The Minnesota Vikings have had a tough go of things this season when it comes to the opponents they have faced. Like any schedule, there were plenty of losing teams, but they also played five of the 12 playoff teams, including the Green Bay Packers twice.
It was by no means an easy season, especially the second half where they had to face three playoffs teams and the Packers twice. The team never backed down from a challenge placed in front of them and were able to come out of the daunting schedule with an 11-5 record and the NFC North title.
Things do not get any easier for them this weekend in the first round of the playoffs, though, as they have to face the Seattle Seahawks. Even though the game is being played in Minnesota, the Vikings are still a 5½-point underdog, according to Sportsbook.
It is a spread that makes sense since the two teams played earlier in the season, in Minnesota, and the Seahawks were able to completely dominate the Vikings. Giving them their most lopsided loss of the season with a score of 38-7.
“They ran over us the first time we seen them and now we know what they can do,” said defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. “We seen what they can do over the past couple weeks and I don’t know about everybody else, but I’ve been kind of watching them just to see their style and how they carried themselves because I felt like we were going to see them again.”
There are a lot of people around the NFL who are not giving the Vikings much of a chance this weekend, but that is OK by the coaching staff and the players in the locker room. All season long they have been feeding off all the negativity said about them and that seems to be staying true in the playoffs.
Heading into the final week of the NFL season, there were three possible teams the Vikings could face in the first round – the Packers or Seahawks in a rematch, or the Washington Redskins on the road.
If you would have asked anyone who they felt the Vikings had the best chance of beating in the first round of the playoffs it would have probably been the Redskins, who finished the season with a 9-7 record in a weak NFC East division. But it turns out that was not the team the Vikings wanted to play, at least not Sharrif Floyd.
“This is the game I would have rather played than Washington anyways,” Floyd said of playing the Seahawks, “so I’m glad we get to play them again.
“It’s hard to beat a team twice and it’s the hardest road. We don’t want the easy route. We’ll take the hard one. We ain’t afraid to fight for it.”
The Vikings definitely have a tough road ahead of them, as the Seahawks are arguably the best team in the first round of the playoffs. But the Vikings have thrived on having people doubt them and now they are looking to do it once again this Sunday in the organization’s first home playoff game since 2009.