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Rice must step up again vs. Giants

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Posted Dec. 10, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Sidney Rice showed last week what might have been.

He gave a glimpse of last season's brilliance, soaring to catch a 31-yard TD pass and making several other grabs that reminded us of just how valuable he was to this once-high-flying offense.

And this week, with the Giants coming to town, the Vikings have a chance to make a statement against a good opponent. They can head into the offseason feeling like they have a chance to recapture their vibe.

Brett Favre or no Favre. And not just for next.season.

Favre didn't practice on Thursday, leaving his consecutive-game streak in some doubt.

Interestingly, Rice and Favre have not connected all that well in the eight-plus quarters they have played together this season. In 2009, they were hand and glove. If the glove doesn't fit, the Vikings might as well quit.

Adrian Peterson will do his thing. It most likely will be impressive.

The defensive line has emerged of late. It could be the first group to sack Eli Manning in a six-game span.

But for the Vikings to beat the Giants, Rice must be big.

Percy Harvin has battled migraines the past two weeks and might not go again. He can't be counted on, and the rest of the receivers are just guys.

The offensive line must do its job, too. Without sufficient blocking against a potent Giants front, the Vikings won't have the time to get the ball to Rice in the intermediate or deep routes he thrives on.

Throw it up, and Rice can get it. He has as big a catching radius as any receiver in the league.

If he wants to show that he's worth major money, Rice will go out Sunday and turn in another big game. A game like he put up last week and last season.

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