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Giants Set to Battle Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football

Eli Manning (

Eli Manning (


The New York Giants face a tough challenge as they walk into Minnesota to play the undefeated Vikings on Monday Night Football.

Coming off a tough divisional loss to the Washington Redskins, the Giants have to focus on playing one of the best teams in football after three weeks of the season. Even with the loss of star players Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson due to injury, the Vikings don’t seem to be having issues. The offense is clicking with newly acquired quarterback Sam Bradford and wide receiver Stefon Diggs is etching his name as one of the best wide receivers of the game statistically. Bradford was traded to the Vikings from the Eagles at the end of the preseason due to losing Bridgewater to a torn ACL and dislocated knee. Bradford is putting up decent numbers, throwing for 457 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions through two games with the Vikings. Diggs has 20 receptions for 325 yards and one touchdown through the first three games of the season.

“Tremendous player, up and coming player…,” said Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo of Diggs. “…he’s playing with a lot of confidence right now. We’re going to have to be aware of where he is on the field at all times. It’s a nice combination with him and [Kyle] Rudolph.”

The Giants secondary has been banged up coming out of last week’s game against the Redskins. Corners Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple are both out of Monday night’s game. The “next man up” mantra is going strong in practice this entire week.

“When you can trust and rely on guys on the edge there, that can get things done that you need in this league, it gives you a lot of versatility inside and makes everyone else better, so we will miss them,” said Giants Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo of Rodgers-Cromartie and Apple. “We need to get somebody else to step up in there and hopefully they can get healthy quick.”

However, while the Vikings offense is good, their defense is even better. Minnesota’s defense has been stifling against their opponents this season. Opponents against the Vikings defense have only score three touchdowns through the first three games of the season, also forcing five interceptions.

“They have a good defense,” said Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon. “They’ve been taking the ball away a lot these past few games. We have to step our game up and try and match them.”

The Giants offense needs to step up their game against the tough Vikings defense. The offensive statistics show that each core player are putting up the numbers necessary to win games. However, they failed to capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities.

“I think, obviously, we’re getting down there, we just have to find a way…” said Giants QB Eli Manning. “…the turnovers hurt, the penalties hurt. So we have to find ways to stay in a good rhythm and good down distance and not have negative plays.”

“We have to come out and execute our game plan,” said Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. “I don’t think we have to do anything out of the ordinary. I think we have to do the ordinary things extraordinarily well. We just have to come out, everything that we practice right now we have to do it above and beyond.”

The Giants skilled trio of wide receivers are showing that they can be a force to be reckoned with. The yardage is there, but the scoring has not showed up to its full potential.

“We haven’t had that game where we all click and everyone is playing and everyone is looking and everything looks good on all cylinders,” said wide receiver Victor Cruz. “I don’t think we have had that game just yet, but I think we are close, I think we are getting there…”

One of the key storylines out of last week’s matchup with the Redskins was the outburst that Beckham had on the sidelines. McAdoo has gone on record to say that Beckham needs to keep his emotions in check and “avoid being a distraction.”

“I’m in a great place right now mentally, physically and spiritually,” said Beckham. “There’s not really much that bothers me at all, to be honest. I’m going to go out and play football the only way I know how to play. Try my best to be the best teammate that I possivly can be.”

With Beckham’s emotions coming under scrutiny, an interesting Instagram post was made by Beckham. A video was posted with a side by side of Giants great Lawrence Taylor and Beckham himself showing their emotions on the sidelines and on the field. Regardless, the concentration this week is on Minnesota.

Not only are there key injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but also on the offensive side. Running back Rashad Jennings is a game time decision with an injured thumb. Jennings has shown the ability to burst through the trenches and sprint downfield. They have also lost Shane Vereen to a torn triceps and has been placed on injured reserve. Orleans Darkwa and Bobby Rainey are each expected to see a significant increase in snaps. Darkwa made his presence felt last week, running for 53 yards on ten attempts and a touchdown. Rainey caught one reception for 24 yards last week. Needless to say, the number of snaps between them will be effected by whether Jennings will even play this Monday.

Monday night will be crucial for the Giants. After losing last week, they fall to a tie for second place in the division with the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams are behind the surprising Philadelphia Eagles, with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz leading the team to victories with his impressive performance. Vikings are a tough challenge for the Giants, but the Giants have the offensive skill to put up dangerous stats on every defense in the league. With more game experience, the Giants high potential offense should be in full effect soon, possibly on Monday. Stay tuned, Giants fans.

Injury Report

Name Injury Status
Eli Apple (CB) Hamstring Doubtful
Nat Berhe (S) Concussion Out
Rashad Jennings (RB) Thumb Questionable
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (CB) Groin Questionable
Robert Thomas (DT) Illness Out
Darian Thompson (FS) Foot Out
Olivier Vernon (DE) Wrist Unknown

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General Editor and New York Giants Lead Writer.
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