With Brett Favre’s status unclear coupled with the recent outburst of the NY Giants RB tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, Sunday’s matchup at Mall of America Field might end up being a classic ground-and-pound battle.
Last Sunday, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson ran up the score, literally, with 3 TDs while the Giants RB duo of Bradshaw and Jacobs combined for 200 yards and 4 TDs in a victory over the Washington Redskins. And as the old adage goes, ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ So why would either the Vikings or Giants veer away from their recent successes running the ball? I can’t think of a reason.
Not to mention that Favre has thrown more INTs this season than any other QB with 18 and Giants QB Eli Manning ranks 2nd in the category with 17 – another reason for both teams to establish their rushing attacks. Despite those numbers, though, both the Vikings and Giants posted convincing wins last week with negative passing TD-to-INT ratios (Vikings 2-4, Giants 0-1).
Another reason why I’m speculating a run-heavy contest on Sunday is caused by Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier’s approach during his first 2 games at the helm.
Over the past 2 games, the Vikings have recorded a 78-46 run-pass ratio, with the Giants providing a 62-49 ratio during that same span. Frazier has also emphasized his vision of the team’s identity, stating that they’re at their best when “we’re running the ball and stopping the run.”
Also, let’s not forget that both teams boast dominant defensive fronts with the ability to get after the QB. The Giants defense ranks 3rd in the league with 35 sacks and the Vikings may only rank in a pedestrian 20th place with 22, but have compiled 8 over their last 3 games. These numbers give added incentive for each team’s QB to hand the ball off.
Getting back to the Giants RB tandem, Frazier told reporters on Wednesday that his defense, which has allowed just 113 rushing yards total over the last 2 games, will need to maintain its dominance to stop the Giants dangerous ground game.
“They’re playing well,” Frazier acknowledged of Bradshaw and Jacobs. “It will be a great challenge for our defense. We really hang our hat on being able to stop the run and this will be a week to stand up in that area because once they get it going in the run game it makes Eli a lot better and makes their receivers a lot better. We’re going to have to be right against their run game.”
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 72 Comments »