Turning Point: Early Misfires

The Vikings were their own enemy Sunday, and in their own friendly confines. Early mistakes, physical and mental, put the Giants clearly in control of momentum and the game.

When teams are facing an opponent that seemingly has their number, getting off to a hot start is a must. With the fans at the Metrodome providing deafening background noise, the Vikings had what they thought would be the remedy to their home woes vs. the Giants. Instead, it created the turning point of the game.

The Vikings took the opening kickoff and were moving the ball when a pass from Daunte Culpepper to Mewelde Moore was ruled (correctly) as a lateral. With Vikings players standing around, New York's Kevin Lewis scooped up the ball and returned it to the 22-yard line — setting up a Steve Christie field goal to give the Giants a 3-0 lead.

The Vikings didn't have an answer — going three-and-out on their next drive — and the Giants took the crowd out of the game from that point on.

A long pass interference call on Corey Chavous set up a second score — a 2-yard run by Tiki Barber — and less than 7 minutes into the game the Giants had a 10-0 lead.

With the offense still struggling, the defense did its part to keep the Giants at bay, as a sack stuffed the next drive. But following an interception by Gibril Wilson, it took the Giants only five plays and 36 yards to take a 17-0 lead in the first two minutes of the second quarter.

In a game that is often dominated by swings of momentum, the Vikings looked lost.

Without Randy Moss as an offensive weapon of deterrence because of a lingering hamstring injury, the Giants were able to take control of the game from the outset and never let the Vikings build any rhythm or momentum on offense. In the process, the Vikings forced the issue and created the turning point of the game.

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