Football Giants Practice
The Minnesota Vikings will set out to do something they haven’t accomplished yet this year when they host the New York Giants on Sunday.
With the NFL schedule always squaring division teams off twice during a season, the Giants will join the fray as a team the Vikings will face twice. They need a better result than we’ve seen thus far, however.
When the New York Giants take the field on Sunday, it will be the fourth time the Vikings have faced a repeat foe this season. Going against divisional rivals Green Bay and Detroit on the road, Kevin O’Connell’s club dropped both contests. It took a Week 18 matchup against a hapless Bears team starting Nathan Peterman to get an elusive first win on the road within the division.
How the Vikings Can Beat a Good Team Twice
Beating teams twice is difficult, as the game tape features individuals directly impacting the outcomes. Minnesota struggled to down a surging Lions team late in the season, and their own defensive ineptitude couldn’t slow Detroit’s high-powered offense. In Week 17 at Lambeau Field, Green Bay geared up for what was ultimately their Super Bowl and hung a laugher on Minnesota.
When the Vikings last faced the New York Giants, we saw back and forth through much of the game before Greg Joseph nailed a 61-yard kick to send Minnesota fans home happy. Favored again by three points on Sunday, the hope would be that O’Connell’s club has a better gameplan and set of results in which they don’t need such a boot to put away the opposition.
Having been in the stands for the last matchup against the Giants, a notable lack of emotion surrounded that contest. The Vikings and Giants seemed to go through the motions rather than get into the action at any point. U.S. Bank Stadium was undoubtedly not as raucous as it can be, and no team pulling away kept everyone in it.
Unlike the Green Bay and Detroit matchups, Minnesota will get this second showdown with the Giants at home. That should go a long way in righting the near-wrong that was the Week 16 matchup. Minnesota only trailed once in that contest following a 44-yard Graham Gano field goal. They responded roughly five minutes later with a T.J. Hockenson touchdown, and it wasn’t until a late Saquon Barkley score that their lead was tied.
The goal for O’Connell’s team Sunday should be an effort to run away and hide. Minnesota is a superior team to the Giants, and they have the advantage of hosting this playoff game. The Vikings have won plenty of close games this season, and there is no doubt that’s something they can do. They must establish that they don’t always need to win close games, and putting some distance between them and a lesser opponent is a must.
For the first time this season, Minnesota can beat a good team when they see them a second time. The Giants aren’t a juggernaut, but they aren’t in the playoffs simply to roll over. It will be on the Vikings to put it away early and continue to score at every opportunity.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.