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Zimmer hasn't decided on Bradford's status against the Saints

Zimmer hasn't decided on Bradford's status against the Saints

But Minnesota Vikings fans know where they're headed if the Vikings beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in the NFC divisional round. The Saints are an excellent team on a hot streak, led by a Hall of Fame quarterback and with a Super Bowl title already under their belt (from 2009, when they beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship game).

New Orleans jettisoned former Vikings running back Adrian Peterson after a miserable four-game run and thrived with Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara, becoming one of the league's most unsafe running back duos.

The victor moves a step closer to Super Bowl LII, which will be played in three weeks in the same stadium as Sunday's game. Keenum will be a free agent at the end of this playoff run, and despite his breakout year the Vikings could decide to return to Bradford, with Teddy Bridgewater (who appeared in one game this season after not playing since 2015) as a backup. It was a depressingly familiar 0-2 start for New Orleans, the Saints' fourth in as many seasons.

The winning record - the Saints finished 12-3 in that strike-shortened season - and the playoffs had been a long time coming in a season that ended with a nine-game winning streak.

Sunday's NFL Divisional Round wraps up with what, on paper, looks like the best game of the slate.

"I haven't even paid too much attention, but everything that I heard they've kind of got us as an underdog, as far as like, 'They're a new team, XYZ, ' " Diggs said. Can't get away with that on the road against the Vikings, who have won five straight home games by eight-plus points.

It's more about whether the Vikings defence can keep Brees and Co quiet, helped by a raucous crowd and home-field advantage.

Minnesota establishes the run game early while giving Case Keenum some easy throws to get his rhythm going.

It's refreshing to think that special teams play could actually work in the Saints' favor. Minnesota has never had three quarterbacks active during a game since coach Mike Zimmer arrived in 2014. He had 11 pass deflections and an interception for a touchdown during the regular season. Notable draft choices were running back Dalvin Cook, lost in Week 4 with a knee injury after a strong start, and Elflein.

Achieving those numbers will be no easy task with the top defense in the National Football League lining up across from Kamara, but thanks to Brees, he'll be able to find gaps in the Vikings defense and achieve early success. He has four receiving touchdowns inside the red zone, has been targeted 17 times inside the 20-yard-line, getting 14 grabs. I give these guys a hard time. "Look, you do your studies ten years back, 15 years back and the key is to be playing good football at this time of the year and certainly they (Vikings) are". However, New Orleans doesn't lack offensive firepower and should get by just fine without him.

But Bridgewater said he is healthy and ready to play if called upon.



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