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Vikings-Giants matchup of the day: Saturday

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted Dec. 11, 2010 @ 12:44 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Here's another key matchup to watch when the Giants and Vikings meet Sunday at the Metrodome:

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson vs. Giants' front seven

The Vikings have gone more with their bread and butter under Leslie Frazier. When head coach Brad Childress was running the show, the Vikings averaged 26.3 rushing attempts per game. With Frazier at the helm now, they have rushed 38 and 40 times the past two weeks and have given the ball to their best player, Adrian Peterson, when it matters. Even with Peterson almost missing last week's game with a sore ankle, he still managed to rush for three TDs and continually pound the Bills into submission.

Comparing the Bills' 31st-ranked run defense to that of the Giants, even with the Jaguars doing damage against the Giants two weeks ago, is a pointless exercise. The Giants have been excellent about 80 percent of the time this season against the run, but with some notable struggles in certain situations. The Colts, Titans, Eagles and Jaguars all had major success running the ball against the Giants, but none did it for four quarters against them. The Giants know that Peterson might butt his head several times for two- and three-yard gains, but he has the pop to bust a 40-yarder with the smallest of creases.

Don't expect the Vikings to give up on the run, even if it struggles early. Toby Gerhart also can spell Peterson if his ankle acts up. They run the inside and outside zone series and also will pound it downhill in key situations, even as long as on 3rd-and-4s or 5s. But if OLG Steve Hutchinson (broken thumb) can't play, you'll have rookie Chris DeGeare (who struggled in his first start at times) going up against a pair of experienced tackles in Chris Canty and Barry Cofield and a couple of stunting ends in Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, who also can line up inside and beat offensive linemen with speed and slick pass-rush moves.

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