PASSING OFFENSE: C — QB Brad Johnson threw for only 144 yards but he did not have an interception. He completed four passes on the winning drive, including a key 21-yarder to TE Jermaine Wiggins on second-and-14. Johnson, who was sacked four times, did not make any dumb mistakes, and the Vikings were able to get an ugly victory as a result.
RUSHING OFFENSE: F — One game after Michael Bennett turned in a 106-yard rushing performance against Detroit, Bennett had 16 yards on a season-high 19 carries against the Giants. That's a brutal 0.8-yard average. This wasn't all Bennett's fault as the run blocking failed to open up much for him. Mewelde Moore returned punts but did not get in on offense because of a sprained right wrist suffered the previous week. Moore might have been the lucky one.
PASS DEFENSE: B — The Vikings had four interceptions against Giants QB Eli Manning, including three by FS Darren Sharper. Sharper's biggest pick came in the second quarter when he returned an interception 92 yards. CB Brian Williams, starting in place of the injured Fred Smoot, did a solid job and had the other interception. RB Tiki Barber was the Giants' leading receiver with 111 yards on eight catches. Amani Toomer, Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress combined for 14 catches but had only one touchdown.
RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus — Barber rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, but the biggest run against the Vikings went for only 14 yards, and that was by Manning. The Vikings stuck with a 4-3 base defense, and NT Pat Williams continued to be a force in the middle with six tackles and half a sack.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A — Yes, Paul Edinger missed two first-quarter field-goal attempts, but he also made the winning kick with 10 seconds left. Then there were the kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns by Koren Robinson and Moore in the third quarter. Week in and week out, this has been the Vikings' strongest area this season.
COACHING: C-plus — The offense looked so feeble against the Giants that it's difficult to give Mike Tice and his staff too much credit for their game plan, but if the head coach deserves credit for anything, it's making special teams such a focus since day one of training camp. That unit saved the Vikings' bacon on Sunday. Also P Chris Kluwe, picked up just before the season after being let go by Seattle, continues to be one of the Vikings' best finds.
Grading the Game: Giants
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