Giants (2-1) vs Vikings (3-0)
week the Vikings traveled to Carolina and they were down 10-2 at the end of the
first quarter. The Panthers had won their last 14 home games, but the Vikings
did not allow any more points to be scored in that game. The Vikings now own a
3-0 record after defeating the Carolina Panthers 22-10.
The Giants were off
to a good start this season after winning their first two games. Last week they
did themselves in with turnovers and penalties, and by giving up big plays to
the Redskins. The end result was a 29-27 home loss to the Washington Redskins.
- Redskins Wrap-Up
The Vikings won the NFC
North Division Championship last year. They had to beat the Giants and then Green
Bay in the final season game for that to happen. Defensive specialist Mike Zimmer
was brought in to be the head coach in 2014 after the Vikings had given up more
points than any other team in the NFL. He signed up George Edwards to be his defensive
coordinator, and the Vikings improved dramatically in both points and yards allowed.
Improvement basically continued on through 2015 to where they were the 5th best
defense in the league in the points allowed category, and have moved to 3rd place
in 2016. Their efforts in that area were noted above in how they stopped the Panthers
As far as the offense under Zimmer, it's not all good. He brought
in Norv Turner from the start to be the offensive coordinator. Even though the
rushing attack has been solid, the passing game still needs help, and they finished
next to last in the league in that area. Zimmer never sits still and aside from
having Turner, who was a former head coach, this year he's brought in coaches
Tony Sparano - offensive line, and Pat Shurmur - tight ends. Zimmer now has three
former head coaches handling his offense. If that doesn't work out, you might
see Tom Coughlin as their wide receivers coach next year.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was
doing the job until he suffered a major knee injury in a preseason game. Backup
Shaun Hill (36 years old, 15th NFL season) was in for the first game, and Sam
Bradford, traded over from the Eagles just 15 days earlier, took over for the
first game in their brand new stadium. It was on a Sunday night in primetime against
Green Bay and Bradford's 'audition' went very well for him and the team in a 17-14
win. Bradford had a lot on his shoulders with running back Adrian Peterson suffering
a right knee injury during the game. They ended up with only 30 total running
yards in all, but Bradford brought it home with 286 yards and two touchdowns,
making good use of wide receiver Stefon Diggs who was named NFC Offensive Player
of the Week.
Last week, with Peterson on injured reserve, they netted 58 total
yards running. Bradford threw for 171 yards and one touchdown last week in that
22-10 win, so now he's overall three touchdowns with no interceptions while completing
67.8 percent of his passes. Bradford's done well after being thrust into the lead
role on such short notice. It might help that Pat Shurmur, the Vikings tight ends
coach, was Bradford's offensive coordinator all last season with the Eagles. As
you might guess from what you've been reading, the Vikings run game ranks 32nd
in the NFL with 51 net rushing yards per game, They had ranked fourth in 2015
and currently this is their biggest area of concern.
This defense did a real job on
the reigning NFC Champion Carolina Panthers last week, hitting Cam Newton with
eight sacks, three interceptions and 22 unanswered points. The unit has stayed
relatively healthy except for tackle Sharrif Floyd who tends to have problems
staying on the field. His replacement, Shamar Stephen, has done well stopping
the run as well as Linval Joseph, who used to play for the Giants. Joseph also
has notched a sack in each one of the first three games. Defensive end Everson
Griffen has four and defensive end Danielle Hunte has three.
Overall the Vikings
lead the NFL in sacks with 15, and takeaways
having 9 and as pointed out earlier, they rank third in points allowed at 13.3
a game. Last week the Giants offensive line
held up with Bobby Hart filling in at right tackle, and even after the ejection
of center Weston Richburg. Manning for the most part had plenty of time to get
rid of the ball. He said something earlier in the week 'sometimes turnovers occur
(when) you're being aggressive and giving guys shots'. He'll have to play smarter
this time out with this group coming at him.
If Eli Manning and his group of
talented receivers can beat the Vikings secondary, that's where this game will
be won. Even though his completion percentage is 71 percent, he's thrown only
4 touchdowns and had 3 interceptions. Last year he threw 35 touchdowns and only
14 interceptions. Manning is messing up, and he really has to figure that out.
It's either miscommunication, or if it's some "big-brother thought' to include
everyone on the worry they would feel neglected, wait until the game is well in
They took a big hit in the running game last week losing Shane Vereen
during the game. Rashad Jennings was already out with an injury to his wrist and
thumb. Orleans Darkwa came in and did well overall, running the ball 10 times
for 53 yards and catching one pass for 9 yards. Darkwa could be the go to guy
this week although Jennings feels he could be back, but with fumbles being a problem
area they might prefer a running back with no worrisome injuries.
The Giants rank fifth in the NFL
in rushing yards allowed (77.3 per game) and they're catching the Vikings in the
mist of a crisis in that area. Even with Adrian Peterson, their run numbers were
not that good and some of that is on their offensive line. Still it will be hard
to convince Jerick McKinnon, who last year against the Giants had seven carries
for 89 yards, and a career-high two touchdown game. The Giants have seen Sam Bradford
before and know what to expect from him. He's a careful game manager.
he's beaten the Giants twice when he was with the Eagles last season, Bradford's
numbers were not that good, with 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
The makeup of this defense will look a bit different to him, but he does catch
a break here, as cornerbacks Eli Apple (hamstring) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
(groin) are questionable for this game. If they do play, you have to wonder how
effective and how long will they be able to last. Safeties Nat Berhe and Darian
Thompson are in that same boat. Safety Landon
Collins blew a play last Sunday that led to a long touchdown that Rodgers-Cromartie
was almost able to prevent. He'll have to play smarter.
The Giants had lost six games after being tied
or in the lead in the fourth quarter when these
two teams faced each other in the next to last game of the 2015 season. The Giants
would have gladly taken one of those losses, as the game wasn't even close. Odell
Beckham Jr. was serving out his one game suspension, and Eli Manning threw three
interceptions while searching for available targets.
The Giants lost to the
Vikings 49-17, but this time Manning has two receivers who were not there for
that game, Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard. Also, Odell Beckham Jr. will have
a chance to make up for his missed opportunity. Will that be enough? It certainly
helps, but after seeing how Ben McAdoo wasn't able to maintain control of his
team last week, and how Eli Manning has been so mistake prone of late, it's hard
to believe they could beat a well coached team like the Vikings right now.
TeamGiants on Twitter.
Sunday at 1:00pm Browns (0-3)
at Redskins (1-2)
Sunday at 4:25pm Cowboys (2-1) at 49ers (1-2)
8:30pm Giants (2-1) at Vikings (3-0)
The Cowboys and Redskins are the NFC
East teams favored to win in these games.
On The Air. Listen to the Radio Broadcasts.
DVDs and Posters.
Odell Beckham Jr. will play in Minnesota for the first time.
Eli Manning, in seven games against the Vikings, has thrown 5 touchdowns and 14
Giants road game vs. the
Vikings in 2010 was in Detroit after the Metrodome roof collapsed in a snowstorm.
defensive tackle Linval Joseph played for the Giants from 2010-2013.
defense and special teams have put up 3 of the Vikings 6 touchdowns (plus a safety).
Sam Bradford played the Giants twice last year with the Eagles and he won in both
Vikings will play in their first
Monday night home game since Oct. 5, 2009 against Green Bay.
have had seven consecutive losses on Monday
Night Football since Dec. 28, 2009.
On The Air. Listen to the Radio Broadcasts.
DVDs and Posters.
TeamGiants on Twitter.
Oct 9 - Giants at Green Bay.
Oct 16 - Ravens at Giants.
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