The Minnesota Vikings (1-5) played a very winnable game against the New York Giants (1-6) tonight, but managed to find a way to lose this game. We all knew that this was going to be a bad— but it ended up being terrible— the final score was 23-7.
The one small ray of light in tonight’s game and that was Marcus Sherels. He gave the Vikings’ their only points with an 86-yard punt return.
The Vikings last hope was suppose to be new quarterback Josh Freeman, but he was DOA tonight as he frequently missed open receivers, and several of his throws went beyond yards and beyond his targets. Freeman finished 20 of 53 (yes 20 of 53) for 190 yards. Tonight the Vikings were not efficient enough, underwhelming, and had three takeaways to one lost fumble.
Adrian Peterson, who was the MVP for last season, was held for only 28 yards on 13 carriers. The Giants managed to successfully stop him at every turn.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the game continued for the Vikings.
With the Vikings trailing 10-7 and facing second and 2 at the Giants’ 23 on their first drive of the second half, Freeman threw an interception and it was taken by the Giant’s Antrel Rolle.
But that turnover wasn’t as costly as one that occurred later in the quarter for Minnesota. After his amazing punt return Sherels fumbled a punt at his own 13 that was recovered by Zak DeOssie at the Vikings’ 3. Two plays later, Peyton Hillis scored on a 1-yard run for a 17-7 lead.
While the Vikings offense was a mess, the defense showed improvement, but playing against the Giants’ uninspiring offense sure helped. New York quarterback Eli Manning completed 23 of 39 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown but the Giants rushed for just 60 yards.
The Giants, meanwhile, seemed to look like a 6 -1 team tonight. Manning threw to Rueben Randle and got a 24 yard TD tonight. And Josh Brown got three field goals as well. Manning spent much of the game playing conservatively while looking to avoid mistakes.
This was a sloppy game for the Vikings, and now we have more questions than answers about what is going to happen next for this struggling team.