NY Giants (6-8) at Minnesota (9-5)
When: Sunday, December 27th 2015
Where: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NBC
The Minnesota Vikings look to claim a Playoff spot when they host the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. The Vikings trail Green Bay by a game in the NFC North, but can secure at least a Wild Card berth before it even steps onto the field tonight if Seattle wins and Atlanta looses earlier in the day. If that happens and the Packers also loose, the Vikings could be resting starters according to head coach Mike Zimmer. He expressed more of a desire to rest players that are injured than to risk it ahead of a possible NFC North ‘Championship Game’ or the playoffs. Running back Adrian Peterson sprained his left ankle in last week’s 38-17 victory over NFC North rival Chicago, but the NFL’s leading rusher said he expects to play Sunday. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been heating up over the last few weeks and threw four touchdowns and ran for another in the win over Chicago. In the previous week he threw for 335 yards against Arizona. Rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught two touchdowns last week and leads the team with 47 receptions and 693 yards. The Vikings defense will be ready for Eli Manning and company with their 7th ranked defense against the pass allowing just 229.7 yards a game.
The Giants were officially eliminated last night when the Washington Redskins beat the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East. New York will now be playing to get to 8-8 and possibly save coach Tom Coughlin’s job. They’ll be without their best player in wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. I’m sure everyone has seen what went on last week against the Carolina Panthers as Beckham was flagged three times for unnecessary roughness including a shot to the head of Josh Norman. Replacing Beckham won’t be easy for the Giants, as the second-year star leads the team in receptions (91), yards (1,396) and touchdowns (13). Rueben Randle should see an uptick in targets with Beckham suspended and has scored a touchdown in back-to-back games and four of his last six. The Giants have the 25th ranked rushing attack in the league and Rashad Jennings is the first Giant this season to break 100 yards when he compiled 107 on 16 carries last week. The Giants came up just short in their attempt to end Carolina’s perfect season as a furious rally fell short 38-35. Of New York’s eight losses, seven of them have come by 6 points or less.
This is a hard game to predict considering we have to wait until game time to see how much Minnesota really needs this game. If the three games that matter go the way of the favorites, then the Vikings can rest some of their inured players as the coach has indicated. Regardless, if you bet the game now, take the points, because Eli always finds a way to keep a game close.
Pick: Giants +7