|SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-6)||NFC WC||MINNESOTA VIKINGS (11-5)|
|Date:||10 January 2016 ||Location:||Minneapolis, MN|
|Time:||12:00 PM Central||Stadium:||TCF Bank Stadium|
|TV:||NBC||Radio:|| Vikings Radio Network |
XM Ch 82
Sirius Ch 82
|TV Announcers:||Al Michaels |
|Know Thy Foe:||Field Gulls|
|Weather:||-6 degrees, winds from the NW at 5-10 MPH (wind chill -25), 0% chance of precip|
|Line:||Seattle -4.5, Over/Under 40 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds Page)|
|Chris' Prediction:||Vikings 23, Seahawks 20|
|Final Score:||Seahawks 10, Vikings 9|
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For the first time in forty years, we have outdoor playoff football in the Twin Cities, and we have the appropriate weather. It's a cold one out there, with sub-zero temperatures and blistering wind chills. . .and the Minnesota Vikings will host the Seattle Seahawks in the first of two NFC Wild Card match-ups this afternoon. Not a lot of people are giving the Vikings an opportunity in this one, but these games aren't played on paper, so who knows what might happen?
What does our favorite team have to do to prevent their season from coming to an end this afternoon?
1) Contain Russell Wilson - In the first game between these two teams, Russell Wilson was allowed to get outside of the pocket and extend plays, and that's when he really killed the Vikings. It will be important for the Vikings to keep Wilson in the pocket rather than allowing him to get outside and improvise. The Vikings' pass rush can get to Wilson, but when they get to him, they need to bring him down and not allow him to get away. If Wilson is allowed to dance outside and extend plays, it's going to be a long afternoon for Minnesota.
2) Tackling, tackling, tackling - One of the other big issues this team had in the previous meeting between these two teams was that their tackling was relatively atrocious. Some of that had to do with a reliance on a lot of backup players, but even the normal starters looked pretty bad in the Week 13 match-up. Obviously having Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith back for this one, along with the return of Linval Joseph, should help mitigate that significantly, but all of the Vikings' defenders have to remain disciplined and tackle rather than hit.
3) Be careful with the football - When temperatures go down, turnovers tend to go up, and I don't expect this game to be any exception. That means that the team that makes the fewest mistakes will likely emerge from this one with the victory. The Vikings, as a team, need to hang on to the football. . .yeah, looking at you, Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson. . .and keep themselves from giving the Seahawks extra opportunities and short fields. If they can do that, they give themselves the best opportunity of advancing to the next round.
If the Vikings win this one, they will travel to the desert for a rematch with the Arizona Cardinals next Saturday night. If they lose. . .well, we know what happens if they lose, and hopefully that won't happen. This season has been a successful one for the Vikings regardless of what happens this afternoon. . .I just want it to keep going, and I know you do, too. Let's watch and see what happens, shall we?