East Rutherford, N.J. – The New York Giants snapped their six-game losing streak by taking advantage of several Minnesota miscues and holding defending NFL MVP Adrian Peterson to just 28 rushing yards, a 2013 season-low for the future Hall of Famer.
The Giants, who thanks to a 24-yard touchdown reception by Rueben Randle and one of Josh Brown’s three field goals, led 10-7 at the half, their first such lead this year. They went on to convert two out of their three takeaways into 10 second-half points en route to their 23-7 win on Monday night.
Brown, who hadn’t made a field goal attempt in four weeks, added two more in the second half while running back Peyton Hillis, who was signed this past week, had a solid Giants début, rushing for 36 yards on 18 carries and a one-yard touchdown run to seal the win for New York.
“I felt better than what I probably should have,” Hillis said after the game. “ There’s a lot of room for improvement on my side. I think that I did some things to help the team win and other things, I didn’t. There’s a lot of room for improvement and I’m just glad that I can be with the organization and we can get the win tonight.”
It was the play of the Giants defense, though, which carried the Giants through to their first win of the season.
In addition to stuffing Peterson, they made Josh Freeman’s debut as the Vikings quarterback uncomfortable, sacking him once, and hitting him 13 times, a season high for the defense.
The Vikings only points in the game came on a 86-yard punt return for a touchdown by Marcus Sherel.
New York also recorded its first sack since Week 5 vs. Philadelphia, and had its first interception in two games.
“That’s what it’s about. It’s about getting back to having fun,” said safety Antrel Rolle. “Obviously things have been a little tense around here starting 0-6 but we never gave up on one another. We’ve kept pushing each other, we’ve kept moving each other along.”
“It’s a good win but we’re supposed to win, especially against an NFC team,” added defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who had two hits on Freeman despite missing practice time this week due to an illness.
“At the end of the day things were working out for us. We’re going to build on this and hopefully everybody can stick together and continue practicing well. Let’s get on a roll.”
Blue Notes: The return of center David Baas, who missed the last three games with a neck injury, was short-lived, as on the Giants’ opening drive, Baas suffered an injury to his left knee which forced him out of the game. Baas said he would undergo a MRI on Thursday to determine the extent of the injury.
Sherel’s first-quarter punt return for a touchdown was the third one given up by the Giants’ special teams this season. Sherel, who finished with 119 yards on four returns, set a new Vikings club record for a single-game high in punt return yards, eclipsing the previous mark of 107 set on Nov. 3, 1968 by Charlie West.