Hartman: Giants, Vikings QBs are a statistical mess

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2013 - 11:42 PM

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


New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning

Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast, Associated Press

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If you want to rank the Giants and Vikings quarterbacks this season, here it is: Giants quarterback Eli Manning has posted an awful 64.0 quarterback rating this season, which was the 33rd-worst mark in the NFL going into Sunday’s games. While only two quarterbacks rank lower than Manning, one of those QBs is newly signed Vikings starter Josh Freeman, who had a 59.3 rating during his time with the Buccaneers. Meanwhile, benched Vikings starter Christian Ponder is ranked ahead of Manning and Freeman with a 65.9 quarterback rating this season.

It’s amazing that 20 months ago, Manning was named MVP in the Super Bowl for the second time. Now he is quarterbacking an 0-6 team.

According to the New York Times, Manning is on pace to throw 40 interceptions, which would be the most in the NFL in 51 years (George Blanda threw 41 for the 1962 Houston Oilers).

Still, one of the only reason the Vikings might win tonight is that three of the Giants’ regular offensive linemen — guard Chris Snee (hip), center David Baas (neck) and guard/tackle David Diehl (thumb) — have missed extensive playing time or are out for the season, giving the Vikings defensive linemen an opportunity to do a better job rushing Manning than they have done against other quarterbacks this year.

Historically bad

The Vikings and the Giants will go into Monday night’s game with the same propensity to blow close games, though in different ways.

The Vikings gave up go-ahead touchdowns to the Bears with 10 seconds left and the Browns with 51 seconds remaining, and they led the Lions into the third quarter in that loss.

The Giants, who are 0-6, lost close game to the Cowboys (36-31) and the Bears (27-21) when Manning threw three interceptions in each game. Manning’s 15 interceptions are the most in the NFL.

The disadvantage of playing a large number of road games to start the season is similar with the Giants, who have played two of their six games at home. That’s the same number of true home games as the Vikings, who had a “home game” against Pittsburgh in London and road games at Detroit and Chicago. Now they face a third road contest at New York.

Yes, two teams with a total of a 1-10 record will play on the biggest stage in football on Monday night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the .090 combined winning percentage of the two teams at this stage of the season is the worst in the 44-year history of “Monday Night Football.”

U goes with two QBs

Gophers interim head football coach Tracy Claeys played two quarterbacks, Mitch Leidner and Philip Nelson, in Minnesota’s 20-17 victory over Northwestern on Saturday. That, according to Claeys, was part of their Gophers’ game plan.

“We said all along all week that we were going to start Mitch Leidner,” he said Sunday. “But at the same time, we said we’d like to get Philip in the game at some time in the first half. Because if you need a quarterback to play in the second half, I don’t like to just throw a kid in there who has been sitting on the bench the whole time.

“We put Philip in there, and he had a nice little drive at the end of [the first half]. We said we were going to go back with Mitch, he started the ballgame, but I told the guys on offense again that I don’t think it hurts if we can get Philip a series there in the third quarter in case we need him.”

Claeys said when Nelson was in the game, the offense seemed to move the ball a bit better. They also kept him in near the end of the game because he had more experience protecting a late lead.

Claeys, who is expected to continue as coach this week while Jerry Kill continues focusing on his epilepsy treatment, said a decision hasn’t been made to play two quarterbacks this week against Nebraska.

But does Claeys want to play both QBs this week?

“I do like to play both quarterbacks in the game, I’m just not a big fan of alternating series,” he said. “Kind of like in basketball during timeouts. You draw the plays up with the guys with the hot hand, and whichever one is moving us the best is the guy we’ll go with.”

Nelson had the better statistics against Northwestern, completing eight of 11 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown and rushing nine times for 26 yards. Leidner had one completion for 11 yards and seven rushes for 27 yards.

When might Kill come back? “You know, I don’t know,” Claeys said. “We didn’t talk about it. … He’s not 100 percent, obviously. But [Kill and wife Rebecca] feel good about the process they’re going through to get him to that level. We’ll just have to see. It was sure good just having him around. As I said before, he’s our biggest friend and it was great to see him show up.”


• Nebraska is the third of seven opponents the Gophers have played to have a bye before playing Minnesota. … The Gophers will be facing a talented Nebraska offense next Saturday. The Cornhuskers rank 21st in the nation in total offense with 490.2 yards per game, fourth-best in the Big Ten. But their defense is another story. They are allowing 407.2 yards per game and rank 72nd in the nation — compared to the Gophers, who are allowing 375.9 yards per game and are ranked 45th.

• Former Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray continues to get some playing time with the Cleveland Browns. Gray was targeted once in the team’s 31-13 loss to the Packers on Sunday and also took a snap as a quarterback in the Wildcat formation.

• The 2013 U.S. Junior Hockey Select Team was announced Thursday, and eight of the 22 players were from Minnesota. The team will compete at the World Junior A Challenge in Nova Scotia in November. The Minnesota natives to make it were defensemen Teemu Kivihalme (Savage), Neal Pionk (Hermantown), Steven Johnson (Excelsior) and Jordan Gross (Maple Grove) and forwards Connor Hurley (Eagan), Austin Poganski (St. Cloud), C.J. Franklin (Forest Lake) and Karson Kuhlman (Cloquet).

• Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague said half of the $450,000 needed to install lights at Siebert Field has been raised and he hopes the baseball team will be able to play night games there in the near future. … Teague also said he has a few commitments to get the new practice facility for men’s and women’s basketball built. … Meanwhile, on the plan to raise $190 million to upgrade a number of athletics facilities on the campus, Teague said, “We haven’t really announced anything yet [in terms of how much money we’ve raised], but we’ve had good progress and I’m looking forward to working on that throughout the next year.”


Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Milwaukee 101 4th Qtr 8:15
Orlando 73
New York 72 4th Qtr 4:40
Indiana 99
Denver 35 3rd Qtr
Memphis 50
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 0 3rd Prd
NY Rangers 0
Winnipeg 2 3rd Prd 18:27
Philadelphia 3
Boston 4 3rd Prd 17:44
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 0 2nd Prd 1:37
Toronto 1
Dallas 3 2nd Prd 5:13
Ottawa 2
Detroit 1 2nd Prd 5:08
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 2 2nd Prd 1:26
Florida 2
Nashville 1 2nd Prd
St. Louis 0
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 71 FINAL
Rutgers 51
Boston Univ 64 2nd Half 0:20
Army 67
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Youngstown St 69 2nd Half 1:14
Detroit 72
East Tenn St 55 FINAL
Furman 59
Saint Louis 51 2nd Half 1:51
George Mason 59
USC Upstate 78 FINAL
Jacksonville 65
High Point 72 FINAL
Liberty 53
Central Conn St 55 FINAL
Long Island 67
Western Ky 56 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 69
Dayton 64 FINAL
Massachusetts 66
Chattanooga 68 1st OT 4:40
Mercer 70
Wofford 58 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 42
Maryland 56 FINAL
Ohio State 80
Old Dominion 71
Fair-Dickinson 65 FINAL
Robert Morris 87
Mount St Marys 65 1st OT 3:18
St Francis-NY 65
Bryant 68 FINAL
St Francis-PA 75
Northern Ky 75 FINAL
Stetson 85
Coll of Charleston 67 2nd Half 0:10
Towson 71
Western Carolina 85 FINAL
Va Military 70
Sacred Heart 64 2nd Half 0:39
Wagner 73
Lipscomb 62 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 78
Kennesaw St 67 FINAL
North Florida 86
Appalachian St 35 2nd Half 5:12
Ga Southern 71
Holy Cross 36 2nd Half 7:50
Loyola-Maryland 47
Eastern Ill 39 2nd Half 7:52
UT Martin 64
Jacksonville St 35 2nd Half 20:00
Belmont 45
Connecticut 22 2nd Half
Cincinnati 30
Rider 25 2nd Half
Saint Peters 23
SIU Edwardsville 42 2nd Half 17:57
SE Missouri St 34
Marshall 35 2nd Half 20:00
Southern Miss 25
Tenn Tech 24 2nd Half 16:45
Tennessee St 37
Middle Tennessee 38 2nd Half
TX-San Antonio 31
Ill-Chicago 31 2nd Half 19:12
Milwaukee 30
Weber State 32 2nd Half 18:25
North Dakota 33
Denver 26 2nd Half
North Dakota St 16
IUPU-Ft Wayne 37 2nd Half 17:00
South Dakota 30
Louisiana 43 2nd Half
South Alabama 33
Ark-Little Rock 23 1st Half 5:51
Arkansas State 31
Georgia State 26 1st Half 5:20
Texas-Arlington 30
ULM 6 1st Half 11:45
Troy 11
Portland 8:00 PM
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 FINAL
Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 65
Old Dominion 80 FINAL
FIU 67
Southern Miss 65 FINAL
Marshall 67
Georgia State 45 FINAL
TX-Arlington 57
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Troy 90
Pittsburgh 45 FINAL
(17) Duke 62
(6) Tennessee 73 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 72
Nebraska Omaha 59 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 70
UC-Riverside 68 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56
Army 65 FINAL
Boston U 40
New Orleans 40 FINAL
Nicholls 56
Charlotte 68 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 71
Towson 54 FINAL
Delaware 72
Hofstra 66 FINAL
Northeastern 45
New Hampshire 56 FINAL
Maine 87
Albany 89 FINAL
Vermont 48
Hartford 60 FINAL
Stony Brook 58
UNC-Wilmington 62 FINAL
William & Mary 67
Alabama 54 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 85
(23) Syracuse 58 FINAL
(8) Louisville 78
Iona 66 FINAL
Fairfield 77
Manhattan 38 FINAL
Marist 77
NC State 63 FINAL
Virginia 71
(4) Notre Dame 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 50
(22) Rutgers 58 FINAL
Purdue 49
(5) Maryland 91 FINAL
Michigan 65
Milwaukee 58 FINAL
Cleveland State 67
Wright State 108 FINAL
Oakland 89
Jacksonville 64 FINAL
USC Upstate 66
North Florida 40 FINAL
Kennesaw St 46
Stetson 62 FINAL
Northern Ky 68
(24) Oklahoma 65 1st OT 4:05
(14) Texas 67
Clemson 58 2nd Half 1:28
Wake Forest 60
Missouri 64 2nd Half 1:27
Florida 52
Loyola-Maryland 57 FINAL
Holy Cross 51
Lamar 65 2nd Half 8:54
Sam Houston St 56
Fla Gulf Coast 59 2nd Half 5:39
Lipscomb 43
Vanderbilt 19 2nd Half
(18) Miss State 30
IUPUI 30 2nd Half 19:15
Western Ill 37
Abilene Christian 22 2nd Half 18:48
Houston Baptist 34
Incarnate Word 35 2nd Half 16:37
TX A&M-CC 38
McNeese State 42 2nd Half 15:37
SE Louisiana 33
Oral Roberts 24 2nd Half 17:11
South Dakota St 46
Louisiana Tech 33 2nd Half
Western Ky 32
TX-San Antonio 28 2nd Half 17:17
Middle Tennessee 32
Texas-El Paso 35 2nd Half 14:45
UAB 41
Auburn 17 2nd Half 19:10
Arkansas 31
Grand Canyon 28 2nd Half 20:00
Illinois 33 2nd Half 20:00
(15) Nebraska 30
(20) Iowa 58 2nd Half
Northwestern 41
Utah Valley U 27 2nd Half
Chicago State 26
Green Bay 40 2nd Half 19:27
Valparaiso 19
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
Portland State 8:00 PM
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
Sacramento St 29 1st Half
Montana State 32
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
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