The Giants will hold Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson to fewer than 100 yards on the ground.
- MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - as long as Peterson doesn’t break off a long run, I think they will. LeSean McCoy is the NFL’s leading rusher and the Giants held him to 46 yards on 20 carries when they played a couple of weeks ago.
- JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - The Giants rush defense has been very solid, but Adrian Peterson is due for a breakout game. I don’t think he will consistently get 4-5 yards per carry, but I have a gut feeling he’ll break one long one that will put him over 100 yards for the game
- DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - The run defense has held up against a string of feature backs – including holding LeSean McCoy to 46 yards on 20 rushes – but Peterson might prove to be too much over the course of the game with his “feast or famine” approach. Also, recently-named starting quarterback Josh Freeman will now be able soften up the defense in the box with his abilities on the ground.
Quarterback Josh Freeman is tougher to defend than Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel.
- MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - Freeman has a stronger arm is a superior runner than either Ponder or Cassel.
- JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - Freeman has a bigger arm and can challenge the Giants down the field a lot more than the other two quarterbacks but his limited knowledge of the offense will make it a little easier to defend. Ponder also has the advantage of being far more mobile than Freeman. If Freeman was just as familiar as the other two, the answer to this question would be different.
- DAN SALOMONE: Fact - My one hesitation is his knowledge of the system after just joining the team recently. But let’s not forget he threw for 4,000 yards last year with 27 touchdowns against 17 interceptions. He also brings confidence to the position, which Minnesota has been lacking.
The NFC North is the best division in the conference.
- MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - I’ll take the NFC West, where Seattle and San Francisco are two of the league’ strongest teams and St. Louis and Arizona have improved.
- JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - I’ll take the NFC West because of the strength at the top of the division. The Seahawks are probably the best team in the NFC right now, and the 49ers are in the top four. The Rams are playing better recently and I think Arizona could finish around .500. I still don’t buy the Lions, Vikings or even the Bears as playoff teams.
- DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - I’d listen to the argument for it being the deepest, but I’ll agree with Eisen and Schmeelk. The NFC West defenses are no joke and will most likely lead to having a representative in the Super Bowl if I had to pick right now.
If the Giants win the turnover battle, they will win on Monday night.
- MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - They haven’t come out ahead in turnovers all season. When they finally do, they will win.
- JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - The Giants are the more talented team on both sides of the ball. If they finish in the plus column for the first time this year in the turnover battle they will win by two scores.
- DAN SALOMONE: Fact - It’s been the story all year. The Giants need to stop beating themselves before they can focus on beating someone else. Also, the Vikings rely heavily on turnovers and special teams breakdowns when their offense is stalling. The Giants can’t let them stay in the game that way.