And with the Redskins win last night, the rest of the NFC East has zero to play for as the Skins clinched the division. There is no Wild Card in play here for the Eagles or Giants. That goes without saying as both teams are below .500. It has been something else in the NFC East this season, a division which in all likelihood would have went to the Cowboys if Tony Romo was healthy this season. If Romo can bounce back in the offseason, the rest of the division is going to need to get much better, that goes for the Redskins as well. This is the first time the Skins will be back in the postseason since RGIII was at the controls, blowing out his knee in rather disturbing fashion in the Wild Card round. His career essentially ended right there and then. His backup, sitting on the sideline was his eventual replacement, Kirk Cousins. I do think the Redskins can steal one in the postseason, for all they went through to make it to the playoffs with their current record of 8-7.
So what is in it for the Giants tonight? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. This game is about as meaningful for the Giants as a week 1 preseason game is. For the 9-5 Vikings, they suddenly find themselves in a battle fending off other teams for a Wild Card spot. The Vikes are technically still alive for the NFC North crown, as the Packers are 10-4 on the year. However, I don’t expect the Packers to lose this and next week, a game they play against the Vikings. A 9-7 finish for the Vikings and it could get interesting, but they are in great shape to nab a Wild Card. A likely scenario brewing up is that the Packers and Vikings play a back-to-back. Next week and then the following week in the playoffs.
The Vikings need to keep their composure tonight against a team with nothing to lose. Teddy Bridgewater is close to playing in his first NFL postseason game. We’ll see how he handles the pressure. He is a cool and collected customer, so I don’t expect the stage to be too big for him. If the Vikes and Packers meet, the Vikings will be in much better shape with Bridgewater at quarterback than Joe Webb three years ago. The Packers moved on with ease there. It would be a much different situation with Bridgewater. The Vikings can’t get ahead of themselves, focus on the Giants tonight and move on.
N.Y. Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Vikings -7(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants vs. Vikings Pick:
I question the Giants ability to get up for this game. If the Giants were removed from the playoff hunt last week I think it would be a different scenario. The Giants were preparing all week with the idea that they still have a chance of winning the division. Not a great chance, it would have been a big reach for them to get there. But now that they are statistically eliminated, I wonder how they respond on SNF. The line was at 6.5 and jumped to 7, I would be surprised if it stays at 7 by the time you are reading this. Like I said about the Atlanta Falcons, the Giants have only themselves to blame. They lost four of their last five games, a gut wrenching loss last week against the Panthers as well.
I think the Giants put a lot into last week, and now that they are gone from the playoff hunt, they have to be feeling gutted. Note that Odell Beckham will not be playing tonight against the Vikings, as his suspension for one game as been upheld. The Vikings have had one of the most underrated defensive units in the NFL, allowing only 19.4 points per game to the opposition. They are particulary difficult to pass on, as they are 7th in the league in that regard. The Giants rank dead last against the pass, allowing 308.4 yards per game, which is about 30 yards worse than the second last team. I like Bridgewater to gain some big momentum against this defense tonight. The Vikings should cruise pass the uninspired Giants tonight on SNF. I like them to get the win and cover the 7.
PICK: VIKINGS -7 (-110)