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

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

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