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  • 23 Jul
    MINNEAPOLIS -- Odell Beckham Jr. and the potent New York Giants passing attack never found a rhythm on another frustrating night for the volatile wide receiver.The Minnesota Vikings have been making a habit of sending the opponent home unhappy.Mystifying Eli Manning yet again, holding Beckham to a career-low 23 yards on three catches and turning two turnovers into 10 points, the Vikings stayed unbeaten with a 24-10 victory Monday over the Giants.We feel like weve got one of the best units in the game, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. Weve just got to keep working. Our coaches do a great job of putting in a great game plan, and we just go out there and cover the guys up. Everybody on this defense wants to be great.The Vikings (4-0) didnt record a sack after getting 13 over the past two games, but they were so tight in coverage and sound against the run that the Giants only converted 2 of 12 third downs. Second in the NFL with 12.5 points allowed per contest, the Vikings have conquered quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Manning in consecutive games -- the last two league MVP award winners and a two-time Super Bowl champion. Theyre 6-2 against Manning in his career.Coach Mike Zimmer was concerned about Beckham, Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard, as dangerous a trio of pass-catchers as there is in the NFL, so the Vikings didnt blitz the Giants (2-2) nearly as much as they did Rodgers Packers or Newtons Panthers.It just shows our versatility, linebacker Anthony Barr said.Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph for the third straight game and kept his turnover-free streak since joining the Vikings intact, and Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon each ran for a touchdown as part of a season-high 104 yards rushing for the team. Bradford was 26 of 36 for 262 yards passing, thriving with quick-release throws behind an offensive line that protected better than it had in any of the previous three games.Starting 4-0 for the first time since 2009, the Vikings joined Philadelphia and Denver as the leagues only remaining undefeated teams.Weve still got a long way to go. Were not handing out any medals tonight, Zimmer said. The attitude of this team, they like to work. Its good, and they actually tell me Im getting soft sometimes.Really?Yeah, they do, Zimmer said. They tell me all the time, `What are you doing? How come were not in pads today?Here are the top takeaways from the game:RHODES CLOSED: Beckham, who has yet to score this season during the longest touchdown-less streak of his three-year career, was smothered by cornerback Xavier Rhodes . Beckham wasnt nearly as agitated as he was the week before in his much-scrutinized matchup with Washington cornerback Josh Norman, but he picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he and Rhodes bumped and jawed at each other out of bounds following a short catch in the second quarter.Ive just got to know its all against me. Its going to be that way. I have to assume that Im always in the wrong no matter what, Beckham said. Thats something, its a tough pill to swallow, but you have to understand it. You have to be able to cope with it and just keep it moving.Manning expressed more concern about his star receivers behavior than he had before.Hes got to be aware, Manning said. Theyre looking for him, and hes got to play smart. We cant afford to do anything.KICKING CONUNDRUM: Blair Walsh missed his third field goal try in four games this season for the Vikings, this one a 46-yarder that never really had a chance. He has also missed two extra points this year, and Zimmer has sounded more and more like hes losing patience with his kicker.We need to make those or its going to bite us in the rear end, the coach said. Our team is playing close games. Thats how were built.Walsh did rebound to hit a 44-yarder not long after his miss, following an interception by Rhodes.QUICK PASSES: The Vikings led the NFL with 15 sacks in the first three games, and the Giants clearly preferred a quick-pass attack to neutralize the rush. Manning wasnt sacked, mostly preferring to dump the ball off on short routes to receivers on slants and backs in the flats. This is what the Vikings must expect now.You look around the league, and theres franchise quarterbacks out there, man, Munnerlyn said. You dont want to get those guys hurt. Theyre the money men. So you try to protect them and get rid of the ball real fast, and we just got to cover them up.STRUGGLING SECONDARY: The Giants secondary is depleted by injuries. Trevin Wade had trouble all game starting at cornerback for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Wade was beaten by Charles Johnson for receptions of 30 and 40 yards, had a pass interference penalty on Rudolph and got away with one on an early incompletion to Adam Thielen.RECIPE FOR TROUBLE: The Giants have a minus-8 turnover margin at the quarter mark of the season. After being penalized 11 times for 128 yards in a loss to Washington last week, they were flagged eight times for 69 yards in this game.---Online:AP NFL website: and AP NFL coverage on Twitter: Dave Campbell on Twitter: Shaquille ONeal Jersey . The Cincinnati Reds remain perfect with their speedy rookie outfielder in the starting lineup. Dwight Howard Magic Jersey . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. . Their experience showed Tuesday as the No. 10 Badgers blunted a Saint Louis surge to win 63-57 and advance to face West Virginia in Wednesdays finals of the Cancun Challenge. Jonathan Isaac Magic Jersey . Halifax beat the Saint John Sea Dogs 7-5 on the strength of two goals apiece from Nikolaj Ehlers, Matt Murphy and Brent Andrews. Jonathan Drouin also scored and had three assists while Zachary Fucale made 17 saves for the Mooseheads (16-8-0), who led 6-1 after two periods. Jerian Grant Jersey . Calgary scored on the first shift, and Michael Cammalleri scored twice as the Flames cruised to a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Carmelo Anthony indicated Friday that hed prefer to hear criticism from within the team in private rather than having it stated publicly, as?New York Knicks president Phil Jackson did this week, and that he doesnt want any negativity to envelop the team.I just feel if it was something he wanted to address and had a stance on something, the door has always been open both ways, Anthony told reporters Friday after the Knicks shootaround in Sacramento, California. He always sends me a text or talks to me if it was any type of problem that was going on. I always welcome the conversation with open arms.Anthony also confirmed that his Instagram posts Thursday about ego and relationships and slings and arrows were a reference to Jacksons critique that he holds on to the ball for too long.I think I said my part of it, Anthony said of the Instagram posts. Im a big quote guy. Got a million quotes on my phone. Sometimes they come up at the right time.In an interview with CBS Sports Network that aired Tuesday, Jackson said Anthony can play the role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played in their teams triangle offenses, but he said Anthony sometimes breaks a team rule by holding on to the ball too long.Carmelo a lot of times wants to hold the ball longer than -- we have a rule: If you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense. So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop, Jackson said. That is one of the things we work with. But hes adjusted to [the triangle], he knows what he can do and hes willing to see its success.Jacksons comments were prompted by a question about whether Anthony can fit in the triangle offense. Jackson made it clear that he believes Anthony can.Its a perfect spot for him to be in that isolated position on the weak side because its an overload offfense and theres a weakside man that always has an advantage if the ball is swung.ddddddddddddAnthony didnt want to discuss Jacksons comments after Wednesdays game.I was caught off-guard, not really knowing what was going on, Anthony said.But the veteran forward addressed the matter Friday after reading Jacksons comments. He said that he understands criticism will come from fans and media but was surprised that this most recent critique came from within the team.I know it happens -- its New York. It happens, and its something I know, Anthony said.But he said it wasnt something he expected from within the team.Like I said, I didnt talk to him, Anthony said. I really dont know, kind of, where he was coming from with those comments. He wants to talk about it, cool. If he doesnt, cool. In my eyes, its over to me.Anthony added: At the end of the day were playing good basketball. Thats the only thing that matters at this point. So any negativity thats coming towards me or towards the team, I dont think we need it at this point.Anthony said that Jackson has never addressed Anthonys tendency to hold on to the ball too long during their previous chats.Nothing specifically. Conversations are more about basketball and what we see about the team, the film and games in different situations. Nothing specific about me doing one thing or me doing another thing.He said hes been receptive to Jacksons suggestions during previous conversations.I sat there, listened, Anthony said of his chats with Jackson. If it was something good he had talked about, we talked about it. If it was something we could do better, I could do better, we talked about that. Its always been good conversation when we talked. I dont know whats going on. ' ' '