NY Giants (2-1) at Minnesota (3-0)
When: Monday, October 3rd 2016
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
The banged-up New York Giants will travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football to end the Week 4 schedule. New York has been involved in three close games already this season, taking two of them against Dallas and New Orleans before dropping last week’s game against Washington. Injuries are a concern for the Giants who could be without their top two running backs Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen. Jennings was a limited participant in Friday’s practice, so the bulk of the carries Monday could go to Orleans Darkwa and Bobby Rainey. Darkwa rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries last week. Quarterback Eli Manning threw for 350 yards last week, but was picked off twice in the loss to the Redskins. New York owns the second-ranked total offense (396.7 yards/game) and the second-ranked passing attack (297.7). The Giants have multiple injuries in the secondary and gave up 296 yards through the air last week, but are pretty stingy against the run (77.3 yards/game).
Minnesota’s season seemed doomed before it started when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down with a season-ending injury, but they brought in Sam Bradford and he’s filled in admirably. Bradford, who sat out the season opener following his acquisition from Philadelphia, has thrown for 459 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in his two starts. It’s the Vikings’ defense who has everyone talking Super Bowl. They are only allowing 13.3 points a game after last week’s impressive 22-10 road victory over Cam Newton and the Panthers. They have allowed only 13 points in the second half, helping to overcome 10-point deficits at Tennessee and Carolina. DE Everson Griffen was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording three sacks against Carolina. Minnesota has lost six in a row on Monday Night Football, but this will be their first MNF game at the new U.S. Bank Stadium.
On paper, it looks as if the Vikings should have no problem tonight. You could say that with a lot of games this year including yesterday’s Rams win over Arizona. New York still has enough fire-power on offense to keep up with their deficiencies on defense. I expect a spirited effort from the Giants defensive line and Eli will keep the game close.
Pick: Giants +4.5