The New York Giants Win Their First Game of the Season, Defeat Minnesota Vikings 23-7: The New York Giants defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 on Monday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It was the Giants’ first victory of the 2013 NFL season, as the Giants are now 1-6 overall.
The Giants’ defense pitched a shutout as Minnesota’s only points came on an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter. The Vikings were held to 30 net yards rushing on 14 running plays and recently-acquired QB Josh Freeman, starting his first game for Minnesota, struggled all night with his accuracy. Freeman only completed 38 percent of his throws, finishing the game 20-of-53 for 190 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. And quite a few of those completions and yards came in garbage time after New York went up 23-7.
Not counting their two-play possession at the end of the first half, the Vikings had five first-half possessions. Four ended in punts and another with a missed 53-yard field goal. The Vikings only manged four first downs and 91 yards in the first half. It wasn’t much better in the second half as the Vikings only managed one first down and 23 yards on their first four possessions of the second half. Besides forcing three punts, the defense also forced a turnover when S Antrel Rolle picked off Freeman at the Giants’ 5-yard.
Minnesota only somewhat started to move the football after the Giants took a 23-7 advantage with 11 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. But each of the Vikings’ final three drives ended with a turnover on downs.
Offensively, the Giants did not exactly impress, but they did enough to win the game. The Giants were held to 64 yards rushing with recently-signed RB Peyton Hillis carrying the ball 18 times for 36 yards and a touchdown and rookie RB Michael Cox carrying the ball 11 times for 23 yards. QB Eli Manning finished the game 23-of-39 for 200 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.
The Giants received the football to start the game and drove 68 yards in 17 plays on their opening drive to set up a 35-yard field goal. On their fourth possession of the first half, the Giants drove 82 yards in seven plays to take a 10-7 lead when Manning hit WR Rueben Randle for a 24-yard touchdown. New York did not do much offensively for the rest of the half as the Giants only picked up two first downs and 42 yards on their other five possessions, all resulting in punts, including one returned for the aforementioned touchdown.
In the second half, the Giants’ offense continued to struggle. After two three-and-outs, New York was handed a gift when the Vikings’ punt returner fumbled the ball away without being touched. Long snapper Zak DeOssie recovered the loose ball at the Minnesota 3-yard line and two plays later Hillis scored from one yard out. Giants 17 – Vikings 7.
The Giants’ best drive of the half came on the ensuing possession as New York drove 75 yards in 16 plays to set up a 23-yard field goal and a 20-7 advantage. Then DE Damontre Moore forced the Vikings’ returner to fumble the ensuing kickoff. LB Jacquian Williams recovered at the Minnesota 18-yard line. New York was not able to pick up a single yard but PK Josh Brown nailed his third field goal of the game, this one from 36 yards out and the Giants went up 23-7. The Giants could not pick up a first down when attempting to run out the clock on their next two possessions, but Minnesota’s pathetic offense could not take advantage.
Video highlights are available at NFL.com.
Injury Report – Baas Hurt Again: OC David Baas left the game early with an injury to his left knee and will have an MRI taken on Tuesday. “I can’t catch a break,” Baas said after the game.
DE Justin Tuck dislocated a finger but said he was fine.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference are available at Giants.com.
Player Post-Game Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of post-game media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:
- QB Eli Manning (Video)
- RB Peyton Hillis (Video)
- WR Victor Cruz (Video)
- WR Rueben Randle (Video)
- DE Justin Tuck (Video)
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Video)
- LB Jon Beason (Video)
- S Antrel Rolle (Video)
Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were QB Ryan Nassib, RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring), RB David Wilson (neck), TE Adrien Robinson (foot), DT Johnathan Hankins, CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), and S Cooper Taylor (shoulder).
Eagles Sign LB Emmanuel Acho from Giants’ Practice Squad: The Philadelphia Eagles signed LB Emmanuel Acho from the Giants’ Practice Squad on Monday. Acho was added to the Giants’ Practice Squad in September after the Eagles had waived him.