NFL Playoffs 2020: How to Watch, Live Stream Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round

Twenty-two years after meeting in the NFC divisional round, the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings again cross path in the NFL playoffs.

As was the case in 1998, a spot in the NFC Championship Game is on the line in San Francisco on Saturday afternoon, as the 49ers take on the Vikings.

Last Sunday, Minnesota defied the odds to secure a 26-20 in New Orleans over the Saints, condemning Sean Payton's team to a premature exit for the second time in three seasons.

The success over the Saints was only the Vikings' third road win 14 playoff games dating all the way back to 1988. Its statistical significance, however, paled in comparison to the impact it could have on Kirk Cousins, who finally shed the tag of perennial underachiever.

Cousins' record in prime-time games has been well repeatedly held against him—he's 0-8 on Monday Night Football and had lost his only previous playoff start until last week—but against the Saints he came through in the clutch when his team needed him to deliver.

With the score tied at 20-20, Cousins hit a 43-yard pass to Adam Thielen, which set the Vikings at the Saints' two-yard line.

Three plays later, he found Kyle Rudolph in the end zone for the winning touchdown in overtime.

"You look around and you realize there's more mountains to climb," Cousins said after the game.

"You just keep chasing the next mountain and there will always be people who are going to criticize you—and that's OK."

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan coached Cousins during his time as offensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins and is a fan of the quarterback.

"I saw how his mind worked and how he worked at it," Shanahan said in his press conference on Tuesday, as per NBC Sports Bay Area.

"He understood everything that was happening whether it was good or bad, and always tried to learn from things."

Having proved he can do it when it matters, the challenge for Cousins is repeating the feat against a 49ers that ranked second in total defense during the regular season and conceded the fewest passing yards of any team in the NFL.

Neutralizing the running game will be just as important for the 49ers, as Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has 10 touchdowns in Minnesota's 11 wins this season, but contributed to just three scores across his team's six losses.

Both teams feature in the top six of the most productive rushing offenses in terms of yards during the regular season—the 49ers are second, the Vikings sixth—and winning the battle on the ground could go a long way towards determining who will reach the NFC Championship Game.

As this graphic provided by Statista shows, San Francisco enters the game as the No. 1 seed in the conference, while Minnesota is the No. 6.

NFL divisional playoffs 2020
Eight teams are left in the NFL playoffs, with the divisional round set to get underway on Saturday, January 11. Statista

The seedings carry a statistical significance that stretches beyond the teams' respective records this season. No. 6 seeds have lost eight straight games in the divisional round and are 5-19 in this round dating back to 1990.

More importantly, finishing with the best record in the NFC allowed the 49ers to put their feet up last week, a much-needed luxury for a team that faced the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks in the final six weeks of the season.

The rest has done wonders for San Francisco, with linebacker Kwon Alexander, defensive end Dee Ford and safety Jaquisky Tartt all expected to return on Saturday.

The Vikings' top two receivers—Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs—were both on the injury report earlier this week, but will both be available on Saturday.

Here's all you need to know ahead of Saturday.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates with teammates after defeating the New Orleans Saints 26-20 during overtime in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 5in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chris Graythen/Getty

When and where is the game?

The San Francisco 49ers host the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Saturday, January 11.

Kick-off is scheduled for 4:35 p.m. ET.

TV coverage

The game will be broadcast nationally by NBC

Live stream

A live stream will be available via NBC's digital platforms, the NBC Sports website and fuboTV.

Form

The Vikings defeated the Saints in New Orleans 26-20 in the wild-card round, while the 49ers enjoyed a week off after finishing the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Series record

The series is perfectly poised, with both teams winning 23 games each and one tie. The Vikings won the most recent meeting, defeating the 49ers 24-16 in September 2018, while San Francisco won the last meeting between the two in California, thrashing Minnesota 20-3 in September 2015.

The 49ers hold the upper hand in the playoffs, winning four of the five postseason meetings, including the last three straight. The two teams, however, have not crossed path in the playoffs since January 1998, when San Francisco won the divisional playoff 38-22.

Odds

According to Oddschecker, the 49ers are a seven-point favorite and are evens to cover the spread, while the Vikings are 14/5 underdogs.

The over/under line in terms of total points scored is set at 44.5.

NFL Playoffs 2020: How to Watch, Live Stream Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round | Sports