On Sunday the Giants will face the Minnesota Vikings, who are competing for a playoff spot. Currently, their 9-5 record places them in the wildcard position, but they still have a chance to win the NFC North. At 6-8, the Giants only opportunity to make the playoffs is if they win the NFC East.
Assuming he is able to give it a go after injuring his ankle last weekend, the Giants will face Adrian Peterson and the rest of the Vikings offense. Peterson leads the league in rushing yards this season, but the Giants have had success against AP the past few times they have played the eventual hall of famer. He combined for 54 yards on 27 carries in his last two games against the Giants. Nonetheless, he is always a player that you must game plan against.
“Since I have been in this league, I don’t know how many times I’ve played him, maybe twice, I don’t know. He’s a good running back, he’s one of the best ever and we have to play him this week,” Jason Pierre-Paul said. “ We have to contain and play gap-sound. We have to do the job up front. We’ve got to play the run.”
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has made positive strides this season improving as a quarterback as well. He doesn’t always load the stat sheet, but he does what it takes to win games. The Giants defense will need to limit the scoring to a minimum, especially because the Giants will be without Odell Beckham jr. whose suspension was upheld on Wednesday. The Vikings have the seventh best pass defense to begin with, so it will be a challenge.
On the offensive side of the ball, unfortunately for the Giants, the Vikings defense is getting healthier, and both safety Harrison Smith and linebacker Anthony Barr were limited participants on Wednesday, which is an upgrade over the past few weeks. Without OBJ, guys like Rueben Randle, Hakeem Nicks, and Dwayne Harris will need to pick up some of the slack. Also, Shane Vereen could be utilized as a weapon out of the backfield. The past few weeks the Giants have been able to get their stagnant run game going. Against the Panthers, Rashad Jennings was the first running back on the Giants to break 100 yards in a game. In comparison, Adrian Peterson has six games over 100 yards, 5 of which were over 125 yards.
If the Giants can outrush the Vikings, it will definitely give them a chance for a game that they most likely need to win to remain in playoff contention. The game will be seen on Sunday Night Football.