Saturday game means different things for Vikings, Giants

Minnesota is trying to firm up its playoff seeding, but New York is just trying to hang on to a playoff spot.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (97) reacts to a stop during the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 17
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports
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There will be heavy NFC playoff implications for the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings on Saturday when they collide in Minneapolis.

While the Vikings have clinched a playoff spot and are trying to enhance their seeding, the Giants (8-5-1) are just simply trying to get into the postseason after taking a great step toward that objective Sunday with a 20-12 win at Washington.

The Giants currently hold the No. 6 spot in the NFC and going into the last three games are on track to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season. They host the Indianapolis Colts and visit the Philadelphia Eagles to finish their regular-season slate.

New York's defense turned in one of its best performances of the season against the Commanders, matching their season-low in points allowed. The Giants would love a repeat performance against a potent Minnesota offense.

The Vikings (11-3) are second in the NFC in scoring (25.1 points per game, eighth best in the NFL) and feature the league's leading receiver in Justin Jefferson, who has an NFL-best 1,623 receiving yards.


"He's got good quickness, good body control, can run any route," Giants head coach Brian Daboll said of Jefferson. "They line him up all over the place. I think they do a great job with him. He's hard to cover in man. He's got great awareness in zone. He's good after the catch, he can make contested catches. He's a problem."

Minnesota clinched the NFC North title last week with a remarkable 39-36 overtime victory over Indianapolis. After trailing 33-0 at halftime, the Vikings produced the largest comeback win in NFL history and hope to ride that wave of momentum into the playoffs.

Minnesota stands as the No. 2 seed in the NFC with road games remaining against the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

The big task for the Vikings is trying to avoid an emotional letdown.

"It's definitely something we've talked about this week," Minnesota head coach Kevin O'Connell said. "I think it's two-part: I think you acknowledge the emotional toll that it can take on you when you put everything you've got into it to achieve something. It just so happened to clinch the division, a goal we've had since really the beginning of getting going in training camp. But can we also acknowledge the accountability and ownership of things we need to get better at? That starts with me."

The game will feature a matchup of two of the three top rushers in the NFC. Saquon Barkley of the Giants leads the conference with 1,170 rushing yards, while Dalvin Cook of the Vikings is third with 1,045.

Minnesota has won the last three meetings with New York.

Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (back) did not participate in practice Tuesday, while linebackers Eric Kendricks (hip) and Brian Asamoah (ankle) were limited.


New York cornerback Adoree' Jackson (knee) and guard Shane Lemieux (toe) did not participate in Tuesday's walk-through session.

--Field Level Media

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