There was an upset in each conference on Wild Card Weekend, and because of that we’ll be treated to two rematches next Sunday.
The Steelers got back on track later in the season and, after getting this week off, should be back at full strength with Antonio Brown returning from injury. Jacksonville will need a better performance from Blake Bortles than they got against the Bills in order to keep pace with the explosive Pittsburgh offense.
Late Sunday, the No. 2 seed Minnesota Vikings will host the No. 4 seed New Orleans Saints. These two teams opened the season against each other with the Vikings winning 29-19, but much has changed since that point. Case Keenum is Minnesota’s starter, not Sam Bradford. Adrian Peterson is no longer in New Orleans. The Saints defense is a force to be reckoned with. Alvin Kamara is a star. So is Adam Thielen. The Vikes and Saints are each strong on both sides of the ball, and whoever forces the other into more mistakes should come away victorious.
The Mercury News went through the league team by team and made an educated guess on how each owner (or CEO, chairman, etc.) will vote. See the results in the table below.
It’s almost feels like fate brought these two teams together for this one game. Not only do we have the miracle-makers from Minnesota, but we have the underdogs from Philly — two teams connected by their star-crossed starting quarterbacks who were teammates less than two years ago.
Despite the fact that they’re the top seed in the NFC, the Eagles will be going into Sunday’s game as the underdog, and a big part of that is because of Nick Foles. Although Foles was efficient in Philly’s 15-10 divisional playoff win over the Faclons last week, the vaunted defense of the Vikings will be a much bigger test.