The Minnesota Vikings’ offense has been decimated by injury, and yet they’re rolling, sitting at 4-0 following a 24-10 win over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.
When Teddy Bridgewater went down with a gruesome injury prior to the start of the season, it was easy to think the Vikings might not live up to expectations in 2016. Then Adrian Peterson went down, and of course fans were concerned about Minnesota’s ability to get things done offensively.
However, the offense is doing just fine under the leadership of Sam Bradford. And while Jerick McKinnon is no Peterson, he did well on Monday night, finishing with 18 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. Matt Asiata managed only 6 yards on six carries, but he did add a touchdown on the ground for the Vikings.
Part of the reason the Vikings have been impossible to beat so far this season is the strength of the defense. Minnesota has been aggressive, with 15 sacks so far this year, though they didn’t manage to land any on Eli Manning on Monday night. They have also been opportunistic, and they continued that trend by picking off Manning for their sixth interception of the year as well as recovering a fumble.
The fumble was particularly problematic for the Giants. Dwayne Harris botched a punt return and Minnesota recovered, giving the Vikings the ball on the New York 41-yard line. The Vikings turned the Giants’ mistake into a touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead.
The Giants fall to 2-2, and it’s been an up and down season so far for New York. Monday's performance against the Vikings definitely falls into the "down" category.
Odell Beckham, Jr. was visibly frustrated in the first quarter after not being targeted at all. Beckham carried a 28-game streak of at least four receptions per game into Monday night’s matchup against the Vikings, which was the longest streak of its kind, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
That streak was snapped on Monday, with Beckham finishing with three catches for 23 yards and no touchdowns. ESPN Stats and Info pointed out that this is Beckham's new career low. His previous low was 28 yards in Week 6 of the 2014 season.
The Vikings are one of just three teams in the NFL that remain undefeated after Week 4, and based on Minnesota’s performance throughout the season so far, they’re going to be difficult to beat.