In case you’re late to the party this week, the New York Giants are an extremely popular upset pick to end the Minnesota Vikings 13-win season prematurely. Because of the New York media market, plus the everpresent “Vikings are frauds” narrative from the last month, the NFL world is on upset watch for Vikings-Giants. Minnesota is favored by three.
Ex-Vikings signal-caller Rich Gannon even picked the blue team, telling the masses on Twitter this week, “I am convinced the Giants can head to Minneapolis and beat the Vikings. It’s got to be a physical football game. It’s got to be a dirty physical football game.”
CBS Sports Predicts Vikings Wildcard Fate
And the Giants rah-rah parade didn’t stop with Gannon. CBS Sports predicted the Vikings Wildcare fate, too, and it is, of course, unfavorable for Minnesota. Pete Prisco from CBS Sports picked all the winners from Wildcard Weekend, giving the Vikings the short end of the stick.
Prisco opined on the matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium, “These two played on Christmas Eve, and the Vikings needed a 61-yard field goal by Greg Joseph to win it. The Giants gained 448 yards of offense that day and probably should have won the game. But they didn’t. Now it’s a road playoff game, which will be a challenge. Even so, I think Brian Daboll will take advantage of a bad Minnesota defense.”
Minnesota and New York indeed met less than three weeks ago in a suspense-thriller where the Vikings survived a late Giants surge courtesy of heroism from Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, and Isaiah Hodgins. The Vikings won 27-24 because of the walkoff field goal mentioned by Prisco.
“This one should be high scoring, as Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson will make some plays, but it will be the Giants that win it with a late field goal this time to advance,” Prisco concluded.
Prisco ultimately chose the Giants over Vikings by a score of 30-28, his one upset pick of the weekend. Only the Vikings will be victimized on Wildcard Weekend, per Prisco.
Both teams have the advantage — or disadvantage — of playing each other in Week 16. The Wildcard outcome boils down to which first-year skipper — Kevin O’Connell or Brian Daboll — schemes better accordingly. After a three-hour-long showdown on Christmas Eve, mystery shouldn’t be on the agenda.
The Vikings enter the postseason with a patchwork offensive line, as Pro Bowl right tackle Brian O’Neill was lost for the season to a partially torn Achilles suffered in Week 17 at Lambeau Field. Oli Udoh will likely start for O’Neill. Garrett Bradbury, the team’s starting center, has missed about a month’s worth of action because of a bad back, and he is firmly questionable for Sunday.
New York may have cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and safety Xavier McKinney flying around the field this weekend, two men who did not play the last time the teams met.
The Vikings and Giants haven’t played each other in the postseason since the infamous “41 donut” game 22 years ago. And the teams have never met in a playoff game in Minneapolis — an odd reality because the Giants have been around since 1925 and the Vikings, 1961.
Sunday’s game will be the first playoff tilt for Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and many more.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).