The Giants’ upcoming matchup with Minnesota is their only Monday-night game of the 2013 season. It is also their first Monday game at home since Sept. 19, 2011, when they beat the St. Louis Rams.
Just 15 of the Giants’ 56 Monday-night appearances have been at home, which helps to explain why the Giants are only 22-33-1 all-time on Mondays. The Giants have lost their last two Monday-night games, both of which were on the road.
New York has played at least one Monday game in each of the last nine seasons, which speaks to their competitiveness in this span. Downtrodden teams generally don’t appear in Monday-night games. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see if the Giants get a Monday game in 2014 if their fortunes don’t turn in the final 10 games of this season.
Here is NBC New York’s preview of Monday’s Vikings-Giants game:
Reasons why the Giants can win on Monday night
The Vikings are starting their third different quarterback in four games. Perhaps ex-Buccaneers passer Josh Freeman will spark Minnesota’s offense in his first appearance in a purple jersey since playing college ball at Kansas State. On the other hand, the offense could sputter as everyone tries to get on the same page.
The Vikings’ defense has struggled throughout the season. Minnesota has surrendered 19 offensive touchdowns in five games. Every one of the Vikings’ five previous opponents has scored at least 27 points.
The Giants’ running game took a big step forward in the week six loss to Chicago. Suddenly, Brandon Jacobs is one of the most important pieces of the Giants’ offense.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning is capable of taking out some frustrations out on the Vikings’ pass defense. The Vikings are allowing 308 passing yards per game and do not have a single interception from a cornerback. Also, talented safety Harrison Smith will miss Monday’s game with a toe injury. While Manning has made some bad throws this season, we’ve seen flashes of his best form, too. The Vikings also face a big challenge matching up against Giants receivers Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle.
Reasons why the Giants could run into trouble against the Vikings
Adrian Peterson. The Vikings’ future Hall of Fame tailback can take over a game and are likely to give him a lot of work with Freeman making his first start.
Manning could have another error-laden game. Oh, would this be awkward and uncomfortable for all involved. This really shouldn’t happen against this opponent, but we can’t completely rule it out, can we?
Freeman shows that all he needed was a change of scenery, and he riddles the Giants’ pass defense. Freeman has some very good moments in Tampa Bay before losing his starting gig. If the Giants continue to struggle to muster a pass rush and allow Freeman to get comfortable, his first start with his new club could go quite well.
The Giants are flat after an 11-day break. Hey, the Vikings lost by 25 to Carolina after their bye week.
This is the most favorable matchup the Giants have had all season. The Vikings keep changing quarterbacks and don’t get enough stops on defense. New York should come away with its first win of 2013.
Score: Giants 24, Vikings 13.