The fifth-year pro, who spent last season with the Rams, has helped the Vikings put together an eight-game winning streak and a league-best 10-2 record. Keenum is arguably the team's most valuable player this season.
In addition to solid quarterback play, the Vikings have played stellar defense. "We hit him. So that's all you can ask". "We had to end the game with our offense on the field". Keenum did take two first half sacks, but he was a ideal 13 of 13 in the second half and wasn't taken to the ground in the final two quarters.
Minnesota's last playoff appearance was during the 2015 season in the NFC wild-card game where it lost 10-9 to Seattle. They've battled twice before and it was Rhodes who had gotten the better of Jones both times. Rhodes came up big, though.
But this turnaround is mostly thanks to the Patriots defense, a unit that has allowed just 11.8 points per game during the Patriots' eight game winning streak. If the Falcons win, they could slide into a wild-card spot, but they'll have to wait on the outcome of the Panthers and Seahawks games. Carolina is also 6-2 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS loss and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in December.
Will Case Keenum continue to be the Vikings' starting quarterback?
Russell Wilson picked apart the Eagles' defense to the tune of 227 yards and three scores. The Vikings came into the game ranked sixth in defensive efficiency (eighth against both the pass and the run) - and when it was over, Ryan was held to 16 of 29 for 173 yards and no touchdowns, as the Falcons' offense had just 275 total yards and managed one third-down conversion in 10 attempts.
Jerick McKinnon is a native of Marietta, Georgia, a location undoubtedly filled with Falcons fans. On the year, he has just 515 yards and five touchdowns in nine games, averaging 4.4 yards per carry but reaching the 100-yard mark once.
ESPN's Football Power Index gives the Vikings a near 90 percent chance to earn a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Sunday marked the first time the Vikings have scored less than 20 points since the home loss to the Lions more than two months ago.
Sunday's game featured not just two of the hottest teams in the NFC but perhaps two of the NFC's best contenders as the season enters the final quarter.
Can the Vikings get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs?The Vikings took the lead later in the first half, but Atlanta took it back again in the 3rd quarter. The top two teams in the NFC will get one. The Vikings didn't turn the ball over, they won the 3rd down and red zone battles and they handled the environment with aplomb.
Minnesota might be the best team in the NFC at the moment, and they've certainly been a super bet as of late.
The Vikings have a four-game lead over Detroit and Green Bay with four games to go, which means a win next week in Carolina will clinch the division for the Vikings.
- Carolina has won its last two home games and hasn't won three regular season home games in a row since winning 11 straight from December 14, 2014 - September 8, 2016.