Road to the Super Bowl: What stands in front of the Vikings


Mike Zimmer and the Vikings (11-5) are taking things one week at a time, but let's say the Vikings find a way to beat the Seahawks this week – then what?

Divisional Round

If the Vikings beat Seattle (10-6), they will travel to Arizona for a rematch against the second-seeded Cardinals. Arizona (13-3) topped the Vikings 23-20 on Thursday Night Football just four days after the Seahawks crushed Minnesota.

Championship Round

If the Vikings beat Arizona, they will play the winner of the Carolina Panthers (15-1) versus Green Bay (10-6) or Washington (9-7) game. Minnesota would host the NFC Championship game if either Green Bay or Washington defeats the top-seeded Panthers.

Minnesota didn't play Carolina or Washington this season. Carolina blasted Washington 44-16 on Nov. 22.

Then it would be on to the Super Bowl for the first time since losing to the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1976-77 season.

But it all starts this week against Seattle, who is favored by as many as 6.5 points – the largest favorite for any team in the Wild Card round.

What they're saying about Seattle

According to the Seattle Times, the Seahawks are just 2-9 all time in road playoff games, but they did win five straight road games to end the regular season.

“We’re a different team than we were a couple of years ago when we went on the road,’’ Seattle all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman said following a 36-6 shellacking of the Cardinals on Sunday. “This year we’re going in as champions. It’s a different kind of fight. They’re going to have to take it from us.’’

Seattle destroyed the Vikings 38-7 on Dec. 6

Adrian Peterson was limited to 18 yards on 8 carries in that game while Minnesota's offense mustered 125 total yards – the lowest single-game output by any team in the NFL at the time this season, according to ESPN's Stats and Info.

It's worth noting that linebacker Anthony Barr and safety Harrison Smith were both injured early in that game, and defensive tackle Linval Joseph didn't play because of a foot injury. The Vikings have been much better defensively with the trio in the lineup.

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