Two weeks to go in NFL 2020 and there’s plenty on the line.
With just two weeks to play, the playoff picture is beginning to come into focus. A number of teams can either clinch postseason berths or division titles over a four-day period that begins on Christmas afternoon in the Big Easy and ends with the final Monday night game of the season at the home of a team that won’t be going to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
NOTE: All times ET
Friday, Dec. 25Minnesota Vikings (6-8) at New Orleans Saints (10-4), 4:30 pm
Vikings: It has been a terribly disappointing season for the Purple Gang, who return to the site of their 26-20 overtime victory in the 2019 NFC Wild Card Playoffs. The offense has had its ups and downs but it’s the once-formidable Vikings’ defense that has taken its lumps this year. A season ago, Minnesota allowed a total of 303 points and 31 offensive touchdowns. With two games remaining, Mike Zimmer’s revamped squad has given up 388 points and 37 offensive TDs – 27 of those scores through the air. The lack of a consistent pass rush has not help. One year after totaling 48 quarterback traps, the Vikings have totaled a modest 22 sacks in 14 contests.
Saints: The NFC South leaders can wrap up a fourth straight division title. But a nine-game winning streak (after a 1-2 start) has been followed by consecutive three-point losses at Philadelphia and to Kansas City, respectively. In those contests, coordinator Dennis Allen’s unit allowed the Eagles to run for 246 yards and the Chiefs to roll up 179 yards on the ground. Despite those statistics, the Saints are still rank fourth in league vs. the run, as well as third in the NFL in total defense. But those numbers could take a further hit this week against Vikings’ running back Dalvin Cook (1,484), who trails on Derrick Henry (1,679) in rushing yards – with both players running for 15 touchdowns.