NFL News & Analysis

NYG-MIN grades: Bradford quick, efficient in Vikings win

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 3: of the game on October 3, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** =m#3;=v#3

Minnesota Vikings 24, New York Giants 10

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Minnesota’s 24-10 win over the Giants:

Minnesota Vikings

Quarterback grade: Sam Bradford 74.5

Bradford quick, efficient in win 

There were a handful of overthrows I’m sure Bradford would like to have back, but this is the quick and efficient Bradford we’ve come to expect after his first two games in purple. The Vikings quarterback was three-of-four on passes 20+ yards down the field for 91 yards and he didn’t have a single pass deemed turnover-worthy on the day.

Top offensive grades:

G Alex Boone 79.8
G Brandon Fusco 79.2
WR Charles Johnson 78.0
C Joe Berger 77.7
TE Kyle Rudolph 72.3

Maligned O-Line comes through

Edge pressure can be the most treacherous form of pressure for a quarterback because its potential suddenness. If that pressure is coupled with clean pockets to step up into though, then it’s difficult to convert into sacks — and that's exactly what happened to the Vikings Monday night. The interior trio of left guard Alex Boone, center Joe Berger and right guard Brandon Fusco had their best performance as a unit, not allowing a single pressure between them. Bradford was only pressured on 18.7 percent of his dropbacks compared to 43.1 percent the previous two weeks.

Top defensive grades:

CB Xavier Rhodes 85.1
DT Linval Joseph 79.9
CB Captain Munnerlyn 78.3
CB Terence Newman 76.8
CB Trae Waynes 75.7
S Harrison Smith 75.7

Vikings’ secondary contains Beckham Jr. & co.

Minnesota’s secondary accounted for five of the top six graded players on the defense. They were led by Xavier Rhodes, who allowed three catches for 23 yards on seven targets to Odell Beckham Jr. He also had the interception and a pass breakup. No secondary player allowed more than 36 receiving yards, and the group accounted for just 109 of the Giants’ 261 passing yards allowed. They also did it with little help from the pass-rushers. Eli Manning was pressured on just 24 percent of his dropbacks, and they had just one hit and no sacks. It was a mixed performance from LB Eric Kendricks, who led the Vikings with four defensive stops, but also had four of the defense’s nine missed tackles. Linval Joseph had a significant impact early on, but didn’t carry that throughout the whole game. At one point in the first half, Joseph had three run stops on seven run defense snaps, but he did not record another stop on his other nine snaps in run defense for the rest of the game.

New York Giants

Quarterback grade: Eli Manning 46.7

Giants struggle in downfield passing game

For a player that finished with 261 passing yards, it was actually a pretty unproductive outing for Eli Manning. Over two thirds of his passing yards came after the catch as he failed to complete many passes further downfield. His adjusted completion percentage dropped nearly 60 percentage points on passes targeted 10-plus yards downfield compared to those under 10 yards (82.7 to 23 percent). He completed just three of 13 passes targeted 10+ yards downfield with one interception and another pass that should have been intercepted but was dropped by Kendricks. Manning wasn’t under pressure that often (11 of 45 dropbacks), but he completed just three passes for 13 yards for a passer rating of 1.7 on those plays.

Top offensive grades:

G Justin Pugh 85.8
C Weston Richburg, 75.8
HB Bobby Rainey 73.7
G John Jerry 70.0
T Bobby Hart 69.1

New York offense underperforms almost across the board

Left guard Justin Pugh was the top performer on offense, and really the only player that stood out for good reasons. He did not allow a single pressure on 46 snaps in pass protection, and had some key blocks in the run game. Weston Richburg earned a slightly above-average overall grade in his battle with Joseph. The rest of the offensive line was mediocre as they allowed a combined nine pressures and two of the three had below average run-blocking grades. The skill players didn’t have that much of an impact. Paul Perkins had their best play of the night on a long screen pass, but he also was beaten twice in pass pro with the last one leading to a batted pass on the Giants’ final offensive play of the night to seal the game. Odell Beckham Jr. was the lowest-graded player on offense, and his 0.51 receiving yards per route run ranked 63rd out of 73 qualifying wide receivers this week.

Top defensive grades:

DE Olivier Vernon 87.8
S Landon Collins 83.2
LB Devon Kennard 82.4
DE Jason Pierre-Paul 78.3
DT Damon Harrison 75.4

Standout performances not enough

Olivier Vernon was finally a one-man wrecking crew along the defensive line with a hit and five hurries while Landon Collins showed his potential on the back end with five stops, but neither got much help from their teammates. Jason Pierre-Paul was the only other defensive lineman to record a pressure and his two hurries were lackluster on 38 pass rushes. For the secondary, Janoris Jenkins had easily his worst game of the year with a crucial pass interference penalty in the end zone and the lowest grade on the Giants defense.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Vikings’ CB Xavier Rhodes

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.


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