Giants 34, Vikings 13
After another loss to the New York Giants, Mike Tice walked into the interview room and announced the only good news of the afternoon for Minnesota.
"The Giants are not on our schedule next year," the coach said. "Thank God."
Thanks to a swarming defense, some tough runs by Tiki Barber, a few big catches by Jeremy Shockey and a turnover-free performance by Kurt Warner, the Giants beat the Vikings, 34-13, on Sunday.
Dating from their 41-0 loss in the NFC championship game that followed the 2000 season, the Vikings haven't had much luck against New York. This was their third straight loss to the Giants -- all at home.
In 2002, Daunte Culpepper was benched for the fourth quarter after going 9 for 20 for 91 yards against New York. Minnesota began last year with six wins in a row before losing 29-17 to the Giants and dropping seven of its final 10.
"For some reason, we just have great performances here," said Barber, who rushed 24 times for 101 yards and two short touchdowns.
Shockey caught three passes for 60 yards, Warner went 13 for 21 for 144 yards and New York (5-2) finally solved its struggles inside the 20-yard line by scoring all five times it reached the Minnesota 20 -- including four touchdowns. Backup Mike Cloud scored twice on short runs in the second half.
"We rebounded in the right way," said Barber, whose team lost to Detroit last week.
Randy Moss was in street clothes after halftime, going without a catch for the second straight game while a strained right hamstring kept him from running at full speed. Moss didn't aggravate the injury, but felt some tightness and the Vikings didn't want to risk it.
"We've got to find a new personality until Randy's healthy," Tice said.
The Vikings (5-2) sure could have used him, because their prolific offense had by far its worst performance of the season. Culpepper finished 24 for 42 for 231 yards, one late touchdown and two interceptions.
Lance Johnstone had two of Minnesota's five sacks, but the Vikings wore down as the scoreless possessions added up. Rookie Mewelde Moore was held to 29 yards on eight carries.