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).

Photo: File photo by Nam Y. Huh • Associated Press, Associated Press

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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.

 

Who has the edge?

Manning’s interception total is alarming, but he’s still capable of taking advantage of a mismatch. He will make his 144th consecutive start Monday, and he needs only 215 passing yards to break Phil Simms’ career franchise record.

 

Advantage: Manning

THE BIG NUMBER

34.8The Giants rank last in the NFL in scoring defense, even worse than the Vikings, who are 30th at 31.6 points per game.

BREAKOUT DAY

Josh Freeman, Vikings: Freeman has had only two weeks to digest a new offense and develop timing with his receivers. But he also should be motivated to prove that everything that transpired with Tampa Bay was handled poorly by the Buccaneers and coach Greg Schiano.

PREDICTION

Giants 27, Vikings 21

 

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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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Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona - LP: O. Perez 0 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 1
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Cincinnati 0
LA Angels 1 Bottom 1st Inning
Boston 0
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
San Diego - T. Ross 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Pittsburgh 0 1st Qtr 13:20
Philadelphia 0
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Washington 27 2nd Qtr 2:48
Indiana 28
San Antonio 8:00 PM
Minnesota
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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 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
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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