It is bounce-back time for the New York Giants as they look to rebound from their Week 3 loss to Washington. In their Monday night opponent they face a streaking Minnesota Vikings team that hasn’t skipped a beat since losing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to injury.
In fact, they might even be playing better.
The Giants have plenty of question marks coming into the game from their offensive line to the health of their secondary. Then there is Minnesota, sitting at 3-0 after an impressive win at the Carolina Panthers last week.
Three things to watch in Week 3:
Can you Diggs it?
A major reason why the Vikings are off to a strong start and their offense is clicking so well boils down to the emergence of Stefon Diggs. The Vikings wide receiver has 20 catches for 325 yards and a touchdown this year, pacing the passing attack. Now in his second year in the league it looks like Diggs is emerging as a legitimate star and a true No. 1 wide receiver.
“He's going to be a guy we're going to have to be concerned with. We always identify the guys that we think can wreck the football game. I think he can because he's a deep threat,” said defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “Talk about explosive play, I think explosive plays were one of the things that hurt us last week. We really hadn't had that issue, and we give up two explosive pass plays that come back and kind of bit us if you really think about it in the end. I think he's got that ability.”
The Giants have been a mess at offensive line, this even before Marshall Newhouse went down with an injury. The passing game hasn’t really gotten going this year in large part because their Pro Bowl quarterback isn’t getting protection. The Giants might end up needing to trade for some offensive line help or looking to make a move if a team makes a cut. But their inability — or better yet their unwillingness — to either draft an offensive lineman or sign one in free agency is killing them right now and their offensive production.
With a little time in the pocket, Eli Manning can make this a special offense. He isn’t getting that this year and definitely not last week.
More than a replacement
In taking over for the Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford has looked every bit the part of being the Minnesota starter. The once maligned former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback has moved the ball well and in two games with Minnesota has completed just under 68 percent of his passes and has three touchdown passes.
“I think that over the course of the years, just what I have gone through with some of the injuries and then moving here at the beginning of the year,” Bradford said. “I have just learned to control what I can control and not to worry about anything else, approach each day as a new day and just try to get better. I feel like I don’t really let much get to me anymore. I have seen about everything now. So I would say that my perspective has probably matured a little bit since I was younger.”
One advantage for the Giants is that in two games the Vikings have allowed Bradford to be sacked six times. With a good pass rush they should be able to get to him and deliver some hits.