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Giants vs. Vikings, Week 5: Big Blue View staff picks

How do our writers see this one unfolding?

NFL: SEP 15 Bills at Giants Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Can the New York Giants win a third straight game on Sunday when they face the Minnesota Vikings? Here is how your Big Blue View contributors see this one playing out.

Chris Pflum

Daniel Jones is about to get the toughest test of his young career. Minnesota not only has one of the NFL’s great defensive minds as its head coach, but one of the most well-rounded and complete defenses in the NFL. The Vikings have one of the league’s best nose tackles in Linval Joseph, two dangerous pass rushers, athletic, rangy linebackers, a shut-down corner in Xavier Rhoads, and one of the best safeties in the league in Harrison Smith.

The Giants will be getting Golden Tate back from suspension, and they will have a slight advantage in there being precisely no tape on him in the Giants’ passing attack along with Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. But the Giants are still facing some tough sledding on offense.

They’ll have to be wary on defense as well. The Vikings have fielded one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL, but the Giants simply can not afford to take them for granted. If they let Kirk Cousins stay on schedule, allow Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen room to work, and don’t lock down Kyle Rudolph, things could snowball quickly. Of course there’s also Dalvin Cook who has averaged 5.8 yards per carry on his way to being second in the NFL in rushing, despite seeing stacked boxes on nearly a third of his carries. Stopping him will be the Giants’ first priority, but they can’t allow a “get healthy” game for Minnesota’s passing offense.

The Giants have the potential to hold Minnesota’s offense in check, but they’re going to have to play sound football. If the Giants can do that, this becomes a defensive struggle where the team which makes one more play will be the one which comes out on top.

Considering how young the Giants are across the board, I don’t know that that team will be New York.

Pick: Vikings 24, Giants 20
Season record: 3-1

Patricia Traina

It’s about to get real for Daniel Jones and the Giants offense.

This is a VERY good Minnesota front that does a lot of things well from front to back. Up front, the Vikings’ foursome of Everson Griffen, old friend Linval Joseph, Shamar Stephens and Danielle Hunter have combined for eight of Minnesota’s 11 sacks this year.

This unit will be a strong test for a Giants offensive line whose left tackle, Nate Solder has been a bit up and down, and whose right guard, Kevin Zeitler, is trying to play through a sore shoulder that has landed him on the injury report.

On the back end, that Vikings defensive secondary is pretty solid as well. The Minnesota pass defense is ranked ninth in the NFL, allowing just 218.5 yards in the air per game as part of a unit that has allowed opponents to score 15.8 points per game.

Although the Vikings have Kirk Cousins at quarterback, there are a few other reasons to have reservations about, starting with running back Dalvin Cook facing an injury-depleted Giants linebacker corps. And speaking of the depleted Giants depleted linebackers, anyone else concerned about tight ends Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. having big days?

The bottom line is this matchup, on paper at least, too heavily favors the Vikings.

Pick: Vikings 27, Giants 21
Season record: 2-1

Joe DeLeone

Daniel Jones was blessed with two porous defenses in his first career starts. Now he’ll be truly tested against one of the best defenses in the NFL.

The Kirk Cousins led offense for the Vikings has struggled immensely to move the ball through the air. This weekend might be their best opportunity to get back in rhythm based on how weak the Giants secondary was through the first three weeks.

Realistically looking at this game, the Vikings will probably not light up the box score. That will not matter much because of the tall task ahead of Daniel Jones and offense.

Pick: Vikings 20, Giants 13
Season record: 3-1

Mark Schofield

This is a very interesting game to consider. Tensions seem high in Minnesota right now, with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs frustrated with the downfield passing game and quarterback Kirk Cousins struggling to deliver. The Giants’ defense has been playing better the past few weeks, and this could point to a win for New York. But Mike Zimmer will have some designs to confuse Daniel Jones, and I’d look for Minnesota to pull this out in a low-scoring affair.

Pick: Vikings 17 Giants 13
Season record: 3-1

Matt Williamson

The whole key this year with the Vikings is their ability or inability to run the football. Dalvin Cook sets up to have a big day against the Giants and therefore, Minnesota should be okay in this matchup. Of course that isn’t a slam dunk, but the Vikings defense should be a real challenge for the now-promising New York offense. But in the end, Minnesota prevails.

Pick: Vikings 26, Giants 20
Season record: 3-1

Joseph Czikk

This is a very intriguing matchup. Suddenly the Giants are worth believing in, and their receiving corps is looking good too! With Golden Tate back, Sterling Shepard looking good and Wayne Gallman pitching in nicely from the backfield, there’s real hope in the Big Apple.

And in Minnesota, it couldn’t be more of the opposite. Kirk Cousins is apologizing to receivers for missing them, one of their superstar receivers, Stefon Diggs, is acting shady, and things are looking down all around. This is a very favorable week for the underdog G-Men to steal a win on home soil.

However, the Vikings defense is still very much thriving. They’re still a top-10 defense in terms of yards allowed (6th) and they’re allowing a stingy 15.8 points per game. That’s not bad at all. This will be a legitimate test for Daniel Jones, and it will be fun to watch.

And offensively? The Giants average 21.8 points per game. The Vikings average 21.

I say the Danny Dimes magic continues. New York takes a tight game.

Pick: Giants 21, Vikings 17
Season record: 2-1

Ed Valentine

This is one of those weeks where I would really like to pick the Giants to win. I really would. I think they can win this game. There is a lot going on with the Minnesota offense, and none of it is conducive to concentrating on the task at hand. I just can’t see it.

Daniel Jones is still a rookie quarterback, and this is easily the best defense he will have played against. He doesn’t have Saquon Barkley to help him out. That didn’t matter against the Washington Redskins. It’s going to matter against the Vikings.

Pick: Vikings 20, Giants 13
Season record: 3-1