NFC Divisional Round Playoff Preview: Minnesota Vikings vs San Francisco 49ers

Will Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers keep fans happy with a victory on Saturday against the Vikings?
Photo Courtesy: Lan Kim

By Kelly Reed

Game Info
Minnesota Vikings vs San Francisco 49ers
Saturday –  January 11 – 3:35 p.m.
TV: NBC
Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA

Records Before the Game
Minnesota Vikings (10-6, 4-4 Away)
San Francisco 49ers (13-3, 6-2 Home)

Okay! Now were getting down to the nitty gritty! Who’s moving on to the conference title game and who’s going home? Who will be one step closer to the Super Bowl? The oddsmakers favor the Ravens, while the Chiefs and 49ers (+350) offer great Super Bowl value. Well Saturday will be the day to answer these questions and much, much more. Will the 49ers defense be able to stop the Vikings momentum? Will the Vikings defense stifle the 49ers offense? Let’s take a close look at this week’s match up.

Why you shouldn’t watch this game
You’re better half would prefer for you to spend time organizing the attic instead of watching the game.

Why you should watch this game
Seriously… It’s the playoffs! ‘Nuff said.

Minnesota Vikings
In order for the Vikings to get the win on the road, they must be able to control the line of scrimmage. They have the potential to do this. The o-line is strong and can protect QB Kirk Cousins and open up running lanes for RB Dalvin Cook. Last week, Cousins was able to complete passes and get in rhythm. Cook looked like his legs were fresh as he put up 130 total yards and a pair of touchdowns. WR Adam Thielen shook off early game jitters to haul in seven passes and 129 yards receiving. TE Kyle Rudolph is sneaky and will make his catches count. Lastly, you can never count out the big play potential of Stefon Diggs. He’ll help stretch the field for the team. The Vikings defense can be dominant if they’re in sync. They can apply pressure and create favorable situations for themselves as demonstrated in last week’s game against the Saints.

San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers defense is the staple for this team. Nick Bosa, D.J Jones and DeForest Buckner will bring a relentless attack against the Vikings offensive line and QB Kirk Cousins . In order for the 49ers to seal the win at home, they must create turnovers. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has to establish the passing game early. Wide out Emmanuel Sanders and Tight End George Kittle have to secure the ball after the catch. The 49ers must play physical with the Vikings on both sides of the ball in order to keep the ball rolling into the playoffs.

Prediction
ESPN has the over/under at 44.5 and the 49ers with a 66% chance of winning. I’m taking the 49ers by 4 and the under! This game will be a battle.

Final Score
49ers – 21
Vikings – 17