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Rhodes, Vikings Limit Giants Three-Headed Passing Attack

MINNEAPOLIS — There was plenty of chatter and hype heading into Monday night's showdown between the Vikings stout secondary and the trio of talented Giants wide receivers.

The advantage went to Minnesota in this one.

The collective strong play of the Vikings defensive backs helped slow down New York's prolific passing attack as Minnesota remained undefeated with a 24-10 win on Monday Night Football.

"I think the guys covered good tonight," said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. "We did a nice job. There were some cat-and-mouse games going on like there always is, but it was good."

Click here to watch a replay of the Vikings 24-10 victory over the Giants with NFL Game Pass.

Giants wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard entered Monday night's game having tallied a combined 45 catches for 708 yards and three touchdowns through three games.

Minnesota limited the trio to a total of 103 combined receiving yards on 12 total catches and 25 targets by Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who was 25-of-45 passing for 261 yards and an interception.

Beckham was limited a three catches for a career-low 23 yards. Cruz and Shepard combined for nine catches for 80 yards as the Vikings kept all three players out of the end zone.

Manning targeted the trio a total of 25 times out of the 45 passes he threw, and had a passer rating of 42.6 when doing so.

Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes, tasked with guarding the shifty and explosive Beckham, said all four quarters were a challenge.

"It was just a battle," Rhodes said. "I was making plays on the ball when it was my turn. Just following Odell and doing the best I can.

"It was on our defense, too, and the defense helped me with that," he added. "It wasn't only me, we all did good as a unit."

Beckham, who entered Monday night with 3,035 yards and 25 touchdowns in 30 career games, gave credit to Minnesota's secondary.

"All-in-all, they are a great team," Beckham said. "I guess they just came out and played Minnesota Vikings defense. They made it difficult for us."

With Manning dropping back and getting rid of the ball quickly, the Vikings defensive backs knew they needed tight coverage.

And even though the Vikings defensive line didn't record a sack, they forced Manning into hurried throws.

"It starts from our D-line," said Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes. "Those guys get after the quarterback, and teams know that.

"They can't really sit back and take shots all day because our D-Line is pretty good," he added. "

The Giants went deep to Beckham a handful of times, with Rhodes and Newman right next to him each time.

Rhodes nabbed an interception on a floated pass intended for Beckham in the third quarter, returning it 29 yards to help set up a Minnesota field goal.

"I just made a play on the ball when it was in the air," Rhodes said. "But then my legs went out on me."

If the Vikings took any measure of pride after shutting down one of the league's top offenses, they hardly showed it Monday night.

They hardly cared about how many yards Beckham or Manning totaled. All that mattered was Minnesota's fourth win in as many tries.

"We won the game, and that's all that matters," Newman said. "Wins and losses are what's important.

Added Zimmer: "We're not going to concern ourselves about stats. We're concerned about wins."

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