EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings just wanted to get in, and now they have a chance.
Minnesota will kick off its postseason by facing the No. 3-seed Saints in New Orleans at 12:05 p.m. (CT) Sunday.
It will mark the second time for the teams to meet in the playoffs within just two calendar years, after the Vikings defeated the Saints via the Minneapolis Miracle in the Divisional round on Jan. 14, 2018, and the fifth time in series history.
Minnesota is 3-1 in postseason contests against New Orleans, dating back to January 1988. In those wins, the Vikings have outscored the Saints by a total of 57 points. The loss occurred in January 2010, when the Brett Favre-led Vikings were defeated 31-28 (in controversial fashion) by the Saints in the NFC Championship Game.
Here's a look at 10 numbers of note in advance of Sunday's Wild Card game:
100 – Sunday's game will mark Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer's 100th game (excludes preseason) with Minnesota. Since taking the helm in 2014, Zimmer is 57-38-1 in regular-season games and 1-2 in the postseason.
3 – The 2019 Saints are just the third 13-3 team to play in the Wild Card round since 1990, when the NFL expanded to a six-team field for each conference. The other two teams to fit the situation? The 2011 Saints, who advanced to the Divisional round and lost to San Francisco, and the 1999 Titans, who advanced to Super Bowl XXXIV.
93.1 – Vikings kicker Dan Bailey was fantastic through the regular season, making 27-of-29 (93.1 percent) of his field goal attempts. His only two misses came at Green Bay and at Detroit in Weeks 2 and 7, respectively. Minnesota is fourth-best in field goal rate behind Jacksonville (97.1), Baltimore (96.6) and Pittsburgh (93.6).
7 & 16 – The Saints rank seventh in passing yards per game with 265.3 but have been less effective on the ground this season, ranking 16th in rushing yards per game (108.6).
6 – New Orleans' defense ranks sixth in the league on third downs, having allowed its opponents to convert just 34.8 percent of their third-down attempts. Minnesota converted 42.8 percent of its third downs this season.
107.4 – Vikings QB Kirk Cousins' passer rating of 107.4 is the league's fourth-highest behind Tennessee's Ryan Tannehill (117.5), New Orleans' Drew Brees (116.3) and Baltimore's Lamar Jackson (113.3). It also was the second-highest passer rating by a Vikings QB in a season, edging out Favre's 107.2 and trailing only the 110.9 by Daunte Culpepper in 2004.
74.3 – Brees missed tying his own completion percentage record from last season by one-tenth of a point. The longtime passer is extremely accurate and easily tops the NFL in the category. Cousins (69.1) is tied with Jimmy Garoppolo for fourth-best.
3 & 4 – Minnesota and New Orleans boast two of the NFL's top four defensive ends in Danielle Hunter and Cameron Jordan. Cam, the son of Vikings Ring of Honor tight end Steve Jordan, finished third in the league with 15.5 sacks, which is just ahead of Hunter's 14.5. In Week 14, Hunter became the youngest player in NFL history to accrue 50 career sacks.
462 – The Vikings have valuable depth at running back behind starter Dalvin Cook, who said Monday he'll be "ready to go" for the Wild Card matchup. Alexander Mattison, who missed the final two regular-season games, ranks fifth among rookie backs with 462 rushing yards.
43.8 – Minnesota's defense finished second in red zone defense with a touchdown allowance rate of 43.8 percent on possessions inside the 20-yard line. Only Denver (39.1) was more effective there this season. The Saints offense ranked 11th in the NFL with a red zone percentage of 59.7 percent.