Vikings catch Manning at low point

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 21, 2013 - 12:45 PM

Eli Manning, owner of bottom-rung stats for an 0-6 team, faces a nationally televised gut check.

In a 32-team league, Eli Manning and Josh Freeman are the 33rd- and 34th-ranked quarterbacks, respectively.

Manning’s Giants are winless and wallowing among the bottom three in points scored, points allowed, interceptions thrown, sacks, rushing, first downs allowed, third-down defense, net punting and punt return average.

Meanwhile, Freeman’s new team, the one-win Vikings, are in the bottom three in points allowed, total defense, first downs allowed, third-down defense, punt return average and kickoff return average allowed.

Oooh, boy! Are you ready for some football?

Probably not. But the Vikings (1-4) and Giants (0-6) will play anyway in a game ESPN presumably didn’t have in mind in 2011 when it forked over $1.8 billion — or $105 million a game — for the rights to broadcast “Monday Night Football” through 2021.

Yes, the reports are true. With a combined winning percentage of .091, this officially is the worst matchup this late in the season in the 44 seasons of “Monday Night Football.”

It’s also, however, a chance for the Vikings to pull off the unlikely, if not the unthinkable: win a Monday night road game with a starting quarterback who has been on the roster for 14 days, including only four practices with the first-team offense.

How is this possible? Fair or not, it comes down to the No. 1 question facing the Giants: What in the heck is wrong with Eli Manning?

A season of giving — away

Yes, the Giants have only seven takeaways and have given up 30 or more points in an NFL-record five consecutive games. But the offense has been force-feeding points to the other team with a league-high 23 turnovers, eight more than the league’s next-highest total and two more than the Giants had all last season. Manning has 17 turnovers, including an NFL-high 15 interceptions, matching his total for all of last season. Two picks have been returned for touchdowns.

“Oh yeah, [Manning’s 15 interceptions] is very exciting,” Vikings cornerback Chris Cook said. “Hopefully he’ll come in and throw us a few.”

Cook has played 27 NFL games. His next interception will be his first interception. But this is a matchup that allows both sides to dream big, no matter where they stand.

It’s a game that features the 30th-ranked scoring team — Giants, 17.2 points per game — vs. the 30th-ranked scoring defense — Vikings, 31.6 points allowed per game.

It’s a game that features Manning’s 64.0 passer rating and 53.7 completion percentage against a Vikings pass defense that’s allowing quarterbacks to complete 66.7 percent for a 95.7 passer rating.

It’s also a game that features a struggling Vikings offensive line that could be without left tackle Matt Kalil because of a back injury against a Giants pass rush that ranks last in the league in sacks with five. That has to bring a smile to Freeman, who was completing 45.7 percent of his passes with a 59.3 rating before his messy divorce in Tampa Bay was finalized with his benching and Oct. 3 release.

While Freeman is making his Vikings debut, Manning will be making his NFL-leading 142nd regular-season start with the Giants. He has a 78-63 record, two Super Bowl rings from the 2007 and 2011 seasons, and two Super Bowl MVPs, one more than older brother Peyton who, going into Sunday night’s game against the Colts, was 6-0 and leading the league in rating (128.8), touchdowns (22), yards (2,179), completion percentage (74.2), average per attempt (9.08) and, well, every other meaningful category.

Group-stink

So, again, what the heck is wrong with Eli Manning?

  • related content

  • Souhan: Vikings, Giants bad teams that are highly watchable

    Monday October 21, 2013

    The worst thing that can come out of a bad season is uncertainty. The reward for finishing 8-8 is a mediocre draft pick and muddled thinking. Leslie Frazier and Josh...

  • Hartman: Giants, Vikings QBs are a statistical mess

    Sunday October 20, 2013

    Eli Manning has thrown an NFL-high 15 interceptions. Yet he’s ranked above Josh Freeman.

  • Injury issues surface for Vikings

    Sunday October 20, 2013

    Peterson and Kalil are key players who were listed on the team's injury report after midweek.

  • The Call: Giants 27, Vikings 21

    Sunday October 20, 2013

    One man’s prediction: Another week, another starting quarterback for the Vikings. Josh Freeman will have a limited playbook to work...

  • Eli Manning has taken his lumps in the pocket this season, but the problems with the winless New York Giants go a lot further than the quarterback position.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close