Jimmy Garoppolo via Casey McNeil [Public domain] for NFC Divisional Playoff

NFC Divisional Playoffs: Preview, MIN at SF

The NFC Divisional Playoffs kickoff in San Francisco, where the 49ers will host the Minnesota Vikings. The winner of this game goes on to the NFC Conference Championship game. If the 49ers win, they’ll host the winner of Packers/Seahawks. If the Vikings win, they’ll travel to the winners stadium of that same game.

NFC Divisional Playoffs

Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers

Levi’s Stadium

Santa Clara, CA

Betting

The Vikings are currently +7.0 (-110) underdogs and I like that number as it could result in a push if not a win. Now, if the line moves to 49ers +6.5, that is what I win pounce on. The 49ers (-300) are going to win this game based on their own track record and the trends for home teams throughout Divisional Playoffs history. If that spread goes under a TD, I like the 49ers to cover.

Injuries

Dee Ford appears to be ready to make a return to the field for the NFC Divisional Playoffs. Having barely played since Week 11, the 49ers defense has missed Ford and his pass-rushing ability. Adding him back into the mix on the 49ers fearsome front-7 makes for a ton of troubles for the Vikings.

The Vikings are hurting at the WR spot as both of their top guys are limited in practice. Stefon Diggs appears ready to go after essentially taking a day off for an illness. But, we should all note that illnesses can linger. As for Adam Thielen, he expressed confidence in his ability to suit up on Saturday.

49ers Offense vs. Vikings Defense

Having a full week to rest and get healthy at home is a major advantage for the 49ers. Add to that the fact that they were able to relax and study the Vikings last week, and the 49ers should be able to tear the Vikings to shreds. Jimmy Garoppolo has never been a high-volume passer but the passing game should be the 49ers go-to this game. The Vikings sorely missed CB’s Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes last week and that same fate will probably occur this week. With Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel attacking the injury hampered secondary, George Kittle will feast over the middle.

Vikings Offense vs. 49ers Defense

The 49ers defensive strong suit is their pass rush, which means the Vikings need to counter with the play-action. Getting Dalvin Cook plenty of touches early on in this one should open up the field for Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Cook will ultimately be the deciding factor in this game as he determines how the Vikings can attack on offense. Nick Bosa can disrupt all facets of the Vikings offense though, so expect the Vikings to be inconsistent on offense. Kirk Cousins was able to silence the haters last week by picking up a big win that has been escaping him. Cousins most likely won’t be able to escape this 49ers pass rush though.

Predictions

Vikings: 17

49ers: 24

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: George Kittle

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Kyle Rudolph

Best Fantasy QB: Jimmy Garoppolo, the Vikings secondary is much worse than the 49ers.

Better Fantasy RB: Dalvin Cook, Cook is the best player on the field and the Vikings should feature him heavily.

Better Fantasy WR: Adam Thielen, I expect a near similar game from Thielen from what he accomplished last week.

Best Fantasy TE: George Kittle, the #1 TE in the NFL always gets the job done.

Better Fantasy D/ST: 49ers, the ‘niners have one of the best defenses in the NFL and the Vikings offense is hit or miss.

Conclusion

Who do you think wins today in this NFC Divisional Playoff game? Depending on the winner of the other NFC Divisional Playoff game, who do you think can make it to the Super Bowl? Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out the shop and other content by clicking here.

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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