By Mike Max

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings’ divisional playoff game with New Orleans has a definite focal point.

It’s Mike Zimmer’s defense against Saints quarterback Drew Brees. There’s little doubt that whoever wins that will probably win the game.

It’s pretty simple: He’s the face of the franchise, the face of New Orleans. Drew Brees is what you think of, when you think of the Saints.

“Drew Brees has played pretty good for a long time. He’s won a Super Bowl, he’s been MVP. He’s thrown for millions of yards so I think all those things kind of sum up what he does,” Zimmer said.

In game one, he was controlled and frustrated. As good as Brees is, the Vikings’ defense has been better.

“It all comes with film work, studying, knowing your opponent, knowing their tendencies and what they do in certain downs and distances,” cornerback Xavier Rhodes said. “So that’s what we do as a team and as a defense, and we try to capitalize on opportunities.”

When they came in the first time, Adrian Peterson was part of the game plan. He’s gone, but what has changed a bit is that Brees will throw the ball to his dynamic tandem of running backs.

“The running backs are very prominent in the passing game. I think they’re second and third on the team in receiving,” linebacker Anthony Barr said. “So they’re involved a lot and make a lot of good plays for them.”

But it’s still about Brees, because he is the face of the Saints, the face of the city.

“You know he’s one of the most competitive guys there is and he’ll compete at anything and I think that’s kind of what drives him, the way he works, the way he studies and obviously he’s got the talent and ability to do it. The intangible things are really what make Drew Brees him,” Zimmer said.

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