It was a hard-fought battle, and the Giants came away with a breathtaking win, folks. We also got a taste of how game changing Kayvon Thibodeaux can be, too. Looking on to week 16, we have a Vikings team that came back from a historic deficit for a win and demonstrated how potent their offense can be. To the skeptics and the “realists” out there that are already looking to week 17; not so fast. Yes, there is a way that the G-Men can pull out the win. Is it by any means a “slam dunk”? Absolutely not, but the opportunity is there, and the coaches will find a way to maximize their chances. This is how I see it.
Whether people like it or not, Daniel Jones is not going to throw deep on a regular basis. It has nothing to do with lack of trust from coaches or inability to make the long throw. We have seen Jones make deep throws before and we have also seen him convert on 4th down (just last weekend on 4th and 9, actually). This staff has chosen to be a conservative, time of possession dominated offense. This is what you do when you lack playmakers on offense, especially when you play prolific offenses and/or defenses. This weekend against the Vikings will be no different.
When Daniel Jones has the ball, he will need to take what defenses give him and extend the drive as long as he can. This will take the right balance of run plays and quick play, 1 read passes. You will also see some mix of play action and RPO like we usually do but will need to establish stability in the trenches 1st before jumping to those. The hope with these tactics is the Giants should take away a lot of time off the clock and the Vikings offense seeing the field as little as possible. While this isn’t the recipe for “fun” football, it has been what has gotten the Giants this far as a potential playoff team. They cannot go fighting fire with fire when the other side has bigger weapons than they do. It is a recipe for a big fat “L”. Naturally if the Giants fall significantly behind, then you will see more deeper plays, but this is the scenario to avoid since they do not want to overexpose their undertalented receivers and lineman too much.
On defense, the Giants main goal is to stop the run at all costs. Yes, this is easier said than done given their poor track record of late, but it must happen. The Giants know they received a break from Washington when they prematurely abandoned the run. If they can get to obvious passing downs fast, then the next objective will be to get Kirk Cousins on his back, or at least make him as uncomfortable as possible. As strong as Cousins numbers are, he is still a very accident-prone Quarterback. Making Cousins sweat gives the Giants a chance to get either a key turnover or make him throw junk. If the Giants do not find a way to apply heavy pressure often, Cousins will give Justin Jefferson a chance to have one of his signature games against this tattered secondary.
To summarize, as long as the Giants minimize the time the Vikings offense sees the field and the defense keeps the ball grounded behind the line of scrimmage; we have a shot at seeing our team walk away with a “W”. It will not be easy by any means, but we have seen teams catch Minnesota sleeping, but simply didn’t finish the job. The Colts certainly blew the game more than the Vikings won it, and the very team the Giants defeated last week (Washington) took Minnesota to the limit while holding them to 20 points when they played. The Giants have what they need to pull the upset, and all they must do is execute it. They have done it more times than not this year despite playing better rosters, and they can do it again. They have 3 chances to secure their ticket to the dance, lets see them get it now rather than later. Let’s go Big Blue!