Vikings-Saints matchup of the day: Wednesday

Posted Dec. 14, 2011 @ 6:24 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Here's a key matchup to watch in Sunday's Saints-Vikings game at the Metrodome:

Vikings wide receivers vs. Saints cornerbacks

The Saints have talented cover men, but this hasn't been their best of seasons individually. Starters Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer are not playing at the level they did during the Saints' 2009 Super Bowl run. Greer has fought through a knee injury and is the Saints' best coverage corner, but even he has been attacked a lot underneath. And Porter can be beat for big plays and isn't terribly physical.

But it's nickel CB Patrick Robinson who is most often victimized. His latest transgression was on Sunday against the Titans, whiffing on a tackle of Titans WR Damian Williams, turning a would-be short gain into a 54-yard reception. Robinson often gives too big a cushion and has not been able to translate his great athleticism into quality CB play.

The Saints like to blitz, ask their corners to man-cover a lot and don't have safeties with great range. There are receptions to be had in this contest.

Clearly, WR Percy Harvin has a great chance to have a big game — if he's healthy, which is a weekly concern — especially if Robinson is matched up against him. Harvin is way too quick and strong breaking tackles to be contained with single coverage, but Christian Ponder (who should play) must get rid of the ball and put it in a place where Harvin can do damage after the catch.

Here's where Devin Aromashodu must step up. He was OK last week but dropped a catchable pass and caught only four of the 10 passes thrown his way. If Aromashodu wants to make a claim for next year's split end job, he'll have to produce in situations like this against a leaky secondary.