Entering Sunday’s game, the Vikings had held four of their previous six opponents under 10 points, and two of those opponents were the Rams and the Falcons. They allowed the fewest points per game and fewest yards per game of any team in the league. They had the second-best third-down defense and the second-best goal-to-go defense. You wish they were better at generating turnovers (just 19 all season entering Sunday), but the defense is so good at limiting opponents in so many situations that it should keep the Vikings in every game.
Reason for concern: Since they didn’t secure the No. 1 seed, the prospect of having to win an outdoor game in Philadelphia to advance to the Super Bowl (which would be in their own home stadium, by the way) looms large. And as great as Case Keenum’s story and season have been, we haven’t seen him tested under playoff pressure.
But perhaps this is a sign of what’s to come. Certainly, Toronto spent all offseason focusing on a changed approach that prioritized a quicker pace and, yes, more threes. DeRozan is slowly but surely joining the revolution.
Reason for concern: Same as for a lot of teams in this NFC field — inexperience. Jared Goff has been an NFL starter for a season and a half. Gurley is a third-year player. The wideouts and tight ends are a young, inexperienced group. And there’s also the fact that no other potential playoff team but Tennessee entered Week 17 with more turnovers than the Rams’ 19. The margin for error shrinks this time of year.
X factor: Aaron Donald. The Rams’ all-world defensive tackle is the kind of player you just feel is built for the playoffs. He might be the best defensive player in the league, he’s looking for a big new contract, and there just aren’t many interior offensive linemen who can Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap handle him. Donald is Wade Phillips’ game-wrecker, the way Von Miller was for the Broncos on their Super Bowl run two years ago.
I’ve grown up in football all my life and my dad went through some times at the University of Minnesota where it wasn’t very good and they weren’t saying very good things, Gutekunst said. The one thing I learned about that, usually (for) the guy in the chair it’s not as Basketball Jerseys hard to take. You worry about your family.