The matchups for the Divisional round of the playoffs are set, and the Green Bay Packers are going to see a very familiar foe on the opposite sideline next Sunday evening. The Seattle Seahawks are coming to town thanks to their 17-9 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Wild Card Sunday.
Earlier in the day, however, another NFC North team set up the matchup with a road victory. The Minnesota Vikings beat the 13-3 New Orleans Saints on the road, knocking off the NFC’s number 3 seed and guaranteeing themselves a date with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday evening next week. Minnesota won 26-20 in overtime, taking the opening possession of the extra frame down and into the end zone after the Saints tied the game with just seconds remaining on the clock.
New Orleans trailed 20-10 at one point early in the fourth quarter before clawing back to tie the game. But Kirk Cousins threw a perfect deep ball to Adam Thielen over the middle to set the Vikings up on the two-yard line. Three plays later, Cousins hit Kyle Rudolph in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown — despite some contact and a bit of an apparent push by Rudolph on the player in coverage — ending the game and sending the Vikings to the Divisional round.
With Minnesota headed to the Bay area, the Seahawks and Eagles squared off in Philadelphia for the right to visit the Packers next week. However, this game saw a major departure early, as Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz left in the first quarter with a head injury. Wentz took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jadeveon Clowney and his head landed hard on the turf. After backup Josh McCown replaced Wentz, the Eagles eventually ruled their starter out for the remainder of the game.
The Eagles fought hard with the 40-year-old McCown under center, but ultimately were unable to fight back, as the Seahawks held on for a 17-9 victory. That sends Seattle to Green Bay in the postseason for the first time since the 2007 Divisional round, when the Packers spotted the Seahawks a quick 14-0 lead — on two Ryan Grant fumbles — before Grant got rolling to the tune of 201 yards and three touchdowns.
Of course, this is also the first postseason game between the two franchises since 2014, when they met in the NFC Championship Game in Seattle. Interestingly, the home team has been dominant in this head-to-head series, as the last time the road team has won was the Packers in the 2008 regular season. Each team has hosted the other four times since then (including that playoff game).
The Packers and Seahawks will kick off from Lambeau Field at 5:40 PM Central time next Sunday.