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NFC wild-card prediction: Vikings at Saints

Saints quarterback Drew Brees gets ready to unleash a pass.
If Saints quarterback Drew Brees can continue with his uncanny accuracy, the visiting Vikings could be in trouble in their wild-card playoff game.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

No. 6 Minnesota Vikings at No. 3 New Orleans Saints: 10 a.m. PST, Fox

What the Vikings need to do: They have to run the ball better than they have been running it. They need Dalvin Cook at full strength, and they need to take advantage of their outstanding receivers and tight ends. On defense, they need to get to Saints quarterback Drew Brees with a front four that can be dominant.

What the Saints need to do: Keep the noise up and the crowd involved. The best way to do that is get an early lead. Brees has to continue his amazingly accurate pace, and the New Orleans defense has to rattle Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and remind him playoff intensity is at another level.

Sam Farmer’s pick: The Saints have been playing like a top seed of late, with Brees on fire and a legit defense. The Vikings just don’t look right, and Cousins hasn’t consistently proven he can step up in big games.

Saints 31, Vikings 23

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