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New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings: First Quarter Open Thread

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports


Date: 27 December 2015
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 7:25 PM Central Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
TV: NBC Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 226
Sirius Ch 93
TV Announcers: Al Michaels
Cris Collinsworth
Know Thy Foe: Big Blue View
Weather: 15 degrees, winds from the NE at 5-10 MPH, 0% chance of precip
Line: Minnesota -7, Over/Under 44.5 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds Page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 27, Giants 16
Final Score: Vikings 49, Giants 17

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-Thou shalt not link illegal feeds of today's game, or I shall kick thy arse to the curb until the game is over. Do not promote then, do not mention them, do not even hint at them. Thou hast been warned.

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-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are an hour away from the last (scheduled) home game at TCF Bank Stadium. . .and, what might be the last outdoor home game the Minnesota Vikings ever play. Tonight, our favorite team plays host to the New York Giants, and it's going to be a cold one out there, just the way that outdoor football in Minnesota in December should be.

This game was flexed to the Sunday Night spot because it appeared that it may have some post-season implications. However, the Giants were eliminated from the playoff picture when the Washington Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday to clinch the NFC East. There are still some implications for the Vikings, as they didn't get any help from the Carolina Panthers (who lost their undefeated season against the Atlanta Falcons) or the Seattle Seahawks (who are currently trailing against the St. Louis Rams). If the Vikings win, they are into the post-season, so it's time they channel their inner Pedro Cerrano and just do it themselves.

So, how can the Vikings come out of this game with their tenth victory of the season and lock themselves into the playoffs?

1) Don't get cocky, kid - Yes, the Giants come into this game without the electrifying Odell Beckham, Jr., who got suspended for this game for being an idiot against the Carolina Panthers in Week 15. That certainly doesn't mean that the defense can rest easy this evening, as quarterback Eli Manning has had a great season for the G-Men thus far. The Vikings have wrapped up a playoff spot and are the better team in this one by just about any measure. However, they need to keep up the intensity that they've shown over the past few weeks in order to ensure a victory this evening.

2) Stick to the plan - Last week, with Adrian Peterson limited by an ankle injury, Teddy Bridgewater had what might have been the best game of his career, throwing four touchdown passes and completing 85% of his throws. The game plan has featured a lot of short, quick passes that have taken pressure off of Bridgewater and the offensive line and allowed the receivers to gain yards after the catch. The Giants currently sport the league's worst pass defense, and as long as Norv Turner doesn't go back to the "seven steps and chuck it deep" game plan we've seen in the past, Bridgewater and the Vikings' passing game should continue to roll this evening.

3) Stay healthy - For the first time in what feels like forever, the Vikings are going to have their defense back at full strength this evening, as it appears that safety Harrison Smith, linebacker Anthony Barr, and defensive tackle Linval Joseph will all return to the field. With a huge game coming up in Week 17, hopefully the Vikings can get out of this one without any further significant injuries to any of their players as they get ready for the post-season.

The Vikings haven't done well in night games recently. . .they're 3-18 in their last 21 games under the lights, including five straight losses on Sunday Night Football. So far this season, this team has been all about exorcising the demons. Hopefully they can continue to do so over the next two weeks, starting this evening.