Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph leads the team with four red zone targets and two touchdowns
After a pair of dud prime-timers from Cincy and Pittsburgh, the NFL owes us one tonight and live from Minnesota we get a showdown between Eli Manning’s offense and Mike Zimmer’s Viking D.
WEEK 4 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
New York opened on the road against a hobbled Dallas defense and Manning spread the ball to seven different receivers for 203 passing yards in a 20-19 win. The Giants then faced a Saints team that’s allowing 38 points per gm (PPG) to everyone else and escaped with a 16-13 win on a last second field goal. Finally, things opened up vs. Washington and the Giants hit 350-passing and more than 100 rushing yards, but they also threw two picks and lost 29-27. Three games, each decided by three points or less and now the G-Men are getting four against Sam Bradford.
Before last year, this would be a no brainer; Bradford was on a 1-9 ATS run laying points. But a couple things have changed since then, starting with an offense in Philly. Once Bradford settled in, the Eagles went on a 6-3 SU/ATS run that only ended when Chip Kelly’s defensive players ran out of gas, both mentally and physically. The Eagles gave up 108 points in their final three games of 2015, Kelly was released in Week 16 and Bradford put the cap on his Philly career with a 35-30 win over the Giants.
A year later, Bradford is backed by one of the league’s top defensive units and while they lack the flash of a standout player like JJ Watt, the results speak for themselves. Minnesota has held the Packers and Panthers to 14 points or less in Bradford’s two starts and they rank 9th in both passing yards (211) and rushing yards (84) allowed per game.
It’s a balanced defense that fits nicely with Norv Turner’s balanced offensive attack. Minnesota is only rushing the ball 24.7 times per game — their lowest average since 2005. No AP has forced Turner to get more creative and once again, the results speak for themselves.
This will be a test for Minnesota’s secondary but the Giants don’t pose much of a threat to run. Zimmer has thrived against one-dimensional offenses and New York’s D is coming off a game where they spent more than 33 minutes on the field. The cards are lining up for Minnesota to stay undefeated and single-digit Monday home faves with perfect records are on a 14-0 SU and 12-1-1 ATS run vs. non-division foes. I’m laying the points.