VT News

Vikings Clinch Playoff Spot With Convincing Win

On a frigid Sunday night in Minnesota, the Vikings defense was on fire sacking Eli Manning four times and intercepting three of his pass attempts in route to a 49-17 victory over the New York Giants at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Vikings got on the board first with a 32-yard field goal from Blair Walsh in the first quarter. Walsh accounted for 19 points on the night as he connected on 5-of-5 field goal attempts with two from over 50 yards.

The Vikings took a 10-0 advantage in the second quarter when Teddy Bridgewater found Kyle Rudolph down the seam for a 26-yard touchdown strike. Bridgewater was efficient once again connecting on 15-of-25 pass attempts for 168 yards and 1 touchdown. The Vikings were able to run the ball and control the clock as Adrian Peterson finished with 104 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and Jerick McKinnon added 86 yards on 7 carries finding the end zone twice.

The Vikings were good in all phases of the game, but Harrison Smith’s 35-yard pick six in the second quarter broke the game open and gave the Vikings a 16-3 lead. The contest was never in question after Smith’s big play as the Vikings defense held the Giants to just 1-of-11 on third downs and 0-of-2 on fourth downs. Chad Greenway led the way with 9 combine tackles while Tom Johnson added 4 tackles and 2 sacks. Smith’s 5 total tackles and his fourth career interception returned for a touchdown capped off a brilliant defensive effort. Andrew Sendejo and Captain Munnerlyn also intercepted Eli Manning.

The Vikings are 10-5 and set to battle the Green Bay Packers for the division title next week.

Show More

Carl Knowles

Carl Knowles (Contributor) is a former member of the Professional Bowler Association and an avid lifelong Vikings fan. When he is not bowling you can find him on websites and forum pages sharing his creative insight and enthusiasm for the Minnesota Vikings any chance he gets. Carl was a Phoenix Institute of Technology and Purdue University standout who currently enjoys the challenge of being a graphic director in the printing business. You can follow him on twitter @carlknowles_vt.

Related Articles


  1. Not gonna sugar coat it… I got a little chilled out there tonight. May have been guilty of underestimating the elements just a bit. But, gosh darn, what a nice performance by the Vikes. We figured Blair Walsh kicked off 11 times tonight, is that some kind of record? Long night for my son-in-law, but he took it in stride pretty good. The defense was just smothering, nice to see all hands on deck again. I had the good fortune to be tuned in on Harrison Smith for his pick six – he had that play scoped out from “down – ready set”. Can’t wait for that Packer game!

    1. Coach is our good luck charm. Please get tickets for next week. Coach what was your impression of the o-line? Some of their play looked pretty bad on the TV screen.

  2. It remains one of the weakest components of our team, johnny. I cant describe how disappointed I am in Kalil, I was so sure he was going to be a special one, but that has certainly not been the case. I think he may not have that necessary mean streak in him. The Giants have not had a strong pass rush this year, and yet Teddy had plenty of pressure on him last night.
    Still, when you score 49 points, some credit has to be given to the O-line, so I guess the best we can say is they are improving, and Norv will need to design strategies that don’t assume strong line play. On that note, I remain baffled on how he continues to ask the line to open holes on 1st & 10 with what seems like 13 guys in the box. I know that every play is designed to set up another one, but my goodness, everyone in the stands knew that first down meant a handoff to AP and second down would likely be a play action roll-out to the tight end or FB. Seems like we need more imagination there, but maybe that will come in the playoffs. Sure hope so, as we are just too predictable right now.

    1. Aren’t the first 20 plays or so scripted? Fusco is the one that’s really has me scratching my head? Is the difference between RG and LG really that great? I wouldn’t think so but there’s something very wrong here.

      1. Brian Baldinger did a piece on this a couple years ago on NFL network,it was quite interesting.The biggest difference from RG to LG is your first step and balance.Some guys can make the transition and some struggle.There are other things that also come in to play,but footwork is the key.
        I would bet my left testes that if Fusco went back to RG,he would be fine.

      1. OH WAIT, as has been noted earlier, the offense didn’t score 49 points, 6 of those went to the defense.


        You’re clearly wrong, and I’ll accept your apology for wrongness when you are ready to proffer it.

        …and yes, I feel better now.

        1. NOW its a party. I understand, Tomb. Given how right I normally am, you must be thrilled to find that I made a bit of a mistake here with the whole 49 point thing. Thanks for pointing it out, and I profusely apologize for my misstatement. As far as whether or not you feel better now…

  3. Fusco started 44 games at center in college. Only two years playing organized football before that, and no really experience at guard. Fusco was rewarded with a nice contract after a solid year at right guard for the Vikings. The move to left guard this season was a new challenge for him yet before he could fully embrace the move, Sully started having back issues. I’m willing to bet Fusco probably lobbied for the center position and felt Berger had more left guard experience anyway.

    Fusco to center and Berger to left guard didn’t happen. Didn’t even get talked about or considered. Could Fusco have a sour attitude about all that?

    1. And just the fact there is that much in limbo in your offensive line is an issue in itself, though I think its fair to say that improvement has taken place over the course of the season.

    2. Interesting take Carl. I had forgotten Fusco played center. With hindsight being 20-20 they probably would be better off with Fusco at center and Berger at LG.

    3. A sour attitude? I sure hope not. He’s a starting offensive lineman on a pretty darn good team. Blocking for one of the best RB’s….I kind of doubt that attitude would fly with Coach Zim. Whatever the case might be, losing Sully and Loadholt has really been a problem.

  4. Guys, I know what you are saying INRE the o line. But watch the blocking on Jerrick’s run on the sweep for a TD. Fusco showed good quickness, good blocking on the right side of the line. I think that they continue to improve as a unit. Plays that allow Teddy to move about have helped to eliminate pressure. I may be too much of a homer, but look at the last three games. If the o line was totally incompetent they would not have scored over 80 in the last two games and they would not have given the Cards all they could handle. Just my opinion. I do agree totally that the weak link is the o line, but good play calling can help to mask that weakness.

  5. Has Jerry Burns been running the offense the last three weeks? Widespread credit is given to Bill Walsh for the west coast offense, in SF of course, but also in Cinci with Virgil Carter, but longtime Viking fans remember Chuck Foreman and later Ricky Young catching those dumps and dinks from Sir Francis as devised by Jerry. Maybe it ought be called the Burnside Offense. How is ‘Ol Burnsie anyway?

    1. You are absolutely right, Matt. Burnsie was well ahead of Walsh on this offensive approach, just wasn’t fortunate enough to win a Super Bowl with it. You’ll recall Darin Nelson also making a career out of catch-and-runs. I saw Jerry in a restaurant last year, he looked very much like he did when he was younger, so now he finally looks his age.