Giants pick up first win

ESPN staff
October 22, 2013
Eli Manning didn't throw an interception for the first game this season © Getty Images

With six losses to their name, the New York Giants could have been wondering whether they would ever win a game this season.

Instead, they searched within to see what they are made of.

"The players and coaches have great pride in what we're doing," Eli Manning said on Monday night after - at last - the team's first victory, 23-7 over the Minnesota Vikings.

Manning, who led the league with 15 interceptions, didn't throw one for the first time all season.

"We just had to keep going, get rid of some of the mistakes and play the way we need to play," he added.

They were efficient, if not overwhelming, which was all they needed to be against the mistake-prone Vikings (1-5).

Adrian Peterson, the league's MVP last season and a 2,000-yard rusher, was held to 28 yards five days after his two-year-old son was buried in South Dakota. The man accused in the death was indicted on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, prosecutors said on Monday.

"It was tough sledding. We couldn't get anything established up front," Peterson said. "I was focused on preparing for the game; unfortunately, it didn't work out the way we wanted to. It was tough. The defence made it hard."

Peterson was not helped by a rusty Josh Freeman, making his debut as Vikings quarterback after being signed as a free agent when Tampa Bay cut the 2009 first-round draft pick. Freeman frequently missed open receivers, and several of his throws sailed yards beyond his targets. Coach Leslie Frazier said he considered taking out Freeman but that the score was close enough for him to stick with his new QB.

Josh Brown kicked three field goals and Rueben Randle caught a 24-yard TD pass for New York (1-6).

"For us, we can't look too much past a win and a step in the right direction," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. "We can't look beyond the next step."

Marcus Sherels provided Minnesota's points with an 86-yard punt return, but his fumble midway through the third quarter set up New York at the Vikings' three. Peyton Hillis, signed on Wednesday with the Giants in dire need of running backs, surged in from the one for a 17-7 lead.

The lead grew with Brown's 23-yard field goal to finish off a 16-play, 75-yard drive, and to 23-7 with his 36-yarder. Another Vikings mistake handed those points to the Giants; rookie Sharrif Floyd, a defensive tackle of all things, fumbled at Minnesota's 18 while returning a short kick-off.

"We needed to get one on the board," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "I told [general manager] Jerry Reese that I think we have a shovel to start digging our way out of this hole. Hopefully, tonight is something we can build off. It's still a long way to climb out of this hole. But this was something that we could get the ball rolling."

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com
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