For all of you who stayed up to endure the Giants topping the Vikings 23-7 for their first victory of 2013, we salute you. You are clearly made of hard stuff. These two teams (who came into this game with one combined win) played three hours of “football” that was … interesting, to say the least.
Before we get into what we can take away from this game, let’s start simple. Let’s break down the bad and the good from Monday night’s madness.
1. Peyton Hillis, making his Giants debut and playing for his fifth NFL team, led all rushers with 18 carries for 36 yards.
2. Eli Manning didn’t throw an interception and we were all amazed.
3. The victorious Giants ran 73 offensive plays and gained only 257 total yards.
4. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin’s blood pressure isn’t getting any lower … and his team won:
5. Josh Freeman, in his first start for the Vikings, threw 53 passes. Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson — last season’s MVP — carried the ball just 13 times.
6. Vikings returner Marcus Sherels took a punt back 86 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Hooray! He then erased all the positive feelings for that with this bumbling fumble in the second half that set up an easy Giants touchdown that pretty much put the game away:
7. Not be outdone by Sherels, Shariff Floyd joined the butterfingers party with this gem off a Giants kickoff:
8. Here is a summary of every Vikings drive following Sherels’ punt return for a touchdown: punt, missed field goal, punt, punt, end of half, interception, punt, punt, downs, downs, downs.
9. Josh Freeman just made Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano look like a genius for getting rid of him. By the way, the Buccaneers are currently sitting winless at 0-6.
10. The Vikings are scheduled to play in Sunday’s primetime game. Oh, god no. Flex! Flex! Please flex!
11. This quote: “This is the worst thing I have ever seen. … And I’ve seen Tarvaris Jackson.” — Resident office Vikings fan
12.The only reason people tuned into this game was for fantasy implications. The only people who put up any points were Hillis (1 TD), Rueben Randle (1 TD) and the Giants defense (3 turnovers). Anyone out there start any of the three? Didn’t think so.
13. This game didn’t even allow for people to have fun at home:
I was planning on turning this game into a drinking game and take a shot for every turnover but I don’t want to die.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to what we can take away from this night of action.
Josh Freeman isn’t ready yet
You have to feel bad for the young quarterback. The guy has been through the wringer this month. First, he was released by the Buccaneers on Oct. 3, then after floating around in the ether for a few days, was signed by the Vikings on Oct. 6.
Now, this isn’t basketball or baseball. You can’t just switch teams, throw on a uniform and get out there. It takes time for a quarterback to learn the plays, the terminology and find a rapport with his receivers. Well, the Vikings didn’t afford Freeman that kind of of time and more or less threw him to the wolves on Monday night.
Freeman looked lost.
It wasn’t just that he completed only 20 of 53 throws for 190 yards in the loss, it’s that he looked bad while doing it. Several passes sailed high on open receivers and others landed nowhere close to anyone wearing a Vikings jersey. Want proof? Take a look at this third-quarter interception:
His QB rating of 40.6 rating was the lowest of any quarterback with more than 35 attempts in a game this season.
“@chef_boy_r_dee: @JayGlazer What do you think about Freeman’s game tonight? Does he have future?>>think he needed another wk b4 thrust in
To the Giants’ credit, they dared the Vikings to throw the ball all game, often stacking eight or nine defenders in the box to stop running back Adrian Peterson. It was an ugly night for Freeman, but he’ll have to find a way to shake this off fast and cram harder before the Vikings take the field again on Sunday.
Donovan McNabb weighed in with his disgust on FOX Sports Live:
Jared Allen came up with the sack of the season
There are still several weeks of football left to play, but we’re not going to see anything as impressive and crazy as this.
The Vikings defensive displayed amazing strength in the first half. In fact, Allen did the seemingly impossible, reaching around Giants tackle Will Beatty (who stands tall at 6-6 and 319 pounds) and bringing Eli Manning down to the ground.
By the way, it looks like Beatty could have easily been flagged for holding, but Allen was still able to make the play. Unbelievable.
Punters can fly!
At least temporarily. The Giants’ Steve Weatherford took to the air to try and corral Sherels during the latter’s punt return for a touchdown.
Well, Weatherford failed. His attempt to grab the opponent’s jersey brought out a flag for a horse-collar tackle and Sherels scored anyway. But at least we know that Big Steve can soar like an eagle.
Mariano Rivera is Big Blue tried and true
The legendary Yankees closer might have called it a career this year but he’s sticking around New York. In fact, he showed his face at the game on Monday night, rocking an Eli Manning jersey. You gotta respect that. His presence must have worked, since the Giants were finally able to get that first win and Manning didn’t turn the ball over.
Greatness begets greatness.
It’s also nice to see that Rivera hasn’t decided to pack up for Florida like many retirees from the Northeast.