The NFL playoffs are off and running as the AFC saw the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers win on Saturday, but the hype for those games doesn't compare to anything the nation is bracing for with the Vikings hosting the Seattle Seahawks today.
The temperature at kickoff is expected to be minus-3 degrees, according to The Weather Channel.
If that holds, today's game will go down as the third coldest at kickoff in NFL history.
It's so cold that Ticketmaster is warning fans to print out their tickets in case their phones stop working, ESPN reports.
The three coldest at kickoff of all time, per NFL.com:
- 13-below zero: 1967 NFL Championship, Packers and Cowboys
- 9-below zero: 1981 AFC Championship, Bengals and Chargers
- 1-below zero: 2007 NFC Championship, Giants and Packers
Factor in the windchill and it is expected to feel like 10-20 degrees below zero the entire game, with the actual air temperature never rising higher than 2 degrees.
Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs said the players have "got to be comfortable being uncomfortable."
No Beast Mode
The Seahawks played it cool all week by saying running back Marshawn Lynch was expected to play, but that changed when they ruled him out for the game on Friday. Lynch, who had sports hernia surgery on his abdomen in late November, didn't even make the trip to Minnesota.
Christine Michael will start at running back. He's coming off a 100-yard game against Arizona, but the Seattle Times points out there are questions about his ability to pick up a blitz, which the Vikings definitely aren't afraid to do.
Seattle's dominating defense
The Seahawks set an NFL record by leading the league in scoring defense for a fourth consecutive year, and while their secondary is loaded with stars – Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor – it's their rush defense that's on fire.
They led the NFL in rush defense and limited three of their final five opponents to 31 yards or fewer on the ground, and only one of their final seven opponents tried to run the ball more than 20 times, according to the AP.
Adrian Peterson was held to just 18 yards on 8 carries when the Vikings were crushed 38-7 by Seattle on Dec. 6.
Quote of confidence
"I think we’re more than capable of going deep into the playoffs and winning a championship. There really are no excuses for us not going forward in these playoffs.” – Adrian Peterson, via the Star Tribune.
Kickoff is set for 12:05 p.m. and can be seen on NBC.
If the Vikings win they'll play at Arizona next weekend.