In the New York Giants‘ first matchup with the Vikings in Week 16 of the regular season, two players, in particular, gave Minnesota the edge. The Vikings were led by offensive playmakers Justin Jefferson and TJ Hockenson to the victory over the Giants on Christmas Eve. As the Giants prepare the Vikings again in the Wild Card Round, they will need to find ways to limit Jefferson and Hockenson to secure the victory.
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Limiting Jefferson and Hockenson is a priority for the New York Giants:
Justin Jefferson was unanimously voted a first-team All-Pro after a historic 2022 regular season. At just 23 years old, Jefferson became the youngest player in NFL history to lead the league in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809). Jefferson also added eight touchdowns to his stat sheet, including one against the Giants late in the fourth quarter of their Week 16 thriller.
Justin Jefferson could not be contained in that first go-around with Big Blue, piling up 133 yards and one touchdown on 12 receptions. The Giants were without starting cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, leaving them severely mismatched against the Vikings’ superstar receiver. Jackson is active for this Sunday, however, giving the Giants a much greater chance of slowing down the league’s leading receiver.
Jefferson was not the only Vikings playmaker to get the best of the Giants’ decimated secondary in Week 16. Tight end T.J. Hockenson was virtually unguardable, totaling 13 receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns against Big Blue.
“Hockenson killed us,” head coach Brian Daboll said while previewing this Sunday’s playoff game. The Giants understand the importance of slowing down the Vikings’ tight end, which safety Xavier McKinney describes as “one of the best tight ends in the league.”
Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson combine to create a deadly duo for the Vikings’ passing attack. The Giants were missing players in the secondary during the last matchup between these two teams. But now that the Giants are at full strength, they have a much better chance of slowing down Jefferson and Hockenson in an effort to win their first playoff game in six years.