Vikings fall to 1-5 after another ugly outing
EAST RUTHERFORD (Sports Network) - Peyton Hillis hadn't been in the Metropolitan area since posing for the 2012 Madden cover.
From the cover boy to jobless in less than three years, Hillis returned to the national spotlight on Monday and helped the New York Giants pick up their first win of the season.
Hillis ran for a touchdown and Eli Manning didn't throw an interception for the first time this season in the New York Giants' 23-7 triumph over the sloppy Minnesota Vikings.
Adrian Peterson, the reigning MVP and 2,000-yard rusher last season, was held to 28 yards rushing five days after the funeral of his 2-year-old son.
"It was tough sledding. We couldn't get anything established up front," Peterson said.
The 27-year-old Hillis tallied 36 yards rushing on 18 carries, while hauling in five passes for 45 yards for New York (1-6). Manning was 23-of-39 for 200 yards and a touchdown. He came in leading the NFL with 15 interceptions.
"I sure do feel good winning," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said.
The Giants signed Hillis Wednesday as insurance to an unsettled backfield. Starting running back David Wilson is out with a neck injury he suffered Oct. 6. A timetable for his return hasn't been set. Brandon Jacobs, re-signed last month, suffered a hamstring injury in last Thursday's loss to the Bears. He was inactive Monday.
Hillis hasn't approached the numbers he put up in his breakout 2010 campaign with the Browns when he ran for 1,177 yards and 11 scores with 477 yards and two touchdowns receiving.
After a disastrous 2011 season where he accumulated just 587 yards and three scores on the ground, Hillis relocated to Kansas City. He struggled for the Chiefs in 2012 before inking a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last summer. The Bucs released him in September.
The newly-acquired Josh Freeman was 20-of-53 for 190 yards with an interception for Minnesota (1-5). The Kansas State product and former 2009 first-round pick began the year as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starter, but struggled over his first three games before being benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon.
Freeman's release in early October came one day after Sports Illustrated reported that he had been fined twice by the Buccaneers in the past month for conduct detrimental to the team. One was for an unauthorized interview with ESPN and the other for skipping at least one team meeting.
The 25-year-old signal-caller got the starting nod over Christian Ponder, who started the first three games. He suffered a rib injury in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. Matt Cassel started the next two tilts under center.