The week of practice is over and the Vikings are nearly set for their contest against the NY Giants on Sunday night. Here's what we learned this week about the Vikings-Giants matchup in Week 16.
Beckham, Jr. is out, Barr might be in
The Giants have one of the best WRs in the NFL on their team, but he won't be on the field Sunday night in Minnesota. Odell Beckham, Jr. was suspended by the NFL for on-field incidents in last week's game against the Carolina Panthers. Beckham appealed the suspension early in the week, leaving his status for Sunday night's game up in the air until late in the day on Wednesday. Still up in the air but looking better each day is the status of Anthony Barr. The second-year LB has dealt with injuries that knocked him out of the Seattle game and kept him out of the Arizona and Chicago games, but while speaking with reporters earlier in the week he sounded optimistic about his chances of playing on Sunday and then he was able to participate in practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday. Fellow defensive starters Linval Joseph and Harrison Smith were also listed as full participants and could return Sunday night.
Bridgewater thinks Berger is a Pro Bowl snub
Earlier in the week, Adrian Peterson was named to his seventh Pro Bowl. Asked about it, QB Teddy Bridgewater congratulated his teammate, listed one of his teammates who he feels was snubbed, and explained the team's focus is on a different "bowl" game.
"Congrats to Adrian on his seventh Pro Bowl," Bridgewater said. "We feel like there are some [other] guys that should have made it also. You know, you talk about Joe Berger, he's a great guy that works extremely hard. However, I'm pretty sure that Adrian would trade in his Pro Bowl to be thrown in something else in February, more like playing in the Super Bowl. We have to shift our focus to New York."
That's exactly how you want your young franchise QB to handle a question about the Pro Bowl.
Bridgewater heats up in December and on 3rd downs
If Bridgewater keeps up his December performances and 3rd down numbers, it won't be long before he's going to the Pro Bowl, too. Bridgewater has been heating up in the cold month of December on football's most important down. In six career December games, Bridgewater has now completed 73.1% of his passes for an average of 276.3 passing yards per game with an 11-5 TD-INT ratio and a passer rating of 111.6 rating; that passer rating is the third-best among active players in the NFL, trailing only Tony Romo (133.7) and Cam Newton (112.4). And in the past two games on 3rd downs, Bridgewater is 16 of 18 for 218 yards with 4 TDs and 0 INTs for a passer rating of 156.7.
Eli Manning, Peterson atop their peer groups throughout career
Sunday night's Vikings-Giants game will feature two of the NFL's best players at their positions over the last decade. Since entering the NFL in 2004, Giants QB Eli Manning ranks fifth in wins (105), and fourth in passing attempts (6,512), completions (3,875), passing yards (46,171) and passing TDs (308). Adrian Peterson has been just as impressive and, in fact, ranks higher among his peer group than Manning. Since entering the League in 2007, Peterson ranks first in rushing attempts (2,433), rushing yards (11,871) and total TDs (100).