It's not quite Saints vs. Falcons, as far as rivalries go.

But Saints vs. Vikings is the postseason version of it.

If the Saints have a playoff rival, it's Minnesota.

The Saints will play their 18th postseason game in franchise history Sunday when they play the Vikings in the cozy — and sure to be noisy — confines of U.S. Bank Stadium.

It'll be the fourth time the Saints and Vikings have met in the playoffs.

The Saints have played the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles twice each in the playoffs, but no team has crossed their paths in January more than the Vikings.

The playoff history between the teams runs deep.

Let's go back to 1987, when the Saints were still playoff virgins, never having made it in the first 20 years of the franchise's existence.

The franchise turned 21 years old in 1987, finally earning a trip to the playoffs in the team's first year of adulthood.

The winning record — the Saints finished 12-3 in that strike-shortened season — and the playoffs had been a long time coming in a season that ended with a nine-game winning streak.

But the playoff trip was short-lived, over by halftime as the Vikings led 31-10 at the break in the Superdome. The Saints looked the part of playoff newbies that day, getting outgained 417-149 and committing six turnovers in a 44-10 loss. The Saints have had only five worse losses (regular season or playoffs) since that loss 30 seasons ago. One of those losses came the next season, a 45-3 loss to — you guessed it — the Vikings.

Fast forward to the 2000-01 season.

The Saints, 13 seasons after making the playoffs for the first time, are still looking for their first playoff win. The team had been to the postseason party three more times but had yet to get a W.

Finally, they got one, beating the St. Louis Rams in the wild-card round in December 2000.

Next round?

Yep, the Vikings.

This time the game was played in the old Metrodome, which has since been torn down and replaced. The results of Saints-Vikings II was much like the game over a decade earlier. The Vikings built a 21-point lead and eventually won 34-16.

Nine years later, the Saints got their revenge when Garrett Hartley booted a 40-yard field goal in overtime that sent the Saints to their first Super Bowl, setting off a wild celebration in the Superdome that day.

"Pigs have flown and hell has frozen over," Saints radio play-by-play announcer Jim Henderson said after Hartley's kick sailed through the uprights on what was, at the time, the biggest day in team history.

And if that wasn't enough to make this game memorable to Saints fans, there was more. The game launched the NFL's "Bountygate" investigation, which eventually led to disciplinary action that included Sean Payton and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams being suspended for the 2012 season.

On Sunday, the Saints and Vikings will add another chapter to their playoff lore.

The winner moves a step closer to Super Bowl LII, which will be played three weeks later in the same stadium as Sunday's game.

The Saints can only hope the trip to Minnesota is kinder than most trips to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

They've played 15 games against the Vikings in Minnesota. They are just 3-12. Ten of the losses were by double digits, including the 29-19 loss to start this season.

But, hey, you can throw the records out.

Saints-Vikings, after all, is a rivalry.

At least as far as the playoffs are concerned.

Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.