Another Ginormous Name Thinks the Vikings Will Lose Sunday

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The Minnesota Vikings are three-point home favorites to topple the hungry New York Giants this weekend in the Wildcard Round of the postseason.

But that point spread means nothing to many, as the Vikings have become a designer upset victim with the Giants arriving U.S. Bank Stadium in three days. The list of folks picking the Giants over Vikings has grown tremendously this week.

Another Ginormous Name Thinks the Vikings Will Lose Sunday

And some of the names choosing New York are ginormous, evidenced on Wednesday when future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski got in on the fun. The former Patriot and Buccaneer spoke to the Up & Adams show and stated his case for the Giants upset, “Minnesota is a team that you don’t know what you are going to get. You can get a team that posed for the No. 1 seed, or you can get a team that wasn’t a playoff team at all. The Giants. They come prepared every week to play their best, and Minnesota’s not. The Giants are going to have the upset.”

Another Ginormous Name
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports.

Gronkowski played 11 seasons in the NFL before retiring heading into this season. He won four Super Bowls — three in New England and one in Tampa Bay — while tabulating 621 receptions for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns in his career. The man knows his stuff.

The 33-year-old is also quasi-correct about the nature of the 2022 Vikings. The team that defeated the Buffalo Bills on the road in Week 10 could arrive this weekend and find a way to wallop the Giants. Or, on the other hand, the lifeless bunch who showed up against the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers is possible, too.

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The Vikings finished 2022 with a wildly impressive 11-0 record in one-score games while only beating two teams by more than eight points — the aforementioned Packers in Week 1 and the Chicago Bears in Week 18, which was more like a preseason contest.

Moreover, virtually every advanced analytical metric calls the Vikings a meh team. Football Outsiders’ usually trustworthy DVOA statistic nominates Minnesota as the NFL’s sixth-worst team. On defense, the Vikings ranked 31st in yards allowed. And EPA/Play metrics plop the Vikings right in the middle of the pack for efficiency.

Playoff Time after Win
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Thankfully for the Vikings sake, despite Gronkowski’s bold prognostication, the Giants aren’t worldbeaters, either. Indeed, it’s become a fashionable sentiment to pick New York via upset this week, but the Giants finished 2022 with a 3-6-1 record in their final 10 games. They did not get hot down the stretch, nor was New York overly formidable to start the season.

Gronkowski’s proclamation hit the same day that former Vikings quarterback Rich Gannon picked New York over Minnesota. In a video posted to Twitter, Gannon asserted, “I am convinced the Giants can head to Minneapolis and beat the Vikings […] It’s got to be a physical football game. It’s got to be a dirty physical football game.”

The Vikings and Giants haven’t played each other in the playoffs in 22 years. The last meeting was incredibly horrific for Minnesota — the 2000 NFC Championship.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).