Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Tyler Forness

Behind Enemy Lines: Previewing the Wild Card w/Giants Wire

The Wild Card round is upon us and we had a rarity in that all six games are rematches from the regular season, including the Minnesota Vikings taking on the New York Giants.

These two teams played each other on Christmas Eve where the Vikings came out victorious on a 61-yard field goal by kicker Greg Joseph to win 27-24.

Buy Vikings Tickets

Even though we are just three weeks removed from Christmas Eve, these two teams won’t be exactly the same. We brought back Dan Benton who is the managing editor for Giants Wire to preview the game.

Daniel Jones thrived with the quick game in the first matchup. Will Brian Daboll construct a similar game plan?

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

There will certainly be some aspects of the Week 16 gameplan that are implemented once again, but the Giants very rarely stick to the same script. Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka are especially effective in making necessary adjustments and the team’s offense has demonstrated marked improvement each time they’ve played a team for the second time.

What they might do is show the Vikings a familiar look but run a completely different play. As it relates to Daniel Jones, I’d expect him to take a few more shots downfield this time and rely more heavily on his legs. But, of course, it all depends on what the defense is giving them.

T.J. Hockenson torched the Giants in the first meeting. How will the defense adjust to stop him?

Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

I think it’s more about personnel than adjustments. The Giants were without cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and safety Xavier McKinney during the first matchup, and they’ve also added linebacker Jarrad Davis since then. That will strengthen the secondary on the outside and deep down the middle, while Davis not only helps against the run but aids in coverage over the short-middle. The talent level increase should help across the board and allow Wink Martindale to be more creative in his coverages.

The Vikings caught Wink Martindale’s defense in blitzes a few times. How will he adjust to get after Kirk Cousins?

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

He probably won’t. Martindale’s is going to send the house early and often. The Giants know that sometimes they will get burned but they’ll have more faith in McKinney and Jackson being out there. I would fully expect Wink to remain overtly aggressive and throw caution to the wind. They know that the key to success is making the quarterback uncomfortable and they’ll sacrifice some big plays in order to make that happen.

Will we see Adoree’ Jackson follow Justin Jefferson on Sunday?

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

At times. The Giants don’t necessarily love to send Jackson traveling but they do mix it in, especially if they feel overmatched against a specific receiver. Given how important Jefferson is to the outcome of this game, I imagine Jackson will be on him more often than not. But I’d also expect Martindale & Co. to take a page from Bill Belichick’s book and cover Jefferson with a CB2 and safety over the top as well.

Saquon Barkley is arguably the comeback player of year. Will Brian Daboll lean on him on Sunday?

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s going to entirely depend on what the Vikings are doing defensively. If they sell out to stop the run, the Giants will have no problem whatsoever running the offense through Daniel Jones. But if they fall back and aren’t stacking the box, they’d be equally comfortable giving Saquon Barkley the ball 30-plus times. Ideally, it would be a balanced attack but that’s really going to depend on the Vikings defense.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.