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Childress and some of Favre’s teammates have since suggested that the Saints appeared to be trying to hurt their quarterback, although Favre said this week he had no complaints.

The Saints say so-called “remember me” hits are part of an aggressive style taught by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and that they play the same way every game.

With the chatter that has gone back and forth, Saints quarterback Drew Brees figures the Vikings may be looking for a little payback. Certainly, it wouldn’t hurt Minnesota’s cause to knock the reigning Super Bowl MVP _ who completed an NFL record 70.62 percent of his passes last season _ out of the game.

“If you play defense in this league, you love to take a shot at the quarterback _ a legal, clean shot _ albeit you hit him as hard as you can,” Brees said. “We’ve been pretty good in regards to protecting the quarterback, trying to get it out and to avoid sacks and all those things. … Obviously, I know they’re going to be coming after me, and that’s fine.”

Minnesota topped the NFL with 48 sacks last season, led by end Jared Allen’s 14 1/2. The Vikings defense also ranked sixth in yards allowed (305.5 per game).

The Saints‘ offense led the NFL in total yards (403.8 per game) and has all of its key players back.

The biggest changes for New Orleans came on defense, where there will be three new starters, including Malcolm Jenkins at free safety while All-Pro Darren Sharper continues his rehabilitation from offseason knee surgery.

Minnesota’s offense will be without injured receiver Sidney Rice, while running back Chester Taylor left for Chicago in the offseason.

Still, receiver Percy Harvin _ also a threat in the running game _ will be lining up all over the field, and the Saints still have to figure out how to stop Adrian Peterson. Peterson rushed for 122 yards and three TDs against New Orleans last year and who is eager to prove he’s overcome his past fumbling problems.

Saints fullback Heath Evans summed up the rematch this way: “They’ve got a lot to prove, we’ve got a lot to prove, and we both know it, so it will be everything it’s cracked up to be.”