Minnesota Vikings vs. Giants: Scouting Report

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Vikings play the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. To best be prepared for this match up, see how all the position groups match up.

Last time the Giants came to town, the Minnesota Vikings took care of business with a 49-17 crushing led by a turnover-happy defense. This year, both teams look different, and the results may turn out differently. By breaking down each individual match up, the results of Monday Night Football may become more clear.

Vikings offensive line vs. Giants defensive line

Despite retooling their defensive line, the Giants are at the very bottom of the league in sacks (4). Yet, the same could be said about the Vikings’ offensive line. After adding Alex Boone and Andre Smith, the Minnesota Vikings still struggle to protect the quarterback and open up holes for the backfield.

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Damon “Snacks” Harrison and company have been quite stout in the running game. They rank third in the league, only giving up 232 rushing yards this season. Meanwhile, the Vikings haven’t had any success running the ball this season.

Edge: Giants

Vikings receivers vs. Giants secondary

The Minnesota Vikings passing offense and the Giants passing defense have been virtually identical. While Vikings have 643 yards and three touchdowns, the Giants have given up 787 passing yards and three touchdowns. Since the numbers are so close, it is better to look at the individual match ups.

Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen are set to have big games as the Giants have been giving up the most yards and receptions to inside receivers and tight ends over the first three games. Whether they have shown slowness or inexperience, the Giants’ slot corner and linebackers haven’t had much success.

Although the Giants’ secondary has been playing well, they are banged up heading into Minnesota. Starting corner back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC), nickle Eli Apple and two of their safeties are all injured. Only two safeties will be on the their depth chart, so they have no room for injury or fatigue. DRC is listed as questionable and Apple is doubtful. With Stefon Diggs, Rudolph and Thielen playing at their peaks, it will be hard for the Giants’ banged-up secondary to keep up.

Edge: Vikings

Vikings rushing attack vs. Giants front seven

As previously stated, the Giants have only given up 232 rushing yards. The Minnesota Vikings offense is last in the league with only 153 yards on the ground. With Alex Boone listed as questionable and Matt Kalil on IR, it will be hard to get a good push up front. It’s simple, folks.

Edge: Giants

Sam Bradford vs. Eli Manning

Although quarterbacks don’t directly face each other, their efficiency and impact affect each other’s game. Eli Manning has 925 yards, four touchdowns, three interceptions, 8.6 yards per attempt and a rating of 98.1

Sam Bradford is third in the league with a passer rating of 107.8. In one less game than Manning, Bradford has three touchdowns, no picks, 7.7 yards per attempt and 457 yards.

Manning has played three bottom-12 passing defense teams, and Bradford has played two top-16 teams. Since Manning will be playing the league’s second-best passing defense with an underwhelming 2016 performance so far, Bradford appears to have the edge due to his efficiency.

Edge: Sam Bradford

Special Teams

In kicking, the Giants have done better this year. Blair Walsh has only hit 77.8 percent on field goals and a dismal 60 percent on extra points. Meanwhile, Josh Brown has hit 83.3 percent on field goals and 85.7 percent on extra points.

Jeff Locke has pinned opponents inside the 20 nine times this season–Brad Wing hasn’t done so yet, and he has given his opponents touch backs three times.

Cordarrelle Patterson leads the league in kickoff return average with 30.2 yards per return. The Giants are ranked 30th with 15.8. Marcus Sherels is one of four players in the league with a punt return touchdown and he averages 15.4 yards per return. The Giants average 13.3 yards.

Edge: Vikings

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Giants offensive line vs. Vikings defensive line

The Giants starting right tackle, Marshall Newhouse is injured. The Vikings lead the league (through week three) with 15 sacks. Better than only the Vikings, the Giants have only gained 297 yards on the ground–the Minnestoa Vikings have only allowed 252.

Eli Manning’s preference is to hold the ball and throw it down field. With a league-leading defensive line going against a banged-up offensive line, the Minnesota Vikings will likely reach the quarterback.

Edge: Vikings

Giants receivers vs. Vikings secondary

Big names like Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and rising star Sterling Shepard intimidate most teams. Xavier Rhodes, Terrance Newman, Trae Waynes and Captain Munnerlyn aren’t exactly household names. However, as a unit, this Vikings passing defense, with help over top from Harrison Smith, has been a scary force.

With a plus eight turnover difference including five interceptions, it will be hard for the three speedy wide outs to have an impact on the Vikings’ physical secondary. To make matters worse for Big Blue, the Vikings also have two linebackers who are excellent in coverage in Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr.

Beckham Jr. hasn’t scored a touchdown yet, and the Minnesota Vikings held both Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess to zero catches last week.

Edge: Vikings

Giants rushing attack vs. Vikings front seven

One banged-up offensive line, plus one injured running back, plus one injured scat back equals a one tough time in Minnesota. Even if the Giants manage to get past the line, Kendricks, Barr and Smith have no mercy. This match up shouldn’t be close.

Edge: Vikings

Next: Antoine Winfield Makes All-Decade Team

Out of eight categories, the Minnesota Vikings reign victorious with six areas of advantage. However, the paper doesn’t determine the outcome of the game. The Vikings will need to take care of the ball and take care of Odell Beckham Jr. if they want to come out with a W on Monday Night Football.