It was a match-up of two teams who probably would have preferred to watch Monday Night Football, rather than play it.
Both the Vikings and Giants played 60 minutes of mistake-filled, miserable football; confirming to the nation that both teams are indeed the dregs on the NFL.
Fortunately for the Giants, the Vikings were far more dreadful than they were on this day. The Vikings offense was atrocious. They managed only 13 first downs and 206 yards of offense. Last year's league MVP Adrian Peterson was held to only 28 yards rushing on 13 carries, and quarterback Josh Freeman, making his first start as a Viking, looked overwhelmed.
In a lot of ways it was like Minnesota coach Leslie Fraizer was playing to lose the game by not removing Freeman from the game for back-up Christian Ponder, and NOT going for a couple field goals when Freeman actually got the Vikings deep into Giants territory.
That being said, the Giants were equally putrid offensively. Their running game once again stalled, and Eli Manning struggled to get any consistency going with his receivers. Every time Manning dropped back it seemed like Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was in the backfield waiting for him.
After a brilliant 17 play 68 yard opening drive that ate 9:36 that led to a Giants field goal, Big Blue's offense went into a funk. The managed a total of 42 yards on four of the final five first half drives, excluding, of course a 78-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown to give New York a 10-7 lead.
The Giants tried to give the ball game away to Minnesota, when Ruben Randle fumbled a punt inside Giants territory, setting up the Vikings at the New York 20. But Freeman was picked off by Antrelle Rolle on second down to kill the Minnesota threat.
Of course with that swing in momentum New York couldn't do anything with it. Manning nearly had a pass picked off for a touchdown, but fortunately the pass was dropped by cornerback Marcus Sherels.
On the ensuing punt it was Sherels who, again, made a mistake for the Vikings. He fumbled the punt back to New York, giving the Giants the football at the Vikings 3-yard line.
Peyton Hillis plowed in from there to make it 17-7.
On a day where nobody stared, it was Hillis who stared for the Giants. He ran for 36 yards on 18 carries, and the touchdown. This was Hillis first NFL action in a long time. He was released from Tampa Bay before the season started and didn't have a team all season. This was the same Hillis who once appeared on the Madden cover in 2012 as a star with the Cleveland Browns. Perhaps Hillis has found a home with the Giants.
While it was ugly it was a win. The Giants maligned defense was up to the task Monday. They shut down Peterson, and harassed Freeman all night, something we haven't seen from that unit all year.
However, nobody will get the sense that the Giants are turning things around after Monday's win. They looked every bit the part of a 1-6 football team. This Giants team stinks, they are lucky that they got to play the equally horrific Vikings.