Giants HC Fearless with Vikings Matchup 6 Days Away

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The New York Giants don’t have much playoff experience on roster, but in their locker room, nobody cares.

New York punched a ticket to the postseason in Week 17, and its Wildcard round opponent crystalized on Sunday — the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium this Sunday. The two teams last met in a playoff game 22 years ago, and the Giants absolutely trampled the Vikings in the 2000 NFC Championship.

But that was then, and this is now. Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was a freshman in high school when the Giants stomped the Vikings en route to a Super Bowl appearance. Now, he’s the leader of the Vikings and can guide the team past the Giants on to the Divisional Round.

Giants HC Fearless with Vikings Matchup 6 Days Away

On the other side of the field, Brian Daboll awaits. Like O’Connell, he’s a first-year head coach, and akin to O’Connell, Daboll has guided the Giants to a winning record in his first campaign. New York enters the postseason for the first time since 2016 under Daboll’s tutelage.

Giants HC Fearless with Vikings
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And Daboll, a five-time Super Bowl champion attached to Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots in various capacities, doesn’t really care that his team lacks playoff experience. With the postseason picture cemented, Daboll told NY Daily News, “The first year that I was part of a Super Bowl, the quarterback didn’t have any playoff experience there at New England. Some of the guys did. Some didn’t.”

“We had some experience at Buffalo [from 2019 through 2021]; we lost. What you make out of it is the experience is probably overrated, to be honest with you,” Daboll affirmed.

vikings and giants
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Daboll is leaning into the ‘nobody has playoff experience until they do” line almost out of necessity. Most of the Giants core lacks playoff experience, so Daboll has to do or say something when confronted about the faux problem. Sunday will be Daboll’s first playoff game as a head coach, quarterback Daniel Jones’ first at all, and Saquon Barkley’s virgin experience, too.

Meanwhile, the Vikings have ample playoff experience, from Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Za’Darius Smith, Danielle Hunter, to Harrison Smith, etc. In fact, the Vikings surprisingly have a lot of playoff experience if compared side by side to New York.

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Does that experience indeed matter? Usually, yes. Coaches, players, and pundits tend to bang the drum of experience — generally applauding teams that have it — around this time on the calendar because “we’ve been here before” often rings true.

Yet, that’s not how Daboll feels. His Giants will evidently be ready no matter what; they’re the same team that nearly shocked the Vikings 2.5 weeks ago at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings are favored by three to defeat New York and move on to the Divisional Round.


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 Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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