NFC divisional playoff prediction: San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Tight end George Kittle spikes the ball after scoring a touchdown against the Rams on Dec. 21 at Levi's Stadium.
(Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

No. 6 Minnesota Vikings at No. 1 San Francisco 49ers, 1:30 p.m., Ch. 4

What the Vikings need to do: Oft-targeted corner Xavier Rhodes has to play the way he did versus New Orleans. As with the 49ers, the Vikings need to establish the run, get after San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and force a turnover — a strip sack, interception ... something.

What the 49ers need to do: The 49ers need to stick with the run more than they have recently, even if it’s not hugely successful, and set up the play-action passing game. They need to be creative, perhaps with fullback Kyle Juszczyk, and hit a big play or two on offense.

Sam Farmer’s pick: This isn’t a great matchup for the 49ers. Garoppolo is going to have to make some plays in the passing game. San Francisco’s going to have to get to Kirk Cousins and do a respectable job of stopping the run.


Vikings 27, 49ers 24