Stat worth noting: The Giants lost the all-important turnover battle, 4-0. Eli Manning tossed his four picks while the defense couldn't get Minnesota to cough up the ball even once.
Stat worth noting II: The Vikings caught as many passes (four) from Manning as Jeremy Shockey and Amani Toomer each did.
Turning point: Eli Manning got his obligatory huge mistake out of the way early in this one, even though countless more would follow. On a third down deep in his own territory, Manning misfired badly on a pass intended for Jeremy Shockey. Vikes safety Darren Sharper was glad to pick off the pass and return it 20 yards for a 14-7 Minnesota lead.
Plays to remember: During the Giants only TD drive while the game was still in doubt, Reuben Droughns continued to succeed in his short-yardage role. He converted a third-and-one from the Minnesota six-yard line with a five-yard run, then ran it in from one yard out on first-and-goal. While Droughns wasn't exactly stellar in his every-down role replacing Brandon Jacobs, he continues to impress in short-yardage situations.
Play to forget: Halfway through the first quarter, the Giants were actually hurt by a great defensive play. The Vikes had a third-and-three from their own 40. Osi Umenyiora chased down Vikes QB Tarvaris Jackson from behind and knocked the ball free. However, the loose ball rolled forward and was recovered by Bobby Wade for a 10-yard gain and a first down.
By the Numbers
9:24 – Length in time of Minnesota's third-quarter drive that extended the Vikes lead to 27-10.
12 – Number of times the Giants failed to convert a third or fourth down against Minnesota.
139.2 – QB rating for lowly-regarded Tarvaris Jackson, who completed 10-of-12 passes, including a 60-yard touchdown.
"I wish there was some simple explanation for this game, but there isn't. We played very, very poorly. In the National Football League, you obviously cannot wrap it up and hand it to the guy across the field and we did." – Giants coach Tom Coughlin
"It is big for us because we haven't been able to put two wins together back-to-back and to be able to come in here in a hostile environment, against to me one of the better teams in the NFC is huge. It's something we can build on." – Vikings FB Tony Richardson
What went right
Overshadowed in the awful defeat was the fact that the Giants defense didn't play all that poorly. The problem was that they were unable to force any turnovers, while Manning continued to complete passes to players in white jerseys. The Vikings only managed 251 total yards and only scored one offensive touchdown, which came on the second play of the game.
TGI cover boy Ahmad Bradshaw continued to show a spark. In addition to averaging 22 yards on eight kickoff returns, and almost breaking a few of them, Bradshaw also gained 29 yards on only four carries. The Giants would be wise to continue getting the ball in his dangerous hands.
Reggie Torbor appeared to play well in place of injured Mathias Kiwanuka. He finished with four solo tackles and never hurt the Giants. Fred Robbins, with eight tackles and 1.5 sacks, also played well while receiving extra snaps in place of Kiwi.
What went wrong
It didn't take long for this one to go awry. Lawrence Tynes booted the opening kickoff out of bounds. Tynes didn't have the leg to get the ball to the goal line and it bounced out of bounds at the Minnesota four-yard line. Two plays later…
…Minnesota was in the end zone with a 7-0 lead. On the Vikes' second play from scrimmage, Sidney Rice ran right by Aaron Ross, fought off pass interference from Ross, collected Tarvaris Jackson's beautiful pass and scored for a 60-yard TD. After a great start to his rookie season, it's safe to say that Ross has had his troubles of late.
By now you've heard about Manning's record-breaking performance. While leading the Giants to only 17 points, Manning handed the Vikings 21, as they returned an astounding three INTs for TDs.
While he finished with seven catches for 93 yards and a TD, most of Plaxico Burress' production came well after the game had been decided. With only one catch in the first half, Plax was a non-factor for yet another week.
New York didn't come out of this one unscathed either. Antonio Pierce, Kareem McKenzie and Aaron Ross all suffered injuries during the loss. No word at press time regarding the severity of the ailments.
Game Story: Giants 17, Vikings 41
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