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Giants-Vikings first look: Minnesota defense presents a challenge

How do Giants and Vikings match up?

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings meet Sunday at MetLife Stadium in what looks like it could be a critical contest for both teams in terms of how their 2019 seasons play out.

Both teams are 2-2, and the visiting Vikings are a 5-point favorite.

The Giants have won two straight. A victory would mark their longest winning streak since they won six straight in 2016, and would put them above .500 for the first time since that season. The Giants enter the game tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for second place in the NFC East.

The Vikings are looking to stay relevant in the competitive NFC North, where the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are 3-1, and the upstart Detroit Lions are 2-1-1.

The Vikings enter the game with veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins having passed for more than 200 yards only once this season.

Minnesota has attempted fewer passes (99) than any team in the league, but the Vikings are third in the league with 621 rushing yards and fourth with an average of 5.2 yards per rushing attempt.

Dalvin Cook (410) is one yard behind Christian McCaffrey for the league lead in rushing yards and fifth in the league in yards per rushing attempt at 5.8.

Minnesota’s defense promises to provide the stiffest test rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has faced in his brief NFL career. The Vikings are fifth in the league in points allowed and sixth in yards allowed.

Minnesota’s formidable defensive line has a combined six Pro Bowl appearances. Everson Griffen has three, ex-Giant Linval Joseph two and Danielle Hunter one. Add four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr, two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Rhodes and four-time Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith and its a star-studded Vikings defense.

The Giants do get wide receiver Golden Tate back this week as he has been added to the active roster with his four-game PED suspension over.

Keep it here all week as we give you all of the news and analysis you need to get ready for Sunday’s game.

How they match up

More numbers to know

4,048 — That’s how many yard after catch Golden Tate has since he entered the league in 2010 — most in the NFL.

561 — Daniel Jones’ 561 passing yards in his first two starts are the most in a quarterback’s first two starts in Giants history.

176 — That’s how many yards the Giants held the Washington Redskins to on Sunday. That’s the fewest yards allowed by the Giants since Dec. 13, 2010, when the Vikings gained only 164.

20.31Evan Engram’s top speed on his 31-yard catch-and-run Sunday. Engram now has the top three recorded speeds tracked for a tight end this season.

3 — The Giants have not won at least three straight games since winning six in a row in Week 12 of the 2016 season, They seek their third straight win on Sunday.

29Engram has caught at least one pass in 29 straight games.

-5 — With 10 turnovers and only five takeaways, that is the Giants’ takeaway/giveaway total. Only the Miami Dolphins (-7) are worse. No team in the league has turned the ball over more than the Giants, who have thrown four interceptions and lost six fumbles.