Giants Defeat Vikings, Set Up Key Game Vs. Eagles

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Giants 21, Vikings 3: Giants Get Victory They Had To Have

The New York Giants’ 21-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday will be a memorable game, but not because of the action on the field.

It will be memorable because of the crazy circumstances. It will be memorable because the game was played at Detroit’s Ford Field instead of the Metrodome in Minneapolis due to a roof collapse. It will be memorable because it brought an end to Brett Favre’s streak of 297 straight starts.

In the end, all the Giants care about is the fact that they got the victory they needed. They are now 9-4, tied for the NFC East lead with Philadelphia heading into a showdown with the Eagles at New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday.

The Giants got 116 yards rushing from Brandon Jacobs and 103 yards rushing from Ahmad Bradshaw. Jacobs has a 73-yard run and Bradshaw a 48-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Eli Manning had an uneven night, going 22-of-37 for 187 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Giants held the Vikings to just 164 yards of total offense. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was 15-of-30 for 118 yards and an interception. Adrian Peterson carried the ball 14 times for just 26 yards.

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PHOTO: Brett Favre On The Inactive List

Brett Favre is officially on the Minnesota Vikings' inactive list and New York Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon has photographic proof.

Favre, who hasn’t appeared on that list for quite some time, will end his streak of consecutive games started at 297 with his name on this list. It has also been reported that he wasn’t listed as the team’s quarterback, meaning the veteran won’t be eligible to play at all tonight.

Other players out for the Vikings include receiver Percy Harvin, receiver Hank Baskett, receiver Tyrell Johnson, cornerback Chris Cook, guard Steve Hutchinson, defensive tackle Fred Evans and defensive end Ray Edwards.

Tavaris Jackson, who played for for the Vikings last week after Favre went down, will get the start for Minnesota – in Detroit – tonight.

Favre_medium

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Brett Favre Out Tonight, Ending Streak of 297 Consecutive Starts

Brett Favre’s injury will not allow him to play for the Minnesota Vikings Monday night against the New York Giants. This means his NFL-record streak for consecutive starts will end at 297 games.

Favre was added to the inactive list about an hour and a half prior to kickoff according to the Vikings' official Twitter page, meaning that not only will he not start, the veteran quarterback won’t play at all.

Favre’s injury occurred on the Vikings' first play last week and he was unable to practice all week. There was hope that with the extra day, Favre might be able to play, but it appears the iron man’s streak is officially over. Tarvaris Jackson will start for Minnesota tonight at Ford Field in Detroit.

The streak began in 1992 when Favre played for the Green Bay Packers, when he replaced Don Majkowski after an early-season injury.

For the Giants, this makes another odd footnote to a very strange trip that began for them back on Saturday morning.

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Brett Favre's Streak May Finally Be Collared Tonight

Extra day to rest or not, it seems increasingly likely that Brett Favre’s streak will end at 297 consecutive career starts.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that the Vikings quarterback does not believe he will be able to play when the Vikings and New York Giants meet at Ford Field in Detroit.

Via Twitter, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen has been all over the Favre story this afternoon.

Mortensen has tweeted that neither Favre nor his teammates believe he will play tonight, that doctors have advised him that an injection that would enable him to play is too dangerous in that area and that doctors also think he should not play again this season. If he were to do that, it would likely be the end of Favre’s career.

I will believe that Favre won’t start when I see him in street clothes, or when I see Tarvaris Jackson run on the field for Minnesota’s first offensive series. The Pioneer Press is reporting that the 41-year-old quarterback’s collarbone is still “severely swollen.” With Favre, I guess we just have to wait and see.

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John Mara: Giants Are In 'Great Spirits'

New York Giants President John Mara said Sunday that the team is in "great spirits" despite the difficulties and uncertainty it has endured since leaving Saturday morning for what was supposed to be a Sunday afternoon game in Minnesota.

They've taken it in stride very well. Most of them have been laughing and joking about it," Mara said. "They're taking it about as well as you could possibly expect, and that includes the head coach, by the way."

The Giants will play the Vikings in Detroit Monday night at 7:20 p.m. ET after snow initially prevented the team from reaching Minneapolis on Saturday, then caused the Hubert H, Humphrey Metrodome roof to collapse Sunday morning.

Tom Coughlin agreed with Mara that the team is doing as well as it can under the circumstances.

"I think they've handled it very well. I think that the guys realized right away that it was out of our hands and really fully out of our control," Coughlin said. "I think that having finalized exactly what the schedule is and when we will play and the fact that we're in Detroit and that type of thing, I think that as our meetings begin here this evening shortly, I think our players will zoom back into the mental part of it. It's back into the hands of something that we can do something about."

Mara said the Giants did suggest the possibility of playing the game Monday night at New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey.

"That didn't get very far," Mara said. "The one idea that we weren't crazy about was playing at the University of Minnesota because of the weather and it being minus-11 tomorrow night would've created a lot of issues for us. We don't have our cold weather equipment out here with us. Plus from a safety standpoint, I thought that was unnecessary. Fortunately, that became academic when they told the league they would not have the stadium ready to play tomorrow night."

SB Nation Detroit reports that tickets for the game will be free, and that Lions fans holding stubs for the game held Sunday at Ford Field between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers can use them for Monday night's game.

Defensive end Justin Tuck said he hopes the team actually benefits from all of the time players have spent together since Saturday morning.

"All of us are in this, I guess, and it's like recreating a bad Christmas movie, that's what we've been feeling like," Tuck said. "Obviously, we weren't prepared to spend this much time together but I think there are definitely positives with guys in their hotel rooms playing cards or talking with the guys next to them. It really has been a positive bonding experience and you get to know guys that you didn't know as well. Hopefully that bodes well for us going into this playoff run."

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Detroit's Ford Field To Host Giants-Vikings Monday Night, Says Report

The NFL has apparently chosen Detroit’s domed stadium, Ford Field, to host Monday night’s New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings game.

The Monday forecast in Detroit, incidentally, is for temperatures below zero and about an inch of snow, according to the Weather Channel.

Start time Monday is apparently 7:20 ET.

Other sites that had been considered apparently included Indianapolis, New Orleans and an outdoor game at the University of Minnesota.

This will make a short week for the Giants as they prepare for next week’s key NFC East game against the Philadelphia Eagles. At least that game is home at New Meadowlands Stadium, so once the Giants get back to New Jersey they can get back into a regular routine.

The Monday night game obviously benefits Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre. He is suffering from a sprained shoulder and his ability to make his 298th straight start has been questioned.

Injured players for the Giants such as wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith, and possibly even center Shaun O’Hara, could also benefit from having an added day to rehab injuries before Monday’s game.

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Metrodome Unplayable, Alternate Sites Sought For Giants-Vikings

The NFL is currently considering alternate sites for the postponed New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings game.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the following Sunday morning via Twitter: "We were notified this morning by the Metrodome authorities that the dome will not be available for the Giants-Vikings game on Monday or Tuesday. We are currently exploring alternatives to play the game Monday night at the University of Minnesota stadium or another domed NFL stadium. We will continue provide information as it becomes available.”

A variety of sites have been mentioned as possibilities:

- The game could be held outdoors at the University at Minnesota. Problem with that is temperatures are expected to be below zero at kickoff time Monday night.
- Ford Field in Detroit is another option.
- The dome in Indianapolis has also been mentioned, as have St. Louis and – of all places – Dallas.
- Tom Rock of Newsday figured out the distance from Minneapolis to several potential game sites. Per T-Rock, the distances are: From Minneapolis to Detroit – 690 miles. To Indy – 590 miles. To St.L – 562 miles.

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Metrodome Unlikely To Be Ready For Giants-Vikings On Monday

After a partial roof collapse this morning, officials are now saying the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is “unlikely” to be ready for Monday’s re-scheduled New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings NFL game.

From NFL.com:

Metrodome official Bill Lester said Sunday morning that the stadium is unlikely to be ready in time for kickoff Monday night.

Lester is the executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission that operates the stadium. He said the dome suffered damage to two of its triangle-shaped Teflon panels and that his crew is still assessing the situation.

The stadium opened in 1982. The Twin Cities area received 15 or more inches of snow Saturday.

There is apparently a news conference scheduled at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the situation.

Giants PR Director Pat Hanlon tweeted this morning that Miami would be a nice location for the game. That only makes sense if there is no way to travel to New Jersey by Monday night.

You have to think at this point that the best solution, provided the teams can travel safely to New Jersey, would be for the game to be held Monday night at New Meadowlands Stadium.

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Broadcast Info, Start Time Announced For Giants-Vikings

Giants-Vikings will be played Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on FOX 5 in the New York metropolitan area. The game will also air on the FOX affiliate in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, according to Nancy Gay of FOXSports.com. It is unknown exactly how many affiliates (Philadelphia? Upstate?) will receive the game, or if a national network or NFL Sunday Ticket will pick up the game. For now, however, if you live in this area, you’ll be able to see the game.

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Giants-Vikings Game Moved To Monday

The New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings game has reportedly been moved to Monday. In addition to travel concerns with the Giants still trying to reach Minneapolis, Metrodome officials are apparently concerned about the volume of snow on the roof of the Metrodome. Severe winter storms have dumped at least 15 inches of snow on Minneapolis.

A time for the game has not yet been announced. Reports are now coming out that the game will kick off at 8 p.m. and be televised in New York and Minneapolis by FOX.

The NFL issued the following statement:

“Due to the severe weather conditions and on the recommendation of Metrodome officials, the Giants-Vikings game will be moved to Monday night. The kickoff time at the Metrodome and television arrangements will be announced as soon as they are determined.”

Weather forecasts predicted steady snow in Minneapolis until evening, then clearing. Sunday’s forecas is sunny but extremely cold, with wind chill approaching negative-25 degrees.

This means the Giants can at least take their time in trying to get to Minneapolis on Sunday. It also means an extra day for Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre to rest his injured shoulder in an effort to make his 298th consecutive career start.

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Giants Unable To Reach Minneapolis Due To Storm

A blizzard in the Midwest has prevented the New York Giants from reaching Minneapolis today. The Giants are scheduled to play the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

The Giants got as far as Kansas City before blizzard conditions forced them to stop. That is where they will spend the evening, according to a report from the Star-Ledger’s Mike Garafolo.

The plan is still for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, even the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport is currently closed and the Giants will apparently have to fly in from Kansas City in the morning. Provided, of course, that the airport opens.

Via NFL.com, here are some of the rules regarding weather.

If, because of an emergency, a regular-season or postseason game is not started at its scheduled time and cannot be played at any later time that same day, the game nevertheless must be played on a subsequent date to be determined by the Commissioner.

If an emergency threatens to occur during the playing of a game (for example, an incoming tropical storm), the starting time of the game will not be moved to an earlier time unless there is clearly sufficient time to make an orderly change.

All games that are suspended temporarily and resumed on the same day, and all suspended games that are postponed to a later date, will be resumed at the point of suspension. On suspension, the referee will call timeout and make a record of the following: team possessing the ball, direction in which its offense was headed, position of the ball on the field, down, distance, period, time remaining in the period, and any other pertinent information required for an orderly and equitable resumption of play.

For regular-season postponements, the Commissioner will make every effort to set the game for no later than two days after its originally scheduled date and at the same site. If unable to schedule at the same site, he will select an appropriate alternative site. If it is impossible to schedule the game within two days after its original date, the Commissioner will attempt to schedule it on the Tuesday of the next calendar week. The Commissioner will keep in mind the potential for competitive inequities if one or both of the involved clubs has already been scheduled for a game close to the Tuesday of that week (for example, a Thursday game).

At this point, no one even knows for sure if the Giants can get to Minneapolis on time for a 1 p.m. kickoff. The other question, of course, is whether or not it’s even fair — or safe — to ask them to try.

We will have more on this as it develops.

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NFL Playoff Picture: Giants' Fan's Rooting Guide For Sunday

First and foremost, the New York Giants (8-4) need to keep winning games the next four weeks to emerge from the highly-competitive NFC with a playoff berth. There are, however, several games on Sunday that could impact the playoff scenarios facing the Giants.

Here is a Giants’ fan’s rooting guide to Sunday’s action.

Green Bay at Detroit
. Giants’ fans have to root for the 2-10 Lions to pull an upset of the 8-4 Packers. The Packers and Giants meet in two weeks, and these two teams could be fighting for one playoff spot. Go, Lions!

Tampa Bay at Washington
. I’m not holding out much hope here since the Redskins are a mess. It would, however, be really nice if Washington would knocf off the Buccaneers (7-5) and pretty much eliminate them fro playoff contention.

St. Louis at New Orleans. Here again I doubt the Giants are going to get help from the 6-6 Rams, especially on the road. But, it would be a big help if the Rams would beat the 9-3 Saints. Gotta root for Steve Spagnuolo, Fred Robbins and the other former Giants who are in St. Louis.

New England at Chicago
. Giants’ fans have to also be Patriots’ fans today. The Bears are 9-3, and it sure would help the Giants’ chances for Chicago to come back to them. The Giants, after all, own a tiebreaker over the Bears after beating them earlier this season.

Philadelphia at Dallas. C’mon, Giants’ fans. You know have to do root for Dallas today, as hard as that is. Take the NFC East title away from Philly and you don’t have to worry about all these crazy scenarios. The Cowboys can help the Giants do that. Go, ’Boys!

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Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith Questionable For Giants Vs. Vikings

Wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith have been listed as questionable by the New York Giants for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. Each, however, expects to play.

Here is the rest of the Giants’ injury report.

OL Shawn Andrews (back) is out. C Shaun O’Hara (foot) is doubtful. LT David Diehl (hip/hamstring), DE Osi Umenyiora, DB Brian Jackson and RB Ahmad Bradshaw are probable.

This will mean the Giants will be as close to full strength on offense as they have been in several weeks.

For Minnesota, wide receiver Percy Harvin is doubtful due to ongoing issues with migraine headaches. Quarterback Brett Favre will be a game time decision after practicing Friday, but apparently doing no throwing.

Here is the rest of the Minnesota injury report:

LG Steve Hutchinson (broken right thumb), DE Ray Edwards (high right ankle sprain), and WR Joe Webb are all questionable. Hutchinson and Edwards didn’t practice this week. Cornerback Chris Cook and safety Tyrell Johnson are out.

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Giants At Vikings: Fantasy Football Focus

(Sports Network) – Adrian Peterson has certainly lived up to his lofty draft status in fantasy leagues and is an absolute must-start, especially in a week where many leagues are beginning the playoffs. New York’s backfield split of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs could hinder the prospects of both players, however, as may a tough draw against a sturdy Minnesota run defense. Bradshaw has generally been the better option of the two this season.

Eli Manning’s value gets a nice boost with Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith back in the fold, though the latter will probably see a secondary role off his long layoff and isn’t recommended. Feel free to re-insert Nicks, the Giants’ best red-zone target, into starting lineups, and Manningham has decent potential as a second receiver or flex play.

On the Minnesota side, Percy Harvin’s situation needs to be monitored up until game day, but give him the go-ahead if active, while Sydney Rice is now safe to use and should definitely be played if Harvin is again held out. There’s no reason for Brett Favre owners to sit around and wait on his status, however, as he’s no longer starting material at this point, and Tarvaris Jackson would be a huge roll of the dice. Both defenses are worthy of a lineup spot, particularly when factoring in each offense’s propensity for turnovers.

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Giants At Vikings: When The Vikings Have The Ball

(Sports Network) – Regardless of whether Brett Favre (2446 passing yards, 10 TD, 18 INT) drags his ailing and aging body out for another go-around or if it’s Jackson (223 passing yards, 3 TD, 3 INT) calling the shots, expect the Vikings to give New York a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson (1123 rushing yards, 33 receptions, 12 total TD) come Sunday. The NFC’s leading rusher abused Buffalo for 107 yards and three touchdowns on only 16 carries last week despite dealing with a sprained ankle, and with rookie understudy Toby Gerhart (216 rushing yards, 16 receptions) hobbled by a gimpy hamstring, expect Peterson to see an increase from his Week 13 workload.

Percy Harvin’s (51 receptions, 5 total TD) possible absence may be offset by the return to form from Sydney Rice (9 receptions, 2 TD), a 1,300-yard receiver in 2009 who compiled 105 yards and two scores on five catches in just his third game back from offseason hip surgery. He’s the lone healthy standout of an otherwise pedestrian allotment of passing-game targets, though tight end and ex-Giant Visanthe Shiancoe (35 receptions, 2 TD) is a solid safety valve underneath. Like its opponent this week, Minnesota has been plagued by miscues throughout the season, owning a troubling minus-11 turnover ratio that’s tied for worst in the NFL. The quarterbacks have been the primary culprits for that poor margin, with Favre and Jackson having combined for 21 interceptions.

Though the Giants stand seventh in the league in run defense (98.0 ypg), they were gashed for 207 rushing yards in a narrow win over Jacksonville two weeks back, so it’s imperative that players such as linebackers Michael Boley (67 tackles, 1 sack) and Jonathan Goff (53 tackles, 0.5 sacks) and tackle Barry Cofield (43 tackles, 3 sacks) win their battles and tackle well to prevent the dangerous Peterson from going wild on Sunday. New York’s goal will be to put the Vikings into obvious throwing situations in order to unleash a slew of strong pass rushers that have teamed up for 36 sacks, tied for the third-most in the NFL. Ends Osi Umenyiora (38 tackles, 9 sacks) and Justin Tuck (59 tackles, 8.5 sacks) are tremendous disrupters who have forced an eye-opening 14 fumbles between them, while 2010 first-round pick Jason Pierre-Paul (22 tackles, 4 sacks) has racked up a pair of two-sack efforts over the past couple of weeks.

The Giants’ knack for creating pressure is a big reason why they’ve surrendered the second-least passing yards this season (192.8 ypg), though the steady play of cornerbacks Terrell Thomas (70 tackles, 5 INT, 17 PD) and Corey Webster (42 tackles, 3 INT, 8 PD) has helped as well.

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Giants At Vikings: When The Giants Have The Ball

(Spports Network) – New York’s offense can be a very difficult one to keep in check when all its parts are in place and operating in sync, as evidenced by the team’s No. 5 overall ranking in both total yards (384.6 ypg) and scoring (25.7 ppg). Besides the injuries, the Giants’ biggest problem as often been a tendency to stop themselves, having committed a league-worst 31 turnovers that includes 17 interceptions thrown by quarterback Eli Manning (2982 passing yards, 23 TD, 17 INT). That hasn’t been as much as issue the past two weeks due to the heavy emphasis on a ground attack that’s churning out an average of 142.9 yards per game, with both Ahmad Bradshaw (1013 rushing yards, 7 TD, 33 receptions) and the powerful Brandon Jacobs (577 rushing yards, 7 TD) having been very effective in a timeshare.

The two backs have benefited by the work up front from a line that hasn’t allowed a sack in a club-record five straight contests despite having been without David Diehl and Pro Bowl center Shaun O’Hara for the majority of that period. The impending return of the physical Hakeem Nicks (62 receptions, 800 yards, 9 TD) and the savvy Steve Smith (47 receptions, 3 TD) should greatly bolster a receiving group that’s relied heavily on inconsistent wideout Mario Manningham (43 receptions, 5 TD) and tight end Kevin Boss (26 receptions, 3 TD) as of late.

Leslie Frazier’s promotion seems to have had the most impact on the elevated defensive coordinator’s charges, as the Vikings have been a shutdown operation on that side of the ball in his two games in charge. After holding Washington to a paltry 216 total yards and generating four sacks in a Week 12 win, Minnesota yielded a mere 239 yards and had a season-best five takeaways against the Bills. The charge has been led by end Jared Allen (46 tackles, 8.5 sacks), with the premier pass rusher on a five-week tear in which he’s amassed 7 1/2 sacks and forced a fumble, and the run defense has been superb as well during that stretch.

The Vikings are permitting just 92.0 rushing yards per game (4th overall) and 3.6 yards per attempt, mostly due to the performance of a stout interior core that features two Pro Bowl tackles in Kevin Williams (25 tackles, 1 sack) and Pat Williams (23 tackles) and a quality middle linebacker in E.J. Henderson (80 tackles, 1 sack, 3 INT). Minnesota has been somewhat suspect in the secondary, however, and may not have second-leading sacker Ray Edwards (24 tackles, 5.5 sacks) available for a second straight week due to a high ankle sprain, so opportunities may exist for Manning and his pass- catchers.

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Giants At Vikings: Numbers To Consider

Here is a look at some of the pertinent numbers for Sunday's matchup in Minneapolis between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings.

Statistically, the Giants would appear to have the edge. They are fourth in the league in offense with 384.6 yards per game and second in defense at 290.8 yards per game.  The Vikings are 18th offensively, but very strong defensively, giving up 302.2 yards per game, good for sixth in the league.


Vikings Stats - Game Averages

Pts Yrds Pass Rush
Off 18.9 337.8 (18th) 210.2 (19th) 127.7 (8th)
Def 21.1 302.2 (6th) 210.2 (12th) 92.0 (4th)


Giants Stats - Game Averages

Pts Yrds Pass Rush
Off 25.7 384.6 (4th) 241.7 (12th) 142.9 (6th)
Def 20.6 290.8 (2nd) 192.8 (2nd) 98.0 (7th)

The Vikings defense does feature three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen, who has three sacks. The Vikings have just 22 overall, though. The Giants are second in the league with 35 sacks, led by Osi Umenyiora with nine and Justin Tuck with eight and one-half.

Here is a number that should concern Giants' fans. Eli Manning is 0-4 in his career against Minnesota with just two touchdowns and nine interceptions. Yuck!

The other number to think about is 298. As in, will Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre, who has a sprained shoulder, make his 298th consecutive start. The Vikings are calling him a "game-time decision."

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