On paper, the Vikings are really good, regardless of their issues at the QB position. On offense they have a big OL, the best RB in football in Peterson, and weapons in the passing game in Harvin, Rice and Shiancoe. Rice and Harvin are apparently nursing injuries so they may not be at full strength this week. You see how important QB play is in this league - Favre has had an absolutely awful year with 18 INTs, only 6 TDs, a host of bad decisions, poor yards per attempt and one fired coach on his resume. I think we see what happens when the Vikings get even marginally improved QB play - last week Tavaris Jackson came in and put up 38 points, despite throwing 3 INTs himself. So there is no doubt that the Vikings are a a dangerous offensive team. I have not followed them closely, but the word is that their OL has underperformed this year. Maybe the firing of unpopular coach Childress woke them up a bit and inspired the OL to play more fiercely. This will be the second team that the Giants play that has taken the unusual step of mid-season coach firing. Let's hope the results are different this time.
On the other side of the ball, their run defense is strong, but their pass defense is so-so. Their pass defense is predicated on getting after the QB and not giving him time to throw, but the DL has not played inspired football, with Jared Allen having a mediocre year. If the Giants can protect Eli, which they have done fairly well recently, with the OL getting a starter back and with Nicks and/or Smith probably coming back, the offense should be able to move the ball. I would come out throwing and establish the run later on. That's my mantra this week: Throw early, run late.
During the rash of OL injuries the Giants signed a backup OL-man named Jamon Meredith and he has been active the past few weeks. He has been playing occasionally as the extra TE and the reason I bring him up is that he is an impressive looking physical player. He is tall, looks muscular but lean, and the few times I saw him on ST, looked like he can really run. I have no information on him, other than that he is a 2nd year player out of South Carolina and I don't even know what team he was on last year. He looks good, though. Look for # 79 if you get a chance.
I was surprised to see Shawn Andrews back in the locker room and back at practice, though only working on rehabbing his back. I thought he was done for the year and maybe for his career. He spoke optimistically about returning this year, as soon as a few weeks.
I guess it was a great move by the Giants to keep Beatty on the roster and not put him on IR when he broke his foot early in the year and missed 6-7 weeks. His presence on the roster really helped these past few weeks. I'd like to see him get some more playing time and develop his skills, but I can't argue with using Diehl. The match up between Jared Allen and Diehl is a critical one this weekend.
No wind, fast turf, in the dome, starting WRs coming back - look for Giants passing game to take some shots down field this week.