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

The top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Minnesota’s win over the New York Giants.

| 9 months ago
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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

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.

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • Johnny U.

    bradford is getting hype like carson wentz, but im not seeing anything special… russell wilson deserved higher than an 87 for he did againist the jets, and prescott deserves higher than he got againist the 49ers

    • Antileftist

      Wentz is getting way more love on a national basis. People have said that he’s the best rookie they’ve ever seen. No one is loving Bradford like that. With Bradford, it’s more of a surprise, that he is finally living up to his first pick status. Bradford isn’t getting hyped because he’s putting up great numbers. He’s getting noticed for winning games efficiently, as the headlines state. He is producing enough points to win, making his teammates better, while not turning the ball over. He’s 3-0 with only 3.5 weeks on the squad. If you don’t see anything special, then you should write an article for PFF and tell them why they are wrong in their assessment of him.

    • NAJ

      He’s not being asked to do too much that’s why. He’s being extremely efficient and not giving the ball away. This is the coach’s game plan to a tee. If you can’t understand that simple logic, you shouldn’t ever try to analyse ever again

  • Wackanhut

    Vikings secondary looking strong. When they do what they do regardless of who the opponent is, they are good. Only concern is, they rely heavily on scheme and disguising packages. As the season carries on, more and more film is available, it will be interesting to see if this group can maintain their performance. If they do, the vikings will continue to be very dangerous as they set out on the seattle/denver path of league dominance through total effort and defense.

  • Matt

    @Wackanhut ???? Did you watch the game the Vikings scheme was total vanilla. Eli said this week that he had the Vikings scheme figured out. That’s the best thing about this defense, the personnel are so good that they can totally flip game plans and still be effective. They are dominant because their players are dominant not just disguising coverages.

    • 81TinaKane

      It was interesting to watch the Vikings play more coverage an in weeks past to neutralize the Giants 3 receivers, they blitzed a lot less and Any time the Vikings got close to ELI he threw it into the ground, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a qb spike the ball in the ground as much as what ELI did last night, however I thought the Vikings played great coverage, a few missed tackles by kendricks was the only real down side I think

  • crosseyedlemon

    Sam got some rough treatment by Viking fans recently so now we get to see how Matt does under fire…lol.

  • Josh Pate

    Eli was adorable last night. After seeing what happened to Cam, he was determined to get the ball out before he got denutted. The Vikes got zero sacks because Eli was concerned about his ability to still play golf in five years. It was an absolutely gutless performance by him, not willing to take a SINGLE SHOT and deliver a downfield strike under pressure.

    I love how it’s pointed out that Eli “wasn’t under pressure that often”. No, he wasn’t. That’s because his first 24 passes didn’t go 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. He was terrified, and determined to get rid of the ball as fast as possible.

    And this is where the PFF metrics DON’T REFLECT REALITY. PFF metrics say the Vikings didn’t generate pressure. The REALITY is that the Vikings’ pressure utterly rattled the opposing QB the ENTIRE GAME. The Vikings pressure DICTATED terms to the Giants offense. The best deep threat in the game posted a career low in yards. But again, if you don’t see the game, and just look at PFF numbers, you don’t get any idea of what actually happened.

    So keep geeking on the “NEXT GEN” stats. LMAO

    • KMax

      Are you a complete moron? Eli was adorable? Lmao.

      • Josh Pate

        That’s called sarcasm you idiot. But thanks for the smart reply (sarc on)

        • KMax

          No sh!t genius.

    • cka2nd

      It wasn’t so much the actual pressure by the Vikings that rattled Manning but the threat of the pressure that got to him. Perhaps it was his memory of the pressure from last year’s whipping, or a projection of the pressure he could expect after watching the film of the Vikes’ first three games of this season. In any case, it certainly looked like a performance that was thoroughly undermined by fear. And it wasn’t helped by mostly solid coverage from the Vikings’ secondary, especially a deep cornerbacking corps that is starting to look like a many-headed Medusa, turning quarterbacks either into stone as they wait for an opening or mice who throw the ball away when they see all of their options covered.

      • Josh Pate

        Thanks for totally agreeing with what I just wrote

        • KMax

          What you wrote is complete garbage and not even adorable.

          • Josh Pate

            delete your account

          • KMax

            Is this Odell? Awfully over sensitive.

        • cka2nd

          Almost, although you implied that it was the pressure that the Vikings brought in this game on top of the previous game’s pressure that rattled Eli, while I basically said that the pressure the Vikes brought on Monday night really had nothing to do with his performance. I also specifically credited the Vikings’ coverage, especially that of the cornerbacks, with helping to undermine Manning’s game. Finally, I made my argument with less bile, chest-thumping and shouting than you.

    • mormonrock124

      Manning basically played the way Bradford did just w/o the open WR’s and TE’s but yeah I guess standing in the pocket to take unnecessary hits is something to be proud of.

    • KMax

      That team was tops in turnovers coming into a game with one of the best defenses in the league right now. You don’t hold onto the ball with that line to get it strip sacked. They rightly played it conservative and were within a team of tying the game.

      • Josh Pate

        Ummm, that game was not close. They had one lucky play on the screen that went for 67. When that happened I was sitting there thinking “Last points of the game for Giants”. Then the Vikes slammed the door. If they “rightly played it conservative” why did a) Beckham post all time low in yards and b) get completely whupped on national tv.

        Maybe they can keep on “rightly playing conservative” and keep on losing

        • KMax

          Lucky play? LMAO. Lucky play. That was a great screen and it worked because the LBs were dropping back into coverage! It’s why they HAD to run it. It’s why Eli checked into the run. It’s why the Vikes looked real DUMB on one check where Eli adjusted the protection for a big run. Harris muffed punt screwed them. They were in the game and Bradford wasn’t doing anything spectacular. They got within one score with another huge run and that stadium got real quiet. Defense, of course, gives up a TD. But hey Eli. You’re real adorable.

          • Josh Pate

            Butthurt Giants fan. Suck it. Skol bitch.

          • KMax

            Aw, hurt your whittle feelings with some fking facts? Adorable.

          • Josh Pate

            My feelings are the opposite of hurt. I’m SUPER stoked. My team just goat raped your team. SCOREBOARD

          • KMax

            LOL. You are as butt hurt as Odell is every freaking week. Funny. That stadium got awfully quiet after they ranned it down your throats. Vikes are a fun team and hope they go all they way, but you’re a moron.

    • KMax

      Odell, Cruz, and Shepard weren’t getting opened all night. The LBs who are fast would drop back into coverage. He wasn’t under pressure but NO ON WAS OPEN. The tight ends are checkdowns to the RBs or throwing it into the dirt were the only plays. But, hey, Eli. You’re adorable for not taking hits that Rodgers and Newton showed are DUMB PLAYS with this defense.

      • Josh Pate

        He wasn’t under pressure because the ball was out of his hand in under one second on the twenty third bubble screen or slant in a row. My point, tard, is that in order for the Giants to actually have a chance in this game, Eli would have to stand in there with courage, hold the ball for more than one second, deliver a strike and take a shot. He wasn’t willing to do that, and that’s why they lost. So the PFF metrics say there was no pressure, when in fact, the Vikings pressure is WHY they lost.

        Which makes Eli adorable. Like a baby. The opposite of a man.

        • KMax

          WRONG. LMAO. The ball was in the dirt because the RB missed an assignment on blitz pick up, for one. Watch the fking tape. For the Giants to have a chance, the receivers need to get open and catch the freaking ball. They need to run. They need to not muff punts. They need to not get penalties for crying about hits. They need to tackle. What they DONT NEED is the QB to HOLD THE BALL and get strip sacked like Rodgers and Newton know so well. And you really seem to have a little thing for Eli. Interesting. NTTAWWT tard.

          • Josh Pate

            You are absolutely right the Giants shouldn’t make ridiculous mistakes in all three phases. Thanks for the insight.

            Tell me again how the QB strategy to get the ball out quick worked last night. So like, if they play the Vikings again, they should do the same thing?

            After this, though, can we just stop. The Vikings are a much, much better team than the Giants. That game was like watching a baby seal get clubbed to death.

          • KMax

            IT DIDNT WORK. The receivers were bracketed all night. Doesn’t make you saying Eli needs to stay in and take a hit and that’s why they lost, any less stupid. And the Vikes are clearly the better DEFENSE but they were within striking distance to take the lead and Bradford isn’t doing much. Better pray Rudolph doesn’t go down.

          • Josh Pate

            The Giants had as much of a chance to take the lead as you understanding how to play quarterback.

          • KMax

            Holy crap you’re clueless. Enjoy your secret/not so secret crush on Eli.

    • McGeorge

      So I guess Tom Brady sucks and is gutless because he dinks and dunks and gets rid of the ball very quickly?

      Eli played poorly and missed some easy throws, not because he’s rattled for their pass rush, but because he’s not that great. And the Viking D played very well, even without a strong pass rush.

      • Josh Pate

        No, Brady is much more courageous than Eli IMO. He often steps into huge shots and throws a strike anyway.

    • enai D

      Yep, the Giants completely sold out to avoid the pass-rush. Keeping RBs and TE’s in to block (or at least chip) on most every passing down, short routes/dropbacks, and throwing the ball into the dirt every time a Vikings defender got within 5 ft of Eli. It got pretty comical by the end of the game- throwing passes for 2 yard gains when you’re down two touchdowns in the final couple minutes of the game.

      So clearly, there’s more than one way for a pass rush to be effective- they can get sacks and pressures, or they can so intimidate the offense that the offense completely sells out and changes their gameplan with the sole objective of avoiding sacks.. even at the expense of avoiding first downs, yards, and points as well.

  • skc

    I feel like PFF is becoming ESPN-ized. Game-ball winner to Xavier Rhodes? Really? How do you give credit to all of OBJs lack of production to Rhodes when the Vikings were double-teaming and rolling coverage to OBJ throughout the game? Your falling into the trap that if the WR1 has a bad game then the CB1 is responsible for it.

    • NAJ

      Yeh we had LB’s under and S over all game long. Rhodes was excellent individually but he did have a lot of help often

  • Brad Barber

    No you guys are getting it all wrong. Mcadoo scheme is all about quick passing and screens. When a team has arguably five capable starting cbs, a probowl safety, and two really good coverage lbs then their guna take away the quick short passing game easy.Mcadoo needs to put more effort into his play calling. And i counted like three screen passes to rainey/perkins where they didn’t turn around to catch the pass so eli had to just throw it at their feet to avoid the unblocked pressure.

    • Josh Pate

      Huh? Giants whole approach is to drive the ball downfield to their three talented deep receivers. It’s the opposite of a dink/dunk offense. FAIL

  • crosseyedlemon

    I wonder if I’m the only one who sees PFF searching for a ban hammer.