The Giants’ three-day journey to Detroit’s Ford Field for last night’s relocated and rescheduled 21-3 win over the Vikings was worthy of a Homeric ode. And like “The Odyssey,” there were enough dramatic characters to fill a book.
The Old Warrior: Future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, laid low by a sprained shoulder that rendered him inactive, ended the league’s longest active starting streak by a quarterback at 297 games.
The Successor: Giants quarterback Eli Manning started his 100th game, now the second-longest active streak next to his brother Peyton’s 205. The win also marked Manning’s first win over the Vikings after four career losses.
The Redeemed Hero: As the Giants struggled with their offense, running back Brandon Jacobs, overshadowed this year by Ahmad Bradshaw, busted out for a 73-yard, second-quarter run and brought it in from a yard out four plays later for a go-ahead score and his eighth rushing TD. He finished with 116 yards on 14 carries.
The defense did its job, too, harassing and punishing Favre’s replacement, Tarvaris Jackson, for four sacks and forcing Joe Webb into the game.
The victory made all the angst of a one-night layover in Kansas City and relocation from a snow-damaged Metrodome worthwhile, as the 9-4 Giants kept up with NFC East co-leader Philadelphia. The two meet Sunday in what will now be a short preparation week for Tom Coughlin’s crew.
Manning, who still threw two interceptions in the first half to give him a league-leading 19, found tight end Kevin Boss in the end zone three seconds before halftime to put the Giants up 14-3 at intermission. Thanks to Jacobs’ big run, the Giants rushed for 113 yards in the first half.
Linebacker Keith Bulluck, relegated to part-time status, made a key interception in the third quarter that wiped away a 52-yard punt return by Greg Camarillo.
Bradshaw put the game out of reach at 21-3 toward the end of the third quarter with a 48-yard touchdown run. Both Bradshaw and Jacobs combined for 219 rushing yards, each passing the 100-yard mark.
The defense did its job, too, harassing and punishing Favre’s replacement, Tarvaris Jackson for four sacks and forcing Joe Webb into the game for a fourth-quarter series.
The run defense held the NFL’s sixth-leading rusher, Adrian Peterson, to just 26 yards on 14 carries.