MNF: Giants Get First Win, Vikings Continue To Struggle
On Monday night the winless New York Giants and the almost winless Minnesota Vikings competed most of the game to see which team was more terrible. It was close in the first half, but the Vikings ultimately pulled away in the second.
Minnesota stumbled into seven points at the end of the first quarter when Marcus Sherels returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown. The Giants, on the other hand, managed to put points on the board in every quarter, resulting in a 23-7 victory.
Quarterback Eli Manning was visibly relieved in his post game press conference, stating the obvious, “It’s good to be smiling.” He said there was finally a little excitement in the locker room, adding, “If you play and you don’t win after awhile, you kind of forget that feeling, that winning feeling.”
It wasn’t a great night for the Giants, but for the first time this season Manning threw for a touchdown and didn’t turn the ball over once. He completed over 50 percent of his passes, going 23-of-39 for 200 total yards.
There weren’t many more highlights for the home team, but getting the first win of the season behind them was highlight enough. Hopefully the next one will come easier.
There were no bright spots for the Vikings, who lost a second consecutive game since defeating the Steelers in London in Week 4. The loss drops Minnesota to 1-5 on the season and their schedule moving forward is nothing short of a nightmare.
Coach Leslie Frazier made the curious decision to start Josh Freeman, who was signed by the team about two weeks ago, despite the availability of Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, both of whom are a bit more familiar with the playbook.
Even if it was a conscious decision by Frazier to test Freeman in a trial by fire situation, then logical next step would’ve been to lean heavily on their superstar running back Adrian Peterson. Apparently logic has gone out the window along with any chance of playing in January.
The Vikings went to Peterson, the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, exactly 13 times against the Giants. He wasn’t particularly effective rushing for just 28 yards, but who knows what AD could’ve done on another 20 attempts.
Heck, they could’ve given him 30…or 40 more!
That would’ve been a better option than making Freeman, who has been in possession of the playbook for 15 days max, throw the ball 53 times. He completed just 20 of those passes for 190 yards and an interception.
Freeman never even had a chance, thanks to a coach who is thinking too much about how to save his job with quick fixes, rather than focusing on the problems that continue to plague this Vikings team.
Frazier may think his only option is to win now, but with the season already in the gutter, it’s going to take more than a couple of ugly wins to save his butt. Besides, there’s a real possibility they’ll finish 1-15
He needs to rethink his current strategy and start looking at the big picture.
Even then it’s a long shot for Frazier to keep his job, but it’s his only shot at this point.