AT A GLANCE: Coming off back-to-back victories, the New York Giants failed to extend their winning streak in a 28-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. Both teams entered Week 5 with a .500 record, but Minnesota moved forward at 3-2 while the Giants dropped to 2-3 on the season.
UP NEXT: Just like they did four years ago when the AFC East last came up in the schedule rotation, the Giants face a Patriots team that is the defending Super Bowl champion. And they will do so on a short week. The Giants play the Patriots on Thursday night in Foxborough, where they won on their last trip to Gillette Stadium in 2011. The past five meetings have all been decided by fewer than five points, including Giants victories in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE:
*Saquon Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain during the Giants’ Week 3 victory in Tampa and was again ruled out for Sunday. “After consulting with our doctors, we decided that he’s not going to play this week,” Shurmur said Friday. The Pro Bowl running back caused a stir earlier this week when he was seen running, jumping, and cutting during the stretching portions of practice.
*Wayne Gallman made his second consecutive start in place of Barkley, but he was forced to leave in the first quarter with a concussion. The Giants then turned to Jon Hilliman, an undrafted rookie from Rutgers. Fullback Elijhaa Penny, tight end Evan Engram, and wide receiver Sterling Shepard also had carries, but the offense managed just 64 yards on 20 attempts.
*Jones, who last week joined Phil Simms as the only Giants rookie quarterbacks to start 2-0, lost his first game as a starter. He completed 21 of 38 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown with one interception.
*The Giants allowed four sacks, including one on a pivotal fourth-and-two from the Vikings three-yard line with nine seconds left in the third quarter. The Giants had a chance to cut the deficit to one possession, but instead they trailed 25-10 heading into the fourth quarter. Big Blue did not give up any sacks last week and had allowed multiple sacks in a game just once before Sunday.
*Golden Tate made his Giants debut after the veteran receiver was suspended the first four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Jones threw to him on the first play of the game for a five-yard gain, and he ended with three catches for 13 yards.
*Rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton caught his first career touchdown on a 35-yard pass from Jones in the second quarter.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE:
*The Giants played without three inside linebackers and one on the outside. Ryan Connelly (torn ACL) was placed on injured reserve this week, while defensive co-captain Alec Ogletree (hamstring) and Tae Davis (concussion) were ruled out for the second week in a row. David Mayo started for Ogletree and Nate Stupar subbed in for Davis. Josiah Tauaefa, who was recently promoted from the practice squad, also rotated in with Stupar. Meanwhile, Lorenzo Carter was inactive after being listed as questionable with a neck injury. Rookie Oshane Ximines started in his place.
*Second-year defensive tackle RJ McIntosh recorded his first career sack in the first quarter, which helped force Minnesota to settle for a short field goal on the opening drive of the game. Minnesota went nearly the entire length of the field on its second series as Kirk Cousins led an 11-play, 98-yard drive that ended in a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Adam Thielen. The Vikings controlled the ball for almost 12 minutes in the first quarter (20:40 in first half).
*The Giants struggled to find an answer for Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, who caught seven passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Dalvin Cook entered one yard off the NFL lead in rushing and racked up 132 yards on 21 carries against the Giants.
*Washington totaled just 176 offensive yards last week, the fewest allowed by the Giants since the Vikings gained 164 yards on Dec. 13, 2010. This time it was different as Minnesota gained 490 yards.
*A week after his pick-six, safety Jabrill Peppers had another impact day. He recorded five tackles and forced Dalvin Cook to fumble one yard short of the end zone. However, Hilliman was tackled for a loss on the next play for a safety.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS:
*After the Vikings took a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, rookie cornerback Corey Ballentine rejuvenated the home crowd with a 52-yard kick return. It led to the Jones-to-Slayton touchdown.
INJURY REPORT: NYG– RB Wayne Gallman (concussion). MIN – LB Ben Gedeon (evaluated for concussion).
INACTIVES: NYG – RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), LB Alec Ogletree (hamstring), LB Lorenzo Carter (neck), LB Tae Davis (concussion), G Chad Slade, OT Eric Smith, QB Alex Tanney. MIN – CB Mackensie Alexander (elbow/groin), LB Kentrell Brothers (hamstring/wrist), WR Davion Davis, DT Hercules Mata'afa, C Brett Jones, OT Oli Udoh, DT Armon Watts.
LINEUP CHANGES: Wayne Gallman for Barkley at RB; David Mayo for Ogletree at ILB; Nate Stupar for Davis at $LB; Oshane Ximines for Carter at WLB.