It’s being called the worst Monday Night Football match-up in quite a while, and when the New York Giants take on Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, pride will be a reason worth fighting for. The two teams’ combined record in the NFL at the moment stands at 1-10, with that sole win coming for the visiting Vikings. Neither team has won a game in North America this season, with the Vikings’ win coming in London against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4, according to ESPN.
But Minnesota, with their deplorable 1-4 record, are still having a better season than the Giants, who stand at 0-6 for 2013, their worst start since 1976.
The team from New York has had a little extra time to prepare after having last taken the field on Thursday against Chicago Bears, but it also has more to prove. The 27-21 loss to Chicago came after four straight blowout losses, and the team has struggled in all aspects of the game this season. As SB Nation points out, New York’s defense has been consistently bad and currently stands at 34.8 points per game, the worst in the league.
Everyone with a stake in the Giants, from experts to fans, is reeling from the horrendous start. On Monday morning, ESPN Giants reporter Dan Graziano’s vote for the team that is his specialty was not one high on confidence:
Obviously, Giants CAN win the game. But no one who’s watched all of their games this year could feel good about picking them.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) October 21, 2013
Fans have also shown their frustration, with SeatGeek reporting that Giants ticket prices have seen the biggest declines this season in the NFL. Some fans are using humor to deal with the pessimism:
I’m sill a Giants fan but this is funny pic.twitter.com/cBTkmsf88E
— Robert Pucciarello (@RPucciarello3) October 21, 2013
We take a look at what the sports media is saying about the big game on Monday night as the Giants try to avoid a 0-7 fate:
NY Daily News: ‘Not The First Must-Win Game’
“This isn’t their first must-win game of the season. The Giants said the same thing going into Chicago a week ago on Thursday, and still lost. But with the 1-4 Vikings coming to town, Monday’s clash between teams with a combined winning percentage of .090 could be the Giants’ best shot at a win, and that’s all Eli Manning wants right now.”
“If the Giants want to win their first game Monday, they’re going to have to slow down [Minnesota’s Adrian] Peterson, the reigning NFL MVP. Peterson enters the game fourth in the league with 483 rushing yards, while the Giants are one of the worst teams in the NFL against the run — 26th, to be exact, allowing 123.3 yards per game.”
New York Times: ‘0-6 Giants Will Be Tested at the One Thing They’ve Done Well’
“What the Giants have achieved in most games is stopping the opposition’s top running back from taking over the game with a significant number of rushing yards. But if that is a Giants strength — can an 0-6 team have a strength? — it could be especially relevant Monday night when the Giants play the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson, who nearly broke the N.F.L. record for rushing yards in a season last year. In their six games this year, the Giants have allowed only one running back, Carolina’s DAngelo Williams, to rush for more than 100 yards (Williams had 120 yards).”
“It’s been Christmas every week for the Giants’ opposition as Big Blue has gifted opponents with a league-worst 23 turnovers while taking the ball a way only seven times, for a -16 takeaway/giveaway ratio, also worst in the league.”
Bleacher Report: ‘Look Beyond Manning and Coughlin’
“The Giants simply don’t have the horses this year. The running game is terrible, the offensive line play has been poor, the defense is terrible, the special teams are poor, etc. Would you normally blame the jockey if he wasn’t able to win the Kentucky Derby while riding a pony? The Giants are playing poor football on all sides of the ball this season, so if you are looking to point the blame somewhere, you better look beyond Manning and [New York Giants’ coach Tom] Coughlin.”
Big Blue View: ‘This season is lost for the Giants’
“Coughlin, and everyone in the organization is likely loathe to admit it, but this season is lost for the Giants — at least in terms of the grandiose goal of being the first team to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The year, however, does not have to be a total bust. The brutal truth is that, while it would be nice to win a respectable number of games the rest of the way the outcomes of the next 10 games don’t really matter. What the Giants learn about who can — and can’t — be part of the long-term solution does matter.”