The Minnesota Vikings won a coin toss for the first time this season, and elected to defer, giving the ball to the New York Giants to start the evening at MetLife Stadium.
As expected, Eli Manning had little trouble with the Minnesota pass defense in the early going, as he completed his first five passes. Andrew Sendejo nearly intercepted Manning near the goal line, but outside of that one hiccup the Giants drove seemingly unimpeded down the field. On third down, Eli Manning overthrew a wide open Hakeem Nicks in the end zone for what should have been a touchdown, and the Giants wound up settling for a Josh Brown field goal from 35 yards out to take an early 3-0 lead.
The Giants' drive took a loooooooooooooooooooong time. . .their longest opening drive since 1993, according to the announcers. 16 plays and 9:36 off of the clock, but it only resulted in three points.
That meant it was time for Josh Freeman to take the field for the first time. . .and after one first down, the Vikings had to punt it away. Seems that they've answered a lot of long drives in that fashion this season. A 15-yard penalty on the Giants on the kick return pushed the Giants back to start their drive. The Vikings managed to force a three-and-out of their own. The Vikings then got a HUGE 86-yard punt return for a touchdown by Marcus Sherels, and went up by a score of 7-3. Sherels did an absolutely outstanding job, and the couple of flags that wound up on the field were against the Giants.
And that's where we stand at the end of one quarter of play, ladies and gentlemen, with the Vikings holding a 7-3 lead over the New York Giants and the Giants looking at 2nd-and-9 from their own 23-yard line. We're on to the second quarter of play at MetLife Stadium!