Monday Night Football Preview: Vikings at Giants

MNF Vikings at Giants

Welcome to the Gridiron Experts Ultimate Guide to Monday Night. Whether you are a fan of the teams doing battle, have fantasy football or gaming implications, or you’re simply looking for creative ways to increase your alcohol intake during the Monday Night Football telecast, we’ve got you covered. In a game that looked a lot more compelling when the schedule was initially released, Week 7 brings us the 1-4 Minnesota Vikings against the 0-6 New York Giants.

Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants (-3.5)

The Vikings enter Monday night winless in the United States this season, as their only victory came against the Steelers in London. In Minnesota’s 0-3 start to the season, they were actually very competitive, averaging more than 28 points and losing by a combined seven points over those three games. However, in Week 6 the Vikings were thrashed by Carolina, leading the team to turn this week to its third quarterback in the last four games. Buccaneers castoff Josh Freeman takes the helm of a Vikings passing offense that averages just 222 yards per game and is 31st in the league in touchdown passes. But Freeman could have some opportunities this week, facing a Giants defense that had given up as many touchdown passes as any team heading into Week 7. Still, the only real fantasy asset on the Vikings right now is Adrian Peterson, whom we had projected as the number one running back for the week. But when you have Peterson, you have a chance.

Things continue to spiral out of control for Eli Manning and the Giants. Manning has as many interceptions in 6 games this season (15) as he did all of last year, which has contributed to New York having the worst turnover differential in the NFL. Couple that with a Giants defense that is allowing a league-worst 34.8 points per game and it’s no wonder New York enters Monday night at 0-6. Fortunately for Manning and company, the Vikings haven’t been much better defensively, allowing 31.6 points per game themselves. The Vikings are 29th in the league at defending the pass and have allowed 13 touchdown tosses in just five games. We have three Giants wide receivers projected in the top 50 at the position this week, with Victor Cruz leading the way at #10. Brandon Jacobs, the last man standing in the Giants backfield, should also be a decent fantasy play this week, assuming he is able to overcome a hamstring injury. Minnesota is giving up 110 yards per game to opposing runners and has allowed six rushing touchdowns.

My Prediction:

With the struggles of both defenses to date in 2013, a high-scoring affair on Monday night seems like a strong possibility. Eli Manning has a good chance to get himself back on track against a poor Vikings defense and I expect him to play well. However, look for Adrian Peterson to put on a show and for Josh Freeman to do just enough to keep the Vikings close. Ultimately, New York should be able to pull out its first victory of the season in front of its home crowd in primetime, but I’ll take Minnesota and the points as my official pick.

New York 27, Minnesota 24

 

MNF Drinking Game

The matchup on the football field doesn’t have to be the only game in town on Monday night. Get a group together, grab your favorite beer and a bottle of liquor, and enjoy the Gridiron Experts MNF Drinking Game.

  • Take one drink for every run of greater than 10 yards
  • Take one drink for every pass play of greater than 20 yards
  • Take one shot for every Vikings handoff to someone other than Adrian Peterson
  • Take one drink for every Josh Freeman pass attempt
  • Take one shot for every Eli Manning interception
  • Take one drink for every Victor Cruz reception
  • Take one shot for every view of the New York City skyline in the telecast
  • Take one drink every time you see or hear “MetLife” (including commercials)
  • Take one shot for every reference to Gruden’s Grinders

Beer of the Week

Brooklyn LagerThe Beer of the Week represents a tasty offering from the city/region hosting the week’s Monday Night Football contest. Feel free to incorporate the Beer of the Week into the MNF Drinking Game.

Brooklyn Lager – Though the game is technically being played in New Jersey, the Brooklyn Brewery is only about 30 minutes from MetLife Stadium and Brooklyn Lager represents the region well. The brewery combines a classic Viennese-style lager – a regional favorite dating back to the late 1800’s – with a dry-hopping technique that gives Brooklyn Lager its unique characteristics. The result is a balanced flavor of malt and hops, with yeasty, almost biscuit-like notes and hints of citrus. The refreshing and easy-drinking 5.2% ABV lager makes for a great selection as Monday Night Football makes its only trip to New York in 2013.

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