Despite 10 catches for 129 yards from mid-season acquisition T.J. Hockenson, the Vikings could not find a way to win against the New York Giants. Many thought this matchup would be the upset of the week. They were right. It is the first playoff win for the Giants since 2011.
The Vikings and Giants already squared off earlier this season. Minnesota won 27-24 on a 61-yard game-winning field goal in Week 16. Hockenson also went off in that game, finishing with 13 catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley led the way to redemption for the G-Men. Jones finished the game 24 0f 35 for 301 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing yards with 78. Barkley had over 100 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with seven minutes left in the game.
Kirk Cousins finished the game 31 of 39 for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Justin Jefferson had a pedestrian performance, only catching seven balls for 47 yards. The Vikings simply got outplayed, out-physicalled, and out-coached.
Let’s not forget the Vikings brilliant fourth-and-eight call with the game on the line. Cousins decided to check down to Hockenson, who was not even close to the first-down line. What a way to end your season. Once again, the lights were too bright for Kirko Chains.
Regardless, it was a game the Vikings needed to win, but they fell short. Their 13-4 record was merely a hoax, a mirage, and a sham. Credit to them for winning a semi-uncompetitive NFC North division this season. Minnesota will not have that luxury next season. The Lions are on the prowl.
NFC Divisional Round
With the victory, the (6) New York Giants will take on division rival (1) Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round. The Eagles swept the Giants this season, but the trilogy will be exciting.
Therefore, winner of tomorrow night’s matchup between (5) Dallas Cowboys vs. (4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the (2) San Francisco 49ers, who took care of the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.
Photo Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports