The New York Giants will play their first playoff game in six years as they take on Minnesota Vikings Sunday at U.S Bank Stadium.
This will be a rematch of their Week 16 matchup where Minnesota came out on top, 27-24, thanks to a Greg Joseph 61-yard field goal as time expired.
Earlier this week, New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll was asked if he and the team will review the previous game, or will the focus solely be on Sunday’s game.
“I think any time you play a team for a second time – Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas – you always watch the previous game. That’s part of the preparation process. But we are full steam ahead on preparing, watching the games that they have played after us. We’ve already watched all the games before that. So, it’s really like playing another division team that you just played a few weeks ago and doing everything you can to prepare the right way.”Giants coach Brian Daboll
Based on what we’ve seen so far this season, Daboll will have his team prepared as the franchise looks to win its first playoff game since Super Bowl XLVI.
Here are 3 bold predictions for the New York Giants in their Wild Card matchup against the Vikings.
Daniel Jones will complete 80% of his passes
The strides Jones has made this year have been remarkable. Not only did he cut down on his turnovers, but he completed a career-high 67.2% of his passes.
In the Week 16 matchup, Jones completed 30 out of 42 passes (71.4%) for 334 yards and a touchdown. He followed up that performance the following week in the 38-10 playoff-clinching win against the Indianapolis Colts when he connected on 79.2% of his passes as he finished the game completing 19 out of 24 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
Minnesota’s defense has been horrible all year as they’re 31st in total defense (388 yards per game) and 31st in pass defense (265).
Expect Jones to once again pick apart the Vikings’ secondary by completing intermediate passes to Richie James and Isaiah Hodgins, and connecting with Darius Slayton on a few deep passes. As a result, the 25-year-old quarterback will have a field day.
Saquon Barkley will score two touchdowns
For the first time since his rookie season, Barkley was able to stay healthy as he set a new career-high in rushing yards (1,312) and was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second time. He also scored 10 touchdowns on the season, but surprisingly he never had a game in which he found the end zone more than once.
He did have one of his best games of the season against the Vikings, as he scored on a 27-yard touchdown run to go along with his 84 rushing yards. He also had a season-high eight receptions for 49 yards.
As we mentioned the Vikings’ defense is putrid and safety Harrison Smith has been limited in practice this week due to a knee injury. Expect Barkley to have another busy day as a runner and pass catcher.
Adoree’ Jackson will have an interception in his return
After missing the last seven games with a knee injury, Adoree Jackson is expected to return for the Wild Card matchup. Having their best corner on the field will be a huge benefit for the New York Giants as they look to contain Justin Jefferson, who had 12 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown against them in the previous matchup.
The Giants know the Vikings live and die by the pass as Kirk Cousins completed 34 of 48 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in their December meeting. Cousins will look to air it out once more, and you can expect that he’ll challenge Jackson to see if he’s fully recovered from his injury.
Whether he’s covering Jefferson or one of the other Vikings pass catchers, Jackson will be up for the task and will pickoff Cousins in his return.