The Minnesota Vikings had to wait an extra day to get on the field, but it is finally gameday for the 1-4 Vikings, who get the opportunity to keep the 0-6 New York Giants winless tonight at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. The headline coming into this Monday Night Football match-up is Josh Freeman‘s first start at quarterback for the Vikings, but the one player who could come from nowhere at make a difference is rookie defensive linemen Sharrif Floyd.
It has become well known that the Giants’ offensive line has struggled mightily this season, and this will not only open the door for defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison to explode, but Floyd will as well as he will likely command just one blocker throughout the night. Allen and Robison have shown the ability to routinely get in opponents’ backfields, and in order to prevent this on Monday night, the Giants will likely double-team both, leaving the middle open for Floyd to rush the passer.
Although Floyd came into the league as more of a run stopper than pass rusher, he is ranked as the Vikings’ second-best pass rusher and second-worst run stopper according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). Monday night will be huge for Floyd however, as he will battle with David Diehl and backup center Jim Cordle, who PFF rank as two below-average offensive linemen.
This gives Floyd the chance to make some noise in the backfield and add to the 1.5 sacks he already has this season.
Everything is aligned for Floyd to have a breakout game tonight: the Giants will put the majority of their focus on stopping Allen and Robison, and with the Giants already having one of the worst offensive lines in the league, it will be tough for them to stop the big rookie from getting through the line and into the backfield.