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A History of the No. 2 Seed in the NFC

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — For the third time since the NFL adopted its current playoff format in 1990, the Vikings are the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

Minnesota went 13-3 during the 2017 regular season, which was the second-most wins in franchise history, and earned a first-round bye in the postseason.

Here is a breakdown of how the previous 27 teams who were the second seed in the NFC fared in the postseason:

A trio of teams — the 1990 Giants, 1992 Cowboys and 2002 Buccaneers — captured football's biggest prize by winning Super Bowls.

Four teams fell just short as the 1997 Packers, 1998 Falcons, 2012 49ers and 2016 Falcons all lost in their respective Super Bowl appearances.

The majority of the No. 2 seeds reached the NFC title game but lost, which includes both times the Vikings were previously in this position, in 2000 and 2009.

Minnesota lost the 2009 NFC Championship at New Orleans, and fell in the 2000 NFC title game against the New York Giants.

Of the previous 27 teams, 14 lost in the NFC Championship, where winning a road game to get to the Super Bowl has proved difficult.

Prior No. 2 seeds have lost three NFC title games at home compared to 11 NFC title games on the road.

Of course, teams have to make it to that situation first. Half a dozen teams who were the second seed ended up being one-and-done in the playoffs as they lost to a lower seed at home after getting a first-round bye.

The Vikings will try to get to their first NFC Championship game by securing a win in the Divisional round against either Los Angeles, New Orleans or Carolina.

Minnesota will host a second-round game at 3:40 p.m. (CT) on Jan. 14.

"The crowd, they've been bringing energy to every home game this year. To be able to lock up this No. 2 seed, get the bye, it's just great for us to rest up and just let our bodies heal, come back strong," said Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon. "Coach Zim's going to be on us. You know, we have a lot ahead of us, but at the same time, it's do-or-die now. The crowd's been bringing it every week, and I can only imagine what they're going to do in the playoffs."

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