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Game Preview: Giants at Vikings

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Today Big Blue View takes a look at the Vikings in preparation for their game against the Giants.

2008 Record: 9-6 (tied for 1st, NFC North)

Head Coach: Brad Childress

Last time they met: 2007, the Vikes defeated the Giants 41-17 at Giants Stadium

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Darrell Bevell

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Leslie Frazier

NOTES AND QUOTES:

  • The Vikings suffered the most embarrassing playoff loss in franchise history against the Giants. Minnesota won the NFC Central title in 2000 and then beat New Orleans in the divisional round of the before traveling to Giants Stadium. New York proceeded to crush the Vikings, 41-0, in the conference championship game. Giants quarterback Kerry Collins threw for 381 yards and five touchdowns as the Vikings were handed their second-worst defeat in franchise history.
  • The Vikings also recorded one of their most exciting playoff victories at Giants Stadium. Minnesota rallied to score 10 points in the final 90 seconds for a 23-22 victory in a wild card game on Dec. 27, 1997. New York had held a 19-3 halftime lead. Eddie Murray's 24-yard field goal with 10 seconds left completed the Vikings comeback.
  • The Vikings became the first team in NFL history to score on an interception, punt and kickoff return in a 24-21 victory over the Giants on Nov. 13, 2005. Safety Darren Sharper tied the franchise record with three interceptions and set a new team mark with 123 return yards. Sharper also returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown at New York in the Vikings' 41-17 victory over the Giants on Nov. 25, 2007. Since joining Minnesota, Sharper has four career interceptions off Eli Manning.
  • The Vikings will continue to use Fred Evans and Jimmy Kennedy at nose tackle in place of Pro Bowl lineman Pat Williams, who is out because of a broken scapula.
  • Even if the Vikings make the playoffs, Williams is expected to miss at least the first playoff game. He expressed optimism last week that he might be able to play in the Vikings' postseason opener, but it's estimated that he would miss at least a month.Williams was injured in the Vikings' 35-14 victory on Dec. 14 in Arizona.
  • LB Chad Greenway returned an interception 37 yards for his first career touchdown and had six tackles against the Giants in the Vikings victory last season. Greenway helped the Vikings establish an NFL record with three interceptions returned for touchdowns in that game.
  • TE Visanthe Shiancoe, who spent his first four seasons with the Giants before joining the Vikings as a free agent in 2007, can tie the team record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in a season by catching one against New York. Shiancoe has seven this season; Joe Senser had eight in 1981.
  • QB Tarvaris Jackson's seven passing touchdowns over the past three games are tied for the second-most among all NFL quarterbacks during that time, behind only the Patriots' Matt Cassel. Jackson's 126.5 passer rating is second to the Colts' Peyton Manning (128.1).
  • Defensive end Jared Allen has continued to play despite neck and shoulder injuries, but he failed to record a sack for the first time in three games last Sunday against the Falcons. Atlanta did pay special attention to Allen, brining in an extra offensive lineman at times, so the fact he did not have a sack could have been attributed to that. Right tackle Artis Hicks was expected to take over for the struggling Ryan Cook in late November but Hicks has continued to battle a triceps injury. That has enabled Cook to stay in the lineup for the most part.
  • This will be the ninth game between these teams in the past 10 years, with 2006 being the only season the two did not play in either the regular season of the playoffs. That was Brad Childress' first season as Vikings coach.

BY THE NUMBERS:

2 -- Rushing yards Adrian Peterson needs to become only the fifth player in NFL history to rush for 3,000 yards in his first two seasons in the league.

QUOTE TO NOTE:

"We hope the Giants play their 3rd stringers, if they have 3rd stringers"---Viking S Darren Sharper, when asked if the he was hoping the Giants would rest their starters.