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Vikings win NFC North, but tough playoff matchup with Seahawks looms

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Minnesota Vikings closed out the regular season with a 20-13 win Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. They now move on to the playoffs, where they'll play their first home game since 2009 and face the Seattle Seahawks at 1 p.m. ET Sunday:

Reasons to be excited: The Vikings' defense has set the tone for the team all season, and Minnesota survived a scare after a furious Packers rally on Sunday night. Nose tackle Linval Joseph will have a week to get healthy after his foot injury kept him out on Sunday night, and if he returns, the group should be close to full health heading into the playoffs. Defensive end Everson Griffen had one of the finest games of his career on Sunday, taking advantage of his matchup with Josh Sitton at left tackle and sacking Aaron Rodgers twice, forcing a fumble that Captain Munnerlyn returned for what turned out to be the decisive touchdown.

Reasons to be concerned: Pass protection has been an issue for the Vikings all season, and the offensive line had trouble protecting Teddy Bridgewater again on Sunday night. If Bridgewater isn't given more time to throw on a consistent basis, it's tough to imagine the Vikings getting past the Seahawks, especially with Russell Wilson playing at the highest level of his career. Bridgewater finished with just 99 passing yards on Sunday night, while Adrian Peterson left in the third quarter because of a low back injury. Regardless of Peterson's health, the Vikings will have to get more consistency from their passing game to get past teams like the Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals.

How far they can go: We shouldn't gloss over what the Vikings did on Sunday night. Given the anguish they've endured at Lambeau Field, beating the Packers, holding off Rodgers and snatching the NFC North title from Green Bay is a major accomplishment for their program. That said, it sets up a tough assignment for them at home against the Seahawks, who throttled Arizona on Sunday. The Vikings will be healthier than they were during a 38-7 loss to Seattle in the regular season, and they'll be ready for the challenge after standing up to the Packers. Beating Seattle and facing Arizona is within the realm of possibility.