Giants, Vikings forced to play at Detroit
With his NFL-record streak of consecutive starts in question, Brett Favre won't mind an extra day to rest his ailing shoulder before facing the visiting New York Giants. That extra day, however, comes with an unexpected road trip for him and the Minnesota Vikings.
A snowstorm, which delayed the Giants' arrival and forced the contest to be pushed from Sunday to Monday night, also caused the Metrodome roof to collapse and resulted in the game being moved to Detroit's Ford Field.
Amid the odd circumstances, the Giants (8-4) look to improve their standing in the tightly bunched NFC playoff race, while the Vikings will try for their third straight win under interim coach Leslie Frazier.
The teams knew Saturday that they would have to wait another day after a storm dumped 17 inches of snow on the Twin Cities. That heavy snow then caused the Metrodome's inflatable roof to cave in, and the NFL made the decision Sunday to play in Detroit after briefly considering the University of Minnesota's outdoor TCF Bank Stadium.
The extra day may help Favre, who has started 297 straight games. He practiced Friday for the first time all week as he nurses a sprained SC joint suffered on his lone pass attempt in the Vikings' 38-14 victory over Buffalo last Sunday. Favre was driven to the turf onto his shoulder on a hit by the Bills' Arthur Moats and the floating pass resulted in his league-leading 18th interception.
Favre, listed as questionable, said he isn't concerned with the streak and insists he'll only play if completely capable. Tarvaris Jackson — 15 of 22 for 187 yards, two touchdowns and three INTs against the Bills — may be under centre as Minnesota tries to win three straight for the first time this season.
By The Numbers
New York (8-4) —
Home record: 5-2
Road record: 3-2
Current streak: 2W
Minnesota (5-7) —
Home record: 4-2
Road record: 1-5
Current streak: 2W
Time: 7:20 p.m. ET
Place: Detroit's Ford Field
Head to head: 14-10 Vikings
"It really hasn't crossed my mind this week that I've got to get out there to keep the streak going," Favre said. "I think the most important streak right now is we've won two in a row."
The 41-year-old quarterback's ability to play through numerous injuries throughout the streak gives Frazier hope Favre will be in uniform. However, Frazier has said it will be a game-time decision, wanting to see how Favre looks during the pre-game workout.
"We would have to see him make some of the throws he'd have to make in the game, and he understands that," Frazier said.
Receiver Percy Harvin is listed as doubtful after migraines kept him from last week's game and this week's practices.
The Vikings (5-7) haven't lost since Frazier took over Nov. 23 for the fired Brad Childress. Frazier has interviewed for seven NFL head coaching jobs and is succeeding in his first opportunity to guide a team.
Minnesota has slim playoff hopes and can also look to play the role of spoiler against the Giants, who entered the week tied atop the NFC East with Philadelphia.
New York plays three of its final four on the road — the only home date a Dec. 19 showdown with the Eagles that could go a long way toward determining the division champion.
The Giants are also tied with Green Bay, which they'll visit Dec. 26, for the NFC's sixth and final playoff spot.
Even before the weather set in motion the change of venue, New York probably could have done without its seventh road game against Minnesota in the last 10 regular seasons. This one included a stop in Kansas City, where the Giants were diverted Saturday due to the snow.
They hope the multiple detours won't slow down their running game. Brandon Jacobs rushed eight times for 103 yards and two TDs in a 31-7 victory over Washington last Sunday.
Jacobs, averaging 8.6 yards per carry in his last two games, said he received a small amount of carries in order to help Ahmad Bradshaw reach 1,000 yards, which Bradshaw did by rushing for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"I am excited about playing, period," Jacobs said. "I am excited about catching the ball, pass blocking.
"But I am most excited about running as a running back is supposed to. I feel really good.
"I am healthy. I am at the point where this is my sixth year and I just want to win."
The duo has helped make up for the weakened passing game that has been missing receivers Steve Smith (partially torn pectoral muscle) and Hakeem Nicks (leg) the last two weeks.
Smith and Nicks are listed as questionable and may return Monday.
Due in part to the effective ground game, Eli Manning threw for fewer than 200 yards for the fifth time this season last Sunday, going 15 of 25 for 161 yards and an interception. It was the first time in eight games he didn't throw at least two TD passes.
Manning has lost all four of his starts against Minnesota, throwing for two touchdowns and nine interceptions.
New York hasn't beaten the Vikings since Oct. 31, 2004, but a victory Monday could prove critical in its battle for the division title.
"It's December," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "You've got to be in a position where your team understands completely that you have to win.
"You've got to continue to win. You've got to be in that spot if you're going to have a chance."