The Minnesota Vikings are in a place they have not been since 2000—on top of their division at the end of the regular season. The Vikings earned their spot in the NFL playoffs by beating the reigning Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants, 20-19.
The Vikings were down to the Giants 17- 19 when placekicker Ryan Longwell hit a 50-yard field goal as time expired, giving Minnesota the one-point victory. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who was benched earlier this season, continued to play well since coming back in week 14. Jackson went 16-of-26, completing 61.5% of his throws for 239 yards and one touchdown. He also threw one pick.
On a side note, Giants running back Derrick Ward joined teammate Brandon Jacobs as the club’s second 1,000-plus yard gainer this season. Ward had 15 carries for 77 yards and finished the regular season with 1,025 yards. Jacobs, who is nursing an injured knee, did not play.
Minnesota finished the season with at 10-6-0. The rival Bears, who had a shot at winning the division title, lost to Houston today 24- 31. For Minnesota wideout Bernard Berrian snagged his third 50-plus yard TD catch of the season. It was his seventh touchdown catch this year. Jackson’s return to the lineup has been beneficial for the team as they are 3- 1 since week 14.
The game was 0- 0 at the end of quarter one. Then at 15:00 of the second, Longwell hit his first field goal from 48 yards out. At 11:33, Adrian Peterson made a 67-yard run for another score and the Vikes led 10- 0. Then New York put 19 unanswered points on the board, which included hitting three field goals in a row, including the final score of the first half with just four seconds left. At the half, the score was Vikings 10 and Giants 9.
At 9:34 of the third, New York went ahead on a 23-yard pass from QB David Carr, making the score 16- 10. Then NY kicker John Carney made it a two-possession game by hitting a 20-yard field goal at 11:25 of the fourth. Berrian’s big catch came at 9:35 of the fourth. That play got the Vikings to within two points. Longwell hit his second field goal, giving the team the win as time expired.
It’s off to the playoffs for Big Purple.