We are just one hour away from kickoff at Levi’s Stadium between the top seed in the NFC playoffs, the San Francisco 49ers, and your Minnesota Vikings in the 2019 NFC Divisional Playoffs. The Niners are coming off of a week of rest, while the Vikings are coming off of a slightly shortened week and a huge upset of the overrated New Orleans Saints in last weekend’s Wild Card round.
Here is everything you need to know about this afternoon’s game.
Date and Time: Saturday, 11 January, 2020, 3:35 PM Central
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Television coverage: KARE-11 in the Twin Cities, NBC affiliates from coast to coast and border to border
Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 82, XM Channel 226, Sirius and XM Channel 88, SiriusXM App Channel 819
Line: Vikings +7, Over/Under 44.5
Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 23, Niners 20
1) No hangovers - The last time we saw the Minnesota Vikings coming off of a highly emotional playoff victory, they went out and got flattened the next week. The Vikings absolutely can not have that this time around if they want to win this football game, so hopefully Mike Zimmer and some of the veteran leaders on this team have helped the rest of the roster to keep their focus. This team will have to play with every bit of the emotion that we saw last weekend to come out of this one with a win.
2) Get after Jimmy Garoppolo - Handsome Jimmy is a much different quarterback than he was when the Vikings saw him in the 2018 regular season opener, and the Niners are a much different team. One thing that has remained the same, however, is that if you can get pressure on Garoppolo, he’ll make mistakes. The Vikings did an outstanding job of getting after the quarterback last week in New Orleans, and if they can repeat that performance today the secondary should be able to make some plays.
3) Remain balanced on offense - The Niners’ defense started this season on fire, but over their past few games they’ve given up a lot of points and a lot of yards. They can still do some damage with their defensive line and linebackers, so the offensive line is going to need to duplicate the performance we saw against New Orleans. Dalvin Cook will be the key to this one, as will giving Kirk Cousins the opportunity to make plays in the passing game.
Know the Foe: Niners Nation
Twitter: Right here, @DailyNorseman
If the Vikings win this one, then they will travel to either Seattle or Green Bay next Sunday for the NFC Championship Game and an opportunity to go to Super Bowl LIV. If they lose, the Niners will host the NFC Championship Game next Sunday and we’ll be on to off-season discussion.
We’re going to have a fresh Open Thread up here at the start of each quarter, so keep your eyes open for those and move the discussion along accordingly. Other than that, enjoy today’s game, and hopefully we can all meet back here in about three hours to talk about what an awesome victory that was.