The last time the Saints and Vikings met it was Christmas day in the 2020 season, and it sure looked like Minnesota was sleepwalking in that one.
Alvin Kamara ran for an NFL record-tying six touchdowns and the Saints dominated 52-33. While it's unlikely the Saints get a repeat of that performance, is it possible Minnesota spends another matchup with the Saints sleepwalking?
If they do, we'll have a good idea why. While the Saints opted to get out to London as early as possible to acclimate to the time difference, the Vikings waiting to depart until late Thursday. They have no intentions to acclimate, and plan to stay fully on central time so as to hit the ground running when they get back home in Week 5, according to Dane Mizutani, co-host of the Inside Purple & Gold podcast and Vikings reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
"They’re really just trying to like, thread a needle here, and I don’t know if it’s going to work," Mizutani said in an interview on the Inside Black & Gold podcast this week. "But there was a lot of thought that went into this."
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The biggest issue, as host Jeff Nowak points out: If you're trying to stay on central time ... that means you're physically kicking off at 8:30 a.m., and that's not better. More realistically, though, the Vikings are gambling that their players will more just be able to adapt quickly. And their process will be interesting to analyze on gameday and beyond.
Team officials indicated melatonin, a sleep aid, would be involved. The team intended to take that on the plane and attempt to sleep through, then hit the ground running with heavy doses of caffeine upon arriving Saturday morning.
“I think their goal is to sacrifice neither week, but it does seem like they're, inherently by their decision-making, potentially sacrificing this week. … It’s something that’s definitely going to be talked-about on Sunday," Mizutani said. "If it works they’re going to be geniuses. If it doesn’t and they lose, it’s going to be like ‘of course they didn't, how did they think they were going to adapt to this time change so quickly?’ "
Listen to more from today's episode of Inside Black & Gold, brought to you by the Lamarque Automotive Complex, which includes the latest on Saints injuries to key players, X-factors to watch for on the Vikings side and more heading into the Week 4 showdown in London.