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Opposing Viewpoint: Giants Writer Answers 5 Questions About New York

A pair of 2-2 teams will meet in Week 5, as the Vikings and Giants square off Sunday.

Kickoff is at noon (CT) from MetLife Stadium.

Minnesota has alternated wins and losses through the first four games, but both losses have come on the road.

New York has won two straight after an 0-2 start. Pat Shurmur, the former Vikings offensive coordinator, is now the Giants head coach.

And while there has been plenty of coverage on the Purple this week, chatted with Giants reporter Dan​ Salomone for a glance at what the other side is thinking before Sunday's contest.

Here is the Week 5 edition of Opposing Viewpoint:

The Giants have won two in a row since Daniel Jones became the starter to pull to 2-2 and get right in the thick of the NFC East. How different is the vibe this week than after Week 2?

Dan Salomone: The energy is certainly different, but the beauty of Daniel Jones is that talking to him you wouldn't know if he won his first two games or he lost them. He's as tough and competitive as they come, but he remains even-keeled. And now is not the time for "I told you so" from him, the coaches or front office.

Pat Shurmur was asked in last week's postgame press conference if this is where he envisioned his team when he entered the season. "This is where I hoped we'd be after today, 2-2," he said. "We will figure it out from there." It's cliché. It's coach speak. It's also true. No one knows where this Daniel Jones magic carpet ride is going to take the Giants, but you pick up wins any which way you can in this league and never apologize for them. Banking on a kicker to miss a 34-yard field goal is never ideal, but it worked for the Giants in Tampa Bay. Facing a team with its veteran quarterback on a bad foot and a rookie first-round pick making his NFL debut in relief won't happen every week, but it did against Washington. In the end, it doesn't matter. As Hesh said in "The Sopranos," a hit is a hit is a hit in the music business. In the NFL, a win is a win is a win.

Speaking of Jones, how has he handled the transition to starter, and how is his leadership on display within the offense?

DS: Both Jones and Eli Manning need to be applauded for the way they handled everything, even though you never expected any different from either of them. They're clones in the way they go about their business. The Giants all along saw a great value in having the rookie learn from the two-time Super Bowl MVP, and you're seeing the dividends now. I grew up in Minnesota, so I used to roll my eyes when people used to say what I'm about to write. But after being here for a decade, I know playing in the New York market is different, especially at quarterback for a franchise that is nearly a century old. Jones has what it takes mentally.

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Giants.

Moving to defense, the Giants snagged four interceptions and shut down Washington on Sunday. Who is the leader of that unit? Also, how does the loss of linebacker Ryan Connelly (the Minnesota native tore his ACL Sunday) affect the defense?

DS: It was really unfortunate what happened to the Eden Prairie native. He had just intercepted his second pass in as many weeks and registered his first career sack before he suffered a torn ACL. He was looking like a steal of the draft – Daniel Jeremiah ranked him among his top 25 rookies through the first quarter of the season – and they hope he will when he returns. Until then, the Giants need some players to step up at inside linebacker. Defensive co-captain Alec Ogletree has been dealing with a hamstring, and Connelly had been calling plays for him in the huddle. David Mayo was the next man up and led the team last week in tackles. Janoris Jenkins is also the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week, and Antoine Bethea has been a veteran voice at safety. The Giants struggled early on, but they have allowed just six points in the past six quarters.

Vikings fans know Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur well, as he was with Minnesota in 2016 and 2017 in various roles. How has Shurmur put his stamp on the organization since January of 2018?

DS: Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman calls himself a people-watcher, so he had always kept tabs on Shurmur. Then when it came time to hire a new head coach, Shurmur blew him away in the interview. Halfway through the meeting, Gettleman wrote at the top of his notes, "This man is a professional and an adult." Shurmur has brought over a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to building a team, which he learned in part from Zimmer.

"I know their mindset," Shurmur said of the Vikings. "I know how they function. This is an old-school team. They have a progressive mindset, certainly, but they're old school. A lot of what they do there, we try to do here in terms of building our team. It's going to be quite a test for us."

Finally, which player on the Vikings are you most looking forward to watching on Sunday?

DS: It all starts with Dalvin Cook. The Giants want to shut him down because they know if he gets grooving, that opens up the play-actions, boots and nakeds for Kirk Cousins and the passing attack. They know this not only because Shurmur has experience with the Vikings' personnel, but they also have a pretty good running back of their own in Saquon Barkley. Their value cannot be understated.