The Vikings waited and watched wild-card football unfold and now know their 2018 NFL playoffs opponent: the New Orleans Saints.
The Vikings will host the Saints in the NFC divisonal round at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday after a bye week spent resting and preparing. The Saints came away with a 31-26 win over the Panthers to advance to face the Vikings.
Kickoff is 3:40 p.m. central time on Fox.
2018 NFL playoffs schedule: Games, Day, Time, TV (central standard time)
Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots, Saturday, 7:15 p.m., CBS
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, 12:05 p.m., CBS
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles, Saturday, 3:35 p.m., NBC
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, 3:40 p.m., FOX
NFL conference championships:
AFC Championship: 2:05 p.m., CBS
NFC Championship: 5:40 p.m., FOX
Wild-card weekend results:
Titans 22, Kansas City Chiefs 21
Falcons 26, L.A. Rams 13
Jaguars 10, Bills 3
Saints 31, Panthers 26
Vikings vs. Saints NFC divisional round preview:
The Saints beat the Panthers for the third time this season, winning the wild-card game 31-26 to advance to a rematch against the Vikings in the NFC divisional round.
It doesn't figure to greatly resemble their last meeting.
When the Vikings beat the Saints in Week 1, the Saints were trying to find a role for ex-Viking Adrian Peterson and the Vikings were riding on the arm of Sam Bradford. Lead running back Latavius Murray was still hobbled by offseason ankle surgery, too, and rookie Dalvin Cook was setting the pace in the ground game.
Since then, Peterson was traded to the Arizona Cardinals and eventually put on injured reserve with a neck injury. Cook's season ended with a torn ACL, and the Vikings turned to a the duo of Murray and Jerick McKinnon on the ground. And, most important, Case Keenum has stepped in for Sam Bradford, who is just returning to the team after undergoing knee surgery.
Defensively, the Vikings have led the NFL in the least number of points and yards allowed. Behind All-Pro selections Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith, the pass-rushing of Everson Griffen and the dominant play of interior lineman Linval Joseph, the unit is the backbone of the team's success this year.
Meanwhile, Saints running back Alvin Kamara was let loose in Peterson's absence and has been dynamic ever since. Drew Brees is showing no signs of aging this season and the Saints defense, behind Cameron Jordan, is no longer a weak spot.
If you missed this feature on Saints running back Alvin Kamara, it's worth your time.
Minnesota Vikings coverage heading into the NFC divisional matchup against the Saints: