NFL Wild Card: Giants at Vikings

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NFL Wild Card: Giants at Vikings (3:30 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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This Giants-Vikings Wild Card game is my upset pick for the week. The Vikings can score in bunches. But also give points up in bunches.

If Saquon Barkley can get it going early, and the Giants can control the clock and keep the ball out of the hands of Kirk Cousins (and, more importantly, Justin Jefferson), New York will have a shot. However, if the Vikings turn this one into a shootout, the Giants don’t stand a chance today.

Game Info

New York Giants (9-7-1, 3rd NFC East) at Minnesota Vikings (13-4 1st NFC North)

Kickoff Time: 3:30 p.m. CT – TV: FOX (Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, Tom Rinaldi)
Site: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Mn.
Referee: Adrian Hill
Odds: Vikings -3, O/U 48 (via DraftKings Sports Book)

Giants Projected Starters

Offense

•   QB Daniel Jones
•   RB Saquon Barkley
•   WRs Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, Richie James
•   TE Daniel Bellinger
•   LT Andrew Thomas, LG Nick Gates, C Jon Feliciano, RG Mark Glowinski, RT Evan Neal

Defense

•   LDE Jihad Ward, NT Dexter Lawrence, RDE Leonard Williams
•   WLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, LILB Jaylon Smith, RILB Micah McFadden, SLB Azeez Ojulari
•   LCB Adoree’ Jackson, RCB Fabian Moreau
•   FS Xavier McKinney, SS Julian Love

Specialists
•  
Graham Gano (kicker), Jamie Gillan (punter, holder), Casey Kreiter (long snapper), Gary Brightwell, Adoree’ Jackson (kick and punt returns)

Vikings Projected Starters

Offense

•   QB Kirk Cousins
•   RB Dalvin Cook
•   WRs Justin Jefferson, Adam Theilen, K.J. Osborn
•   TE T.J. Hockenson
•   LT Christian Darrisaw, LG Ezra Cleveland, C Garrett Bradburry, RG Ed Ingram, RT Blake Brandell

Defense

•   LDE Dalvin Tomlinson, NT Khyris Tonga, RDE Harrison Phillips
•   WLB Danielle Hunter, LILB Eric Kendricks, RILB Jordan Hicks, SLB Za’Darius Smith
•   LCB Patrick Peterson, RCB Duke Shelley
•   FS Camryn Bynum, SS Harrison Smith

Specialists
•   Greg Joseph (kicker), Ryan Wright (punter, holder), Andrew DePaola (long snapper), Jalen Reagor, Kene Nwangwu (kick and punt returns)

Players to Watch

Daniel Jones will make his first career playoff start today against the Vikings. Jones had career-highs in passing yards (3,205), rushing yards (708), and rushing touchdowns (7) this season. Still, the focus will be on Saquon Barkley and the New York running attack. Barkley’s 1,312 rushing yards were fourth in the NFL, and Barkley scored 10 touchdowns.

Jaylon Smith logged 10 tackles and a sack in the Week 16 meeting with the Vikings in Minnesota. Smith had 88 tackles this season. Fabian Moreau logged 10 passes defended and a career-high 63 tackles. Moreau and the Giants secondary will be crucial to their success against Justin Jefferson and company today.

Kirk Cousins threw for 4,547 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Vikings this season. Much of that went to Justin Jefferson, who caught 128 passes for 1,809 yards (nearly 40 percent of Cousin’s yardage). Jefferson hauled in 12 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown in the Week 16 meeting with the Giants.

Danielle Hunter will be looking to wreak havoc on Daniel Jones and the Giants backfield today. Hunter recorded 10.5 sacks this season, with two sacks and a forced fumble coming in Week 16 against the Giants.



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.