Vikings have concerns
Knight Ridder Newspapers
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- As; the Minnesota Vikings prepare to put their 5-1 record and four-game winning streak on the line Sunday against the 4-2 New York Giants, the condition of Randy Moss' strained hamstring is far from their only concern.
Mike Tice's defense played its best game of the season last Sunday in a 20-3 victory over Tennessee, but the Vikings' coach said they're still working out how much blitzing they can do and who their good blitzers actually are. He also said his linemen need to be more disciplined in their pass rush.
"Still, you can take all the stats, the yardage and this and that and third-down conversions and, in this league, it really comes down to who turns the ball over the least and who creates the most turnovers,'' Tice said. "That is really still the No. 1 stat on winning and losing in the National Football League, and probably in high school and college, too.''
The Vikings were plus-4 in the turnover department Sunday, intercepting three passes and recovering a fumble while playing error-free football on offense. That lifted them to plus-2 for the season.
The Giants are tied for second in the NFL with a plus-9 turnover differential: 15 takeaways (eight interceptions, seven fumbles) to six giveaways (two interceptions, four fumbles).
Tough draw: New York's 28-13 loss to Detroit on Sunday ended a four-game winning streak for the Giants, but they always seem to play their best against the Vikings.
The Giants have won three of the past four meetings, including two consecutive at the Metrodome -- 27-20 in 2002 and 29-17 last season, the Vikings' first loss after a 6-0 start.
"We've had bad luck with the Giants over the last couple of years, and we have to bust our (butts) to get that rectified,'' Tice said. "It will be a tough week for us.''