Updated Oct 22, 2013 1: 28 AM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N. M. (AP)
With six losses on their resume, the New York Giants could have been wondering if they would ever win a game this season.
Instead, they researched within to see what they are made of.
“The players and coaches have great pride about what we’re doing, ” Eli Manning said Monday night after — at last — the team’s initial victory, 23-7 over the Minnesota Vikings. “We just had to keep going, get rid of some of the mistakes, and play the way in which we need to play. ”
They were efficient, if not mind-boggling, which is all they needed to be against the mistake-prone Vikings (1-5).
The Giants began the growing season as the team turning over the golf ball (minus-16 difference) while showing little penchant for playing defense. But against the Vikings, they had three takeaways to one lost fumble.
Peterson, the league’s MVP last season and a 2, 000-yard rusher, was held to 28 yards five days after his 2-year-old son was buried in Southern Dakota. The man accused in the death was indicted on second-degree homicide and manslaughter charges, prosecutors stated Monday.
“It was tough sledding. We couldn’t get anything established up front, inch Peterson said.
“I was focused on preparing for the overall game, unfortunately it didn’t work out the way in which we wanted to. It was tough. The defense made it hard. ”
Peterson was not helped by a rusty Josh Freeman, making his debut as Vikings quarterback after being signed as a free agent when Tampa Bay reduce the 2009 first-round draft pick. Freeman frequently missed open receivers, and many of his throws sailed yards beyond his targets.
Coach Leslie Frazier stated he considered taking out Freeman, but that the score was close sufficient for him to stick with their new QB.
Josh Brown kicked three industry goals and Rueben Randle captured a 24-yard TD pass for New York (1-6).
“For us, we can’t look too much past a win and also a step in the right direction, ” defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. “We can’t look beyond the next step. inch
Marcus Sherels provided Minnesota’s factors with an 86-yard punt return, but his fumble without being hit during a runback midway in the third one fourth set up New York at the Vikings 3.
Peyton Hillis, signed last Wednesday with the Giants in dire need of working backs, surged in from the one for a 17-7 lead — Brand new York’s biggest in 2013.
The lead increased on Brown’s 23-yard field goal to finish off a 16-play, 75-yard drive, and to 23-7 on his 36-yarder. Another Vikings mistake handed these points to the Giants: Rookie Sharrif Floyd, a defensive tackle of most things, fumbled at Minnesota’s eighteen while returning a short kickoff.
“We needed to get one on the board, ” defensive finish Justin Tuck said. “I informed (general manager) Jerry Reese which i think we have a shovel to begin digging our way out of this pit. Hopefully, tonight is something we are able to build off. It’s still a considerable ways to climb out of this hole. But this was something that we could get the golf ball rolling. ”
The Giants controlled the time clock and the ball for most of the opening quarter and led 3-0 whenever Sherels broke his spectacular punt return — the third against the Giants this season. He sped down the left sideline virtually untouched, then twice faked out punter Steve Weatherford. By the time Weatherford reached Sherels, it was at the goal line — exactly where Weatherford brought him down with a horse-collar tackle.
Minnesota had a total of 8 yards on punt runbacks proceeding into Monday night. But Sherels set a team mark with 119.
Before Sherels’ sprint, New York had gone seventeen plays and used up the first nine: 36, but bogged down at the 16 and Brown made a 35-yard field goal.
And one play after Mn hurt itself on rookie Xavier Rhodes’ 23-yard pass interference penalty, Manning threw a laser to some leaping Randle in the left part of the end zone for a 10-7 lead.
It was the first time New York led at halftime all season. The defense held Peterson to 9 yards rushing on eight carries, and he didn’t do much more in the second half.
Manning, who also led the league with fifteen interceptions, didn’t throw one for the first time all season. And while Freeman was picked only one time, by Antrel Rolle, he looked like someone who had not played in more than a month.
“A lot of the plays were simply a hair off, ” Freeman stated.
Freeman finished 20 of 53 for 190 yards. Manning was 23 pertaining to 39 for 200 yards.
NOTES: Giants middle David Baas, who missed the last three games with a neck damage, returned but soon was sidelined by a knee problem. He’ll come with an MRI on Tuesday…. Frazier stated there would be MRIs for fullback Rhett Ellison on his left ankle, and halfback Matt Asiata on his glenohumeral joint…. The Giants had given up a league-high 209 points before closing down Minnesota.