Grading the game: Giants

The Vikings received poor grades for their performance Monday night against the New York Giants. They struggled in many facets of the game.

PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus — With Brett Favre's starting streak ending because of an injury to his throwing arm, Tarvaris Jackson got his first start since the 2008 season. It wasn't pretty. Jackson had looked decent at times the previous week when he came in for an injured Favre in the Vikings' victory over Buffalo, but against the Giants there was never a time that Jackson looked like a guy who could serve as Favre's long-term replacement. He finished 15 of 30 for 118 yards with one interception and a subpar 46.2 passer rating. Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian had five catches apiece to lead the Vikings, but Rice was targeted 12 times and Berrian on 10 occasions. Jackson could be an unrestricted free agent after this season depending on what happens with the collective bargaining agreement. But Jackson likely won't be back with the Vikings either way.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D — Jackson wasn't the only guy who struggled. Starting guards Steve Hutchinson (hand) and Anthony Herrera (knee) were both missing and so was the Vikings' ground game. Adrian Peterson had a season-low 26 yards on 14 carries and his longest run went for 7 yards. The Vikings' biggest run from scrimmage came from backup quarterback Joe Webb, who replaced Jackson on three occasions when the veteran was injured. Webb had only one run but it went for 16 yards. The output was Peterson's lowest since he rushed for 19 yards on 13 carries on Dec. 6, 2009 against Arizona.

PASS DEFENSE: B — This was the least of the Vikings worries. Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed 22 of 27 passes but had only 187 yards through the air with a touchdown and a not-so-great 59.2 passer rating. Cornerbacks Frank Walker and Asher Allen each had interceptions. The fact of the matter, however, was the Giants did not need to rely much on the aerial attack in this game as they dissected the Vikings in so many other ways.

RUSH DEFENSE: D — The Vikings are normally stout against the run but that wasn't the case in this one. A team that had given up only four 100-yard rushing games since 2006 gave up 116 yards to Brandon Jacobs and 103 yards to Ahmad Bradshaw. Interim coach Leslie Frazier blamed poor tackling as part of the issue. Jacobs had a 73-yard run — the longest of the season against the Vikings — to set up his own 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and Bradshaw later added a 48-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B — This area wasn't going to help the Vikings much given their problems on offense and defense. Ryan Longwell kicked a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter to give the Vikings their only lead of the game. Recently signed running back Lorenzo Booker appeared to have a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter but it was negated by an illegal block above the waist call on Jasper Brinkley. Greg Camarillo averaged 18 yards on five punt returns, including a season-long of 52 yards. The Vikings offense had so much trouble moving the ball that Chris Kluwe ended up averaging 45.8 yards gross and 42.4 net on a season-high 10 punts.

COACHING: C — Frazier had done a great job of leading the Vikings to victories over Washington and Buffalo since Brad Childress was fired as head coach, but the Giants proved to be too much. In Frazier's defense, the loss did come under very difficult circumstances as the roof collapsed at the team's home stadium on Sunday after a massive snowstorm in the Twin Cities and the Vikings were forced to play host to a game in Detroit. However, the Giants also had issues — their plane was diverted on Saturday to Kansas City — and still looked fine. Frazier, who is hoping to get the coaching job on a permanent basis, will face two more tough tests against Chicago and Philadelphia before the Vikings close the regular season back in Detroit.


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