VIKINGS (2-2) AT GIANTS (2-2)
MetLife Stadium, 1 p.m.
Line: Vikings by 5 1/2; O/U 43 1/2
TV: Ch. 5 (Sam Rosen, Charles Davis)
Radio: WFAN-660 AM (Bob Papa, Carl Banks, Howard Cross); Sirius 113; XM 231
Giants: RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), LB Alec Ogletree (hamstring), LB Tae Davis (concussion) out. LB Lorenzo Carter (neck) questionable, Vikings: CB Mackensie Alexander (elbow/groin), LB Kentrell Brothers (hamstring/wrist) out.
Pat Shurmur spent two seasons as an offensive coach for the Vikings on Mike Zimmer’s staff before he came to the Giants, so there are no secrets between the two coaches in this game. “I know their mindset, I know how they function,” Shurmur said. “They have a progressive mindset, certainly, but they’re old school.” Will that help any on Sunday? Probably not. “For the most part, at least in my experience, in games where you say, ‘Well, you know we know this crew . . . ,’ that kind of stuff usually backfires on you,” Shurmur said. “It’s a new team playing against a new team, and it comes down to the players executing.”
“We’re going to swing the axe and we are going to swing the hell out of it, but we are going to swing it the right way.” – defensive coordinator James Bettcher using a lumberjack analogy to tell his unit to work hard and smart.
Shurmur says there is nothing mystical about the time 10:42 a.m., but it may have some power. That’s the time that Shurmur moved the start of practices to a few weeks ago and he said it has made a difference in the energy and enthusiasm of the workouts. Rather than be on the field in the afternoon when the players can be a bit sluggish, he has them there in mid-morning when they are their most alert and awake. “I do like our new schedule,” he said. “I believe in it, and I wish I would’ve thought of this sooner.”
1 - Team in the NFL that has scored on every one of its opening offensive possessions this season: The Giants. They have three touchdowns and a field goal in their four first drives.