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The NFL playoffs are set to begin this week, and one of the biggest toss-ups this week is the Giants taking on the Vikings in Minnesota. The Vikings have had one of the weirdest seasons in recent memory, earning their way to a 13-4 record, but they also got outscored by their opponents on the season as a whole. Justin Jefferson had one of the best wide receiver seasons in recent memory and, in the process, put his name in the MVP discussion. Dalvin Cook still gives them a formidable rushing attack, and Kirk Cousins has shown to be a more-than-capable quarterback in the regular season. Their defense has gotten by, mainly on the strengths of their front seven. Danielle Hunter and Zadarius Smith make life difficult for any opposing quarterbacks, but their defensive backs take some of the pressure off. The Vikings cornerbacks have been a glaring weakness all season, and recently they have been routinely being taken advantage of. Despite this, Minnesota’s coaches have done a great job of playing to their strengths and keeping the Vikings a top team this year. The Giants serve as an interesting opponent for this Vikings team. They have had their own struggles this year after their blazing hot start, but they have settled into the season nicely and have proven to be a legit team. Daniel Jones has brought his play to a new level this season, cutting down on turnovers and giving the Giants offense a new element with his rushing ability. In addition to Jones’ renaissance this year, Saquon Barkley has returned to what he looked like as a rookie and has carried the Giants offense during their biggest struggles.
Both of these teams are talented and well coached. The Vikings at times looked like a team that would be hard to beat by the time the playoffs arrived, but they have been exposed too many times to ignore. Justin Jefferson, although one of the best players in the league, has been shut down several times this year. He was a non-factor in a loss against the Eagles earlier in the year, and more recently, he was held to one catch in a game the Vikings were easily defeated by the Packers. Their defense gives up points in bunches, and it seems that they implode when things start to go bad for them. If the Giants are able to play a clean game, they should give the Vikings trouble. Minnesota will need to hold Saquon in check to prevent the Giants offense from staying on the field for too long. The Giants have shown that they are a much better team when they have A’Doree Jackson following the opponent’s best receiver around the field. He isn’t in the tier of players who can shut Jefferson down for the day, but him slowing him down will go a long way for New York. The Vikings haven’t really proved themselves despite their record this season. Now’s the Giants’ time to show that their pathetic losses were a fluke and not the wins they’ve accrued this season, so take the Giants money-line and get your $150 from Fanduel.
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