2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Giants finally win, beat punchless Vikings 23-7

By TOM CANAVAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-22 02:37

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - For the first time this season, the New York Giants are going to be able to watch the videotapes of a game and have something to smile about.

Winning has its benefits, even after six straight losses to open a season.

Eli Manning threw a go-ahead touchdown to Rueben Randle in a rare mistake-free performance and the Giants shut down Adrian Peterson and forced three crucial second-half turnovers in posting a 23-7 victory over struggling Minnesota Vikings (1-5) on Monday night.

The win ended the Giants' worst start since a franchise-record 0-9 beginning in 1976, and it gave Tom Coughlin's team a chance to breathe a sigh of relief.

''We needed to get one on the board,'' defensive end Justin Tuck said. ''I told (general manager) Jerry Reese that I think we have a shovel to start digging our way out of this hole. Hopefully, tonight is something we can build off. It's still a long way to climb out of this hole. But this was something that we could get the ball rolling.''

While the game wasn't perfect, the Giants did enough to win and avoided most of the mistakes that led to their disastrous start.

''This is what it is about,'' said safety Antrel Rolle, who made a big third-quarter interception after Minnesota recovered a fumble by Randle on a punt return at the Giants 31. ''It's about getting back to having fun. Obviously, things have been a little tense around here with the 0-6 start but we never gave up on one another. We kept pushing each other and rooting each other on.''

The defense was the key for New York. After giving up a league-high 209 points, it pitched a shutout. Minnesota was limited to 206 total yards, Peterson got 28 rushing on 13 carries and new quarterback Josh Freeman was under constant pressure, finishing 20 of 53 for 190 yards.

The Vikings' touchdown came on an 86-yard punt return by Marcus Sherels late in the first quarter, giving Minnesota a 7-3 lead.

''The defense was outstanding,'' Manning said. ''They were dominating the line of scrimmage and dominating the game. It does help the offense build a bit of a lead. We can be patient and not give their offense a short field by forcing anything.''

Manning, who has thrown a league-high 15 interceptions, didn't have one. He finished 23 of 39 for 200 yards, throwing a go-ahead 24-yard touchdown to Randle in the second quarter.

New running back Peyton Hillis added a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter after Zak DeOssie recovered a fumble on a punt return by Sherels at the Vikings 3.

''It's a struggle. We've been in a funk,'' said Peterson, who attended his 2-year-old son's funeral five days ago. ''There were plays we just didn't execute. We can't just focus on the offensive line. There are a lot of things as a unit we can do to get better.''

Josh Brown kicked field goals of 35, 23 and 36 yards for the Giants, who were limited to 257 total yards.

''Honestly, I'm done trying to find explanations,'' Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said. ''We've got to play better. Obviously, we're not playing good enough to win. That's the bottom line. We are fighting.''

Here are five things we learned after watching two of the NFL's most disappointing teams play in a nationally televised game:

GIANTS DEE-FENCE: The defense finally showed up for the Giants. The front line had only one sack but had at least a dozen hits on Freeman. The run defense against Peterson was stellar and the overall play allowed Manning to play a conservative game on a night the offense was struggling.

NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME: Freeman, who was released by the Bucs earlier this month, isn't ready. He showed little touch with his passes, throwing the close ones too hard and missing receivers sometimes by as much as 10 yards on throws. His worst mistake was putting a ball up for grabs with the Vikings down 10-7 in the third quarter and at the Giants 31. He also took a 14-yard sack that quarter that took the Vikings out of field-goal range.

WOES AT RUNNING BACK: The Giants still don't have a top running back. David Wilson is out with a neck injury and Brandon Jacobs sat out with a hamstring injury after gaining 106 yards against the Bears 11 days ago. Hillis ran hard, but the bottom line was 36 yards on 18 carries as he was slow hitting holes. The same can be said for rookie Michael Cox, who had 23 yards on 11 carries.

ADRIAN PETERSON: The Giants expected to get a big dose of Peterson with the Vikings using Freeman at quarterback. Surprisingly, No. 28 only had 13 carries and he was targeted six other times on passes, catching three for 22 yards. For some reason, Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier had Freeman carry the burden for the offense in his first start with the team and that may have played into the Giants' hands.

SPECIAL TEAMS: While Sherels set a single-game Vikings record with 119 yards on punt returns, he also made the crucial error in the third quarter when he fumbled after tripping. Since he had not been touched by a Giants player it was a recoverable ball. The Giants' punt coverage team is dismal, having allowed a third return for a TD. Trindon Holliday had an 81-yarder for Denver and Dexter McCluster had an 89-yarder for Kansas City. New York also gave up a 69-yard kickoff return to rookie Cordarrelle Patterson.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

Dez BryantFeb 26 09:03a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is likely to receive the franchise tag because the team is hesitant to sign him long term due to a lack of trust off [ More ]

Peyton ManningFeb 25 09:23p

The Denver Broncos and representatives for QB Peyton Manning are working on revising the veteran's contract, according to multiple league sources. He is scheduled to draw a $19 million [ More ]

Reggie BushFeb 25 05:33p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush has been cut Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A.J. HawkFeb 25 04:43p

Green Bay Packers LB A.J. Hawk was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move will save them $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Jacoby JonesFeb 25 12:33p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was released Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Peyton HillisFeb 25 10:43a

New York Giants RB Peyton Hillis was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move saves $945,000 on the 2015 salary cap.

Dez BryantFeb 24 10:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant's NFL career could be in jeopardy if a video he allegedly appears is as bad as it sounds. A source said the 'incriminating video [ More ]

Jake LongFeb 24 09:23p

The St. Louis Rams are likely to release OT Jake Long this offseason for savings against the salary cap, according to beat writer Nick Wagoner.

Mathias KiwanukaFeb 24 03:33p

New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka has been released Tuesday, Feb. 24.

DeAngelo WilliamsFeb 24 12:23p

Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) said he was not upset when the Carolina Panthers told him last week that he'd be released. Williams told Charlotte's WBTV that DE Greg [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's father denied a report that Peterson no longer wants to play for Minnesota. Peterson's father said Peterson is still open to a return to [ More ]

Ted Ginn Jr.Feb 23 04:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Ted Ginn Jr. was released Monday, Feb. 23.

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's situation with the team worsened during the NFL scouting combine as his agent and members of Minnesota's front office had a heated verbal altercation, [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 21 10:22a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) looks good as he continues to recover from a torn right pateller tendon in his knee, according to general manager Jerry Reese. [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 20 02:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will enter the 2015 season as the team's starting quarterback, and general manager Bruce Allen thinks Griffin's ceiling in the NFL remains high. [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 20 08:42a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fits well in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'My first impression: I can feel the quickness,' Quinn said [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 19 07:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) may commence running shortly, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz is recovering from a torn right patellar tendon in his right knee.

Andre EllingtonFeb 19 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) remains the focal point of the offense, according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Ellington split the injured tendon in his left foot, [ More ]

C.J. AndersonFeb 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson finished the year as the team's No. 1 running back and made the Pro Bowl, but new head coach Gary Kubiak said Anderson must [ More ]

James CaseyFeb 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles TE James Casey has been released.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group