It turns out that the Giants had nothing to worry about. They own the Vikings. For the third year in a row the Giants came into the Metrodome, silenced the crowd and came away with a victory. This year it was a 34-13 drubbing in which the Vikings' number one ranked offense was kept off the scoreboard until garbage time.
"I have just been given the only good news from today- the Giants are not on our schedule next year, thank God." Minnesota head coach and Long Island native Mike Tice said after the game.
Early in the first quarter linebacker Kevin Lewis recovered an incomplete screen pass that was ruled a lateral and took the ball 15 yards to the Vikings' 22. Although the Giants only got 3 points out of the possession, it set the tone for the rest of the game in which the defense led the way.
The Giants offense was pedestrian, but when they got into the red zone they found a way to put points on the board - something they've struggled with at times this season. Kurt Warner was sacked five times and fumbled three times (the Giants recovered all of them). One of the big differences in the game was the ability of Tiki Barber and Mike Cloud to take handoffs and get the tough short yards - something Ron Dayne has been unable to do since he left the Big Ten.
Just a quick note about Ron Dayne: Maybe everytime you put him in the game everybody knows what's coming. Maybe he's not a short yardage back to begin with. Maybe he's been horribly misused. Maybe after however many years of this you've finally broken his brain. But after all what do we know?
In October the Giants went 3-0 on the road, with victories in Dallas, Green Bay and Minnesota. The Giants are now 5-2 going into next Sunday's home game against the 2-5 Chicago Bears.
Photo by AP/Ann Heisenfelt