Loss on Monday Night Could Spell End of Road for Tom Coughlin, Leslie Frazier


Tom CoughlinThere was no head coach fired during the 2012 NFL regular season, although plenty were right after it concluded. Two coaches very much with tenuous futures on the sideline, Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier and the Giants’ Tom Coughlin, badly need a victory on Monday night as the Vikings visit MetLife Stadium. New York is a 3 1/2-point favorite in the contest, which will feature Live Betting.

The Vikings (1-4) were a playoff team in 2012 thanks largely due to running back Adrian Peterson, who was named the NFL MVP after rushing for 2,097 yards, just shy of the NFL single-season record. Peterson had 10 100-yard games in 2012, including a streak of eight straight. He has two this season.

The real problem for Minnesota has been at quarterback. Christian Ponder wasn’t effective before suffering a fractured rib. Former Patriots backup Matt Cassel started the Vikings’ past two games, a win over Pittsburgh in London and a 35-13 home loss in Week 6 against Carolina. This time Frazier is going to former Tampa Bay signal caller Josh Freeman with Ponder the No. 2. Freeman completed just 45.7 percent of his passes this year with the Bucs for a rating of 59.3 that is better than only Jacksonville’s Blaine Gabbert. Bovada sets Freeman’s yards Monday at 233.5 with an over/under total of 1.5 touchdown passes.

As for Frazier, he is 17-26 as coach of the Vikings. He has a contract only through next season. The team could opt to start anew as it is leaving Mall of America Field after the year.

While many expected the Vikings to perhaps take a step back this year, the freefall of the Giants (0-6) has been stunning. The lone good news from New York’s 27-21 Week 6 loss at Chicago? It was only its second defeat not by double digits so far. New York has allowed at least 27 points in every game and is last in scoring defense at 34.8 points per game.

It has not been entirely the defense’s fault. Eli Manning threw three more interceptions against the Bears. That was his fourth game this season with at least three. Manning leads the league by far with 15 picks entering Week 7. Eight of those have come in the fourth quarter after Manning had nine total picks in that quarter the past two seasons. He has also fumbled twice and been sacked 16 times.

In addition, New York is averaging only 67.8 yards rushing per game, or well less than Peterson alone. There’s talk that the Giants, with the season likely lost, may trade star receiver Hakeem Nicks, as he can become a free agent after the season. The trade deadline is October 29.

Coughlin has a contract through 2014 and has two Super Bowl rings won against New England. However, this will almost certainly be the fourth time in the past five seasons the Giants will miss the postseason.

The Giants and Vikings last met in 2010. They were set to play a Sunday game, but it was moved to Monday at Detroit’s Ford Field when the roof of Mall of America Field collapsed under snowfall. The Giants went on to win 21-3 in the game in which Brett Favre‘s 297-game consecutive starts streak came to an end.

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