In their second prime time game at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings had an opportunity to put one of the NFL’s best defenses on display, and they delivered in a big way.
The Vikings put together another great defensive performance, allowing just ten points and flustering Eli Manning (despite not picking up a sack), and continued their undefeated start to the 2016 season with a 24-10 victory on Monday Night Football.
Minnesota got on the board first, thanks in part to their special teams. Minnesota’s offense looked to go three-and-out, but Jeff Locke’s punt was muffed by Dwayne Harris and recovered by Marcus Sherels at the New York 41-yard line. Minnesota cashed in on the turnover, with Matt Asiata going over from one yard out to give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead.
That score held until midway through the second quarter, when the Vikings found the end zone once again. Sam Bradford connected with Kyle Rudolph for a seven-yard touchdown pass, and the extra point from Blair Walsh made the score 14-0. That touchdown catch put Rudolph into second place in Vikings’ history for touchdown receptions for a tight end, as it was the 25th of his career. That figure trails only the 28 touchdown catches tallied by Steve Jordan in his Minnesota career.
New York got on the board just before the half courtesy of a 40-yard field goal by Josh Brown, and the home team went into the locker room with a 14-3 lead.
Blair Walsh missed another field goal in the third quarter, as he pushed a 46-yarder wide to the left. However, he got another opportunity following an interception of Eli Manning by Xavier Rhodes, and put it through the uprights from 44 yards out to give the Vikings a 17-3 lead with eight minutes left in the third quarter.
New York got themselves into the end zone courtesy of a 1-yard run by Orleans Darkwa early in the fourth quarter. The play was set up by a huge 67-yard screen pass from Manning to rookie Paul Perkins that took the Giants all the way down to the Minnesota 4-yard line. Josh Brown added the extra point and made the score 17-10.
Minnesota answers on their next drive, thanks to a couple of big third down conversions by Bradford, one to Kyle Rudolph and one to Matt Asiata. Bradford then found Charles Johnson for a 40-yard connection down to the New York 4-yard line, and Jerick McKinnon took it over from there for another Minnesota touchdown. Walsh hit the extra point to make the score 24-10 with a little over nine minutes remaining. That’s how the score stayed, as the Vikings moved to 4-0 on the 2016 season and remained one of the only three undefeated teams in the NFL.
Sam Bradford had another solid performance on the evening, as he completed 26-of-36 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown. Jerick McKinnon was effective rushing the ball, as he ran for 85 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Charles Johnson wound up leading the Vikings in receiving yardage, racking up 70 yards on just two catches. Kyle Rudolph and Stefon Diggs each had five catches on a night where nine different Minnesota receivers caught a pass.
Eli Manning didn’t look good against the Vikings once again, as he completed 25-of-45 passes for 261 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. The Vikings held Odell Beckham, Jr. to the lowest output of his career, as he had just 23 yards on three catches and nothing on the stat sheet after halftime. Paul Perkins led the Giants in receiving thanks to his big catch, amassing 72 yards on two receptions. Bobby Rainey led the Giants in receptions with seven.
The Vikings move to 4-0 on the season, and will host the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium in the last game before their bye week. The Giants drop to 2-2 and will travel to Lambeau Field next week to take on the Green Bay Packers.
The Minnesota Vikings are 4-0 on the 2016 regular season, courtesy of a 24-10 victory over the New York Football Giants on Monday Night Football. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!