NFL Monday Night Football: Giants Vs. Vikings

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Brett Favre's injury may be a blessing in disguise for the Minnesota Vikings. Even with a day of rest, it appears Favre won't start and Tarvaris Jackson will most likely get the opportunity to play a full game under center. The future of the Vikings organization does not rest on Brett Favre's ability, and his 297-game starting streak is not important enough to risk a chance to get Jackson some seasoning against one of the best teams in the league: the New York Giants. 

Despite the Metrodome's collapse, the Vikings do have a strong future, and Favre's final fling with football is turning into the kind of freak show that distracts the team from growing as a cohesive unit. A new coach was the first step, and putting Favre on the bench is step two in the rebuilding process. Even in the peak of health earlier in the season, Favre couldn't lift his team to glory against the best teams the Vikings faced. The Cowboys, Lions, and Cardinals were not statement wins for the Vikings, and the latest victories over the Redskins and Bills aren't anything to write home about, either.

The New York Giants have a quarterback who could someday break some of Favre's records in Eli Manning (260-401, 2,982 yds, 23 TDs, 17 INTs). He's young, talented, and comes to Detroit for this game with a team that has a very strong defense that will tear Favre to shreds if he starts. Starting Tarvaris Jackson is a much better option for the struggling Vikings if they hope to finish the season with at least a .500 record. He needs the snaps, the big game experience, and the time with Favre as his coach, which is what #4 is much better suited for at this stage of his flagging career.   

Manning's Giants need this win to keep pace with the Division Leading Philadelphia Eagles. The Vikings need to win to prove the future is bright and that Jackson can be a big game quarterback whether it's crucial to getting to the playoffs or it's just for bragging rights. This game means more for the Giants right now, but the Vikings are not going to lie down and get stomped on, either.

Adrian Peterson (233 carries, 1,123 yards, 11 TDs) is going to have to play a huge role if the Vikings hope to win. He can take tons of pressure off Jackson and keep the Giants defense confused. The strength of the running game will also help the Vikings establish game control and time of possession.

For the Giants Ahmad Bradshaw (219 carries, 1,013 yards, 7 TDs) and Brandon Jacobs (100 carries, 577 yards, 7 TDs) will be doing together what Peterson will have to do mostly by himself. With Wide Receivers Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith questionable going into this game, Manning may have to rely on his running game as well. Still, the Giants have plenty of depth at the wide receiver position. Tight End Kevin Boss (26 receptions, 420 yards, 3 TDs) is no slouch, either. Bradshaw is also the team's 4th leading receiver in addition to being the top rusher.  

The postponement of this game puts more of a spotlight on these teams to perform under pressure once the action gets underway. The regularly-scheduled Monday Night Football game doesn't start until an hour and ten minutes after this game's 7:20 kickoff. All eyes will be on the quarterbacks as Jackson will get a chance to establish himself as a team leader and Manning will be looking to make this a tune-up game for a run to the playoffs.

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