Well, that was one ugly professional football game.
The good news for the New York Giants is that they now know that they don't have to worry about going winless in 2013. With that said, nobody should be planning for any parade in lower Manhattan following the team's victory over the Minnesota Vikings. New York won what will undeniably go down as one of the worst contests of the season, a nearly unwatchable affair for any neutral. 1-6 feels better than does 0-7, but it doesn't feel all that much better.
Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Vikings: When numbers lie I
Excited Giants fans and some analysts have been more than thrilled to point out that a New York run defense that had been far from elite heading into Monday evening held Adrian Peterson, arguably the most talented running back in the NFL, to just 28 yards on 13 carries. Peterson never got going due to the Giants winning the battles up front, a first for the team this season. Peterson's best play from scrimmage came off of a screen pass that netted Minnesota 14 yards.
Here's the buzz kill truth about those numbers. It was clear from Minnesota's first offensive series that quarterback Josh Freeman, signed by the team just last week, was not ready to go. With that knowledge, the defense of the Giants was able to key in on Peterson without at all having to worry about being burned by the pass. I want to see what this unit does against Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles this coming Sunday before I even begin to believe that it has turned a corner.
Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Vikings: When numbers lie II
The box score says that Eli Manning had zero turnovers for the first time this season. That sounds great and all until you go back, re-watch the game and notice that Minnesota defensive players dropped at least three interceptions. Manning did manage to have his best game of the campaign, and it also needs to again be pointed out that he alone is not fully responsible for all of those picks that he has thus far tossed this fall.
What's most alarming about New York's passing attack is that Manning and his WRs seem to have little chemistry at this stage of the season. Hakeem Nicks may or may not be eying a trade, and Rueben Randle, who did have a nice touchdown grab on Monday night, isn't quite where his coaching staff wants him to be. With no real rushing attack to be found on the roster, Manning and company have got to immediately get it together.
Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Vikings: Hope?
Fans of the Giants who aren't yet ready to begin looking toward the 2014 NFL Draft are hoping that Monday's result will be one that sparks a true Big Blue rally. How realistic is such a scenario? Well, the NFC East is rather mediocre. At 1-6, New York is but three games out of first place.
When you have notched a single victory in your first seven contests, every game is must-win. That's very much so the case for the Giants as they prepare to face off with Philly. A New York win this coming weekend coupled with the Dallas Cowboys losing at the Detroit Lions (not unlikely) AND the Washington Redskins losing at the Denver Broncos (not unlikely) could make things rather interesting in the division heading into what will be a Bye week for the Giants.