
OPENING LINE Saints by 4 1/2
RECORD VS. SPREAD Minnesota 10-6-1; New Orleans 9-8
SERIES RECORD Vikings lead 20-7
LAST MEETING Vikings beat Saints 3027, Oct. 6, 2008
LAST WEEK Vikings beat Cowboys 34-3; Saints beat Cardinals 45-14
VIKINGS OFFENSE OVERALL (5), RUSH (13), PASS (8)
VIKINGS DEFENSE OVERALL (6), RUSH (2), PASS (19)
SAINTS OFFENSE OVERALL (1), RUSH (6), PASS (4)
SAINTS DEFENSE OVERALL (25), RUSH (21), PASS (26)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES Vikings are 2-0 vs. Saints in postseason. ... This is fifth time top two scoring teams in league meet in conference championship game. ... Minnesota playing in NFC title game for ninth time, has gone 4-4 but is 0-4 in Super Bowls. ... This will be 45th postseason game for franchise since joining NFL in 1961, third behind Dallas (57) and Pittsburgh (50) in that span. ... QB Brett Favre has started 23 postseason games, including 1-1 in Super Bowls, all for Green Bay. ... Favre is closing in on postseason records for yards gained (Joe Montana, 5,772), needing 227; TDs passing (Montana, 45), needing two; and completions (Montana (460), needing seven. ... Favre had career-high 107.4 passer rating. He has a TD pass in NFL playoff-record 19 consecutive games and threw for postseason career-high four TDs last week. At 40 years, 106 days old on Sunday, Favre will become oldest QB to start conference championship game. ... RB Adrian Peterson led league for scoring among non-kickers with 18 TDs. Peterson was second in NFC with 1,383 yards rushing. and third in league with 1,819 yards overall. ... WR-KR is Offensive Rookie of the Year, and tied for NFL rookie lead with 60 catches. He led NFC rookies with eight TDs (6 receiving, 2 kick returns). ... DE Jared Allen led NFC with 14 sacks. Minnesota had 48 as a team, added six more, three by DE Ray Edwards and one by Allen, vs. Dallas. ... Saints are 0-1 in conference title games, losing to Chicago three years ago. ... Saints won franchise record 13 games during season. They led NFL with 510 points, ninth most in NFL history. ... QB Drew Brees set NFL record with 70.62 completion percentage and topped league with career-high and franchise-record 109.6 rating. Brees had 4,388 yards passing, his fourth consecutive 4,000-yard season. In his last game vs. Minnesota, he threw for 330 yards and a touchdown. All-Pro S Darren Sharper, who played for Packers with Favre and then was with Vikings until this season, tied for league lead with nine INTs. Sharper set NFL record for most interception return yards in a season with 376 and had three TDs. ... DE Will Smith had 13 sacks, second to Allen in NFC. ... RB Reggie Bush had huge game in win over Arizona with 83-yard punt return TD, 84 yards rushing on just five carries, with a TD, and four receptions. Bush became second player in postseason history with touchdown rushing and on punt runback in same game, tying Hall of Famer Charley Trippi.