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NFL Power Rankings Week 8: New York Giants on the Rise! Just Not, You Know, a Lot

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COMMENTARY | The New York Giants are out of the land of the winless.

Granted, Big Blue's performance in its 23-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night was, shall we say, less than scintillating. But a win is a win is a win and it actually snapped a three-game, 17-year home losing skid to the Vikings, at least in the regular season. The Giants hadn't won a regular season home game against Minnesota since a 15-10 win in Week 5 in 1996.

Of course, the Giants did beat the Vikings 41-0 in the 2000 NFC Championship at old Giants Stadium, so there's that.

Here's where the Giants stand in some of the NFL Power Rankings for Week 8:

Yahoo (Frank Schwab): No. 29 (Last week No. 30)

"That game on Monday night was one of the worst we'll see in the NFL this season. Or in many seasons."

We get it. Not an artistic masterpiece. Moving along. No. 29 (Last week No. 31)

"The Giants won the turnover battle for the first time all season Monday night and it resulted in win No. 1."

Sometimes, it's just that simple. Of course, if anyone figures out the whole "Peyton Hillis got 23 touches and didn't pull both hamstrings" thing, give me a holler. (Brian Billick): No. 29 (Last week No. 31)

"The Giants won by 16 points but played badly enough to lose. How did Eli Manning and Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks lose all their chemistry? It looks like they have never played together."

Chemistry is one thing. Having 0.6 seconds to find a receiver and hit them with the ball is something else entirely. I'm not saying New York's offensive line has struggled ... oh, wait ... Yes, yes I am. (Pete Prisco): "It was ugly, but they found a way against the Vikings to get their first victory. At least the defense showed some life."

Minnesota's only touchdown came on special teams (a punt return). That's an extremely encouraging sign for the defense, even if tempered by playing against a guy who was still referring to his receivers as "Hey, you."

Sports Illustrated (Chris Burke): No. 28 (Last week No. 31)

"Jason Pierre-Paul finally showed some signs of life (and full health) on Monday night-good news for a Giants team whose sack leaders (Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka) right now are stuck on just 1.5 for the season."

Yeah, it does sometimes feel like the days of the big pass rush were a long, long time ago. Getting JPP active and involved again would go a long way toward curing many of the defense's ills. (Elliot Harrison): No. 29 (Last week No. 31)

"The Giants finally got a win and still have a semblance of hope if they can beat the Eagles on Sunday. Still, they're three games behind Dallas in the NFC East and 1-6 is probably too big a hole for even a Tom Coughlin-coached team to climb out of."

One would think that after all this time, people would not (a) underestimate the ability of Coughlin to flip a team's switch in the second half of a season and (b) underestimate the ability of the Dallas Cowboys to live by the ethos: "No lead too large to lose."

The Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer): No. 29 (Last week No. 32)

"The Giants didn't exactly play lights out in getting their elusive first victory on Monday night, but it's true their defense shut down Adrian Peterson and didn't give up any points."

Hah! See? Shut down the guy who almost broke the single-season rushing record last year, the Giants did. Of course, a lot of the credit for that actually rests with Minnesota offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who only called for 13 runs to the reigning NFL MVP.

Phil Watson is a freelance commentator and journalist who covers the New York Giants, New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He is also editor of Golden Gate Sports and holds an editorial position at

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