NFL: SEP 11 Saints at Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For the second time this season, the New Orleans Saints visit the Minnesota Vikings – this time in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

New Orleans Saints (12-5) at Minnesota Vikings (13-3)

History: Saints head north to the Twin Cities for the second time this season as franchise clash in postseason for fourth time…Four months ago on a Monday night at Minnesota (Week 1), Vikings managed a 29-19 win – snapping a four-game overall losing streak in this series…Including playoffs, Saints own 3-13 lifetime road record in series dating back to ’70…

HISTORIC NOTE: Fourth postseason meeting between teams (Vikings, 2-1), Vikings posting 44-10 win in ’87 NFC Wild Card Playoffs at New Orleans and 34-16 win in ’00 NFC Divisional Playoffs at Minnesota, while Saints came away with 31-28 OT win in ’09 NFC Championship Game at Superdome…

Coaches: Saints’ head coach Sean Payton: 7-4 in postseason play…Vikings’ head coach Mike Zimmer: 0-1 in postseason play…

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Postseason History: Saints: making 11th overall playoff appearance (11th since merger), 8-9 in postseason play (8-9 since merger)…Vikings: making 29th overall playoff appearance (27th since merger), 19-28 in postseason play (17-26 since merger)…

Numbers: SAINTS: Defeated Panthers, 31-26, in NFC Wild Card Playoffs last week…11-5 record, won NFC South in ’17 (7-9 in 2014, 2015 and ’16)…Including playoffs, scored 30-plus points in 17-of-33 games dating back to ’16…Including playoffs, allowed 30-plus points in 10-of-33 games dating back to ’16…Including playoffs, allowed 28 offensive TD in last 15 games (allowed 7 offensive TD in first 2 games in ’17)…Including playoffs, allowed 352 points in 17 games in ’17 (allowed 454 points in ’16, allowed 476 points in ’15, allowed 424 points in ’14)…Including playoffs, allowed 35 offensive TD in 17 games in ’17 (allowed 46 offensive TD in ’16)…Including playoffs, 46 sacks in 17 games in ’17 (30 sacks in ’16)…Including playoffs, 20 INT in 17 games in ’17 (9 INT in ’16)…VIKINGS: Off last week…13-3 record, won NFC North in ‘17 (8-8 in ‘16)…Won 3 straight games…Won 5 straight home games…Scored 382 points, 40 offensive TD in 16 games in ’17 (scored 327 points, 29 offensive TD in ’16)…1,957 rushing yards in 16 games (122.3 YPG) in ’17; NFL-low 1,205 rushing yards (75.3 YPG) in ’16…QB Case Keenum: 67.5 comp. pct. (264-of-391), 19 TD passes, 7 INT, sacked 18 times in last 12 games (11 starts) dating back to Week 5 of ‘17…Allowed 13 TD passes in 16 games in ’17 (allowed 22 TD passes in ’16)…19 takeaways in 16 games in ‘17 (27 takeaways in ’16)…Allowed 1,337 rushing yards in 16 games in ’17 (83.6 YPG); allowed 1,322 rushing yards in last 11 games of ‘16 (120.2 YPG)…

Things to look for: Both of these teams are playing at a high level and can threaten you offense numerous ways. But while the New Orleans Saints’ defensive unit is much-improved, the Minnesota Vikings are just flat out terrific on that side of the ball. Drew Brees will have his moments but it’s Zimmer’s offense and ground attack that will be the difference as the Purple Gang keeps Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara under wraps for the majority of the afternoon…

NOTE: Win-loss records include playoffs

 NEXT: NFL Divisional Round memories, AFC edition 


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