- The Minnesota Vikings (13-4) are 3-point home favorites over the New York Giants (9-7-1)
- Kevin O’Connell and Brian Daboll both delivered playoff appearances in their first year as head coaches
- Super Wild Card Weekend kicks off from U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, January 15 at 4:30pm ET on FOX
The Giants and Vikings nailed their coaching hires last offseason. Brian Daboll has the Giants in the playoffs for the first time since 2016 while Kevin O’Connell led his club to their first NFC North title in five years.
Both clubs may have gotten a little lucky, however. Minnesota set an NFL record by winning all 11 of their games that were decided by one score, and New York only has two victories against teams over .500 this season.
Vikings vs Giants
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|New York Giants||+3.0 (-108)||+143||Ov 48.5 (-110)|
|Minnesota Vikings||-3.0 (-112)||-163||Un 48.5 (-110)|
Kirk Cousins vs Daniel Jones
Kirk Cousins passed for 299 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-24 victory over the Giants on Christmas Eve. It was one of 13 victories the 34-year-old led Minnesota to this season despite throwing a career-high 14 interceptions and having a career-low 49.9 quarterback rating. Cousins is just 1-3 in his career in the postseason, but his opponent will be starting his first-ever playoff game.
Daniel Jones was solid in the Week 16 loss to the Vikings, passing for 334 yards, a TD and an interception. The former No. 6 overall pick made huge strides under first-year coach Brian Daboll in 2022. Reportedly close to signing a contract extension, Jones threw for 3,205 passing yards and 15 TDs with an additional 708 yards and seven scores on the ground.
I sat down with Kirk Cousins and Kevin O'Connell to understand how their idiosyncrasies have meshed into a fruitful QB/coach relationship. We talked about love, the value of saying nice things and when selfishness is preferable to good manners. https://t.co/a8Blo6y7tP
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) January 10, 2023
Shaky playoff teams?
Minnesota only suffered one loss in U.S. Bank Stadium all season. (A grisly 40-3 loss to the Cowboys in November.) However, most experts are dismissing the Vikings as a lucky team because they won 11 one-score games this year.
The Giants’ credentials can also be questioned. They recorded only one road victory against clubs with winning records in 2022. And they’re the first team to qualify for the NFL postseason with no more than one division victory since the 1989 Steelers.
Minnesota vs New York
Minnesota is a field-goal favorite at U.S. Bank Stadium and the over-under is set at 48.5 points. Neither of these teams had much luck stopping each other back in Week 16 and the same should be true on Sunday. The Vikings are atrocious on defense, permitting the second-most yards (388.7) and third-most points (25.1) per week in the NFL. New York is also a bottom-10 team in yards allowed.
In Week 16, both Justin Jefferson (12-for-133, TD) and T.J. Hockenson (13-for-109, 2 TDs) had a field day against Big Blue’s secondary. The Giants also had three receivers go over 79 yards, and Saquon Barkley ran for 84 yards and a score.
Wink Martindale: “We’ve come here and built a playoff defense.”
He won’t say it but I will: It’s in large part because he’s a good coach. Some good players but they’ve been banged up consistently and are extremely thin at several spots. pic.twitter.com/uIxi3x6yQE
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) January 5, 2023
With his defense getting healthier, Wink Martindale will need to come up with a better plan to stop Jefferson. He’ll also need rookie pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux to continue his late-season breakout and pressure Cousins.
The Vikings may be the far more talented team but the Giants have superior coaching on both sides of the ball. We like the G-Men in an upset.
Final Score Prediction: Giants 29, Vikings 27
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