After a thrilling overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round, the Minnesota Vikings are headed out west to take on the San Francisco 49ers. The winner, of course, will earn an appearance in the NFC Conference Championship game.
The No. 6 seeded Vikings will have their work cut out for them squaring off against the NFC's top seed in the 49ers, but it will no doubt be an exciting matchup. Here are a few predictions for how things will go down in Saturday's game.
3. Dalvin Cook Totals 150 Scrimmage Yards
The 49ers have boasted a stout defense all year long, but one of their weaknesses was defending against the run. That doesn't bode well, with Dalvin Cook set to line up in the backfield on Saturday. The Vikings running back shredded the Saints for 94 rushing yards and 36 receiving yards in the Wild Card round, and he's going to carry that momentum into this game, totaling 150 yards from scrimmage.
2. Jimmy Garoppolo Throws Trio of Touchdown Passes
Garoppolo managed to throw for three or more touchdowns in only four games during the regular season, but he'll log Game No. 5 against the Vikings. Minnesota's secondary won't be able to replicate the strong performance they put up against Drew Brees, and Garoppolo will find his receivers for a score three times. Xavier Rhodes, in particular, will struggle to defend against the 49ers quarterback's pin-point accuracy and his receivers' speed.
1. The 49ers Win by Less Than Seven Points
It'll be a down-to-the-wire game between the 49ers and the Vikings, but it will ultimately be the home team that comes out on top. Minnesota's efforts on offense will fall just short, specifically after the first half. A strong performance from Garoppolo and some solid fourth quarter defense will ultimately seal the deal for San Francisco, sending them to their first NFC Championship Game since the 2013 season.