The Call: Giants 27, Vikings 21

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2013 - 11:33 PM
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Victor Cruz leads the Giants in receptions (35), receiving yards (541) and TD catches (four).

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One man’s prediction: Another week, another starting quarterback for the Vikings. Josh Freeman will have a limited playbook to work with, but his strong arm should give the Vikings a legitimate vertical threat. ESPN is probably not crazy about a matchup of teams that have a combined 1-10 record, but Freeman’s debut is at least an intriguing story line.

Where’s the rush?

The Giants defense has compiled only five sacks, the lowest total in the NFL (the Vikings rank 28th with 10). It seems logical that the Giants will bring lots of pressure to confuse Josh Freeman and test his knowledge of the Vikings’ protection schemes. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, in particular, is struggling after having back surgery in the summer. He has only one sack and 15 tackles in six games.

 

Giving it up

Coaches and players often point to turnover margin as the most important statistic in football, and these two teams will attest to that. The Giants have committed a league-high 23 turnovers — eight more than any other team. Their turnover margin is minus-16. The Vikings are even in that category with 12 turnovers and 12 takeaways. Their only victory this season (Pittsburgh) came in a game when they had no turnovers.

 

Get All Day involved

Adrian Peterson’s 10 carries in the loss to Carolina last week were his fewest since rushing 10 times against New Orleans in December 2011. The Vikings can’t fall behind quickly in a game because it changes their entire offensive focus and reduces Peterson’s impact. The Vikings need to establish their running game in order to take pressure off Freeman and not allow their offense to become one-dimensional.

MANO-A-MANO: MATCHUP TO WATCH

Vikings secondary vs. Giants QB Eli Manning

 

About the secondary

An already-maligned position group suffered a significant blow last week with the loss of safety Harrison Smith to a turf toe injury. The Vikings were ranked 29th in pass defense even with Smith in the lineup.

 

About Manning

The two-time Super Bowl MVP has thrown an NFL-leading 15 interceptions and owns a 64.0 passer rating this season. Manning has struggled to the degree that coach Tom Coughlin was asked this week if he has considered benching his quarterback. He has not.

 

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  • New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) scrambles during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) ORG XMIT: ERU112

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Toronto - LP: B. Morrow 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 7
Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 4
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Buffalo 29
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Washington 41
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Boston College 37
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Texas State 21
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SMU
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Michigan
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FIU
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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