If timing really is everything, the Giants could not have picked a better time to get healthy.
You can expect to see receivers Steve Smith (pectoral), Hakeem Nicks (leg) and left tackle David Diehl (hamstring/hip) return to the lineup Sunday in Minnesota against a defense that is heavily geared toward stopping the run, but not so good against the pass.
Did we mention the standings? Ah, yes. The Giants (8-4) are tied with the Eagles atop the NFC East, while sharing the same record as the Green Bay Packers, who sit in the second wild-card slot. And yes, those are the Giants’ next two opponents. Big Blue will likely will have to win three of their final four games to clinch a playoff spot – the conference might wind up leaving a 10-win team home next month.
The Vikings (5-7) may have showed renewed life under interim coach Leslie Frazier and are a tough opponent, especially at home, but this is a game the Giants simply cannot afford to lose – and the players appear to be aware of it. Here are your three key matchups to look for: