Minnesota Vikings vs Saints: Expert picks to win in the Divisional Round

Dec 31 2017 Minneapolis MN USA Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum looks on following the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

If Minnesota decides to activate Bradford ahead of this weekend's game, Zimmer says he believes the quarterback is healthy enough to play, should the Vikings need to go down the depth chart.

Case Keenum took over for Bradford and has been remarkable in leading the Vikings (13-3) to an NFC North title. Bridgewater spoke to ESPN in the Vikings' locker room and said he did not know if either he or Bradford would be active Sunday, and which of them would be selected as the No. 2 quarterback.

"You remember when your last loss was, and when your last pain was", said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Again, the Saints know what they've got under center.

Both were shut down by the Carolina Panthers last week as Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 376 yards and two scores. Minnesota is just too good there (ranked first) and the Saints have had trouble all season converting, ranked 20th in the league. In fact, a team that plays in a Super Bowl stadium has never even been to that year's conference championship game.

Dec 31 2017 Minneapolis MN USA Minnesota Vikings defensive back Xavier Rhodes in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints lost their Week 1 matchup with the Vikings in the red zone, where they were forced to kick two of their four field goals (the other two were from inside the 25-yard line). While it's hard to discount the experience of Drew Brees, the unsafe running back tandem of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, as well as an underrated defense, it's a surprise to see so many picking against the Vikings at home.

Under-the-radar potential X factor: Defensive rookie of the year candidate Marshon Lattimore gets most of the attention in a stellar young Saints secondary, but second-round rookie safety Marcus Williams has really been coming on. "Wear them down. Eventually it's going to pop at some point in the game". He became eligible to practice before the Vikings' Week 17 game, but didn't until the following Tuesday.

"When you stack the box, it's hard to pick up yards, but I don't think the task is any harder", Kamara said.

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