In a game that ESPN thought would look a lot better when they scheduled it, the 0-6 Giants host the 1-4 Vikings with both teams flailing at this point. Both of these teams have their share of talent but they have not been able to get it going in the same direction and two teams expected to compete for the playoffs have found themselves at the bottom of their respective divisions with the only good news being that one of these teams has to win this game (unless they die).
The Vikings have some talented pieces in place but are in search of a quarterback and Josh Freeman has been given the nod to start this week and begin his audition for the starting job long term. There is a ton of talent on the Vikings, but their offense has been short circuited by inconsistency and mediocre play under center. It took an incredible season from Adrian Peterson to carry them into the playoffs last year and while he is still a terrific running back, it was too much to ask him to do it by himself again. The Vikings are also trying to develop some young players including their three first round picks in Cordarrelle Patterson, Xavier Rhodes, and Sharrif Floyd.
For the Giants, they have a combination of miserable offensive line play coupled with some big injuries like the loss of guard Chris Snee for the season and a running game that ranks 30th in the NFL. Both have been at least partly responsible for Eli Manning having so much trouble this year which has been highlighted by his 15 interceptions.
Their defense has not been doing them many favors either and while turnovers and trouble on offense has put them in bad spots, their defense ranks 20th in passing and 26th in rushing. With all the talent they have up front, the team has only been able to get 5 sacks as a team and the entire defense has only caused 7 turnovers.
With so many negative statistics on both sides of this game, something has got to give. If the Giants come out poorly, their fans may be tougher on them than the Vikings and if the defense brings the same effort it has been, the Vikings offensive line and Adrian Peterson may simply run over them. For as ugly as the Vikings record is, they have been competitive in all but one game while the Giants may already be looking ahead to next season. A combination of pride and primetime may collide and get the Giants to go out and defend their home turf and Manning could come out of his funk and have a huge game.
New York Giants -3.5
Over/Under – 47
Prediction : Minnesota Vikings win in the trenches and win the game.