Aaron Rodgers, Packers
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws against the the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field on September 15, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

NFC Divisional preview: Seahawks, Packers primed for close one

Some years, upsets shake up everything. Thus is the NFC in 2019.

In the summer, most everyone believed the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles would be in the final four. Hell, the Chicago Bears were a trendy pick. None of those four made it, with the Rams and Bears not even reaching the postseason.

In their place? The Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks in one corner, with the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings in the other. Last year, that quartet managed to combine for a single playoff appearance (Seattle) and zero wins.

 

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Here’s a quick look at both games this weekend and what to expect:

Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers (-7)

The Vikings and 49ers have come from different backgrounds to reach this destination. San Francisco has largely been in control all year, going undefeated into November before finishing 13-3 as the NFC’s top seed. The Vikings clanged through the first month at 2-2 but got hot, getting to 10-4 before ultimately finishing as the sixth seed at 10-6. Now, Minnesota is coming off its best win of the year, upsetting the Saints in the Mercedes Benz Superdome last Sunday.

 

Read: Browns Expected To Make a Head Coach Hire In Coming Days

 

If the Vikings are going to win, they’ll need Kirk Cousins to have another fantastic performance. Cousins exorcised plenty of demons in the New Orleans tilt, but to continue this march, he needs to find another surprising showing. As for the 49ers, it’s about coming off the bye fresh and executing. If San Francisco plays a good, solid game, it’ll win. The Niners simply need to avoid killer turnovers and penalties.

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (-4)

This game represents the smallest line of the week. Seattle was a yard away from winning the NFC West in Week 17, but had to settle for a wild card spot. After beating the Philadelphia Eagles at The Linc last weekend, the Seahawks now visit the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay has been somewhat maligned for a 13-3 outfit, largely because it wins close, ugly games. The Packers won’t mind playing another such game, although a tight affair against Russell Wilson invites danger.

Considering Seattle and Green Bay rarely play anything but one-sore games, expect to see one on Sunday. In this vein, the Seahawks should cover the spread if not win outright.

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