The film from Monday Night’s contest between the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings won’t be heading to the NFL archives any time soon, but nonetheless Big Blue is thrilled to earn its first win of the season.
“It’s good to be smiling and have a little excitement in the locker room afterwards,” said quarterback Eli Manning postgame. “Those things are fun. If you play and don’t win, after a while you kind of forget that winning feeling, so it’s good to get one right here and we needed it. Hopefully we keep it going.”
The Giants capitalized on three Viking turnovers, two by way of kickoff return fumbles and one ill-advised interception from newly signed signal caller Josh Freeman. Manning didn’t turn the ball over for the first time this season, while New York had just one giveaway when Rueben Randle coughed up the football on a punt return. On the other side, Freeman looked completely out of sorts and uncomfortable in a new system completing just 20-of-53 pass attempts for 190 yards and an interception. Minnesota’s struggling gunslinger credited a resurgent Giants defensive front.
”The Giants D mixed it up quite a bit,” noted Freeman. “ We know that they showed a little bit more than they have in the past this year. Their front four got after it. Those guys are extremely talented. They make plays.”
While Freeman’s performance was underwhelming, New York corralled Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson to the tune of just 28 yards on 13 carries; stymieing Minnesota’s ground game and forcing it to be one dimensional.
”We were going against people that try to blitz to stop the run time and time again and we’ve been able to still have success and the fact that we couldn’t get anything going tonight, that puts a lot of pressure on our passing game and I’ve got to go back and look at it and figure out a way because we’re always going to see what we saw tonight,” said Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier.
The Giants struggled to stop the run throughout their six game losing streak to open the year, but they seemed to have all the answers for Peterson and company Monday night.
"We were just kind of out of whack,” admitted Peterson. “Those guys were bringing some stunts, doing a lot of movement up front. Nothing we haven't seen before, but it kind of put us in an uncomfortable position and we struggled with that all night.”
With a 23-7 win finally in the books, the Giants are looking to carry the momentum forward into their Week 8 clash with the Philadelphia Eagles.
”It’s a good win but we’re supposed to win, especially against an NFC team,” noted Pierre Paul. “At the end of the day things were working out for us. We’re going to build on this and hopefully everybody can stick together and continue practicing well. Let’s get on a roll.”