The Minnesota Vikings could’ve given the Seattle Seahawks the unlikely opportunity to host the NFC Championship Game. All they needed to do was pull off an upset win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Not a chance.
Kirk Cousins was sacked six times and threw an interception to Richard Sherman, Dalvin Cook had 18 yards on 9 carries, and the Vikings offense only had seven first-downs for the entire game. While the 49ers offense only had two plays of 20+ yards, they racked up 185 yards on the ground and just physically overwhelmed Minnesota in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
The 27-10 final score felt deceiving, as Kyle Shanahan just put the offense in “run the clock out” mode for almost the entire 2nd half because he knew the Vikings offense could do nothing against that 49ers defense. Minnesota’s best offense was attacking Akhello Witherspoon, who gave up a 41-yard touchdown to Stefon Diggs and was benched for the second game running. Jimmy Garoppolo only threw 19 passes, and only had six attempts in the 2nd half. He threw an opening drive touchdown, an interception that yielded Minnesota’s final points of the season, and then he was a handoff machine the rest of the way. Oh yeah, and he can block too!
The 49ers won the NFC West and thus the #1 seed by mere inches thanks to Dre Greenlaw’s heroics at the goal-line at CenturyLink Field. They’ll be hosting the NFC Championship Game next Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. There will be no more home games for Seattle the rest of the way, and if the Seahawks do win on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, they will have their chance at revenge with much more on the line than just a divisional title.