NFC Divisional Playoffs: Three things to watch in Saints-Vikings

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The NFC North Division champion Minnesota Vikings begin a playoff run Sunday which they hope will lead to a Super Bowl berth in their home stadium. The Saints can win in so many ways while the Vikings still appear as a team that can make the minimum mistakes if they want to advance.

The Vikings probably won't have three quarterbacks active on Sunday. New Orleans has averaged just 58 plays per game over its past five games, almost seven fewer than the 64.6 the Saints averaged during the eight-game streak of 100-yard rushing days. He's fifth in the Vikings secondary with 560 snaps [56.1%] this season.

In his bet with the Minneapolis mayor, Landrieu also suggested that maybe Saints running back Alvin Kamara will throw in some airheads, something he's been doing after scoring touchdowns. Keenum was sacked five times in his first nine games, but he was taken down 17 times in his final six.

Meantime, the Twitter fight continues, with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey telling Landrieu, "A Saints 'W" is less likely than Minneapolis breaking 50 degrees on Sunday. The fact that he was concussed also makes the horrendous pick he threw late in that game to seal the game for the Saints a little less egregious.

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For the Vikings, they rank at the top of the league in both offensive and defensive third down percentage, converting 43.5 percent of all third downs (3rd in the NFL) and allowing 25.2 percent of third downs against (1st).

While the Vikings' defense is No. 2 on third-and-long, Minnesota's offense is far less effective when put in a bind. As many know, both Williams and head coach Sean Payton were then suspended for an entire year as a result of "Bountygate".

They will have an advantage against the Saints on third-and-short as New Orleans' defense ranks 22nd in first downs allowed in those situations.

As good as he was during the regular season, the playoffs can be a different story.

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