Week 10 Game Recap: Minnesota Vikings 24, New York Giants 21
What you need to know
The Vikings became the first team in NFL history to score a touchdown on a punt return, a kickoff return, and an interception return in the same game. Even with the return scores, the Vikings barely won. When, the Giants scored a touchdown and two point conversion to tie the game with 1:21 remaining, it looked like the contest would be heading to overtime, especially with how ineffective the Minnesota offense had been up to that point. Surprise. Brad Johnson and the Vikings’ offense rose to the occasion and drove for the winning field goal, a 48 yarder by Paul Edinger.
At halftime, Minnesota had more points than yards (seven to six). For the game, the Vikings totaled only 137 yards on offense, but had 394 return (interception, kickoff, and punt) yards.
Coming into the game, the Vikings had lost all four of their road games by an average of 25 points.
The Giants have now gone almost 14 straight quarters without allowing an offensive touchdown. When Denver reached the end zone on the opening drive of the third quarter during week seven, it was the last time a Giants’ opponent scored an offensive touchdown. Despite that impressive streak, the Giants lost this game. Special teams, turnovers, and ultimately failure to make a key defensive stand on the Vikings’ final drive killed New York’s chances.
The Giants’ special teams started this game out on a negative note; Willie Ponder fumbled the opening kickoff and Antoine Winfield recovered for the Vikings. Things hit rock bottom in the third quarter when Koren Robinson returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown and Mewelde Moore ran a punt back 71 yards for another score.
Eli Manning also helped to dig the Giants into a hole with four interceptions. Darren Sharper returned one of them 92 yards for a touchdown on what was a game altering play. Manning helped to dig the Giants out of the hole by leading them on a touchdown drive and game tying two point conversion late in the game. However, the Vikings’ offense answered with it’s only scoring drive of the game and Paul Edinger kicked the clinching field goal with ten seconds remaining in the game.
New York lost despite outgaining Minnesota 405 to 137.
The Giants did have two positive special teams plays: Damane Duckett blocked Edinger’s second field goal attempt and Chad Morton returned a punt 53 yards.
What you ought to know
Johnson was five of 12 for 11 yards in the first half, when the Vikings’ offense was unable to do anything. The second half was better for Johnson (12-19 for 133 yards), but not great. Johnson was able to produce for the Viking’s game winning drive; he hit four straight passes for 46 yards to get Minnesota into field goal range at the Giants’ 30 yard line. Johnson was sacked four times and was under pressure throughout the game. He usually did not have time to throw downfield early in the game, but had better luck in the second half. He also took care of the ball (zero turnovers).
Bennett had very little success against the Giants’ defense. He finished with 16 yards rushing for an average carry of less than one yard. Bennett’s long run went for eight yards. He also lost a fumble. Bennett was targeted six times in the passing game, mostly as a checkdown receiver. He did have a nice eleven yard catch up the middle. His other five receptions accrued no yards. Nine of Bennett’s touches resulted in negative yardage.
Fason had one short yardage carry, but the Giants’ defense penetrated and he was stuffed for no gain.
Despite Michael Bennett's troubles rushing the ball, Moore was not used in the offensive game plan at all. He saw no carries rushing or any targets receiving. He did handle punt return duties and returned one punt 71 yards for a touchdown.
Though targeted a team leading eight times, Burleson had only two catches for a total of 14 yards. He also ran a reverse that lost four yards. Burleson dropped a third and six pass in the first quarter that would have netted a first down. He was targeted deep once.
Williamson caught one pass for eleven yards. His other target was a deep pass that was underthrown near the goal line.
Taylor caught one pass for eleven yards. He had a 27 yard touchdown called back for offensive pass interference on a play where he pushed Curtis Deloatch. He also dropped a perfectly thrown over the shoulder pass from Brad Johnson.
Robinson caught one pass for eleven yards. He was targeted deep on an incompletion.
Robinson had a big play day. His 44 yard reception from Brad Johnson was the Vikings longest gain of the day. He also returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown.
Wiggins, the Vikings’ reception leader, caught five passes in the game. Johnson looked for him often on short routes when under pressure. Wiggins’ long reception of 21 yards came on a high pass that he was able to haul in; it was the play that catalyzed the Vikings’ game winning field goal drive.
Edinger was wide right on his first attempt (40 yards). His second attempt from 32 yards was blocked. Edinger redeemed himself by hitting the game winning 48 yard field goal with ten seconds left in the game. He converted all three of his extra point attempts.
The Vikings’ run defense gave up 124 yards on 29 carries (4.3 average). The unit did avoid the big play; the long gain on the ground for New York was a 14 yard scramble by Eli Manning.
The Minnesota pass defense gave up 281 yards, but held Eli Manning to a completion rate below 50 percent and intercepted him four times. The star of the game was Darren Sharper, who intercepted Manning three times, returning the second one 92 yards for a touchdown. The touchdown was Sharper’s second of the season and ninth in his career. He has returned four of his last seven interceptions for touchdowns. The Vikings were credited with eight passes defended; many of them were tipped or batted by defensive linemen. Antoine Winfield had eight tackles, an assist, and a fumble recovery. Keith Newman had seven tackles, four assists, and a half sack. Darrion Scott contributed a sack. Pat Williams added a half sack.
|QB Eli Manning, Pass: 23 - 48 - 291 - 1 TD / 4 INT, Rush: 2 - 24 - 0|
Manning who has played much better at home, played this game like it was a road game. Manning’s career high 48 attempts led to a respectable yardage total. And, for the tenth consecutive game, he has thrown at least one touchdown pass (the longest current streak in the NFL). However, his less than 50 percent completion percentage and four interceptions tell the true story. He also had two other potential interceptions dropped. Manning’s biggest mistake came when Darren Sharper jumped a Plaxico Burress route and easily intercepted the pass for a 92 yard touchdown. Manning had a number of passes either tipped or batted down by Vikings’ defensive linemen. He was also the victim of a few dropped passes and was visibly frustrated at times during the game. Despite his struggles, Manning did lead the Giants to the game tying touchdown and two point conversion with just 1:21 remaining in the game.
Manning had runs of 14 and ten yards when forced to take off, gaining first downs with each scamper.
|RB Tiki Barber, Rush: 23 - 95 - 1, Rec: 8 - 111 - 0 (10 targets)|
Barber was the Giants’ offensive star of the game. His 206 total yards made him both the leading rusher and receiver of the game. Barber scored a crucial touchdown on a three yard run late in the game two plays after he was stopped three yards short of the end zone on an 18 yard reception. He then added a run for the two point conversion. Barber also had a five yard touchdown pass called back on a Giants' penalty. His longest gain came on a 48 yard screen pass.
Ward had only two carries in relief or Barber.
Jacobs’ lone attempt was a successful conversion on a third and one. He also contributed a special teams tackle.
With Plaxico Burress frequently double teamed, Manning looked often to Toomer, who was targeted 13 times. Toomer caught a 23 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Toomer was targeted deep and benefited from a pass interference call for a 40 yard gain on the Giants’ first touchdown drive. He finished the game with 499 career receptions.
Minnesota frequently double covered Burress, making it hard for Manning to find him open. Burress was held to season low totals of three catches and 50 yards. Burress had a long reception of 21 yards. Burress was targeted three times on deep balls, once in the end zone.
Carter’s lone target resulted in a drop on a pass that would have moved the chains on a third down. He also ran the ball once on a reverse.
Taylor blew an opportunity to record his first career reception, dropping a pass that was right into his hands and forcing the Giants to punt.
Ponder was only a factor in that he lost a fumble on the game’s initial kick return.
Shockey had receptions of 12, 5, 19, 11, and 8 yards. His final two receptions came during the Giants’ game tying drive late in the fourth quarter. Four of Shockey’s five receptions netted first downs. However, the Vikings did a good job of keeping Shockey from being a deciding factor in the game.
Shiancoe did not catch a ball; he did drop a pass that would have converted a third and two.
Feely converted his first two field goals from 35 and 48 yards. His final attempt was wide right from 28 yards (only his second miss of the season). He converted his only extra point attempt; the Giants went for a two point conversion on their other touchdown.
The Giants’ run defense was tremendous. Minnesota finished with twelve rushing yards on 21 attempts, a .6 average. The longest run against the defense went for eight yards. New York’s defensive line frequently was able to penetrate into the Viking backfield stuffing running plays for little or no gain. Antonio Pierce had seven tackles, three assists, and a fumble recovery. William Joseph left late in the game with an injury and did not return.
The Giants’ pass defense played well. Minnesota managed only 125 passing yards and 137 total yards. New York has not allowed an offensive touchdown for more than three full games. The Giants were able to frequently pressure Brad Johnson and sacked him four times. Osi Umenyiora had two sacks. Michael Strahan and Gibril Wilson had a sack a piece. Curtis Deloatch had seven tackles and two passes defended. If there is anything negative to report, the Vikings were able to march 42 yards in eight plays for the game winning field goal after the Giants had held Minnesota to eight first downs in the first 59 minutes of the game.