The Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints are both slumping as the playoffs approach. For the Vikings, they might not even get in. For the Saints, they’ve already hurt their standing in the NFC playoff picture. Let’s take a look at their matchup as we review the top five games of the week:
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints
Odds: Saints -7
The Vikings have relied heavily on Dalvin Cook to lead the way for this offense, but the Saints have one of the best run defenses in the league. They allow the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game and could possibly shut him down. This would make them lean heavily on Kirk Cousins passing ability, which makes this dicey for the Vikings. Drew Brees will also be starting in this game despite not being 100 percent and should be able to get back into rhythm against this banged up Vikings defense.
Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Odds: Steelers -2.5
The Indianapolis Colts have been on a tear lately as they’ve won three in a row and five of six. They have the perfect balance between offense and defense with numerous star players on both sides of the ball. This happens to be the same for their opponents as the Pittsburgh Steelers have benefited from their dominant defense as well as their talented offense. This game is going to be a great determination for playoff seeding in the AFC. The Steelers have dropped from the top spot but could fall further if they get tripped up here.
Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
Odds: Seahawks -2
The Los Angeles Rams are coming off a shocking loss at the hands of the previously-winless New York Jets. Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks were able to fend off a feisty Washington Football Team last week. The matchup between these two teams was very fun to watch earlier in the season when the Rams edged the Seahawks 23-16 and now that there are very crucial playoff implications to this game. We’ll see if the Seahawks offense can do better as that 16-point output was one of their smallest of the season.
Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers
Odds: Packers -3.5
The Tennessee Titans feature one of the most balanced offenses in the league with the combination of Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. They actually have the second-ranked offense overall. This combo has brought them into the playoff race and in perfect position to lock a postseason spot this year. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers are holding onto the No. 1 seed in the NFC behind the duo of Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. This will be a high scoring showcase between two dominant offenses and it could very well be a Super Bowl preview.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Odds: Bills -7
The Buffalo Bills are fighting for playoff seeding behind Josh Allen and his stellar play. He has transformed this Bills team into possible Super Bowl contenders this year and has made them very fun to watch. While the New England Patriots have been eliminated from playoff contention (for the first time since 2008), they continue to fight for Bill Belichick. We’ll see if they can play spoiler and hold back the Bills from moving up the standings.