In the team’s first NFC Championship game since 2000, the Minnesota Vikings (13-4) will face the New Orleans Saints (14-3) this Sunday, January 24. Kickoff at the Superdome is set for 5:40 p.m. (CT).
This will be the 3rd postseason matchup between the teams, with the Vikings winning the previous 2 matchups. Sunday’s game will be the 9th NFC Championship for the Vikings and the 3rd since 1998. Brad Childress will coach in his 1st championship game as a head coach and his 5th overall. QB Brett Favre has also played in 4 previous NFC Championship games. This is the 5th time since 2000 the #1 seed has played the #2 seed in the NFC Championship.
TV: FOX Channel 9 in the Twin Cities
Play-By-Play: Joe Buck Analysts: Troy Aikman
Sideline Reporters: Pam Oliver / Chris Myers
RADIO: KFAN-AM 1130/KTLK 100.3-FM
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman
Pre-Game Show: 3:30 p.m. CST
KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 74-station, 6-state Minnesota Vikings Radio Network. Click here to view all stations on the Vikings Radio Network.
Vikings Make 26th Postseason Appearence
The 2009 postseason marks the Vikings 26th playoff appearance and Sunday will be the team’s 45th playoff game in franchise history. The Vikings have a combined 19-25 (.432) postseason record, and their 44 playoff games are tied for the 3rd-most among all NFL teams. Only Dallas (58) and Pittsburgh (50) have played in more. The Vikings are tied with the N.Y. Giants (44) and will move into sole possession of 3rd place with Sunday’s game.
The Vikings have now made 4 postseason appearances since the 2000 season. Head Coach Brad Childress has led his teams to 2 playoff berths and is 1-1 in postseason action.
Ten Vikings made their first playoff appearance last week vs. Dallas, while 36 had either played or been active in at least one playoff game prior to that game. Only 7 players on the Vikings roster have yet to be active for a postseason game. Thirty-one players on the roster have started at least one postseason game. QB Brett Favre has the most playoff starts (23) and the most postseason games played (23) among all current Vikings.
Stats of the Week
- With his 3 receiving touchdowns in last week’s divisional playoff win over Dallas, WR Sidney Rice tied an NFL postseason record and set a Vikings record for the most receiving TDs in a playoff game. Rice tied a team record for the most points (18) and most overall TDs in a game.
- QB Brett Favre threw 4 TDs against Dallas, tying a team record for the most in a playoff game. Favre’s 134.4 passer rating ranks as the 2nd-highest in Vikings history.
- DE Ray Edwards set a team record for the most QB sacks in a postseason game and tied a team record for the most sacks in a postseason with his 3.0 against the Cowboys. His 23 sack yards were the most in a playoff game in Vikings history.
- The Vikings set a team record for the fewest points allowed in a postseason game when they gave up just 3 to Dallas.
- The Vikings 31-point victory margin over the Cowboys is the 2nd-biggest in team history for a postseason game.
Vikings Big Days vs. Saints
- WR Bernard Berrian caught 5 passes for 85 yards, including a 33- yard TD, as a member of the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game against the Saints (1/12/07).
- Berrian had a game-high 110 receiving yards on 6 catches and a 33- yard TD when Minnesota visited the Superdome on 10/6/08.
- QB Brett Favre has had two near-perfect games against the Saints, both as a member of the Green Bay Packers. In 1995 (12/16), Favre completed 21-of-30 passes (70%) for 308 yards, 4 TDs, and 0 INTs on his way to a 142.8 rating. 10 years later in 2005 (10/6), Favre went 19-of-27 (70.4%) for 215 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INTs, good for a 130.9 rating. In the two games combined, Favre connected for 7 passes of 25+ yards.
- Favre also set a career-high with 55 pass attempts vs. New Orleans as a Packer in 2006. He completed 31 of those passes for 340 yards and 3 TDs.
- S Tyrell Johnson recorded his 1st career NFL INT when the teams met in the 2008 regular season (10/6). He picked off a Drew Brees pass in the waning seconds of a 30-27 victory, ending any Saints hope to tie or win the game. Johnson also had a FR.
- K Ryan Longwell went 3-for-3 on FGs, including a 53-yarder, the last time the teams met on 10/6/08.
- TE Visanthe Shiancoe caught his 1st career TD pass against the Saints (12/14/03) as a member of the New York Giants.
- DT Kevin Williams blocked a field goal that was returned by Antoine Winfield for a TD when the teams met in 2008 (10/6).
- S Madieu Williams had 5 solo tackles, 3 pass breakups and an INT he returned 25 yards against the Saints (11/19/06) as a Cincinnati Bengal.
- CB Antoine Winfield recorded his first career INT as a Viking, picking off Aaron Brooks and returning the pass 56 yards (10/17/04).
- Winfield tallied a sack and a FF on Drew Brees to go along with 7 tackles when the teams last met (10/6/08). Winfield also fielded a blocked kick and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown in the game. Winfield became the 1st Vikings player to return a blocked FG for a TD in the regular season.
Vikings vs. Saints Series Notes
- The Vikings hold an overall 20-7-0 all-time record against the Saints, including a 2-0 mark in the playoffs. Minnesota is 12-2 at home against the Saints, and 8-5 in New Orleans.
- The Vikings have won the last 3 matchups in the Superdome.
- The Vikings and Saints have met twice in the postseason, with Minnesota winning both contests. The Vikings went to the Superdome and posted a 44-10 victory in a 1987 NFC Wild Card game (1/3/88). Minnesota defeated the visiting Saints 34-16 in the 2000 NFC Divisional Playoffs (1/6/01).
- The Vikings have won 8 of the last 10 games and 12 of the last 15 contests between the two teams, including the last 4 in a row dating back to 2002.
- The Vikings have outscored New Orleans 743-462 in the 27-game series and have averaged 27.4 points per game against the Saints.
- Fourteen of the Vikings 20 wins have been by 10+ points and 7 of the victories have been by 20+ points.
- Head Coach Brad Childress is 1-0 against New Orleans during regular season play.
A Win Would...
- Give the Vikings their 20th postseason win in the team’s 45 playoff games and improve the team’s all-time postseason record to 20-25.
- Give the Vikings their 4th playoff win since the 2000 season.
- Give the Vikings their 5th Super Bowl appearance and their first since 1976.
- Improve the Vikings record against the NFC to 11-3 (regular season and postseason) in 2009.
- Give Brad Childress his 2nd playoff victory as a head coach and his first Super Bowl appearance as a head coach.
Cajun and Norsemen Battle in the Bayou
The Vikings have a 20-7 all-time series advantage against the Saints, including winning a pair of playoff games- a 2000 Divisional Playoff at the Metrodome and the 1987 Wild Card game at the Superdome. The ’87 playoff game was the 1st-ever in Saints history, but the day belonged to the Vikings in a 44-10 win.
The New Orleans franchise played its 1st season in 1967 under the direction of head coach Tom Fears and general manager Bert Rose, who in 1960, helped begin the Vikings franchise as the 1st GM of the Purple. The teams would later on share other executives when Jim Finks joined the Saints as president/GM from 1986-93, he began his NFL management career with the Vikings from 1964-73.
Along with claiming the start and finish of the muddy Mississippi, Minnesota and Louisiana share some other moments in football history. The impressive river starts fl owing toward the Gulf of Mexico in wild northern Minnesota at Lake Itasca and wanders 2,340 miles through the heart of America and touches the lives of millions every day and forms the borders of 10 states- Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The mighty river grows from a depth of less than 3 feet at its headwaters to more than 200 feet in the Deep South of Louisiana.
The Vikings faced Kansas City in Super Bowl IV at Tulane Stadium, which was the 1st Super Bowl hosted in the Big Easy on 1/11/70. The Vikings returned 5 years later for Super Bowl IX, the last Super Bowl played outdoors in New Orleans. The game marked the last game ever played at Tulane Stadium, the legendary field where Vikings 1st-ever draft pick Tommy Mason ran wild. Super Bowl IX was played in bad weather with slick field from the rain. The Vikings offense was ineffective all day and the only Vikings points were scored when Matt Blair blocked a Steelers punt and Terry Brown jumped on the miscue in the end zone for the Vikes only points of the day.
Some of the Vikings biggest moments and performances have come against the Saints. The teams played the last neutral-site game in Vikings history- a 2001 preseason meeting at the Alamodome in San Antonio. In the 1994 game at the Metrodome Vikings WRs Jake Reed and Cris Carter combined to set a team record as the only tandem in club history to each post 150+ yards receiving in game- Reed (157) and Carter (151), hauled in 308 of Warren Moon’s 420 passing yards in the game to key a 21-20 Vikings win. In 27 games all-time between the clubs, 3 Vikings RBs have broken the 100-yard mark, 2 of those by a bayou product- Mewelde Moore- in back-to-back games in 2004 and 2005.
Post Season Notes
- This is the Vikings 2nd-consecutive postseason appearance and the team’s 4th since 2000.
- This is the Vikings 26th playoff appearance and Sunday will be the team’s 45th playoff game.
- The Vikings have an all-time postseason record of 19-25 (.432) in their previous 44 games played.
- The Vikings 44 playoff games are tied for the 3rd-most among all NFL teams, with only Dallas (58) and Pittsburgh (50) having more. The Vikings are tied with the N.Y. Giants for 3rd place.
- Seven Vikings have yet to be active for a playoff game, while 46 have either played or been active in at least one playoff game. Ten Vikings played in their first postseason game last week vs. Dallas.
- Thirty-one Vikings have started at least one playoff game.
- Among current Vikings players, there have been 156 postseason games played with 88 starts.
- QB Brett Favre has the most playoff starts (23) among current Vikings. Favre also has the most games played (23) among current Vikings; his 23 games are more than the next 2 players combined.