The Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks are both advancing to the NFC Divisional round. The Vikings managed to miraculously beat the New Orleans Saints while the Seahawks settled for a hard-fought win against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Vikings are taking on the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks will take on the Green Bay Packers. In addition, the 49ers are set to host its first playoff game at Levi Stadium. Furthermore, the Vikings are looking to win the NFC Championship and play in the Super Bowl for the first time since 1976. Seattle is looking to advance to the NFC Championship for the first time since 2014. On the other hand, Green Bay is looking to make it to the conference championship for the first time since 2016. San Francisco is eager to appear in the NFC championship for the first time since 2013.
Minnesota’s effectiveness on offense played a major factor in their victory. A total of 362 yards of total yards with longer ball possession. With Minnesota able to pass and run the ball, the Vikings were able to be in control for most of the game. The Vikings defense was solid and effective. The Saints were somewhat effective although they had one fumble, one interception, and a missed field goal. New Orleans’ interception led to the Vikings taking the lead and not relinquishing until the Saints tied it with two seconds left. Minnesota did have one fumble, but New Orleans was only able to respond with a field goal. The Saints had some struggles and it truly affected them.
The Vikings took the win in overtime on the very first drive of the game. Despite a few miscues, New Orleans managed to stay in the game, but in the end, they just couldn’t finish it. The Saints defense was solid for most of the game, but it ultimately faltered in overtime as Minnesota easily drove down the field. Both teams seemed evenly matched on both sides of the ball. However, in the end, only one emerges victorious. Both Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees both finished with an average performance.
The Eagles had a roller coaster of a regular season. They’re clinching of the NFC East was in Week 17. A depleted roster due to injuries wasn’t much help for Philadelphia. Their mentality is the reason for their earning of a playoff spot. Even with the odds all against them in the game with Seattle, Philadelphia was eager to challenge Russell Wilson and company.
The Seahawks pulled it off with a final score of 17-9. Carson Wentz didn’t last long, exiting the game in the Eagles’ second drive of the game. Josh McCown‘s best efforts could not save the Eagles. Philadelphia could not find the endzone and turning it over on downs in their final two offensive drives was the exclamation point. The offense’s inability to score hurt the team, but the defense continued putting an effort. Seattle’s defense registered six sacks which created problems for the Philly offense. The Eagles had 33 minutes of ball possession and 20 first downs but the lack of scoring, going 0-3 in the red zone. Managing to avoid turnovers was fortunate for Philadelphia, but once again, the lack of scoring is the reason really hurt them.
Seattle racked up nearly 400 yards of offense. Wilson finished 18-30 for 325 yards and one touchdown. D.K. Metcalf’s 160 receiving yards is a record for most by a rookie in playoff history. Seattle was well-balanced, which allowed to wrap it up, although their win wasn’t easy despite all the injuries to the Eagles. In the Eagles’ case, this is truly a losing effort, because, despite the pressure and all the odds against them, Philadelphia did their best.
Seattle are playing the Packers in Lambeau Field on January 12th. Wilson needs to be ready for anything as Aaron Rodgers and company are perfectly capable of anything. Seattle needs an effective offense and defense to have a chance to eliminated Green Bay.
Minnesota’s duel against the 49ers is on January 11th. The Vikings are facing a bigger threat in the 49ers. San Francisco’s playing the first playoff game since 2013 and they’re looking to stay alive. Minnesota comes in as underdogs against New Orleans and got it done. They have the potential to eliminate San Francisco.