Vikings-Giants game scout

Get the game vitals, series history, keys to the game and fast facts as the Vikings attempt to win their first division title since 2000.

St. Louis Rams (2-13) at Atlanta Falcons (10-5)
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) at Baltimore Ravens (10-5)
Oakland Raiders (4-11) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-6)
Cleveland Browns (4-11) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4)
New England Patriots (10-5) at Buffalo Bills (7-8)
Kansas City Chiefs (2-13) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-11-1)
Detroit Lions (0-15) at Green Bay Packers (5-10)
Chicago Bears (8-7) at Houston Texans (7-8)
Tennessee Titans (13-2) at Indianapolis Colts (11-4)
New York Giants (12-3) at Minnesota Vikings (9-6)
Carolina Panthers (11-4) at New Orleans Saints (8-7)
Miami Dolphins (10-5) at New York Jets (9-6)
Dallas Cowboys (9-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (8-6-1)
Seattle Seahawks (4-11) at Arizona Cardinals (8-7)
Denver Broncos (8-7) at San Diego Chargers (7-8)
Washington Redskins (8-7) at San Francisco 49ers (6-9)

New York Giants (12-3) at Minnesota Vikings (9-6)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 12/28/08
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: FOX (Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, Laura Okmin)


20th regular-season meeting. Vikings lead series, 11-8. Additionally, the Giants hold a 2-1 edge in playoff meetings.

Perhaps the most memorable game was the NFC Championship game for the 2000 season when the Giants stormed the Vikings, 41-0, holding a 14-0 lead before Minnesota got its hands on the ball.


Coach Tom Coughlin believes in peaking heading into the playoffs, so the Vikings shouldn't expect to face a slew of the Giants' backups. The Giants closed out the regular season last year by playing all-out against the undefeated Patriots.

Coughlin may rest a few of his nicked up stars, but the Giants will attempt to control the game with Jacobs and Derrick Ward - perhaps more of Ward - and set up play-action to attack the Vikings' Cover-2.

The Giants allow just 94.9 rushing yards per game, but the run defense has shown some cracks in recent weeks. And with the defense possibly prepared to rest some banged up starters, the Vikings might be able to control the game with RBs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. QB Tarvaris Jackson will make his third consecutive start, and the Giants will test his maturation level with their fierce pass rush.


  • With 54 yards, Ward would join Jacobs to give the Giants a pair of 1,000-yard rushers for the fourth time in franchise history.

  • The Vikings clinch the NFC North with a win or a loss by Chicago.

  • The Vikings suffered the most embarrassing playoff loss in franchise history against the Giants. Minnesota won the NFC Central title in 2000 and then beat New Orleans in the divisional round of the playoffs before traveling to Giants Stadium. New York proceeded to crush the Vikings, 41-0, in the conference championship game. Giants quarterback Kerry Collins threw for 381 yards and five touchdowns as the Vikings were handed their second-worst defeat in franchise history.

  • The Vikings also recorded one of their most exciting playoff victories at Giants Stadium. Minnesota rallied to score 10 points in the final 90 seconds for a 23-22 victory in a wild card game on Dec. 27, 1997. New York had held a 19-3 halftime lead. Eddie Murray's 24-yard field goal with 10 seconds left completed the Vikings comeback.

  • The Vikings became the first team in NFL history to score on an interception, punt and kickoff return in a 24-21 victory over the Giants on Nov. 13, 2005. Safety Darren Sharper tied the franchise record with three interceptions and set a new team mark with 123 return yards. Sharper also returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown at New York in the Vikings' 41-17 victory over the Giants on Nov. 25, 2007. Since joining Minnesota, Sharper has four career interceptions off Eli Manning.

  • LB Chad Greenway returned an interception 37 yards for his first career touchdown and had six tackles against the Giants in the Vikings victory last season. Greenway helped the Vikings establish an NFL record with three interceptions returned for touchdowns in that game.

  • TE Visanthe Shiancoe, who spent his first four seasons with the Giants before joining the Vikings as a free agent in 2007, can tie the team record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in a season by catching one against New York. Shiancoe has seven this season; Joe Senser had eight in 1981.

  • QB Tarvaris Jackson's seven passing touchdowns over the past three games are tied for the second-most among all NFL quarterbacks during that time, behind only the Patriots' Matt Cassel. Jackson's 126.5 passer rating is second to the Colts' Peyton Manning (128.1).

  • This will be the ninth game between these teams in the past 10 years, with 2006 being the only season the two did not play in either the regular season of the playoffs. That was Brad Childress' first season as Vikings coach.

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