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Vikings vs. Saints: Christmas Day open thread

Minnesota has to beat New Orleans to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Week 16 of the NFL season kicks off with an all-NFC matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.

The 6-8 Vikings have to win to stay in the playoff race. Minnesota trails the Arizona Cardinals by two games in the standings, and a loss will eliminate the Vikings from postseason contention. The Vikings have lost two in a row and three out of their last five coming into this contest.

The Saints welcomed quarterback Drew Brees last week but came up short in a 32-29 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Brees struggled in returning from a rib injury, completing just 15-of-34 passes for 234 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

New Orleans (10-4) is tied with the Seattle Seahawks for second in the NFC, trailing the conference-leading Green Bay Packers by one game going into the final two weeks of the season.

The betting line has the Saints favored by 7.5 points.