Vikings fans can breath easier tonight following the Vikings dominant performace this afternoon in the MOA Metrodome. Brett Favre had the offense hitting on all eight cylinders. Sidney Rice terrorized the Giants’ depleted secondary. The Vikings’ defense throttled the Giants’ offense, limiting them to 181 yards of total offense.
Last week, the Vikings played poorly in the first half against Da Bears before scoring 30 points in the second half before losing in OT. With the offense clicking in the first half, OT just wasn’t a worry this week.
Favre led a balanced attack, throwing for 271 yards in the first half. Sidney Rice caught a pair of second quarter TDs, the first from 4 yards out, the second on a spectacular catch on a fade route. I’ve had the privilege to watch Randy Moss, Cris Carter and Larry Fitzgerald play. I’ve watched them make some spectacular catches that only they could make. The adjustment that Rice made on the fade TD was as spectacular a catch as you’ll ever see. If you don’t believe me, watch for yourself:
Against most wideouts, the Giants’ defender would’ve intercepted that pass. Against Sidney Rice, he’s simply another victim. Randy Moss was the best I’d ever seen on adjusting to the ball when it’s in the air but I’m thinking that Sidney might be better at it than Moss was. Tony Siragusa’s “Unbelieveable” says everything that needs to be said, though Darryl Johnston’s “Every once in a while, you’re gonna run into a player who just makes a great play” is right on the money too.
The Vikings defense wasn’t dominant. They just quietly shut the Giants’ offense down, holding Eli Manning to 141 yards passing while picking up 3 sacks, one each from Jared Allen, Ray Edwards and Brian Robison. Allen’s sack had dominant written all over it. First, be beat his man around the corner for the sack. Then he stripped the ball from Manning before recovering the ball and returning it a couple yards before getting tackled.
When the Cowboys shut out the Iggles, the Vikings won the second seed in the NFC and a first round bye. Next week’s wild card round will feature ‘repeat’ wild card games, with the Packers returning to Arizona to play the Cardinals and Philadelphia returning to Jerry Jones’s palace for their third meeting of the year.