The NFC Wild Card round starts with the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings on the schedule Sunday and the weather report predicts that the game will be a freezing cold one for the teams. The game will be played outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium and the current forecast has temperatures hovering around the single digits.
The Seahawks will visit the Vikings after Minnesota won the NFC North division title over the Packers, sending Green Bay to a matchup with the Washington Redskins. The game for the Vikings and Seahawks is scheduled for 1:05 pm ET on Sunday and will have TV coverage from NBC. Seattle has been one of the hottest teams in football coming into the playoffs, while the Vikings feel they have momentum after winning the north division title.
This will be the first game outdoors in Minnesota for the playoffs in decades and according to Pro Football Talk, the weather is expected to be frigid. Chris Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the current local forecast for the game has a high of zero degrees listed for Sunday and Weather.com is predicting that there could be a low of minus-10 with the wind chill. This is the first outdoor playoff game for Minnesota since back in 1976 and if the Vikings win, there is a chance that they could host another game down the line if there is an upset in one of the other games in the NFC playoffs.
The Vikings come into the playoffs having won three games in a row, while the Seahawks have won four of the last five and six of the last seven games overall. One of those games was a matchup of these two teams in Minnesota and saw the Seahawks dominate the Vikings, winning 38-7 in early December. The Vikings feel that they are a different team heading into this matchup, while Seattle will use that win as confidence that they can earn another victory on the road in Minnesota.
The Vikings are expecting to have running back Marshawn Lynch start on Sunday after Lynch returned to the team following abdominal surgery. Lynch has been out since Week 10 of the season and head coach Pete Carroll said that the running back should be healthy enough to start in the playoffs. Lynch being out put more pressure on Russell Wilson and the quarterback delivered this season, setting career highs with 4024 passing yards and 34 passing TDs.
The Vikings likely will try and ride Adrian Peterson on Sunday, as the running back comes in with 1485 yards and 11 touchdowns after missing nearly all of last season with off the field issues. The weather could be a major factor in the game and it remains to be seen if it will give the Seahawks issues as they visit Minnesota for the second time this season.
Prediction: Seattle wins 24-17 over the Vikings.