After yet another emotional victory against the Colts, the Minnesota Vikings look to retain the second seed in the NFC as they face the New York Giants at home. While generally lacking star talent, Giants head coach Brian Daboll has turned the team around, making them a force to be reckoned with in the NFC. Minnesota needs to make a statement against a team that they could very well meet in the first round of the playoffs.
During the second half of the Indianapolis game, the Vikings showed how they can be Super Bowl contenders. The stars, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and Kirk Cousins, each looked to be at their best, and an incredible performance by wide receiver KJ Osborn made the Vikings offense unstoppable, even against an above average defense. Cook and Jefferson should thrive once again, given that the Giants have one of the worst rush defenses in the league as well as a depleted secondary. Defensively, Minnesota appeared to have found their groove last game, blitzing far more often and consistently keeping Indianapolis out of the endzone. If the Vikings can continue to stop the run and make plays on third down, they will be able to shut down the Giants offense.
However, Saquon Barkley is an extremely talented running back that can take any carry to the house. This game will be determined by how often the Vikings defense allows him to make plays, and by how often the Giants pass rush is able to get to Kirk Cousins. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence is having a career year and will absolutely feast on a weak Vikings interior offensive line. Rookie edge-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux has also found a rhythm over the last few weeks and will be a strong opponent for star tackle Christian Darrisaw.
Ultimately, by getting the running game going early and continuing to implement more blitzing and man coverage into the defensive scheme, the Vikings will take this game and improve to an impressive 12-3. Kevin O’Connell, or Harry Styles, as Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale calls him, will lead Minnesota to a 27-16 victory.