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NFL Playoffs: Vikings vs Saints Analyst Pick

12 January 2018

A 99-year-old Minnesota Vikings fan is going to her first playoff game on Sunday, thanks to the National Football League team and her granddaughter who will be accompanying her to the new U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. This is the first playoff game between the two teams since the shootout back in 2009 when the Saints beat the Vikings 28-31 on a game-winning field goal in overtime. The Saints won the NFC South for the first time since 2011 and are in the NFC playoffs for the fist time since 2013. A dominating season for Minnesota now has all their fans turning to the dark corner of fear. He had TD run last season in playoffs for Raiders against Texans.

On Sunday, the Saints have an opportunity to do something about that.

"The stage isn't too big for them", Saints running back Mark Ingram said of this year's crop - crediting their preparation and poise as much as their talent. That is the NFL's best third-down defense in several years, dating at least back to 2002, according to statistics compiled by ESPN.

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The Minnesota Vikings' 2017 campaign was a season of storylines. Increasing in intensity during Week 3 of the season, after President Trump blasted the protesting players at a political rally. "Monday night. Big stage against a very talented corner". The Vikings defense is that good. Minnesota's defense is one that no team wants to see in the postseason.

The favorite has been a good play in this series, cashing in all four of the last four meetings between these two teams. They don't need to force any turnovers, and they do not need to score.

In a Twitter poll I sent out earlier this week, my followers (ok, so my mom, grandma and my fake burner account) voted by a large margin they'd rather take down the Saints in a 30-point blowout rather than deliver a heartbreaking, tortuous loss to Saints fans that would haunt them for the next decade. One of the other competitors was Minneapolis, where it's so cold that even the Minnesota Vikings' owner doesn't live there. The punting and kicking game will be a significant factor in Sunday's bout. We know how efficient we have to be against this team. Yet, there's plenty of history between these teams, and for the Saints, most of it isn't pleasant.

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Match-Up Of The WeekTedd Ginn Jr.

And, frankly, New Orleans' third rookie sensation, first-round RT Ryan Ramczyk, was also worthy of consideration for the award.

With a balanced and potent Saints attack (second in total yards, fifth in rushing, fifth in passing and fourth in points per game) on its way, third downs and red zone are just as important as ever.

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Thomas is projected to finish with 69 yards on seven receptions; Ginn is projected to finish with 49 yards on four receptions.

NFL Playoffs: Vikings vs Saints Analyst Pick