The Vikings Will Advance! 3 Playoff Predictions
The regular season is in the rearview mirror, and the Minnesota Vikings are marching into the playoffs. Outside of Minnesota and the Vikings bubble, there is still a lot of uncertainty about these Vikings Hence why, despite being the No. 3 seed in the NFC and playing at home to a team they have already beaten, so many people seem to be favoring the men in purple to fall at the first hurdle.
My playoff predictions this week include the confident statement — that the Vikings will advance to the divisional round.
Standing in Minnesota’s way is the New York Giants. Dating back to their first meeting in 1964, the Vikings and Giants have met 30 times. The Vikings have the better of the head-to-head by 18-12, including winning all of the last four meetings. Of the 30 games, three have taken place in the playoffs. The most recent was the 2000 NFC championship game that the Vikings would like erased from their memory.
Before that were two meetings in the wildcard round in the 1990s. The two teams shared a win apiece in close games. All three of the previous playoff meetings took place in East Rutherford. This will be the first time the Giants travel to Minneapolis for a playoff game.
The Vikings Will Advance
With all that in mind, and because I strongly believe the Vikings are the better team, I predict the Vikings will advance to the divisional round of the playoffs after a victory over the Giants on Sunday night. Of course, it is going to be a tough game. This is the playoffs. All the teams still playing football at this point in the season are doing so with good reason.
It will likely be a one-score game, something this Minnesota team has proven to be the master at. As long as the banged-up Minnesota offensive line can hold its own, I believe the Vikings have too much for Giants. In the Vikings Territory staff predictions, I’ve gone for a 26-20 Vikings win.
Hockenson Shines Again vs. Giants
In the regular season game between these two teams, Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson had a monster game. He caught 13 of 16 targets for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Hockenson has made a fast start to life in Minnesota since the midseason trade from divisional rivals the Detroit Lions. His 519 receiving yards in his first 10 games are the 10th most in franchise history.
That puts him among could company, and he is one of only two tight ends on the list — with Jermaine Wiggins. I predict another big outing for Hockenson. With the Vikings offensive line not at full strength — although there is hope for a Garrett Bradbury return — slowing down the Giants formidable pass rush won’t be easy. Quick completion to Hockenson over the middle would be an ideal way to get the Vikings offense rolling.
Vikings Win Game with Turnovers
One of the differences in the Week 16 game on Christmas Eve between these two ball clubs? The Giants turned the ball over, and the Vikings did not. Patrick Peterson had one of his five interceptions for the season, and Brian Asamoah had his impressive forced fumble and recovery. These were key moments in the game that swung momentum in favor of Minnesota.
This is an area that the Vikings have excelled this season, hence why they keep winning close games. During the regular season, the Vikings defense came up with 15 interceptions and forced 10 fumbles. The combination of 25 takeaways was the 8th most in the league.
Multiple turnovers by the defense will put the offense in position to win. Kirk Cousins and Co. will get the job done.
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