NFL Game Previews: Wild-Card Matchups

NFL Game Previews: Wild-Card Matchups

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Minnesota (+8) at New Orleans, 49.5 o/u – Sunday, 1:05 p.m. EST

It's been two years (less nine days, counting from kickoff on this one) since Stefon Diggs Did the Thing (or Marcus Williams Failed To Do the Thing, depending on your perspective). Since then, the Vikings have signed Kirk Cousins to a huge deal, missed the playoffs in 2018 as Mike Zimmer kept up his pattern of only winning double-digits games in odd-numbered years, and generally been a good but not great team. The Saints, meanwhile, followed one heartbreak with another last year against the Rams on a blown PI call that was so egregious the league felt compelled to change the rules and made things even worse, because Roger GoodLOL. New Orleans did get some measure of revenge against Minnesota in Week 8 last season with a 30-20 win, but the stakes are obviously a lot higher this time around. The Vikes lost consecutive games and three of their last five to get here, ceding the NFC North to the Packers with a whimper, but those struggles can largely be lain at the feet of a battered backfield. Dalvin Cook missed the final two games with a shoulder injury and hasn't topped 100 scrimmage yards since Week 10, while Alexander Mattison missed his chance to prove himself in the lead role due to an ankle injury. Both RBs appear to be healthy, or at least not on the injury report, which could allow Minnesota to get back to

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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