Notebook: Visanthe Shiancoe says offense 'like cannibals,' want blood
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings' offense came alive in Sunday's 38-14 blowout of the Buffalo Bills.
And tight end Visanthe Shiancoe believes that performance has a chance to fire up the Vikings' offense going forward -- despite the uncertain status of quarterback Brett Favre and leading receiver Percy Harvin entering Sunday's game against the New York Giants' No. 2-ranked defense.
"I think we got a taste of some success, man," Shiancoe said after Wednesday's practice. "Everybody wants that again. We tasted that blood. We're like cannibals up in this (expletive), man. We want more, man. We want more, more, more."
The Vikings' previous season high for points this season was 27, and that required overtime on Nov. 7 against Arizona. They subsequently scored 13, 3 and 17 in their next three games before racking up 31 by halftime against the Bills.
To put that in perspective, last year's Vikings scored at least 27 points in 13 of 16 regular-season games on their way to a 29.4 per-game average -- better than every team expect the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
This year's Vikings rank 27th in scoring at 18.9. But receiver Sidney Rice's apparent return to form added some much-needed explosion to the offense last week, factoring heavily in the runaway decision despite Favre's early shoulder injury and Harvin's absence because of ongoing migraine problems.
"We shouldn't be afraid to just put up 40 points on people," Shiancoe said. "Just like the Patriots do. Why not stomp somebody into the ground?"
No worse for wear
Until he saw the replay on the Metrodome's big screen, Rice didn't realize his second touchdown catch in Sunday's win ended with him -- and his surgically repaired hip -- in such an awkward position.
"I didn't feel any pain," said Rice, who crumpled in half as he bounced out of bounds after making the 6-yard grab in the side of the end zone.
"I seen on the replay how my leg came up all the way to my shoulder, and I was a little surprised. But I didn't feel no pain and it didn't bother me after the game. So, I was happy about that."
Rice's five catches for 105 yards and two scores more than doubled his totals in two previous games.
Asked if he feels like he's back to his 2009 Pro Bowl form, Rice said, "Not quite. I'm still not there. But I'm going to keep pushing and working hard every day in the training room and out here at practice, and hopefully, everything continues to progress."
The Vikings' resurgent pass rush pummeled Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, hitting him eight times against a depleted Bills offensive line.
Sunday will bring a greater challenge.
The Giants have allowed an NFL-low 12 sacks this season and rank second in sacks allowed per pass play, thanks to a mostly sturdy line, a potent run game that discourages opponents from blitzing and quick-release quarterback Eli Manning.
"You're running against a Super Bowl quarterback," Vikings left end Ray Edwards said. "They know how to get rid of the ball. They know how to read coverages. So, that's pretty much key on that. Hopefully, we can do a good job on the back end and get a great get-off with our home-field advantage and make things happen."
It worked on Jan. 3, when the Vikings sacked Manning three times and intercepted him once in a 44-7 blowout at the Metrodome. However, the 2009 Giants line allowed 32 sacks on the season, and the Vikings benefitted from playing most of that game ahead -- all of their sacks came after they'd staked a 17-point lead.
"Part of that is Eli getting the ball out and knowing the situation, where the blitz is coming from and making checks," linebacker Chad Greenway said. "But obviously, they're protecting the guy and doing the job."
• Giants coach Tom Coughlin acknowledged he brought up last year's blowout in a team meeting on Wednesday morning. "It's just a reminder of how poorly we played and how focused we have to be," Coughlin said in a conference call with Twin Cities reporters. "We are trying to make sure our concentration is the best it can be to start the week out."
• Favre said he watched a replay of the hit from Bills linebacker Arthur Moats that knocked him out of last week's game with a sprained SC joint near his throwing shoulder. "It was a pretty good hit, and I've taken some good ones," Favre said. "A lot of times, people don't realize it's the position you're in, and it caught me as I was throwing it. ... Some said, 'Well, it would have been better if you seen the guy coming.' I don't know. But it was a good hit. It was an awkward position I was in and the way I fell and the way he fell on top of me. That was one I had to see just to see what happened. It's impressive."
• Frazier said he's speaking with owner Zygi Wilf and other members of the Vikings' administration "a lot more" that he did before replacing coach Brad Childress on an interim basis Nov. 22. "We talk on a regular basis and communicate about the things that are going on with our team and what's going on from day-to-day," Frazier said. "A lot more communication, yes."
• Practice-squad WR Freddie Brown returned to practice after missing time last week with a personal issue.
• The Giants returned 300 tickets for Sunday's game. They can be purchased through Ticketmaster and www.ticketmaster.com