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Preview: Giants at Vikings

The Sports Xchange Losing their starting quarterback on the eve of the regular season appeared to be an ominous omen for the Minnesota Vikings, who instead have overcome the adversity and are stamping themselves as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is chased out of the pocket by Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) and defensive end Brian Robison (96) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Newton was sacked 8 times. Photo by Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is chased out of the pocket by Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) and defensive end Brian Robison (96) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

 

Losing their starting quarterback on the eve of the regular season appeared to be an ominous omen for the Minnesota Vikings, who instead have overcome the adversity and are stamping themselves as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

The Vikings go for the fourth victory in as many games when they host the New York Giants tonight.

Minnesota has been among the league's biggest early-season surprises following a season-ending injury to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, following a Week 1 win at Tennessee with impressive victories over Green Bay and Carolina.

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“I don’t know if they’re the best defense in the league but they’re one of them,” Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said of a unit that has permitted only 40 points. “They’re a great defense through in and throughout from the back and the front. All the way around, they’re a great team.”

New York eked out a pair of narrow victories over Dallas and New Orleans before blowing a 12-point lead in a 29-27 home loss to the Washington Redskins.

The mercurial Beckham drew unwanted headlines after the game when Giants coach Ben McAdoo admonished him for not controlling his emotions.

 

TV: 7:30 p.m., ESPN. LINE: Vikings -5. O/U: 43.5

 

ABOUT THE GIANTS (2-1)

Injuries in both the offensive and defensive backfields could present a daunting obstacle for New York, which lost starting running back Rashad Jennings to a thumb injury in Week 2 and backup Shane Vereen possibly for the season with a torn triceps sustained last week.

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Quarterback Eli Manning, who was picked off twice while throwing for 350 yards last week, has plenty of receiving options at his disposal with Beckham, Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard, but Vereen robs him of his top pass-catching threat out of the backfield.

Jennings did not do much in practice Friday, raising the possibility that Orleans Darkwa and Bobby Rainey will share the bulk of the carries.

New York gave up 296 yards through the air last week and is dealing with myriad injuries in the secondary.

 

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (3-0)

After stifling Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in its home opener in Week 2, Minnesota opened eyes across the league by dominating Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, snapping their 14-game winning streak at home 22-10.

The Vikings took down the reigning NFC champions despite the absence of running back Adrian Peterson, who is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee sustained against the Packers.

Quarterback Sam Bradford, who sat out the season opener following his acquisition from Philadelphia, has played superbly in his two starts, throwing for 459 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. Minnesota's defense has permitted only 13 points in the second half, helping to overcome 10-point deficits at Tennessee and Carolina.

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EXTRA POINTS

1. Minnesota has lost six in a row on Monday Night Football.

2. Darkwa rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries last week.

3. Vikings DE Everson Griffen was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording three sacks against Carolina.

PREDICTION: Giants 23, Vikings 20.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
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