John Fennelly, Lead WriterThe Giants were standing on the precipice of infamy tonight, but avoided their first 0-7 start in 37 years with a victory over the Minnesota Vikings (1-5) by the score of 23-7. The game wasn’t nearly as close as the score.
They did it behind a physical, energetic performance by the defense and a smashmouth debut by the newest Giant, RB Peyton Hillis. They also got a lot of help from the Vikings, who are unquestionably one of the league’s worst teams right now.
Hillis rushed the ball for 36 yards on 18 carries with a TD. He added 45 more on five receptions.
Eli connected on 23 of his 39 passes for 200 yards and a TD. It was the first game this season Manning did not throw an INT.
The Vikings chose to go with the recently-acquired Josh Freeman at QB. It was a terrible decision. Freeman is obviously still unfamiliar with the offense and his receivers. He completed just 20 of 46 passes for 190 yds and an INT.
The Giants finally looked stout in the trenches. The defense did not allow any points. provided good pressure and throttled the run. They allowed superstar RB Adrian Peterson a mere 28 yards on 13 carries.
It was billed as a matchup of two sloppy teams and it didn’t disappoint. The Giants were far from pristine, especially on offense, but they did more than enough tonight to stop this disjointed Minnesota team, whose offense was so out of synch, it left you wondering why Freeman was left in the entire game.
For the third time this season, the Giants allowed a long punt return. Marcus Sherels victimized them on an 86-yarder in the first half for the Vikings only score.