'Take a Knee' Protest Planned Ahead of Viking-Saints Playoff Game

  • 'Take a Knee' Protest Planned Ahead of Viking-Saints Playoff Game

'Take a Knee' Protest Planned Ahead of Viking-Saints Playoff Game

FOX, with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Chris Myers.

Editor's note: NESN.com's Mike Cole, Ricky Doyle and Andre Khatchaturian deliver their National Football League picks every Thursday of the season, and here's who they like in the New Orleans Saints-Minnesota Vikings NFC divisional-round game, with the line from OddsShark. It's this simple: If he is, the Vikes probably win easily.

Finally, they got one, beating the St. Louis Rams in the wild-card round in December 2000.

QB Play: Case Keenum will start in his first playoff game this weekend, and playing in front of a home crowd should help to calm any added nerves. And hey when they weren't there in Minnesota last time it was their first professional game.

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Saints receiver Brandon Coleman has been declared out of Sunday's divisional-round playoff game in Minnesota. With little support from his running game, the 38-year-old lit up the Carolina Panthers last week, marking the eighth consecutive game in which he had a passer rating of at least 97. The Vikings also like to show blitz before dropping linebackers such as Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks, whose speed and instincts have been a major reason Minnesota has the top-ranked total defense in the NFL.

Likewise, Keenum has long followed the 6-foot tall Brees, who is the gold standard for guys like him. One of those losses came the next season, a 45-3 loss to - you guessed it - the Vikings. More than a few have resigned themselves to the idea that it's not a matter of if the Vikings will fail to win (or even qualify for) the Super Bowl, but when and how they will pour the opportunity down their leg.

But if you look at Minnesota's schedule, there weren't a lot of great passing teams on it. Pittsburgh had success throwing it in week two, the Redskins put up 30 points while throwing for more than 300 yards and Detroit had some success throwing it on Thanksgiving Day. They reached NFC championship game each of three previous instances.

Keenum is projected to finish with 261 passing yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Brees is projected to finish with 282 passing yards, 2+ TDs and 1 INT.

It's no surprise considering they have an underrated defense and an experienced, Super Bowl-winning quarterback on offense, along with Pro Bowl running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, also known as Thunder and Lightning. The Vikings host New Orleans on Sunday. He only had one game this season where he threw more interceptions than touchdowns. That painful stumble at the end of the most important game the Vikings have played in nearly two decades doesn't mean much at all to the guys on the 2017 roster.

The Vikings now have four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, but Kyle Sloter, who was inactive for the last eight regular-season games, definitely will be inactive again Sunday.