Well, one last game. At this point, the Giants are playing for pride, or, a better draft spot if they lose. Giants are banged up, physically and emotionally. The Vikes need a win to secure the number 2 seed and a first round bye in the playoffs. Here are 5 Keys to Beating the Vikings.
1. Stop Adrian Peterson
And of course, that’s easier said than done. Even though AP hasn’t had a 100 yard game in awhile, he’s still the best back in the league. And after Johnathan Stewart’s performance, Peterson could have a huge day. The key is tackling. None of the reaching crap we saw last week. Go for the man, not for the ball. If you tackle strong, then AP can be limited. But, there needs to be that effort.
2. Percy Harvin
Percy Harvin is one off the most electric players in the league, and he’s only a rookie. He can beat you many different ways. How do you stop him? Well, you have to be physical with him on the line. Don’t give him a cushion. Make him uncomfortable at the line of scrimmage. Bump him as much as you can in those first five yards. Teams haven’t done that enough.
3. Run the ball!
Even though Jacobs is out, and Bradshaw is limited, the Vikings run defense has taken a hit since EJ Henderson has gotten hurt. Jasper Brinkley just can’t seem to get the job done. With Gartrell Johnson looking to get the majority of carries, you have to attack Brinkley. Run right at him. Johnson is pretty shifty. He’s capable of having a big day against Brinkley.
A special note on tackling: The Giants suck at it, for whatever reason. No form, no technique. No passion either. The Giants, I’m sure, watched a lot of film, and saw themselves reaching for the ball, not the man. Here’s a tip, Giants: Square up the player, hit him hard. Don’t worry about knocking the ball loose. You should be worrying about knocking his teeth out. Lean your shoulder in. Don’t reach for the ball. If you do that, 4 yard losses won’t become 10 yard gains.
I know it’s the last game. And I know it means nothing. And I know a loss improves the draft position. But, you don’t want to end the season like you played against Carolina. You want to have some momentum heading into the offseason. You don’t want to end the season with a stinker. You want to play hard. You want to show the fans–and yourselves–that you’re capable of putting forth a great effort, that you’re playing to win.