The New York Giants (9-7-1) will play the Minnesota Vikings (13-4) in an NFC Wild Card matchup this Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Here are three reasons for optimism entering the game.
First taste of the postseason
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For many players on the Giants’ roster, it will be the first postseason trip of their career. And these aren’t any run-of-the-mill players for Big Blue. Nearly all of their stars (Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Saquon Barkley, Leonard Williams, Andrew Thomas, and more) have never played football this late into the season.
As for the team as a whole, the Giants have not been to the playoffs since 2016. The franchise has had a rough couple of years being one of the worst teams in sports over this period. This unexpected run into the playoffs has revitalized the organization and brought hope to many fans. Now it’s time for New York to come out on Sunday and earn one more game this season.
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The Giants lost to the Vikings in the final last seconds of the game off of a 61-yard field goal. This time they will be back for blood.
New York won the matchup last time in terms of the yardage output as they posted 445 to Minnesota’s 353. The key problem in Week 16 was the turnovers as Big Blue had three on the day, all of which are easily fixable.
Jones had a very rare interception in Minnesota territory. Daniel Bellinger also had an unfortunate fumble in the opponent’s territory. And finally, the Giants had a field goal blocked in their own territory in the fourth quarter which almost ruined the game.
Winning the turnover battle or at least not losing it by three would give New York a much better chance at winning this game.
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For practically the first time this season, the Giants are healthy.
The Giants will enter this game with no players questionable or doubtful. Azeez Ojulari, Xavier McKinney, Dane Belton, Leonard Williams, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Fabian Moreau, and Adoree’ Jackson will all play together in a game for the first time this season.
Wink Martindale will have the best talent he’s had all year to work with. This will be a great opportunity for New York to take advantage of their health and attack a Vikings team that has been struggling in recent weeks.