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Originally published January 23, 2010 at 6:24 PM | Page modified January 23, 2010 at 7:04 PM

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Electric offenses featured as Saints face Vikings in NFC title game | NFL

The top two seeds were also the top two scoring offenses in the NFL, combining for nearly 1,000 points and 12,500 total yards. Each won its playoff game last week by 31 points.

NEW ORLEANS — Brett Favre has participated in his share of score-at-will, run-and-gun shootouts throughout his Hall of Fame career. Today, at age 40, he might need to survive another one to earn a trip to his third Super Bowl.

At least it looks that way. New Orleans revels in its excess so the Superdome seems an appropriate venue for the NFC Championship Game between the Saints and the Vikings.

The top two seeds were also the top two scoring offenses in the NFL, combining for nearly 1,000 points and 12,500 total yards. Each won its playoff game last week by 31 points.

The game features the two top-rated quarterbacks in the NFL this season, electrifying talent at the skill positions and offenses that thrive on playing indoors on turf.

Defense isn't optional, but it might not be much fun on that side of the ball. In a city without a last call, this too could be a long game. And a memorable one.

"It's going to be a shootout," Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "Hopefully it ain't going to be like Green Bay and the Cardinals."

Those teams combined to score an NFL postseason record 96 points two weeks ago. If today's game resembles that one, don't leave the couch to fetch more chips and salsa. You might miss a TD. Or two.

"We definitely want to start fast and we want to put points up on the board, but you definitely don't want to be in a shootout," Saints All-Pro right guard Jahri Evans said. "You want to be successful and get the job done early and just sustain it throughout the game. We have weapons, and we know they have weapons, too."

Their statistics are enough to make defensive coordinators leap out of bed in a cold sweat. The Saints led the NFL in scoring at 31.9 points per game. The Vikings were second at 29.4. The Saints scored 510 points, ninth-highest in NFL history. The Vikings scored 470 points. The Saints led the league in total offense (403.8 yards per game) while the Vikings finished fifth (379.6).

Both teams also ranked in the top 10 in first downs, average yards per play, passing offense, third-down offense and red-zone efficiency.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees was the NFL's highest-rated passer (109.6), followed by Favre (107.2). The two quarterbacks combined for 8,590 passing yards with 67 touchdowns and only 18 interceptions. They will face defenses that were vulnerable against the pass. The Vikings finished 19th in pass defense, the Saints 26th.

"You have to be careful having the mindset, 'We have to score every time we get the ball,' " Favre said.

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