Can the New York Giants, +180 on the moneyline per DraftKings Sportsbook, go into U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon and upset the 11-3 Minnesota Vikings. A victory would virtually assuring themselves of a spot in the NFC playoffs? Let’s see what the Big Blue View staff thinks in the Week 16 NFL picks and predictions.
“This game will hinge on whether the Giants’ D can bring out bad Kirk Cousins as opposed to good Kirk Cousins. Cousins carves up defenses when he has a clean pocket (82.7 PFF grade) and when he’s not blitzed (83.8). He’s only 61.7 under pressure and a very poor 52.7 when blitzed. If Adoree’ were back, I’d give the Giants a chance to slow down Justin Jefferson, maybe the best WR in the NFL, in man and watch Wink blitz Cousins into oblivion. Without him, though, I think Wink has to play a lot of zone and not blitz much. If the Giants get pressure with 4, it could still work. On the other side, the Vikings are almost always in zone, so expect more of the short passing game and ball control offense from Daniel Jones. This is a winnable game despite the Vikings’ record, but the Giants’ present secondary against Jefferson/Thielen/Osborn, plus Cook and Hockenson vs. the Giants’ LBs, prevents me from picking an upset.”
“This game will probably come down to whether the Giants’ defense can disrupt Kirk Cousins and contain Justin Jefferson. The Vikings are on a normal week of rest and proved last week they can put up a lot of points and very quickly when they need to. The Giants could be in for a long afternoon if the defense doesn’t win the line of scrimmage.”
“This is a game I think the Giants can win, it’s just hard for me to pick them to do so. The Vikings are 11-3, but have only a +2 point differential, which tells you they have been anything but dominant. Still, the Giants are on the road and don’t really have an answer for Justin Jefferson — not that anyone really does.”
[NOTE: Nick Falato (Vikings) and Jeremy Portnoy (Giants) did not offer explanations for their picks.]