It has been a bizarre week for the Vikings, and this game — the type of road contest they should win against a rookie quarterback — is a good test for how quickly they can regroup after last week’s loss to the Bears. Assuming their defense can get to Daniel Jones, they should come home with a victory.
THREE BIG STORY LINES
Zimmer, Shurmur square off
The Vikings offense will try to get back on track against the only one of Mike Zimmer’s offensive coordinators (to this point) who left the team on his own terms. Pat Shurmur, in his second year as Giants coach, will try to beat his former team.
Will winning cure Diggs’ dissatisfaction?
Stefon Diggs returned to Vikings practice on Thursday, addressing his frustration with the offense. If the Vikings decide to play the wide receiver, it’s worth watching how Kirk Cousins tries to incorporate him.
Exit Eli, enter ‘Danny Dimes’
Jones, the sixth pick in the 2019 draft, supplanted Eli Manning as the Giants’ starter in Week 3 and has led New York to wins in his first two starts. He will try to become the fourth rookie quarterback to beat the Vikings in 10 tries since Zimmer became coach in 2014.
TWO KEY MATCHUPS
Vikings DE Danielle Hunter vs. Giants RT Mike Remmers
Hunter, who was held without a sack for the first time this season last Sunday, will face off against his former teammate, who is back at tackle after spending his final season with the Vikings at guard. Remmers has struggled in pass protection more than as a run blocker in his career, and has allowed 11 pressures this season.
Vikings WRs vs. Giants CB Janoris Jenkins
Assuming Diggs plays, he or Adam Thielen will see plenty of Jenkins, the 30-year-old former Pro Bowl player who has two interceptions this season. The Giants have asked Jenkins to shadow receivers three times this season; he matched up with Amari Cooper in Week 1 and John Brown in Week 2 before allowing three TDs to Mike Evans in Week 3.
ONE STAT THAT MATTERS
22.2 The percentage of the Giants’ drives that have ended in turnovers this season — the highest in the NFL through four weeks.
THE VIKINGS WILL WIN IF …
They are able to keep Jones from getting out of the pocket and making the kinds of big plays that can give a team momentum early. The Vikings are built to play best with a lead, and they haven’t had one on the road yet this season, so they will look for a fast start against the Giants.
THE GIANTS WILL WIN IF …
They can force the Vikings to play from behind, and court some of the troubles that have befallen Zimmer’s teams in outdoor road games. All six of the Vikings’ turnovers have come when they have trailed on the road this season, and the Giants will look to make Cousins uncomfortable early on Sunday.
Prediction: Vikings, 24-13
Win Probability 65%