I'm in the very-high press box at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, preparing for the Vikings-Saints game.
To put it kindly, something unusual will have to happen today for the Vikings to win.
The best path for a Vikings victory would include a strong running game and the defensive line forcing turnovers. The problem is, the Saints turned the ball over just eight times this season - on six interceptions and two fumbles.
I think, to win, the Vikings need their defensive line to dominate, and while the line is very good and quite deep, I don't know if that's possible.
I also don't know if it's possible for Dalvin Cook to dominate this game with two sore shoulders.
If the Vikings can't dominate with the run or the pass rush, then it will be on Kirk Cousins to find a way to beat a superior team on the road. And that's not something he does very often.
I began covering the NFL in 1989. My first preseason game was in New Orleans, and my first Super Bowl was in New Orleans. Since then, the Superdome has gone from a place that hosted huge events not including the Saints, to being perhaps the best home-field advantage in the NFL.
This could be the last day in a Vikings uniform for Everson Griffen and Xavier Rhodes, among others.
If you're looking for optimism today, you have this: If the Vikings find a way to win this game, it will mark one of the greatest victories in franchise history.
Ben Goessling, Andrew Krammer, Mark Craig and myself are writing off the game, and please check out startribune.com and the Monday paper for@So our photographers' work.
You can find my podcasts, including one with former Vikings GM Jeff Diamond, at TalkNorth.com or on your favorite podcast app.