MNF: Vikings @ Giants & Predictions

Let’s come straight with it…

On Monday Night Football, the Minnesota Vikings will have a third quarterback starting this season. The saga of Josh Freeman takes center stage against the worst defense in the National Football League, the New York Giants that still haven’t won a game. A couple predictions based on both of these struggling teams here:

One-line summary of predictions

Giants Coach Coughlin not on the hot seat.

On the other hand, Vikings Coach Leslie Frazier is, even though he shouldn’t be.

Eli Manning’s job is safe regardless of how the season plays out, and he plays like Brett Favre.

Join Victor Cruz Monday Night for Salsa lessons in the endzone.

Minnesota will enter the wildcard playoff hunt, coming up short after a slow start though.

Josh Freeman is making his debut on MNF, and he won’t look back as he finishes the season as the starter.

Both tight ends, Kevin Rudolph and Brandon Myers, will have over 60 yards

Elaborate explanation of predictions

No, the Giants are not considering any changes at head coach. If you thought the Chargers gave Norv Turner extra time, the adverse Tom Coughlin wears the bling that demands the benefit of the doubt. Even if that means taking a step back, New York fully believes in their leaders at the top, and that includes quarterback Eli Manning. He has never approached elite status in my opinion, usually hovering around the top ten because of his clutch playoff performances. This is a guy that plays in the biggest market and media outlet, with the name and pedigree to cement his place in NFL royalty. He just might illustrate the best comparison for younger fans that missed out on the career of Brett Favre, in the way they play I mean. This team is depleted to the point that Coughlin and Manning are just trying to get through each week in effort to get that first win, Eli has to help his own cause though. Elite quarterbacks make their teammates better. We’ve seen Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers win Super Bowls with unimpressive offensive lines, and they certainly made their teammates better.

Josh Freeman is the best option at quarterback as far as the Minnesota Vikings are concerned. That’s apparent to everybody and they aren’t hiding the truth either. A week ago they signed him, he gets the nod on Monday Night Football. Not the worst situation in the world, when you consider they have MVP Adrian Peterson. Then as you work your way along the roster, you see targets like a proven Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson that has shown flashes of elusiveness, Kyle Rudolph that has quickly asserted himself as a go-to target, and they should eventually incorporate rookie playmaker Cordarrelle Patterson into the mix. The prediction, the Vikings will make a push into the wildcard hunt. Currently at 1-4, they won’t make it but they’ll scrap their way back to a respectable level. Defensively they have key players at all levels with defensive end Jared Allen, linebacker Chad Greenway, and safety Harrison Smith. They have a couple of guys in the supporting cast but far from what they need to compete in the NFC this year. Coach Leslie Frazier is on the hot seat, however you can point to the front office. They didn’t equip a defensive coach with any secondary help, all they did was let the productive but aging, Antoine Winfield go. That’s on the G.M. more than anything else.

As for this game, you should hear Jared Allen’s name a few times, whether it’s a tackle for a loss or corralling Eli Manning for a sack. On the other hand, they hope to get the running production that Brandon Jacobs delivered last week, perhaps some carries from Peyton Hillis. Minnesota will probably surrender a touchdown to Victor Cruz, as he is longing to get reacquainted with his salsa dancing. Hakeem Nicks has played well and Reuben Randle is easing his way to more snaps and targets in this offense. But still, expect Manning to chuck at least one pass to the other team. The counterpart is Josh Freeman, who should have an easier task at hand even without knowing much of the playbook. When he’s not handing it off to A.P., he has more weapons to throw to here than he did with the Buccaneers. And after all, New York is ranked near the bottom in defense, and Minnesota is slightly worse. As these offenses are struggling, the quarterbacks’ best friend and safety valve should be defaulted to, that means you can plug in Kevin Rudolph or Brandon Myers in fantasy football if you need them.

For this game, it’s a toss-up between disappointing teams, but I’d rather bet on Adrian Peterson since he’ll be the best player on the field in prime time action. Then again, this isn’t the best game to bet on. Just for fun let’s throw out a score of 24-20 Vikings. Minnesota at least has a defensive line, where as the Giants are looking for any positives right now.