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Early Look: Vikings at 49ers

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the 49ers.

EAGAN, Minn. — The underdog Vikings are alive and well in the playoffs … and are now headed to San Francisco.

Minnesota pulled off a dramatic 26-20 overtime win over New Orleans on Sunday, as the Vikings secured their first overtime playoff win in franchise history. The Vikings also secured their first road playoff win since Jan. 9, 2005.

Minnesota will now play at top-seeded San Francisco on Saturday. Kickoff is at 3:35 p.m. (CT).

The 49ers went 13-3 in the regular season and won the NFC West. San Francisco had a first-round bye, and has homefield advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs.

Here's a look at the Vikings Divisional playoff matchup against the 49ers:

Passing: Kirk Cousins came up big when the Vikings needed him the most.

Cousins completed four of five passes for 63 yards in overtime, with the final attempt going for a 4-yard touchdown to Kyle Rudolph to win the game.

Vikings.com broke down Cousins' overtime performance here, as the quarterback delivered multiple perfect passes to help Minnesota get the win.

The quarter completed 19 of 31 passes for 242 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers. His passer rating was 96.4.

Cousins is now 1-1 in playoff starts ahead of Saturday's game. He is 2-0 in his career against the 49ers, which includes his Vikings debut back in Week 1 of the 2018 season.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will make his first-career postseason start on Saturday. He appeared in a 2014 playoff game with the Patriots, but played just two snaps.

Garoppolo completed 329 of 476 passes (69.1 percent) for 3,978 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as he started all 16 games for the first time in his career. His passer rating of 102.0 was a career high and ranked eighth in the NFL.

Rushing: Dalvin Cook showed he is healthy while shining in his postseason debut.

Cook had 28 carries for 94 yards on the day, and added two rushing touchdowns.

While most of his yards were tough-sledding against a defense that ranked fourth against the run in the regular season, he was able to pop free a few times. The 2017 second-round pick's longest run was a 22-yard scamper, but he also added a pair of 11-yard runs and five others that went for five or more yards.

Cook's effort helped the Vikings run for 136 total yards on the ground on 40 carries. Rookie Alexander Mattison ran for 20 yards on five attempts, and Ameer Abdullah gained nine yards on his lone attempt.

Saturday's game features two of the NFL's top rushing attacks. Minnesota ranked sixth in the league with 133.3 rushing yards per game, while San Francisco was second at 144.1 yards per game.

The 49ers feature a trio of running backs who each had at least 123 carries in 2019.

Raheem Mostert tied for the team lead with 137 carries and had a team-high 772 yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Tevin Coleman had 544 yards and six scores on 137 carries, and Matt Breida had 623 yards and a score on 123 attempts.

San Francisco rushed for 100 or more yards in 12 of its 16 games, with the 49ers surpassing 230 yards in three of those games.

Receiving: Adam Thielen led the Vikings with seven catches for 129 yards, but none were bigger than a 43-yard reception in overtime that put the Vikings at the 2-yard line.

That set up Rudolph's game-winning 4-yard touchdown catch on a fade pass from Cousins. The tight end finished with four catches for 31 yards.

Cook added three catches for 36 yards, and Stefon Diggs had two receptions for 19 yards, none bigger than a 10-yard catch on third-and-1 early in overtime.

Minnesota's focus will surely be on All-Pro tight end George Kittle, who had 85 receptions for 1,053 yards and five scores in 2019.

San Francisco's aerial attack features explosive rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who had 57 catches for 802 yards and three scores. The 49ers also traded for Emmanuel Sanders midway through the season, as the wide receiver had 36 catches for 502 yards and three scores in 10 games with San Francisco.

Kendrick Bourne tied with Kittle for the team lead with five touchdown catches. San Francisco featured nine other players who caught a score, including three players with two touchdown catches.

Defense: The Vikings defense turned in a masterful performance Sunday against the Saints, holding New Orleans to just 324 yards.

That included plenty of pressure by Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter on Drew Brees, as each player had 1.5 sacks.

Anthony Harris also had an interception late in the second quarter that led to a Cook touchdown, and Hunter stripped Brees late in the fourth quarter to preserve a 20-17 lead.

Minnesota was shorthanded in the secondary — with safety Andrew Sendejo playing as the slot cornerback — but the Vikings limited Brees to just 208 passing yards and a passer rating of 90.4.

The 49ers boast an elite defense of their own, as they ranked second with 281.8 yards allowed in the regular season, and were eighth with 19.4 points allowed per game.

San Francisco's defensive line features multiple first-round picks in Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford and rookie Nick Bosa — a group that combined for 33.0 sacks.

Armstead led the 49ers with 10 sacks, while Bosa had 9.0, Buckner had 7.5 and Ford got to the quarterback 6.5 times.

San Francisco's secondary is led by All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, who had a team-high three interceptions in his second season with the 49ers. K'Waun Williams had two picks; seven others had one interception.

The 49ers also had 15 fumble recoveries. Their 27 total takeaways ranked sixth in the NFL in the regular season. Minnesota was fourth with 31 takeaways.

Special Teams: Dan Bailey hit both field goal tries — from 43 and 21 yards — and was good on both extra points on Sunday.

Including the regular season, Bailey has now made 29 of 31 field goals (93.5 percent), along with 42 of 46 extra points.

Punter Britton Colquitt averaged 49.7 yards on six punts Sunday, including a long of 57, but did record a touchback after not having one in the regular season.

The Vikings signed trusty punt returner Marcus Sherels last week. He totaled 17 yards on a pair of punt returns.

49ers kicker Robbie Gould made 23 of 31 field goals (74.2 percent) in 13 regular-season games, and was good on 41 of 42 extra points. Punter Mitch Wishnowsky, who handles kickoffs, averaged 44.9 yards per punt.

Richie James handles return duties for the 49ers. He averaged 21.4 yards per kickoff return and 8.0 yards per punt return in 2019.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.

Road warriors

The Vikings also completed a sixth-seed sweep over the weekend, as the Titans (AFC's No. 6 seed) beat the Patriots on Saturday.

The No. 6 seeds have both now won in the Wild Card round in back-to-back seasons. It has now happened seven times since the 2005 season.

Minnesota will now head to San Francisco, where the 49ers are the No. 1 seed.

Since the playoffs expanded to the current format in 1990, the NFC's No. 6 seed has won 16 of 30 times in the Wild Card round.

Of the previous 15 sixth seeds to advance to play the top seed, only two won in the Divisional round to keep playing.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said after Sunday's game that he'll have his team ready to go in the Bay Area.

"I actually reminded them that the last time we won a game against this team in the playoffs that we didn't play very well the next week," Zimmer said, referring to the January 2018 playoff win over the Saints. "So we've got to get back to work, focus on what we do and understand that I might have to be a little bit grouchy this week."

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