How do you save a team from the heat of the playoffs?
Here are five tips to get the job done: 1.
Find a good opponent.
A playoff opponent is a team that’s a legitimate threat to advance to the postseason.
Minnesota’s best playoff opponents over the last three years were the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots, who have been consistently good at home over the past decade.
But the Vikings can’t afford to be in the same league as the Packers and Patriots.
They’re playing the Steelers, Raiders, Texans and Saints in the NFC South.
The Falcons, Texans, Titans and Jaguars are also playoff contenders, but they’re on the outside looking in.
If Minnesota can win at home, that will help it keep pace with the Packers, Patriots and Falcons in the playoffs.
Get ready for the pressure.
The Vikings have a long history of beating the spread on the road, but it doesn’t mean they can’t win the division on the second weekend of the season.
This year’s schedule is much easier to win, but the Vikings need to make it tougher on themselves to get into the postseason for the first time since 2006.
The schedule includes three games against teams that are in the bottom three of the NFC.
Minnesota can only afford to win three of those games.
Make sure you’re not just playing your offense.
Minnesota hasn’t had much of a running game since 2013.
The Lions, who won the league rushing title last season, are in their fourth season under Calvin Johnson.
Johnson’s running game hasn’t been good for much of the past two years.
Johnson had career lows of 1,036 yards in 2015 and 1,052 yards in 2016.
He averaged 4.6 yards per carry in 2015, and 4.4 in 2016, which were his career lows.
This season, Johnson has had a great season, averaging 3.5 yards per run and 7.1 yards per reception.
Minnesota is in good shape on offense, but a loss to a team with more talent on defense is a big blow.
The Rams are the best team in the league at stopping opposing offenses.
Keep it simple.
If you’re a Vikings fan who likes to keep things simple, the Vikings have good options.
They have quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the backfield.
Patterson is a threat, but Bridgewater has had two solid seasons.
He’s a better option if Bridgewater doesn’t work out.
Patterson has one touchdown and three catches in the past three games, and he has just nine receptions the past four games.
Minnesota also has rookie tight end Kyle Rudolph, who has been productive and had eight catches for 94 yards last week against Atlanta.
Rudolph is a great tight end.
He should have plenty of targets for Bridgewater to work with.
Get the win at Minnesota.
This is the Vikings’ only chance to advance.
They’ve been in the postseason since 2006, but don’t expect them to repeat.
The Packers, Falcons and Patriots are the top teams in the division, and they’ll be looking to get to the Super Bowl.
Minnesota should win at the Vikings.