EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings are one of two undefeated teams remaining in the NFC (and one of five unbeaten teams in the NFL) after Sunday's 22-10 road win against Carolina.
Minnesota's defense dominated the Panthers and reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton, sacking him eight times while snagging a trio of interceptions. Marcus Sherels added a 54-yard punt return for a score, tight end Kyle Rudolph caught a touchdown and Kevin McDermott added a pair of field goals.
The Vikings will now prepare for a prime-time tilt against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. Minnesota will play under the bright lights of U.S. Bank Stadium at 7:30 p.m. (CT).
The Giants are 2-1 following a 29-27 loss against Washington on Sunday.
Here's an early look:
Passing: Minnesota won its second straight game with Kyle Rudolph under center. The quarterback completed 18 of 28 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, Bradford did not throw an interception for the second straight game.
Bradford has thrown for 457 yards and three touchdowns since taking over as the Vikings starter in Week 2. He is 2-1 in his career against the Giants and swept New York in 2015 when he was with Philadelphia. Bradford threw for 600 yards and three touchdowns in a pair of wins last season.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed 25 of 38 passes for 350 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in Sunday's loss to Washington. He was also sacked twice.
Manning has thrown for 925 yards with four touchdowns and three picks so far this season. The two-time Super Bowl MVP, who is 3-5 in his career against the Vikings, has thrown for 45,112 yards and 298 touchdowns in his 13-season career.
Rushing: Running backs Jerick McKinnon and Nick Easton shouldered the load for the Vikings ground game Sunday with Adrian Peterson out with a torn meniscus. McKinnon had 16 carries for 45 yards, and Asiata chipped in with six carries for 15 yards.
McKinnon had one of the best games of his career last season against the Giants, carrying the ball seven times for 89 yards with a pair of rushing touchdowns.
New York also used a two-pronged rushing attack in Sunday's game. Shane Vereen had 11 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown, and Orleans Darkwa had 10 rushes for 53 yards and a score.
Vereen suffered a triceps injury Sunday that will require surgery. New York also has running back Rashad Jennings, who missed Sunday's game with a thumb injury, as well as Bobby Rainey and Paul Perkins.
Receiving: Rudolph continued his strong start to the season with seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown Sunday against Carolina. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs added four catches for 40 yards, and Adam Thielen had three receptions for 29 yards. Tight end Nick Easton caught his first pass of the season for an 18-yard gain.
Diggs ranks second in the NFL with 325 receiving yards and also has a touchdown catch. Rudolph ranks sixth among tight ends with 166 receiving yards and is tied for first among players at his position with two touchdown catches.
New York wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught seven passes for 121 yards against Washington. Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz each had at least 70 receiving yards, and Shepard had a touchdown catch.
Beckham was suspended for last season's game against the Vikings but has 3,035 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns in 30 career games.
Defense: The Vikings swarmed Newton on Sunday, as the defense recorded eight sacks by six different players. Everson Griffen led the way with three while Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith, Linval Joseph, Danielle Hunter and Brian Robison each had one. Minnesota leads the NFL with 15 sacks through three games.
Minnesota also picked off Newton three times behind interceptions by Trae Waynes, Trae Waynes and Tom Johnson. The Vikings lead the league with a plus-eight turnover margin.
The Vikings defense got the team on the board in the first quarter when Hunter took down Newton in the end zone for a safety. The play started a string of 22 unanswered points by the Vikings and was Minnesota's first safety since 2011.
Minnesota's has allowed just 40 points through three games.
The Giants allowed more than 400 yards of offense in their loss Sunday. Washington threw for 327 yards and added 90 rushing yards and didn't have a turnover.
New York's defense has allowed 59 points through three games. The Giants have recorded four sacks so far this season.
Special Teams: Sherels gave the Vikings a jolt with a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown against Carolina. The score was his team-record fourth return for a touchdown.
Punter Kevin McDermott had a strong day, recording a 45.6 net average on seven punts and placing three of them inside the 20-yard line. Kicker Blair Walsh made a pair of field goals and had three touchbacks on kickoffs.
New York allowed a 50-yard punt return in its loss. Punter Brad Wing had an average net of 28.0 yard on three punts. Giants kicker Josh Brown made a pair of field goals and three extra points against Washington.
Over The Years
The Vikings are 14-10 all-time in regular-season games against New York, with wins in five of the past seven meetings. Minnesota is also 1-2 against the Giants in the postseason, including a loss in the 2000 NFC Championship Game.
Last Meeting: Vikings 49, Giants 17, Dec. 27, 2015, In Minneapolis
The Vikings and Giants met in Week 16 of the 2015 season at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota's defense picked off Manning three times on a 13-degree night. Safety Harrison Smith returned his interception 35 yards for a touchdown to set a franchise record with his fourth career pick-6.
Peterson, McKinnon and Asiata combined to run for 207 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Stefon Diggs threw for 168 yards and a touchdown.
Minnesota's 49-17 win clinched the team's first playoff berth since the 2012 season.