MINNESOTA VIKINGS 27 – NEW YORK GIANTS 24…
The New York Giants were leading heading into the 4th quarter and tied the game with two minutes left, but too many costly mistakes led to a disappointing 27-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Vikings kicked a 61-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. With the loss, the Giants fell to 8-6-1 on the season.
Both teams accrued 23 first downs apiece and the time of possession was also just about even. But the Giants surprisingly had more total yards (445 to 353), net yards rushing (126 to 83), and net yards passing (319 to 270) than the Vikings. Yet while the Giants dropped three potential interceptions, the Vikings won the turnover battle 2-0 and also blocked a punt that led to points.
Both teams punted twice on each of their first two drives of the 1st quarter. Minnesota then went up 7-0 after a far-too-easy, 8-play, 84-yard drive that resulted in a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to tight end T.J. Hockenson.
On the ensuing possession, the Giants gained 37 yards on four straight plays. Then on the first play of the 2nd quarter, quarterback Daniel Jones completed a 16-yard pass to tight end Daniel Bellinger to the Minnesota 23-yard line. However, Bellinger fumbled and the Vikings returned the loose ball to their own 36-yard line. Ten plays and 42 yards later, the Vikings kicked a 40-yard field goal that gave them a 10-0 advantage.
The Giants responded with a 10-play, 69-yard drive. On 2nd-and-goal, Jones threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins to cut the score to 10-7.
The Giants forced a quick three-and-out. A promising drive late in the 2nd quarter by Giants that moved the ball from their own 9-yard line to the Minnesota 45-yard line was sabotaged by a sack and then a deflected pass on 3rd-and-9. The Giants punted with 43 seconds left. The Vikings’ Hail Mary attempt ended with a sack by defensive lineman Leonard Williams.
At the half, the Vikings led 10-7.
The Giants received the ball to start the 3rd quarter and immediately proceeded to tie the game. New York gained 49 yards in eight plays to set up a 44-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano. The Vikings picked up one first down and then punted. The Giants put together their second scoring drive, but again were forced to settle for another 44-yard field goal. After facing a 2nd-and-6 from the Minnesota 19-yard line, a false start by left guard Nick Gates and a 3rd-and-9 sack also sabotaged the possession. Nevertheless, the Giants were now up 13-10 late in the 3rd quarter.
A big momentum shift occurred on the ensuing possession by the Vikings. On 2nd-and-6 from their own 29-yard line, it originally appeared that cornerback Cor’Dale Flott intercepted Cousins at the New York 40-yard line. However, the ruling on the field was reversed by instant replay. The drive continued and ended with a 15-yard touchdown throw on 3rd-and-5 despite heavy pressure on the quarterback and good coverage on Hockenson. In all, Minnesota gained 75 yards in 12 plays to take a 17-13 lead early in the 4th quarter.
Matters got worse for New York on the ensuing possession as Jones was intercepted by cornerback Patrick Peterson. The interception was returned to the Minnesota 29-yard line. However, the New York defense held when the Vikings went for it on 4th-and-2 from the Giants’ 44-yard line. Cousins’ deep pass was broken up by cornerback Darnay Holmes. The Giants gained one first down, but on 3rd-and-5, wide receiver Richie James dropped a pass from Jones. Gano kicked a 55-yard field goal to cut the score to 17-16.
The New York defense forced a quick three-and-out, and with 4:24 left in the game, the Giants got the ball back at their own 25-yard line, down by one point. However, the Giants also went three-and-out, and on 4th-and-4, punter Jamie Gillan’s punt was blocked, setting up Minnesota at the New York 29-yard line with four minutes left in the contest.
The game looked to be over at the 3-minute mark when Cousins found wide receiver Justin Jefferson for a 17-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-10. The Vikings now led 24-16. But the Giants quickly made things interesting again. In just 59 seconds, New York drove 75 yards in seven plays, including a 32-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton and a 27-yard touchdown run by running back Saquon Barkley on 4th-and-2. Jones then found Bellinger in the back of the end zone for the 2-point conversion. With 2:01 left on the clock, the game was tied at 24-24.
Minnesota began their game-winning drive at their own 25-yard line. What killed the Giants was Cousins completing a 16-yard pass to Jefferson on 3rd-and-9 and then a 17-yard pass to Jefferson on 3rd-and-11. The latter came on a play where the Giants blitzed and Jefferson hurt the Giants on a wide receiver screen. With four seconds left on the clock, place kicker Greg Joseph nailed a 61-yard field goal as time expired.
Jones finished the game 30-of-42 for 334 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He rushed four times for 34 yards and was sacked three times. James (90 yards), Hodgins (89 yards, one touchdown), and Barkley (49 yards) each caught eight passes. Barkley gained 84 yards on 14 carries and also scored a touchdown.
The defense held the Vikings to 83 yards rushing and 270 yards passing. But Minnesota was 6-of-13 on 3rd down, including the two late 3rd-down conversions that set up the game-winning field goal. The Giants accrued four sacks, one each by linebacker Jaylon Smith, linebacker/safety Landon Collins, linebacker Azeez Ojulari, and defensive end Leonard Williams. The team was also credited with 11 quarterback hits, six tackles for losses, and six pass defenses.
GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.
INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), OG Shane Lemieux (toe), WR David Sills, OG Jack Anderson, and CB Rodarius Williams.
OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle) left the game in the 2nd quarter and did not return. Ojulari said after the game that x-rays on his ankle were negative and he suffered a sprain.
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
- Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video)
- QB Daniel Jones (Video)
- RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
- TE Daniel Bellinger (Video)
- S Julian Love (Video)
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the team on Christmas. Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by conference call on Monday.