Vikings-Giants matchup of the day: Tuesday

Posted Dec. 07, 2010 @ 6:55 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Let's take a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Giants-Vikings game in Minnesota:

Vikings WR Sidney Rice vs. Giants secondary

Rice had his best showing of the season, looking like the player he did much of last season. He made a spectacular catch for a 31-yard TD over Bills CB Leodis McKelvin and S Donte Whitner, managing to keep his feet inbounds in the endzone and secure the catch. Rice's hands and long arms make him a nightmare matchup, and he's not showing a lot of rust or lack of speed right now coming off August hip surgery. The Vikings are getting a glimpse of what they could have had all season long had his injury been handled better.

The Giants have not been challenged too much in recent games by opposing wideouts, with only the Redskins' Anthony Armstrong and the Eagles' Jeremy Maclin — two faster, smaller guys compared to Rice — doing any real damage against them. But go back before that and you'll see that Dez Bryant gave the Giants some issues in the New Meadowlands, and though Bryant and Rice have different skills sets, their size, strength and run-after-the-catch ability are comparable.

Look for CB Terrell Thomas to do most of the work on Rice with safety help over the top, although Percy Harvin should be back after missing Sunday's game with migraines. The fact that Rice gave the Bills so much trouble without Harvin on the field should be disconcerting for the Giants. Of course, we're not 100 percent certain that QB Brett Favre will be under center, and for that matter, he and Rice had trouble connecting before Favre got hurt. Tarvaris Jackson was the one who was able to jump-start Rice's delayed season on Sunday.