Keys to the game: Giants-Vikings
How do you go about trying to bottle Justin Jefferson?
I have had the distinct pleasure of riding in the front seat of the 2022-23 Minnesota Vikings roller coaster. While covering the team for SB Nation, I have vacillated between pure electric joy and abject misery from the general hours of 1 pm to 4:30 pm EST on Sundays this fall. I do not yet have the words to describe the season of comebacks, turnovers, and a division title, but the Vikings still have time to write their own ending.
On Sunday, the Vikings will take on the Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium in a (Super?) Wild Card Weekend matchup. Though all of the first-round games are rematches, this is a rematch of a recent game. In Week 16, the Vikings broke field goal records on the way to a thrilling 27-24 win. The Vikings and Giants find themselves at interesting inflection points with two first-year head coaches who have built strong foundations for this phase of their respective teams. Still, questions face both teams as they prepare to take the field.
How do you stop (or slow) Justin Jefferson?
Justin Jefferson, an all-pro receiver determined to griddy into your heart, is largely unstoppable. Jefferson and Kevin O’Connell have helped each other grow as #18 carved up nearly every defense he faced on the way to a receiving title. The defenses who were able to limit his box score production included the Eagles, Lions, Cowboys, and Packers. Each game was instructive in how to design a game plan to fight back against a star receiver, but the Eagles showed my favorite coverage example of getting multiple eyes on a threat:
Take a look:
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