Giants Beat Vikings as Favre Streak Ends; Ravens Defeat Texans in Overtime

The New York Giants beat the Minnesota Vikings 21-3 to tie the Philadelphia Eagles atop the division heading into their meeting in five days.

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre sat out last night’s game with a shoulder injury, ending his National Football League- record streak of 297 straight starts that started 18 years ago.

Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs each rushed for more than 100 yards and a touchdown for the Giants. The Eagles and Giants lead the National Football Conference’s East Division with 9-4 records. The Giants host the Eagles on Dec. 19.

“We won the game and that’s what we came here to do,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said during a news conference. “We have kept pace, so we’re excited about that.”

In the originally scheduled “Monday Night Football” game, the Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans 34-28 in overtime on a 12-yard interception return by Josh Wilson.

The Ravens blew a 21-7 second-half lead at Houston’s Reliant Stadium before pulling out the win to improve to 9-4 and stay one game behind the first-place Pittsburgh Steelers in the American Football Conference’s North Division.

Without Favre, the Vikings’ offense was held to 164 total yards at Ford Field in Detroit. The game, originally scheduled to be played two days ago, was moved after the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis partially collapsed because of snow.

Favre’s Replacement

Tarvaris Jackson replaced the 41-year-old Favre and completed 15 of 30 passes for 118 yards and an interception while getting sacked four times. The Vikings finished with 164 yards of total offense.

Favre said that, although he’s played through pain before, it was numbness and a lack of feel in his throwing hand that ended any question of whether he’d continue the streak.

“It’s been a great run,” Favre, whose streak started in 1992, said during a news conference. “It’s a very difficult thing to do. I realize that more so now because it seems like I’ve been hurt a lot worse. I can’t believe that something like this hasn’t happened before.”

The Vikings lost their first game in three to fall to 5-8 and will miss the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. It was the first defeat for interim coach Leslie Frazier, who was promoted when Brad Childress was fired last month after a 3- 7 start.

The Giants have won three straight games since a 27-17 loss in Philadelphia on Nov. 21.

Giants’ Touchdowns

New York scored three straight touchdowns after the Vikings took a 3-0 first-quarter lead on a 21-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell.

Jacobs, who ran for 116 yards, gave the Giants a 7-3 lead with a one-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter. The Giants scored again eight seconds before halftime as quarterback Eli Manning, who made his 100th straight start, threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Boss.

Bradshaw, who finished with 103 rushing yards, pushed the Giants’ lead to 21-3 with a 48-yard touchdown run with 2:55 left in the third quarter.

In Houston, the Texans scored a touchdown and two-point conversion with 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game 28-28 and force overtime.

After forcing the Ravens to punt on the opening overtime possession, Matt Schaub threw the game-ending interception on the Texans’ first offensive play. It was the 62nd pass attempt of the game for Schaub, who threw for 393 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Andre Johnson.

Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes to Derrick Mason for the Ravens, who were outgained 489-253 in total yards.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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