Final

Vikings 41

(5-6, 2-4 away)

Giants 17

(7-4, 3-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, November 25, 2007

Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 14 10 3 1441
NYG 7 0 3 717

Top Performers

Passing: E. Manning (NYG) - 273 YDS, 1 TD, 4 INT

Rushing: C. Taylor (MIN) - 31 CAR, 77 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: P. Burress (NYG) - 7 REC, 93 YDS, 1 TD

Vikings return three Eli picks for TDs in blowout win

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings know how to make Eli Manning look bad, and this time they did it in front of big brother, Peyton.

Eli's Enemy
Eli Manning

Only the Eagles have picked off Eli Manning more than the Vikings, but Minnesota does have eight interceptions against Manning in two games.

Team INTs Games
Eagles 9 7
Vikings 8 2
Cowboys 8 7
Falcons 6 3

With Peyton watching in the stands, Darren Sharper, Dwight Smith and Chad Greenway picked off passes by Eli and returned them for touchdowns in leading the Vikings to a 41-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.

"It's not necessarily that we have a good read on Eli," Sharper said. "I just think we have played well against him the last couple of times."

Well isn't the word. Great is. The Vikings (5-6) have picked off Manning eight times in the two games, scoring on four of those picks and coming close on another.

Sharper scored on a 20-yard return, Smith rumbled 93 yards and Greenway followed from 37 yards just a few plays later as the Vikings set a team single-game record for interception returns for touchdowns.

"When you throw four interceptions, it's never a good day," said Manning, who finished 21-of-49 for 273 yards. "They took advantage of it and scored on three of them. Every one has its own story."

Sharper's interception came after Manning and tight end Jeremy Shockey had a miscommunication on a blitz read. It seemed Sharper was the only one who knew where the pass was going. Smith's score came on a tipped pass and Greenway's TD came with Manning under pressure.

"I'm just disappointed," Manning said after the Giants (7-4) lost for the second time in three weeks.

Asked if it was tougher playing like that in front of his brother, Manning grimaced. "It doesn't make any difference," he said.

The NFL record for interceptions returned for touchdowns is four, set by Seattle against Kansas City on Nov. 4, 1984.

The Vikings nearly had a fourth return in winning consecutive games for the first time this season. Smith returned a second-quarter interception 19 yards to the Giants 8, setting up a touchdown run by Chester Taylor. Another pick late in the third quarter was overturned by a Giants' challenge.

"Whenever a quarterback makes a throw and gives up a touchdown by interception, it does make you a little gun-shy," Sharper said.

The Giants were off-balance from the start. Tarvaris Jackson threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice just 41 seconds after the opening kickoff. Ryan Longwell added two field goals.

The win helped the Vikings get back into the wild-card playoff chase and prevented the Giants from taking a two-game lead for the top wild-card berth.

"We're a footnote at 4-6," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "It's significant because now you have a chance to be in the mix."

Manning threw a meaningless 6-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in the fourth quarter. Reuben Droughns scored on a 1-yard run for New York and Lawrence Tynes kicked a 48-yard field goal.

The loss dropped the Giants three games behind Dallas in the NFC East with five games to play. The Cowboys have the tiebreaker, having won both meetings this season.

"We're 7-4," Giants defensive end Michael Strahan said. "We still control our situation and that's encouraging."

The Vikings also had a record-setting effort in their last game at Giants Stadium, setting an NFL mark by returning an interception, kickoff and punt for touchdowns in the same game.

"I did not, in my worst moment, ever think I would be standing here talking about history repeating itself, but it did," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.

The interception return was the Vikings' weapon of choice this year.

Sharper, who intercepted three passes and scored on a 92-yard return in the 2005 game, gave the Vikings a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter. Sharper fell to the ground making the catch, got up and ran untouched into the end zone.

"I got up and I was a little discombobulated," Sharper said. "I didn't know where to run. I'm glad I didn't go the wrong way like Jim Marshall did."

Smith, the Vikings' other safety, helped push the lead to 21-7 with the interception that set up the score by Taylor, who carried 31 times for 77 yards filling in for Adrian Peterson. Manning apparently didn't see Smith while throwing to Burress.

Trailing 24-7 at the half, the Giants got some momentum at the start of the third quarter with Tynes' long field goal.

However, Jackson, who was 10-of-12 for 129 yards, converted two third-down plays on a 14-play, nine-minute drive that resulted in a 26-yard field goal by Longwell.

Smith and Greenway then put the game out of reach with their touchdowns. Smith picked off a pass that was tipped by linebacker Ben Leber and went from one end of the stadium to the other on his 93-yard jaunt down the right sideline.

Manning completed a pass to start the next series before Greenway stepped in front of another pass to Shockey and scored 42 seconds later.

Still on the ground, Manning simply looked up in the air in disbelief.

Game notes


Giants CB Aaron Ross was in and out in the second half with a hamstring injury. ... Giants OT Kareem McKenzie and MLB Antonio Pierce sustained ankle injuries, the extent of which are not known. ... Vikings backup S Tank Williams (knee) and starting receiver Troy Williamson (blow to the head) left the game and will be evaluated Monday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Minnesota
NY Giants
1st Downs1518
3rd down efficiency
5-137-17
4th down efficiency
1-10-2
Total Yards251309
Yards per play4.64.4
Total Drives11
Passing124234
Comp-Att
10-1221-49
Yards per pass
10.34.8
Interceptions thrown
04
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-53-39
Rushing12775
Rushing Attempts
3919
Yards per rush
3.33.9
Penalties4-155-30
Turnovers04
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
04
Possession32:1427:46

Passing Leaders

MINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Jackson10/1212910.8104-5
NYGC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning21/492735.6143-39

Rushing Leaders

MINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor31772.5113
Jackson5387.6019
NYGCARYDSAVGTDLG
Droughns15463.1110
Bradshaw4297.3011

Receiving Leaders

MINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Rice38227.3160
Wade2147.009
NYGRECYDSAVGTDLG
Burress79313.3132
Toomer48320.8031

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMINNYG
TD14:19Sidney Rice 60 Yd Pass From Tarvaris Jackson (Ryan Longwell Kick) 70
TD09:25Reuben Droughns 1 Yd Run (Lawrence Tynes Kick) 77
TD03:15Darren Sharper 20 Yd Interception Return (Ryan Longwell Kick) 147
SECOND QUARTERMINNYG
TD09:49Chester Taylor 8 Yd Run (Ryan Longwell Kick) 217
FG03:16Ryan Longwell 46 Yd 247
THIRD QUARTERMINNYG
FG11:07Lawrence Tynes 48 Yd 2410
FG01:43Ryan Longwell 26 Yd 2710
FOURTH QUARTERMINNYG
TD13:41Dwight Smith 93 Yd Interception Return (Ryan Longwell Kick) 3410
TD12:59Chad Greenway 37 Yd Interception Return (Ryan Longwell Kick) 4110
TD05:54Plaxico Burress 6 Yd Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick) 4117