EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – At last.
The New York Giants got their first win of the NFL season Monday night by holding Adrian Peterson in check and converting Minnesota mistakes into a 23-7 victory.
The Giants began the season with six losses in which they were the team turning over the ball (minus-16 difference) while showing little penchant for playing defense. But against the Vikings (1-5) they had three takeaways to one lost fumble.
Peterson, the league’s MVP last season and a 2,000-yard rusher, was held to 28 yards five days after his 2-year-old son was buried in South Dakota. The man accused in the death was indicted on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
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.
Josh Brown kicked three field goals and Rueben Randle caught a 24-yard TD pass for New York (1-6).
Marcus Sherels provided Minnesota’s points with an 86-yard punt return, but his fumble without being hit during a runback midway in the third quarter set up New York at the Vikings 3.
Minnesota had a total of 8 yards on punt runbacks heading into the game. But Sherels set a team mark with 119.
Freeman was 20 of 53 for 190 yards; New York’s Eli Manning 23 of 39 for 200.