Former Vikings QB Expects MIN to Lose vs. Giants

The 13 Notable Folks Picking
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NFL pundits and personalities are racing the Wildcard docket of football games to nominate potential upsets, and the Minnesota Vikings are a popular victim.

The Vikings host the New York Giants on Sunday, a New York team that hasn’t reached the postseason since 2016. Minnesota is a three-point favorite to advance onward in the playoffs.

But don’t tell the point spread to former Vikings quarterback Rich Gannon — because he evidently doesn’t care. Now an analyst for The 33rd Team, a football think-tank site, Gannon picked the Giants to beat the Vikings this weekend, and he didn’t sound too unwavering about it.

Former Vikings QB Expects MIN
Tennessee Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse, right, sacks Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon. © George Walker IV / The Tennessean, Nashville Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Gannon, 57, played for the Vikings from 1987 to 1992 before venturing to the Washington Commanders, Kansas City Chiefs, and Oakland Raiders. He won the NFL MVP award in 2002 and took Oakland to the Super Bowl against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 years ago.

Former Vikings QB Expects MIN to Lose vs. Giants

“I am convinced the Giants can head to Minneapolis and beat the Vikings,” Gannon told viewers in a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday.

The Giants and Vikings haven’t met in the playoffs since 2000, and that game ended in bludgeoning by Kerry Collins’ team, sending Minnesota home in shame and New York to the Super Bowl against the famed 2000 Baltimore Ravens.

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In the video, Gannon didn’t spend much time touting the Vikings accomplishments like Justin Jefferson’s All-Pro campaign. Instead, he explained how New York could win, mainly by getting the ground game cooking, “They have to have success running the football. And they can do that. Saquon Barkley is the fourth-leading rusher. Daniel Jones has over 700 rushing yards. And they have to finish down in the redzone.”

Gannon also questioned Cousins’ wherewithal to topple the Giants and chided the Vikings quarterback’s turnovers as a weakness, “Cousins has thrown a career-high 14 interceptions, second most in the NFL this season. That is the key for the Giants. It’s got to be a physical football game. It’s got to be a dirty physical football game.”

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And Gannon isn’t the only person or entity picking the Giants over Vikings. Bleacher Report identified a single upset for the Wildcard Round, and unsurprisingly that was — you guessed it — the Giants winning in Minnesota, 28-24.

Last summer, Gannon was high on the Vikings, especially on Jefferson, as he compared the LSU alumnus to Jerry Rice. Gannon said about Jefferson in August, “Jerry Rice, even in his heyday, didn’t have this top-end speed, but I think there are some comparisons with a guy like Jerry Rice.”

“You look at their short-area quickness, their ability to stop, pivot, adjust. I think their ability to adjust to the ball in the air, whether it’s high, low or behind them [is similar],” Gannon concluded.

Gannon also tabbed Cousins as a candidate to throw for 5,000+ yards in 2022. Cousins threw for 4,547.

Here’s the full video prediction from Gannon:

Sunday’s game is the Vikings first playoff contest at home since The Minneapolis Miracle.

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).