Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants
East Rutherford, New Jersey
|177.9 ypg (1st)||Rush Offense||128 ypg (7th)|
|162.3 ypg (31st)||Pass Offense||203.3 ypg (18th)|
|340.2 ypg (12th)||Total Offense||331.3 ypg (15th)|
|19.5 ppg (19th)||Scoring Offense||23.6 ppg (8th)|
|74.8 ypg (1st)||Rush Defense||91.3 ypg (7th)|
|288 ypg (32nd)||Pass Defense||215.5 ypg (19th)|
|362.8 ypg (27th)||Total Defense||306.8 ypg (8th)|
|21 ppg (14th)||Scoring Defense||20 ppg (11th)|
A Minneapolis-area sports columnist wrote over the course of this past week that today just might be the most important game of the Brad Childress era in Minnesota, and there's a good chance that he's probably right on that front. The Beloved Purple sit at 4-6 and currently reside near the bottom of the NFC Playoff race. Today they face a Giants team with a record at 7-3 and is currently one of the best teams in the conference, but they're also a team that's having some injury problems. The Giants will be without their top 2 tailbacks for today's game, as both Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward will be sidelined with injuries. They also lost Mathias Kiwanuka last week, a loss that our Giants blogger over at Big Blue View sees as a "HUGE" one.
This game could be the springboard that the Vikings need to make a sort of mini-run at a post-season spot if they can pull off the upset. And make no mistake. . .it would be an upset if it were to happen. The Giants are very good against the run defensively, but at this point the Vikings have shown that they can pretty much run against anybody (the spineless, gutless, cheap shot-taking scum from Wisconsin not withstanding). Adrian Peterson is still listed as questionable, but I really doubt that we'll see him on the field today, so we can expect a pretty big dose of Chester Taylor this afternoon. . .and we're going to need him if the Minnesota passing attack is going to generate anything. Even with the loss of Kiwanuka, New York's pass rush is very good, and if the Vikings end up in a lot of second or third and long situations, it's going to be a long day.
Surprisingly, the Giants have been a more effective running offense this season than a passing offense, as the above numbers show. Kind of strange for an offense that has Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, Jeremy Shockey, and Amani Toomer in the passing game and a group of running backs that are, by and large, unknown. But, once again, the key to this one is going to be whether or not the Vikings can get enough pressure on Eli Manning to disrupt the Giants' passing game.
The last time these two teams got together, the Vikings had their own "Miracle at the Meadowlands" as they won 24-21, courtesy of an interception return for a touchdown (Darren Sharper), a punt return for a touchdown (Mewelde Moore), and a kickoff return for a touchdown (former Viking and current drunken loser Koren Robinson). I don't think that's going to be necessary for the Vikings to win this afternoon. However. . .and you can pull my homer credentials for this if you wish. . .I just don't think we're going to be able to pull this one off. The Giants are a quality football team, and I can't pick the Beloved Purple to win a big game on the road until I actually see it happen. I think it's going to be close, but I can't see the upset happening.
Gonzo's Final Score Prediction: Giants 20, Vikings 17
Incidentally. . .why is it "Giants Stadium" when it's a Giants' game and "The Meadowlands" when the Jets are hosting a game? I've always wondered about that. Seems a bit weird to me.
Hour and a half until game time, folks. . .the inactives should be getting put out there any time now.