After the Saints' thrilling win over the Panthers in the Wild Card round, they'll travel to U.S. Bank Stadium to take on the Vikings in a rematch of the 2009 NFC Championship Game. New Orleans won that game in overtime on their way to a Super Bowl victory, and they're hoping for a similar result in this week's matchup with the Vikings.

After Carson Wentz's injury, this game features the two best teams in the NFC and the winner of this game has a great chance to represent the conference in the Super Bowl.

Saints Offense vs Vikings Defense

New Orleans finished the season with the second-best offense and Minnesota finished the year with the second-best defense in the league according to Football Outsiders.

The Vikings don't have a single weak link on their defensive unit as Mike Zimmer has them playing at a Super Bowl-caliber level this year. The Saints come into this game fresh off of a 31-point performance where they racked up over 400 yards of offense against a Panthers defense that had been great all year long.

There are a ton of great matchups on this side of the ball: Michael Thomas vs Xavier Rhodes, the Saints' dynamic duo of running backs against the Vikings' athletic linebackers, and Drew Brees playing chess against Harrison Smith.

However, the Saints' offensive line needs to hold up against the Vikings' front four. The Panthers' defensive line won that matchup last weekend as they held New Orleans to 41 yards rushing.

The Saints aren't very strong along the interior of their offensive line, and that could allow Linval Joseph and Tom Johnson to wreak havoc against both the run and the pass in this game.

Vikings Offense vs Saints Defense

The main storyline on this side of the ball will be whether Case Keenum finally turns into a pumpkin after his Cinderella season.

Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has crafted a passing offense that ranked third in the league, despite starting a backup quarterback all year long. But will that formula continue to work in a playoff game?

The Saints' cornerback duo of Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley matching up with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen will be must-see television, but Minnesota's offensive success will be decided in the trenches just like it will be on the other side of the ball.

The Vikings have racked up some injuries on the offensive line over the second half of the season, which could allow Cameron Jordan and the rest of the Saints' defensive line to make a living in the Minnesota backfield. New Orleans will be able to put some pressure on Case Keenum this weekend, but he's done a fantastic job of avoiding sacks and making plays outside of the pocket all year long. He'll need to do that time and time again on Sunday afternoon.

TV Schedule

Sunday, January 14th at 4:40 PM ET on FOX


The Vikings will have a fantastic home-field advantage with a raucous crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium, and they've had a week off to rest after the grind of the regular season. However, Drew Brees is coming off of one of the greatest games of his playoff career, and the Saints will have a major advantage at the quarterback position in this game.

This is the biggest game of Case Keenum's career, and I don't think he'll be able to outplay a future Hall of Fame quarterback like Brees in a playoff game. The Saints will come out of Minneapolis with a victory on the road to Drew Brees' second Super Bowl appearance.