• It can’t be emphasized enough that Mike Zimmer wants fans to make some noise for the Vikings’ divisional playoff game. He is asking for them to be louder than they have ever been at U.S. Bank Stadium.
• The Vikings are $13 million under the NFL salary cap, which is $167 million this season. They can carry that over to next season for their many free agents they have to sign.
• The Vikings secondary will have to key in on New Orleans’ Michael Thomas, who has the most catches by a wide receiver in his first two years in NFL history. The Ohio State product had eight catches for 131 yards last week against Carolina.
• The Vikings are 7-3 at home in the NFC playoffs divisional round and have won their past four (1976 vs. Washington, 1998 vs. Arizona, 2000 vs. New Orleans, 2009 vs. Dallas). The last time the Vikings lost at home in a divisional playoff game was in 1975, when the Cowboys beat them in the infamous Drew Pearson push-off game.
• When people think of the Vikings-Saints playoff history, they think of the 2009 NFC Championship Game. But the teams have met two other times, both Vikings victories: In the 1987 season, the Vikings went to the Superdome and rolled 44-10 in the wild-card round, New Orleans’ first playoff game. And in the 2000 season, the Vikings won 34-16 in the divisional round at the Metrodome. Both those Vikings teams lost in the NFC Championship Game.
• J.D. Spielman, the son of Vikings GM Rick Spielman, made both the Football Writers Association of America and USA Today college football freshman All-America teams. He set freshman records at Nebraska with 55 receptions for 830 yards and finished the season with 1,572 all-purpose yards.
• Former Gophers and Vikings receiver Tom Hall died Dec. 14 in Connecticut at 77. Hall played on the Gophers’ two Rose Bowl teams before spending five seasons with the Vikings. He also played for Detroit and New Orleans.