We’ve missed this segment over the past couple of weeks, and I apologize for that, but now we’re back with our Five Good Questions with our opponents for this weeks game. On Monday Night Football, the Minnesota Vikings will be playing host to the New York Football Giants in the second game. . .and second prime-time game. . .in the history of U.S. Bank Stadium.
I exchanged some questions with Ed Valentine, the head blogger for Big Blue View, SB Nation’s home for New York Giants football. When they post my responses to their questions for me, we’ll have a link to them for you here. For now, here are the questions that I presented to Ed, and his responses. Enjoy!
1) One of the bigger stories for the Giants over the past couple of weeks has been the conduct of Odell Beckham, Jr. Head coach Ben McAdoo has even called on Beckham to control his emotions. Do you think this is a distraction or a potential distraction for the Giants?
I think it can be a distraction and have written as much at BBV. Beckham is as talented as any receiver in the league and I'd love to be able to talk about that and not the extra stuff. My view is the more emotional outbursts he has the more opposing teams will keep trying to push that button and get him to lose focus. Honestly, that's the only way to stop him.
2) Speaking of McAdoo, this is the first year for him as the Giants' head coach after the Tom Coughlin era finally came to a close. Even though it's only been three games, what are some of the differences you've noticed from Coughlin's Giants to McAdoo's Giants?
There are many differences. Part of that stems from McAdoo being only 39. Part stems from the many years he spent in Green Bay under Mike McCarthy. McAdoo has changed much of the routine around the Giants. He calls his own plays. He cares about his players as people, which Coughlin also did. I think McAdoo will be a successful head coach.
3) The Giants went on a bit of a spending spree defensively this offseason after having some serious defensive issues in 2015. How much has the defense improved, in your opinion, and has any one player been the key to that improvement?
The defense has improved by leaps and bounds. Of course, you may not see that Monday night as the Giants secondary is a mess due to injuries. Two of the best three safeties -- Darian Thompson (foot) and Nat Berhe (concussion) wont play. Corners Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) and Eli Apple (hamstring) aren't expected to play.
It hasn't been one player that has made the biggest difference, though the development of second-year safety Landon Collins has been pretty incredible. It's just that collectively, at least before the secondary was decimated, there are quality players at every level of the defense.
4) Who is one player on each side of the ball that for the Giants that Vikings fans might not be too familiar with that you think will play a major role in this Monday night's game?
On offense, I'll give you two. Rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard is going to be a star. He's got 16 catches and is on pace for a 1,200-yard season. Running back Orleans Darkwa is a guy who might see extended playing time. Shane Vereen is on IR and Rashad Jennings has a thumb injury. I've written a number of times that I think Darkwa is the Giants' best back, he just doesn't have the paycheck or the pedigree of some of the other guys.
On defense, safety Andrew Adams is a wild card. He's a rookie undrafted free agent who was just signed off the practice squad last week. He has not played a defensive snap in the NFL, yet will almost certainly start Monday night. Whether that's good news or bad news for the Giants we will all find out together.
5) Eli Manning has had some really awful games against Minnesota in his career, including last year's contest at TCF Bank Stadium. Since this has spanned numerous coaches and schemes for him, why do you think that he's put up some of these clunkers against the Vikings over the years?
I really don't know that there is a common denominator. What I do know is that for all of his accomplishments and all of the wonderful things he can do, Manning will always have clunkers. He will always try to force the ball, try to make things happen when things go badly. He's been more efficient in the McAdoo offense, but he will never be Aaron Rodgers. I'd throw out last year's clunker. Odell Beckham was suspended and none of the receivers Manning was throwing to are around any longer.
Thanks to Ed for taking the time to give us the answers to these questions about the Giants. Since this game takes place on Monday, we’ll have the final injury reports and other coverage of this week’s game here for you over the course of the day for your Saturday, so keep your eyes open and your social media ready for that.