Vikings ponder momentum, then rest

How much will the momentum the Vikings built from their win against the New York Giants carry over into the playoffs? With a week of rest in between games, that's debatable.

It can be debated exactly how much effort the New York Giants gave in their 44-7 loss to the Vikings on Sunday at the Metrodome, but that didn't really bother anyone in the Minnesota locker room.

The Vikings, coming off back-to-back losses at Carolina and Chicago, were just happy to have some momentum heading into the playoffs and the fact they also received a first-round bye when Dallas beat Philadelphia made it all the better.

"It definitely helps," linebacker Ben Leber said. "It's one of those things where you don't have to have the momentum going into the playoffs, but it certainly helps. I think a performance like (Sunday) hopefully will get the momentum going and ride into the playoffs on a high note - just get the confidence back. We know the type of team that we have, and the type of guys that we have, so we're ready to go."

The Vikings jumped all over the Giants and led 31-0 at halftime.

"It was very important," running back Adrian Peterson said of the quick start. "To come out and start fast, we haven't done that in the past couple of weeks. We were able to come out and start fast offensively and defensively so it was definitely something to build on going into the playoffs."

Vikings coach Brad Childress will is taking advantage of their downtime by giving his players some time away from the practice facility. The players are off Tuesday through Saturday and will return to Winter Park on Sunday to begin preparing for their Jan. 17 game against Arizona, Dallas or Green Bay.

"It's huge," Pro Bowl left guard Steve Hutchinson said. "When we're at home sitting down and sitting in the hot tub and all that stuff, watching whoever we're eventually going to play is beating up on another team. Some of the (teams) are going to have a short week. For us to not have to play again this week is nice being that it would be our third game in 12 or 13 days. I think it's pretty key."

NOTES

  • Hutchinson, who has been bothered by a shoulder injury in recent weeks, said he will stay in the Twin Cities during the Vikings time off and get treatment.

  • RB Adrian Peterson has not rushed for 100 yards in a career-high seven games and tied his career-low with only nine carries on Sunday against the New York Giants. Peterson's last 100-yard game came on Nov. 15 when he ran for 133 yards on 18 carries against Detroit.

  • NT Pat Williams played Sunday despite an elbow injury that sidelined him for the Vikings' second-to-last game. Like Hutchinson, Williams also will continue to receive treatment this week at Winter Park.

  • CB Antoine Winfield would prefer to be able to start, but with his sore right foot still bothering him it's unclear if he will be back at his old spot or continue to just play in the nickel when the Vikings open the playoffs.

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