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MINNESOTA VIKINGS 49 – NEW YORK GIANTS 17…
The New York Giants were humiliated by the Minnesota Vikings on national television on Sunday night. With the loss, the Giants fell to 6-9, ensuring their third losing season in a row. The Giants have lost five of their last six games.
While the Vikings only slightly out-gained the Giants in first downs (17 to 15) and total net yards (368 to 363), Minnesota held dramatic advantages in rushing yards (218 to 91) and time of possession (34:57 to 25:03). The Vikings also won the turnover battle 3 to 0 as quarterback Eli Manning was intercepted three times, one resulting in an interception for a touchdown and the other giving Minnesota the football at the New York 4-yard line and leading to another touchdown two plays later.
The Giants’ defense actually held up fairly well until late in the game. They forced Minnesota to punt on their first three possessions before allowing an 8-play, 40-yard drive that set up a 32-yard field goal. They then allowed a 5-play, 44-yard drive that ended with a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to tight end Kyle Rudolph. After forcing another punt, the Vikings set up another field goal late in the half by driving just 23 yards in seven plays.
Meanwhile, the Giants’ offense, minus suspended wide receiver Odell Beckham, struggled a great deal. The Giants only gained 112 net yards in the first half, and 50 of the 77 gross passing yards gained came on one pass play to running back Rashad Jennings. The Giants’ wide receivers only had three catches in the first half for 21 yards. Manning was sacked three times in the first half alone. New York only gained six first downs, three on one drive that set up a 27-yard field goal. Worse, Manning’s pass intended for wide receiver Rueben Randle late in the second quarter was picked off and returned 35 yards for a touchdown (the extra point was missed).
At the half, the Vikings led 19-3.
The game spiraled out of control in the third quarter. After the Giants went three-and-out to start the second half, the Vikings drove 58 yards in nine plays to set up a 22-yard field goal to take a 22-3 lead. On New York’s first ensuing offensive snap, Manning was intercepted for a third time in the game and the ball was returned 32 yards to the New York 4-yard line. Two plays later, Minnesota took a commanding 29-3 advantage when running back Adrian Peterson scored. After another three-and-out by the Giants, the Vikings kicked a 53-yard field goal to go up 32-3 late in the quarter.
The Giants did score on a 72-yard catch-and-run by Randle with about a minute left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 32-10. But the ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Vikings and returned 27 yards to the Giants’ 18-yard line. Six plays later, the Vikings scored a touchdown to extend their advantage to 39-10. Then came a 4-and-out by the Giants, followed by 26-yard drive that set up a 27-yard field goal, another drive that ended on downs by the Giants, and then a humiliating 68-yard run by reserve running back Jerick McKinnon. Reserve quarterback Ryan Nassib came into the game with 3:30 left and drove the Giants to a late garbage touchdown.
Offensively, Manning finished 15-of-29 for 234 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions. 122 passing yards came on two plays. No Giant caught more than three passes and no wide receiver caught more than two passes. Jennings did carry the football 14 times for 74 yards. Manning was sacked four times and officially hit eight times. Minnesota also had six tackles for losses.
Defensively, the Giants did not force a turnover. They did accrue three sacks: 1.5 by defensive end Robert Ayers, 0.5 by defensive end George Selvie, and 1.0 by linebacker Jonathan Casillas. New York also had six tackles for losses and seven quarterback hits.
Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.
Right tackle Marshall Newhouse and safety Craig Dahl both left the game with concussions and did not return. Linebacker J.T. Thomas injured his ankle but returned until he was later ejected for throwing a punch.
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the following players are available at Giants.com:
- Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Video)
- QB Eli Manning (Video)
- RB Shane Vereen (Video)
- OC Weston Richburg (Video)
- CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Video)
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 28, 2015
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 28, 2015
Inactive for the Giants were LB Devon Kennard (foot), S Cooper Taylor (concussion), WR Geremy Davis, OG Adam Gettis, OT Emmett Cleary, DE Stansly Maponga, and CB Jayron Hosley.
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- Giants miss playoffs again, so now what? by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com
- Giants’ year of potential gets shredded in most painful locale by Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post
- Don’t judge Tom Coughlin by this mess with nothing on the line by Bob Glauber of Newsday
- Giants haven’t taken advantage of having Eli Manning at QB by Tom Rock of Newsday