(Photo: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)
Minnesota Vikings vs New York Giants takes place on Monday Night Football tonight as the climax to an Week 7 in the NFL 2013 regular season. Peyton Manning and the Broncos finally suffered their first defeat late last night, and his brother Eli Manning will be hoping he and his Giants can claim their first tonight. Monday Night Football will start at 8.40 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).
Tonight's clash on the surface looks like a dead rubber with both teams already looking likely to have wasted their seasons. With a combined record of 1-10, many could write this game off as a one to miss, and irrelevant to the season's proceedings.
However, a look closer will show that these two teams, despite their records, do have strong teams – the Giants only just won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, and the Vikings were serious Super Bowl contenders last season, making the playoffs.
Also a quick look at the divisions these two teams are playing in reveals that not all is lost yet. The Vikings are 1-4 and bottom of the NFC North, however, with the Green Bay Packers topping the division on 4-2, and both Detroit and Chicago on 4-3, if the Vikings can just go on a solid run of games they could be right back in the mix.
For the Giants, who are 0-6, things might be a bit too far gone, but on their side is the fact that the NFC East is seriously struggling this season. Only the Cowboys have their heads above .500, and that's only because they have won their games against their poor NFC East rivals.
The Cowboys are 4-3, and the Eagles are second on 3-4, where as the Washington Redskins are 2-4 in third. The Giants should be 100 percent out of the competition at 0-6, but again, this is a talented side, and it is not beyond them to go on a good run. If their NFC East rivals continue to stutter throughout the season the Giants could make good gains through the middle section of the season.
However, if the Giants are to turn things around then they will have to start putting more points on the board. They rank 30th in the NFL at the moment in offense, averaging just 17.2 points per game. That's well-below where they should be seeing as they rank 17th in total yards gained.
There are two major reasons for that – Peyton Manning is leading the NFL in interceptions, with a massive 15 given up, and the Giants defense has been atrocious. Manning has to stop giving the ball away so cheaply; last week they could have beaten Chicago had Manning not thrown three interceptions in their 21-27 loss.
Manning is 123 of 229 for 1,721 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Minnesota meanwhile are coming into this game on the back of a blowout 10-35 loss to Carolina. They will be as desperate as the Giants to get a win tonight, and will be hoping Adrian Peterson can do the damage.
Monday Night Football between the Vikings and the Giants will kick off at 8.40 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the ESPN network or online through free live stream by clicking here.