The Minnesota Vikings are on the road in New York for a showdown against the Giants on Monday Night Football.
The Vikings surprised many last season by making the playoffs with a 10-6 record, and the Giants have won the Super Bowl twice in the last six years. This was supposed to be a matchup against potential NFC playoff contenders, but to this point on the season, the two teams have combined to win just one game.
That doesn't mean the game doesn't deserve your attention, however.
Minnesota recently signed Josh Freeman, who was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even though Christian Ponder is healthy, Freeman will be starting his first game for the Vikings this Monday night, as noted by Ben Goessling of ESPN:
Josh Freeman will start Monday vs. Giants, Frazier says. #Vikings— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) October 16, 2013
Though Freeman struggled late last season and early this year, he's shown the ability to make big-time plays during his tenure with Tampa Bay. If he can spark Minnesota's passing game, then Adrian Peterson will suddenly find running between the tackles much easier without eight defenders in the box.
For the Giants, an 0-6 start seems insurmountable, but this team is still just three games behind Philadelphia and Dallas for the NFC East lead. As bad as New York has played thus far, a sudden turnaround could make things interesting in the division.
When: Monday, Oct. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 46.5 pts.
- Spread: New York (-3.5)
Vikings Injury Report (via Vikings.com)
|Walsh, Blair||K||Left Hamstring||DNP||-||-||-|
Giants Injury Report (via Giants.com)
|RB David Wilson||Neck||DNP||DNP||-||Out|
|CB Corey Webster||Groin||LP||DNP||-||-|
|DE Jason Pierre-Paul||Illness||FP||DNP||-||-|
|C David Baas||Neck||LP||LP||-||-|
|CB Jayron Hosley||Hamstring||LP||LP||-||-|
|RB Brandon Jacobs||Hamstring||LP||LP||-||-|
|TE Adrien Robinson||Foot||LP||LP||-||-|
|S Cooper Taylor||Shoulder||LP||LP||-||-|
|CB Terrell Thomas||Knee||DNP||LP||-||-|
Can Brandon Jacobs Continue Turning Back the Clock?
Eli Manning has long been the main source of offense for the Giants, but this year he's hurt his team more than he's helped it, throwing nine touchdowns and a staggering 15 interceptions.
David Wilson and Andre Brown were expected to be the main weapons for New York's running game this year, but both are out with injuries.
Veteran Brandon Jacobs was signed as the team desperately looked for an answer, and he came through with a huge game last weekend against the Chicago Bears. Rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns, Jacobs nearly carried the Giants to the first win of the season.
The Vikings haven't been sharp defending the run this season, allowing 110 yards per game and six rushing touchdowns. If Jacobs can produce numbers similar to what he put up last weekend, then the Giants will have a good chance to control the clock and win the game.
The Vikings aren't the only team in this game that features a porous run defense. New York ranks No. 26 in the league against the run, allowing 126.3 yards and a touchdown per game.
Peterson should get a heavy workload as the Vikings work Freeman into the mix on offense, and he'll have a huge game against this ineffective Giants defense.
Which team will win?
Unless Freeman explodes with a huge game from behind center, the Vikings don't have the firepower to keep up on offense.
Giants win, 27-24
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