Vikings Try To Keep Giants Winless

Image courtesy of Blake/Reuters
Adrian Peterson struggled after his son's death last week. Image courtesy of Blake/Reuters
It’s hard to imagine anyone could have predicted how bad a match-up this Monday Night Football (Tuesday morning – AEST) clash would be at the start of the season. When the winless New York Giants go in as favourites after such a woeful campaign to date says everything about how badly the 1-4 Minnesota Vikings are travelling.

The Vikes will star their third quarterback for the season with recently released Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman under centre for this Week 7 clash. Freeman was reported to have been fined twice this season by the Buccaneers for conduct detrimental to the team, but there is no doubting his natural ability. In 2010 he threw 25 touchdown passes and just six interceptions, while last year he tossed for 4,065 yards and 27 TDs.

All the focus was on Adrian Peterson last week when he played in the 35-10 loss to Carolina just two days after the death of his son. He ran for 62 yards on 10 carries, but the offence is the least of the Vikings’ issues. The defence has no pass rush, is giving up almost 32 points per game, and will be without its best player with safety Harrison Smith out with a toe injury.

Eli Manning has been nowhere near his best this season with 15 interceptions already, but Minnesota’s awful secondary should allow him to connect almost at will with his receivers. Victor Cruz has 14 catches for 261 yards and two TDs in his last couple of Monday Night Football games; Hakeem Nicks had seven catches for 96 last time he faced the Vikes; while the improving Reuben Randle has caught three touchdown passes in his last two starts. The Giants certainly look to be on the up after a better effort in the 27-21 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field last week, but their ‘D’ is still leaking around 35 points per game.

Minnesota has won eight of its 14 away clashes with the Giants, including their last two trips to the Big Apple in 2005 and 2007. The teams last met in 2010 when New York won 21-3 at the Metrodome.

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