Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants: 5 Bold Predictions
Vikings vs. Giants: 5 Bold Predictions
The Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants headline one of the least enticing Monday Night Football games of the season as the two teams have a combined 1-10 record, with the Giants being the team still looking for their first victory. The storyline heading into the game is Josh Freeman’s first start as a Viking, but the play of Eli Manning so far this season will have fans watching both quarterbacks closely.
The Giants are giving up more points than any other team in the league currently with opponents scoring an average of nearly 35 points against them per game, which is good news for a struggling and transitioning Vikings offense. Freeman will most likely show signs of being unfamiliar with the playbook, which could hurt the Vikings’ offense initially, but if the Giants continue to struggle tackling and covering receivers Freeman could be in for a memorable debut.
The Vikings’ offense will need all the help it can get on Monday as inconsistency has plagued the whole unit this year, with the most notable disappointments coming from the offensive line. While the right side of the offensive line, made up of Phil Loadholt and Brandon Fusco, has been exceptionally good this season, the left side which is made up of Matt Kalil and Charlie Johnson has been quite the opposite as both Kalil and Johnson are graded as below average players by Pro Football Focus(PFF), while Loadholt and Fusco are graded as the two best offensive players for the team.
The offensive line play on Monday night will be crucial as Adrian Peterson must flourish if the Vikings hope to win. If the Vikings are able to get Peterson running effectively early, that will alleviate the pressure on Freeman and lead to a solid performance from the offensive unit. Based on both the Giants' and Vikings’ previous games, some assumptions have been made, which has led to me making five bold predictions for the upcoming Monday Night Football match-up.
5. Eli Manning Will Be Sacked 5+ Times
The Carolina Panthers ravaged the Giants’ offensive line in Week 3 when they shutout the Giants 38-0 and sacked Manning a total of seven times. To date this has been the lowest moment of the Giants’ season, but considering Jared Allen, Brian Robison, and Everson Griffin will be rushing off the edge on Monday it could be another rough game for Manning. While the trio just mentioned has only 6.5 sacks this season, Allen and Robison have found themselves routinely putting pressure on the opposing quarterback, which will not only lead to more sacks this week against the weak Giants offensive line, but also to some ill-advised passes by the struggling Manning.
4. Giants Will Total 150+ Rushing Yards
Brandon Jacobs is an absolute beast, and coming off his first 100-yard rushing game of the year the Vikings better be ready for him. Jacobs is a bruiser who will be able to run over the smaller corners and safeties the Vikings have, and although he has a nagging hamstring injury, he already said it should barely be a factor come Monday night. Even if Jacobs only sees a limited amount of carries because of his injury, the Giants recently signed Peyton Hillis, who is another big-bodied back that can run over defenders quite easily.
3. Greg Jennings Will Lead Both Teams In Receiving Yards
Greg Jennings has remained one of the most underrated receivers in the league as he routinely picks up the majority of his yards after the catch and is always a threat in the red zone. Yes Jerome Simpson is leading the Vikings in both receptions and receiving yards, but Jennings has proven to have the better hands over time which is why he should have the most receiving yards for not only the Vikings, but the Giants as well.
2. Adrian Peterson Will Have His Best Game Of 2013
While Peterson is failing to live up to the hype he created when he predicted he would gain 2,500 rushing yards, he is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has five touchdowns in five games. Peterson has only rushed for over 100 yards twice this season, and his best game was a 140-yard, two-touchdown game that came in the Vikings’ lone victory. While the bar isn’t exceptionally high, Peterson must play well against a Giants defense that has struggled, so it’s definitely a doable task for the best running back in the league.
1. Josh Freeman Will Impress And Vikings Keep Giants Winless
Freeman will be making his first start in a Vikings jersey on Monday night, and the expectations from fans are high for the strong-armed quarterback. While Freeman won’t throw for 300+ yards and four scores, a reasonable and impressive performance would be over 200 yards passing with no turnovers and a Vikings victory. The play of Freeman won’t be the only determinant for a Vikings victory, but if he plays well and doesn’t give the ball away the chances of the Vikings emerging victorious only go up.