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Vikings-Giants matchup of the day: Wednesday

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted Dec. 08, 2010 @ 7:06 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Let's take a look at another key matchup in Sunday's Vikings-Giants game in Minnesota:

Giants QB Eli Manning vs. Vikings' defense

Why such a broadly scoped matchup? Well, for one, Manning has never beaten the Vikings; he has an 0-4 record with two TDs and nine interceptions in those four contests. Of course, what he did in 2007 (a miserable performance in the old Meadowlands Stadium with three pick-sixes) has nothing to do with how he'll play Sunday. But Manning might struggle or be limited somewhat if at least one of his top receivers, Steve Smith (pectoral) and Hakeem Nicks (leg), can't get back on the field

The Vikings' pass rush won't have as much success against the Bills, who max-protected a good deal but still couldn't block them. The Giants have not let Manning get sacked in five consecutive games despite some injuries and shifting along the offensive line. They have gone to a quick-rhythm passing game and leaned on the run. The Vikings are likely to counter this and almost dare Manning to go deep, but that isn't always a good thing considering the Vikings' safeties and one of their starting corners.

Asher Allen has been picked on much of the season while Antoine Winfield mostly is ignored on the left (or sometimes in the slot). So look for whomever lines up opposite Allen to get thrown to 8-10 times. The underneath coverage has been OK, but Manning could be able to fit some balls over the top, as the Vikes' safeties routinely have been late in deep coverage this season.

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