The Vikings defense has been all the rage so far this season. They rank No. 3 in scoring defense and are coming off back-to-back games in which they held the last two NFL MVPs – Aaron Rodgers (2014) and Cam Newton (2015) to a 1-4 TD-INT ratio and sacked them a combined 13 times. This week, the Vikings defense faces a quarterback it's tortured in the past. Eli Manning has a 2-5 career mark against the Vikings with a TD-INT ratio of 5-14.
Hold your horses on the excitement, though. The Giants are a new-look outfit under new head coach Ben McAdoo, and they've started the season 2-1. On offense, they feature a talented trio at wide receiver with Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham, Jr. and rookie Sterling Shepard. None of the three were on the field with Manning last year when the Vikings throttled the Giants 49-17 while intercepting Manning three times.
The architect of the Vikings defense, head coach Mike Zimmer, certainly isn't sleeping on the Giants.
Know the New York Giants key contributors on offense, defense and special teams heading into Week 4's matchup.
"Getting ready for the Giants. They're a very, very good football team," Zimmer said during his Thursday press conference. "They've got a lot of weapons offensively. Obviously, the quarterback's won two Super Bowls…It'll be a great test for us."
Aside from their talented receivers and accomplished quarterback, Zimmer gave an indication of another challenge the Vikings defense could encounter on Monday night.
"We're going to need our fans to be really loud to help with their no-huddle offense," Zimmer commented. "Get that Skol Chant going…anything we can use."
The Giants used their no huddle offense on 44 snaps last week against Washington, according to NFL.com's game book play-by-play. It was effective early in the game, as Manning operated from the no huddle on 10 of the first 14 snaps. The rhythm the Giants generated from using the no huddle in those first 14 snaps resulted in Manning completing six of eight passes for 69 yards with a touchdown strike to Shepard from 23 yards out. The Giants were balanced, with eight passes compared to six runs, and they averaged 7.6 yards per play in that span. Later in the game, the Giants registered explosive gains of 15, 15, 13, 14 and 12 yards on a series of three drives that netted 13 points.
Don't be surprised if the Giants employ a similar quick game attack on Monday night against the Vikings defense to A) find a way to generate rhythm on synergy in a hostile environment and B) neutralize the Vikings League-leading pass rush.
The good news for the Vikings is they've seen plenty of no huddle looks in their first three games this season. Both Tennessee and Green Bay went without a huddle on multiple drives against the Vikings and Carolina had 32 snaps of no huddle, according to NFL.com game book play-by-plays.
The Giants no huddle offense against a red-hot and stingy Vikings defense will be one of the interesting games within the game to watch on Monday night.