Bradford to back up Keenum vs. Saints

John Shipley

John Shipley

Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck, also an All-Star, made his National Hockey League debut in Saint Paul two seasons ago and has thrived against the Wild with a 5-1-0 career mark versus Minnesota.

This game will be the first playoff game for Vikings quarterback Case Keenum, who took over in week two of the regular season. Drew Brees and the Saints offense can still put up points in bunches, and might be the rare team to have some favorable matchups against the Minnesota defense.

- Running back Jay Ajayi was traded by the Miami Dolphins to the Eagles on October 31 and has tag-teamed with LeGarrette Blount to make the Eagles' backfield more explosive and diverse.

All in all, the Vikings defense is no joke. Parise missed most of the first half of the season due to back surgery. "People discount us, don't give us much credit, whatever it might be". Peterson was going to catch passes, Peterson was going to be better in pass protection. He did, striking Ted Ginn for 80 yards for the game's opening touchdown. Since coach Mike Zimmer arrived in 2014, Minnesota has never had three quarterbacks dress for a game. Wentz was an MVP candidate before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

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That said, the team has lost four starters since the beginning of the season and has given up 400-plus yards in each of their last three road games. But it was clear by that point that moving on from him might by a wise move. Payton says, "Tell you what, Drew, if you get us to the Super Bowl, I'll row the boat to Minneapolis".

This has continued to ring loudly despite Keenum helping lead the Vikings to a first-round playoff bye. A target or two more here and there to this group - who make up the bulk of the offensive output - can offset the loss of Coleman rather easily. Vikings fans, who are numbingly familiar with having their dreams dashed to smithereens at the very height of expectation, have got to be anxious right now.

Keenum has undoubtedly been helped by the ferocious Vikings defense, the best unit in the National Football League during the regular season.

The Vikings have the advantage, and they'll pound the ball with Latavius Murray. And their offense - led by unlikely star Case Keenum - has been eye-catching in their own right.

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