EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN. – After a strong 38-17 win over Chicago Sunday, Minnesota is now focused on Sunday night in hopes of defeating the New York Giants and recording consecutive home wins. The upcoming game was originally scheduled for noon but was flexed by the NFL to slide into the primetime 7:30 p.m. (CT) slot.
Looking ahead to Sunday, the Vikings (9-5) are poised to clinch a playoff berth, and despite losing four of their last five games, the Giants are still tied for second place in the NFC East division with a 6-8 record. Minnesota is coming off its win over the Bears, and New York will be looking to rebound after a last-minute loss to Carolina Sunday. Here are some things to consider in our glance ahead:
Passing: Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is fresh off a 4-touchdown game in which his passer rating was 154.4, the second-highest in Vikings history. Manning is averaging 279 passing yards per game but has thrown five interceptions in the past four games.
Rushing: Vikings running back Adrian Peterson currently leads the NFL in total rushing yards (1,314); over the past two games, Peterson has rushed for 69 and 63 yards, respectively. The Giants have not had a particularly powerful running back corps this season, but Rashad Jennings has averaged 94 rushing yards over the past two games.
Receiving: Rookie Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs is fresh off a 2-TD game over Chicago in which he recorded 55 receiving yards, and Mike Wallace made a 34-yard reception Sunday, his longest of the season. The NFL announced Monday that the Giants' leading receiver, Odell Beckham, Jr., will be suspended for Sunday's game after a number of physical altercations against Carolina Week 15.
Special Teams: Vikings kicker Blair Walsh has not missed a field goal since Nov. 29 and is 27-for-32 overall this season. Giants kicker Josh Brown is incredibly reliable for New York, having missed only two field goals all year – both of those misses have been in the past three weeks.
Defense: Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen is tied for 14th in the league for sacks (8.5) this season, even while playing fewer snaps than usual. Rookie defensive end Danielle Hunter has drawn plenty of attention as well and recorded 1.5 sacks against Chicago in Week 15. Giants defensive end Robert Ayers, Jr. also had 1.5 sacks in Week 15 and leads the team with 6.5 on the season. Minnesota has a total of nine interceptions this season, with veteran cornerback Terence Newman having 3. New York has 14 interceptions this season, including three apiece by Trumaine McBride and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Over the years
Minnesota leads the overall series with New York 14-12.
The Vikings have won four of their past six match ups with the Giants.
Since 2007, Minnesota has scored over 40 points against the Giants on two occasions.
Last meeting: Vikings 7, Giants 23; Oct. 21, 2013, in New York
Minnesota's only score against the Giants came courtesy of cornerback Marcus Sherels, who returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter. It was the third-longest punt return TD in Vikings history and helped the Minnesota native set a franchise record with 119 punt return yards in one game.