The New York Giants’ Defense Will Have Its Hands Full Against Minnesota

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers
Sep 29, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers (21) celebrates with fans after running back an interception for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are on a two-game win streak and are looking to make it three today against the Minnesota Vikings. New York sits with a 2-2 record. If the Giants win today, they will have their first winning record since 2016. It is a crucial game for the Giants.

But this will be no easy matchup for the Gmen. The Minnesota Vikings have been struggling this season, but their offense has enough talent to create some trouble for the Giants’ defense.

The Vikings’ Strong Running Game

The Vikings have been dependant on their running game so far this season. Third-year running back Dalvin Cook is having a breakout season and keeping the Vikings’ offense together. Dalvin has received 20 or more touches in each of the Vikings’ first four games this season.

Through these first four weeks, Cook has accumulated 410 rushing yards, good for second-best in the league. Dalvin is also leading the league with 5 rushing touchdowns so far.

The Giants will have a tough time matching up against the Vikings’ run game today. They are incredibly thin at linebacker after losing Ryan Connelly, Alec Ogletree, and Tae Davis to injury. The Giants will start David Mayo at linebacker. He had a solid performance in week four, but the Giants will need him to build on that in order to defend Dalvin Cook.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, Dalvin Cook’s dominance has not led to many wins. The Vikings are 2-2, just like the Giants. This is obviously not Cook’s fault. The Vikings’ passing attack is to blame for their even record.

The Struggling Passing Game Ready To Break Out

The Minnesota Vikings are 2-2. They can thank Dalvin Cook for those two wins, but could also blame Kirk Cousins for those two losses, as many fans have. Fans have given Kirk criticism for missing open receivers:

This had led to a lot of frustration within the Vikings’ locker room. This frustration has leaked out to the public. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has been open with his frustration via social media and the Vikings’ other primary receiver, Adam Thielen, expressed his frustration in an interview.

Thielen criticized the Vikings for being “one-dimensional” on offense. The Vikings’ offensive struggles have been surprising because Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs were one of the league’s best wide receiver duos in the NFL last year, combining for 2,394 yards and 18 touchdowns. So far, however, the Vikings’ receivers have not lived up to expectations.

Many expect this to change in week five against the Giants. The Vikings are expected to open up their offense and try to get Thielen and Diggs heavily involved in order to fix their offensive inconsistency. The Giants’ defense is a favorable matchup for Minnesota’s offense.

The Giants’ defense allowed their opponents to have huge offensive performances in each of the first three games of the season. New York allowed the Cowboys to gain 405 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air, then allowed Josh Allen to throw for 237, and then allowed Jameis Winston to toss an impressive 355 and 3 touchdowns. The Vikings are aware of this and will look to be the next offense with a breakout game against the Giants.

Fortunately for New York, their defense stepped up big in week four. The Giants allowed the Redskins to gain only 121 yards through the air. The Giants also forced the Redskins to throw 4 total interceptions. In week five, it will be interesting to see which side prevails: the improving Giants’ defense, or the struggling Vikings’ offense.

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