5 Vikings players to watch in Week 5 vs. the Giants

(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Anthony Barr
(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Anthony Barr /
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(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Anthony Barr
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Anthony Barr /

Anthony Barr – LB

Anthony Barr has had a pretty good season so far in 2019. He did miss a game with an injury, but he has 14 tackles and a sack so far on the year. He’s provided pressure off the edge at times, he has been good in coverage, and he has been tackling ball-carriers from sideline to sideline.

He needs to take it to the next level this Sunday. The Giants will be rolling out a rookie quarterback in Daniel Jones who only has two career starts. The Vikings front seven needs to keep the pressure on this kid and keep him rattled and unsettled in the pocket.

This is a great opportunity for Mike Zimmer to utilize Barr as a pass rusher and let him smack Danny Dimes around a few times and get in his head, to the point he begins feeling pressure when it isn’t even there.

Barr will also need to be good in coverage this Sunday. Jones likely will be looking for quick dump-off passes to his running backs and tight ends and Barr could be tasked with covering these guys in some defensive alignments.

New York running back Wayne Gallman is no Saquon Barkley, but he is an effective pass catcher. Barr has to be ready for the wheel routes and screens and then lay the wood on the Giants’ backup ball-carrier.

Even more important for Barr than covering New York’s backs will be trying to cover tight end Evan Engram. The Giants may try to isolate Barr on Engram and that would be a mismatch. Engram is having a very good season and he has almost already hauled in 30 passes. Barr will need to be on top of his game to cover this speedy and fluid big man.