Instant Analysis: Five things we learned from the Giants' 23-7 victory

Al Bello

Hey, what do you know. Winning is a whole lot more fun that losing, which was obvious from the relief you could feel around the New York Giants' locker room after Monday night's 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Here are five things we learned Monday. To be honest, we already knew some of these but Monday's events reinforced them.

1. The Giants can play efficient offense. What a difference it makes when the Giants have a little bit of a running game. They had 32 rushing attempts Monday and while they gained only 64 yards the ability to at least try to run that many times helped set up their offense. The Giants held the ball for 36:22 and had scoring drives of 17 and 16 plays.

2. Jon Beason helps this team. The middle linebacker had a team-high nine tackles as the Giants held Adrian Peterson to just 28 yards on 13 carries. The Giants did not allow the Minnesota offense to score.

3. Josh Freeman is terrible. Well, we knew this already, but Freeman reinforced it Monday. He went 20-for-53 for 190 yards and the more you watched him the more you wondered why Minnesota was playing him. Many of his passes were way off target, and the Minnesota offense was awful. Are Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel really that bad?

4. A pass rush sure helps. The Giants got only one sack of Freeman Monday, by Justin Tuck, but had 13 hits on Freeman. They made him uncomfortable in the pocket, and that was good enough.

5. The Giants still can't cover punts. Minnesota's Marcus Sherels returned a punt 86-yards for a touchdown and the only Giants' player who got hear him was punter Steve Weatherford, who fought to try to keep Sherels out of the end zone the final 30 yards. This was a terrific punt by Weatherford that pinned Sherels to the sideline, and the Giants still couldn't stop him.

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