The Minnesota Vikings rolled to their second NFC North title in three seasons and earned a first-round bye on the strength of 11 wins in their last 12 regular season games. If there was any team that didn’t want to have an off-week during the Wild Card round it was probably the Vikings. But they allowed some bumps to heal and face the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round, a team they handled easily in the regular season opener.
A lot has changed on both sides since that first game and the Vikings will rely on journeyman Case Keenum to lead the offense. We’ve seen how first-time quarterbacks have fared this postseason and Keenum joins the group. But it was because of him and a stout defense that the Vikings are currently in the position they’re in. Keenum threw for over 3,500 yards and 22 touchdowns after taking over as the starter in Week 6. More importantly, he valued the football with just seven interceptions in 481 attempts.
The Vikings aren’t counting on Keenum to win the game; they just don’t want him to lose it. That’s because he’s got the No. 1 defense in the NFL behind him. The Vikings allowed only 17 total points in their final three regular season games and allowed just 276 yards and 15.8 points per game, both numbers topped the league. Their red zone defense was third-best and the Vikes won the opener by holding the Saints to just one touchdown in five red zone trips, and that came on the final drive with the outcome already determined.
Week 1: Vikings vs. Saints, Monday, Sept. 11, 1:10 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 2: Vikings at Steelers, Sunday, Sept. 17, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 3: Vikings vs. Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept 24, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 4: Vikings vs. Lions, Sunday, Oct. 1, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 5: Vikings at Bears, Monday, Oct. 9, 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 6: Vikings vs. Packers, Sunday, Oct. 15, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 7: Vikings vs. Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 22, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 8: Vikings at Browns in London, Sunday, Oct. 29, 9:30 a.m. ET – NFL Network
Week 9: Bye Week
Week 10: Vikings at Redskins, Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 11: Vikings vs. Rams, Sunday, Nov. 19, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 12: Vikings at Lions, Thursday, Nov. 23, 12:30 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 13: Vikings at Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 14: Vikings at Panthers, Sunday, Dec. 10, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 15: Vikings vs. Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 17, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 16 : Vikings at Packers, Saturday, Dec. 23, 8:30 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 17: Vikings vs. Bears, Sunday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
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