Giants vs. Vikings: Preview, Predictions, What to Watch

An inside look at Saturday’s Week 16 game between the Giants and Vikings.

marquee match

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook against Giants ILBs Jaylon Smith, Micah McFadden, and Landon Collins

Stopping the run was a Giants ploy all season. The statistic that best fits this team should be “non stop running”. This defense is 30th in the league, allowing 150.4 yards per game and showing an inability to contain any and all rushing attacks. The Vikings prefer to throw and are only 28th in the NFL in rushing offense at 95.4 yards per game. Don’t be fooled by that. The cook (230-1,045; eight mills) is a formidable challenge. The Giants’ inside linebacker spot is a mess, which is why Collins will get some snaps, and another natural safety, Tony Jefferson, will also be in the mix.

Jaylon Smith
USA Today Sports
Dalvin Cook #4 of the Minnesota Vikings runs with the ball in the fourth quarter of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at US Bank Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dalvin Cook
Stephen Maturin/Getty Images

Paul’s choice

When the Vikings roll, the knuckle jumps, and the crowd starts chanting “Skool,” this is a tough place to play for a road team. No wonder the Vikings are 7-1 at home this season. The Giants got what they needed last week, but lest we forget, they only managed 13 points on offense. That won’t cut it here. Forcing turnovers from Kirk Cousins ​​and Saquon Barkley into wild runs is the combination needed to pull off an upset.

Vikings 27, Giants 17

4 landing

Popgun attack: The Giants are last in the league in explosive pass plays — completions of 20 yards or more — with only 21 yards. For comparison, the Chiefs NFL leads with 62. The Vikings are tied for 13th with 43. Are the Giants not asking Daniel Jones to look deep or are his receivers powerless to break?

“Every game is very different as far as you want to attack the defense,” said Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka. “Some games want to do that, and some games want to do something else.”

On the flip side, Jones has fewer interceptions (four) than any starting quarterback. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​has 11.

Tale of the two halves: There’s no way to know how the Vikings will respond after the Week 15 tryout. They put up the biggest comeback in NFL history, trailing 33-0 to the Colts at halftime and storming back to claim a 39-36 overtime victory. Did this deplete or revitalize the Vikings?

“A very strange situation,” said Julian Love. “It goes to show how resilient they are because Kirk Cousins ​​has been a part of a few of them. It shows you can’t let go of them, they have too many guns for you to have. We have to be locked in.”

inside out: Rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux and sophomore Aziz Oljulari are a pair of 22-year-old outside linebackers and rookie rushers. They received well-deserved commendations for their work last month. They are supported by the play Home Linemen Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams. It’s no coincidence that Lawrence had a quiet game in Week 14 against the Eagles when Williams was knocked out with a neck injury.

“If Leo isn’t around, there’s four hands dealing with Deeks all the time,” said Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale. This week, Lawrence was selected to his first Pro Bowl. It is noteworthy that the Vikings will miss their starting heart, Garrett Bradbury, due to a back problem.

Imprisoned: Saquon Barkley had longer runs and more productive outings, but his three consecutive rushes in the fourth quarter last week — bursts of 12, 15, and 14 yards — were a show of strength not seen much this season from Barkley and the offensive line. .

“You, as they say, get in your bag,” Barclay said. “It means you get into your zone. You start to feel good. Obviously, you tear up the first and you get into the second, the third. For me, I just want to know how I can get four, five, six.”

The return of Ben Bredison at left guard made a difference. The Vikings are 18th in the league in run defense, while allowing 120.4 yards per game. The Giants are sixth in rushing offense at 146.2 yards per game.

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