MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – DECEMBER 24: Dalvin Cook #4 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball against the New York Giants during the first half of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, the NY Giants will take the field at U.S. Bank Stadium in search of their first postseason victory since Super Bowl XLVI, just under 11 years ago. That’s wild to even think about.
Thanks to the coaching of Brian Daboll, shrewd moves from general manager Joe Schoen, and the emergence of Daniel Jones as a quality NFL quarterback, the G-Men are in the postseason for the first time since 2016, and they’ve got an upset on their minds going up against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Giants will return to Minnesota on Sunday, just three weeks after their heartbreaking 27-24 Christmas Eve loss to the Vikings. The two teams match up evenly on paper, giving the Giants a prime opportunity to steal one on the road. Here are four bold predictions for the NY Giants\Vikings postseason showdown:
4. The Giants sack Kirk Cousins 5 times on Sunday
Kayvon Thibodeaux, Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, and Azeez Ojulari have quietly become one of the NFL’s premier pass-rushing groups. Thibodeaux has burst onto the scene in the second half of the season, recording 23 tackles and two sacks in his last three games. Thibodeaux’s most important play was a strip-sack scoop and score in the win over Washington that all but secured the Giants a playoff berth.
Lawrence was just named Second Team All-Pro, and PFF has his 2022 season ranked ahead of Aaron Donald’s, further illustrating the unstoppable force Sexy Dexy has become. Ojulari and Williams have battled through injuries this season, but entering the campaign those two were viewed as the G-Men’s two best defensive players, and may just be this weekend.
The Vikings offensive line ranks 22nd in the NFL in team pass-block win rate, while Big Blue’s pass-rush ranks sixth in the NFL in pass-rush win rate. To make matters worse for the Vikings, star center Garett Bradbury is banged up, and starting right tackle Patrick O’Neil will miss the game.
The combination of the Giants ferocious pass-rush and ferocious blitz packages will have the bad and depleted Vikings offensive line on their heels all game, leading to five sacks of Kirk Cousins. It’ll be a game to remember for the unit up front.
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