Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants Preview

How shall the beat the today? Let me count the ways.

If I had a smidgen of confidence in our offense, I might have hope that the Vikes could pull out a win today. But I don’t. If they want to have any chance at a wild card spot this season, the Vikings need to beat the Giants today. I just do not think they are capable of a victory over a Giants squad whose 7-3 record is far less impressive than it looks.

The Giants wins have come at the expense of such NFL powerhouses as , , the , , the , the and last week against the reeling . Their losses have been against good teams: Twice to the and once to the . And the Green Bay loss was during the second week of the season, when the Pack was not nearly as good as they are now.

If the Giants have proved anything this year, it’s that they can beat bad teams. Lucky for them, they face the Minnesota Vikings today.

The Giants Running Game

Will be nonexistent. With New York down to their third down back, , the Giants will not seriously commit to the run. They will beat the Vikings as everyone does, through the air.

The Giants Passing Game

New York tight end will eat up the Vikings D underneath today. They will take advantage of the Vikings’ Cover 2 deep defenders by challenging Minnesota’s linebackers to cover underneath, of which they haven’t proved capable.

With out, rookie corner will be challenged just as much as his fellow corner, Cedric Griffin. I expect the Giants will pick on Griffin–since everyone seems to do that–by matching him up against the 6’5" . That’s a match-up against which Griffin simply cannot physically succeed.

The Vikings Running Game

The only way the Vikings will have a chance is if they eat up the clock with long, run-dominated drives that end in scores. With apparently warming the bench today, that effort will be much harder. proved he could run for far more than 100 yards last week, but he’s still no Adrian Peterson.

If the Vikings offensive line and receivers run block as they have since the Chicago game, they certainly could execute a time-consuming, run-mostly strategy.

The Vikings "Passing" Game

When the Vikings are in passing situations, the Giants can be counted on to bring maximum pressure on Sidney Ri—um, .

What does it say about Tarvaris Jackson that our first passing play last week was thrown by our wide receiver, ? What does it say about Jackson that our longest pass play from scrimmage this year was thrown by our wide receiver, Sidney Rice? What does it say about Jackson that the first red zone pass by Jackson last week, from the three yard line, resulted in a drive killing interception?

With left tackle matched up against speed rusher and right tackle taking on and still having to account for middle linebacker , Jackson is nearly certain to have a defender all up in his grill on every passing play.

And he has yet to prove he can handle that pressure. What he has proved is that he’s indecisive and there’s no reason to believe he’ll anything other than indecisive as well today. That indecision will result in sacks or interceptions today.

A loss today means the effective end to the Vikings’ 2007 season. Sadly, we’ll be playing for picks from here on out.

2007 Minnesota Vikings Season Preview

The thing about this season is that the just have to get a little better than last year to win a lot more games. Consider the games the Vikings lost last year:

  • In September, the Vikings lost to the Bears, 16-19
  • In October, the Vikings lost to the Bills, 17-12
  • and to the Patriots, 7-31
  • In November, the Vikings lost to the 49ers, 9-3
  • to the Packers, 17-23
  • and to the Dolphins, 24-20
  • In December, the Vikings lost to the Bears again, 23-13
  • to the Jets, 13-26
  • again to the Packers, 9-7
  • and to the Rams, 21-41

The two games against the Packers and Bears each were winnable. The margins of victory for each of those four games were 3 points, 6 points, 10 points, and 2 points. The Vikings lost to the Bills by 5 points; to the 49ers by 6 points; and to the Dolphins by four point.

Instead of 6 and 10, they could have easily been 10 and 6 and division winners.

With the addition of , , and , I think the defense has gotten much stronger and much harder to pass against than last season.

But the defense, of course, wasn’t the problem last year. The offense was.

We improved on offense significantly with the addition of . I am officially a converted fan of , who has proven very adept at making yards after the catch. is a great addition if he can stay healthy. is a nice big target who has shown he’s got good hands, is not afraid to catch the ball in a crowd, is very athletic and has excellent body control. And if we can get to catch a few long bombs, we’ll at least have the semblance of a deep threat.

The offensive line returns with one year together playing the zone blocking scheme, so they’ve got to improve simply because they are more familiar with one another and with zone blocking.

The big question is . He looks very poised and by all accounts is a smart kid, a quick study, and a quick decision maker. The main thing for Jackson is to avoid mistakes, which is to say turnovers, while he learns the ropes.

The most glaring weakness of this team is the coverage units, which are absolutely horrible. I’m not too confident that they’ll improve that much.

Looking at the schedule, I think it’s reasonable to think that the Vikings could go 9-7 or even 10-6 this year. I’m giving the Vikings both games against the , even with . That team has to prove to me they can win, cause they’ve never done it before. I’d split the series as I would the series, though I think the Vikings could sweep them as well.

We should beat the Vickless to open the season. We play the , the , and the , all of which should be wins.

So that’s eight wins.

The are beatable with at QB. The are beatable. They’ve got a rookie coach and we don’t yet know whether is the real thing. The and the look as if they will be good, but they’re sorta at that stage where it’s too early to tell. Even the could be beatable because you never know if will be healthy.

Thee only guaranteed loss is to the .

Scouting – New York Giants News

Here are some links for you to read up on this week’s opponent, the New York Giants: