The Minnesota Vikings (10-6) travel to The Big Easy for an NFC wild-card battle with the Saints (13-3) on Sunday. These two teams squared-off two years ago in the NFC Divisional Playoff game with the Vikings coming out on top 29-24.
Vikings vs. Saints
When: Sunday, January 5
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
The Vikings come into the game as the No. 6 seed after finishing second in the NFC North behind the Packers. Minnesota lost 23-10 vs. Green Bay and 21-19 at home to the Bears in its final two regular-season games. Star running back Dalvin Cook amassed 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns this season and his health is key to the Vikings success. He sat out the past two games after getting banged up against the Chargers, but should be ready to go for Sunday. He’ll be joined in the backfield by Alexander Mattison, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 14. Can Kirk Cousins earn his $84 million dollar contract and make key throws in the passing game? The last thing Minnesota wants is to be one dimensional against a physical Saints defense with the likes of Cam Jordan who has 15.5 sacks this season. Their run game is ranked 6th in the NFL, while their passing attack is 23rd.
For the Saints, they have something to prove. After rattling off three consecutive wins to close out the season and win another NFC South title, they finished as the No. 3 seed. Last weekend, they beat the Panthers 42-10. Drew Brees threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns to continue his record-setting year. Brees’ go-to wide receiver the entire season has been Michael Thomas, who broke Marvin Harrison’s single-season receptions record last weekend and has now caught 145 receptions in the 2019 campaign. It’s no secret their offense relies on the air attack, but give credit to Latavius Murray and Alvin Kamara for establishing the run game. For Murray, it will be a head-to-head matchup against his former team. Can Danielle Hunter and the Viking defensive line put pressure on Brees and force the Saints to win it with the run game? Those questions and more will be answered on Sunday afternoon.
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