Wins in the NFL are never easy and the Vikings 24-21 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at Mall of America Field on Sunday was certainly no exception. The Vikings had just 60 net yards of offense at halftime but they used a 2nd-half surge and outstanding performances from WR Percy Harvin and LB E.J. Henderson to notch their 2nd win of the season and move to 2-3.
The Cowboys were 7 of 10 on 3rd down conversions in the 1st half and they utilized a pair of Roy Williams TD receptions to take a 14-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. Dallas controlled the ball in the 1st half, claiming a 9-minute advantage in time of possession and totaling 130 more yards of net offense than the Vikings.
But the tide turned in the 2nd half. And it turned right out of the gate, as Harvin took the opening kickoff and dashed 95 yards straight through the Cowboys coverage team to tally a TD and knot the game at 14. The Vikings and Cowboys exchanged TDs after that, with the Vikings scoring on an Adrian Peterson plunge and Dallas scoring on a 31-yard strike from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant.
With the score tied at 21 early in the 4th quarter, Romo dropped back to pass on a 3rd and 2 from the Dallas 22. Romo saw his TE – Jason Witten – streaking down the middle of the field wide open. He zipped a pass Witten’s way but Henderson was there to grab his 2nd INT of the game. The Vikings offense took over on the 30 and 7 plays later Ryan Longwell came on to kick what would be the game-winning FG from 38 yards out.
Leading 24-21, the Vikings defense didn’t relent and forced a 3-and-out on Dallas’ next drive. The Vikings shaved off more than 2 minutes from the game clock on their ensuing possession before Vikings P Chris Kluwe and the special teams unit pinned Dallas at its own 7 with 13 seconds to play. The Cowboys ran 2 plays but it wasn’t enough to work into FG range and the Vikings prevailed with a 24-21 victory in front of another sold-crowd at Mall of America Field in Minneapolis.
Vikings QB Brett Favre finished the day going 14 of 18 for 119 yards and 1 TD with 0 INTs. Favre’s favorite target on the afternoon was Randy Moss, who had 5 grabs for 55 yards. Harvin had 3 reception for 21 yards and also 2 carries for 18 yards while fellow WR Greg Camarillo had 2 catches for 15 yards and his 1st TD as a Viking. Peterson rushed 24 times for 73 yards and the TD.
LB Chad Greenway led all tacklers in the game with 12 stops – 1 of which came for a loss – and CB Antoine Winfield was 2nd on the team with 10 tackles. Henderson added 9 tackles to his 2 INTs.
The win moves Minnesota to 2-3 on a day that saw all of their fellow NFC North foes lose – the Bears lost at home to Seattle, the Lions lost on the road to the NY Giants and the Packers dropped a home game to the Miami Dolphins.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Chad Greenway, Chris Kluwe, E.J. Henderson, Percy Harvin
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Vikings All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson capped off a 9-play, 49-yard scoring drive on a 1-yard TD run, giving his team its 1st lead of the game at 21-14.
The Vikings started out with great field position at the Dallas 49 after their defense was able to hold the Cowboys to 0 yards in the shadow of their own goal post.
After completing only 1 pass to WR Randy Moss in the 1st half, Vikings QB Brett Favre has found his deep threat receiver 3 times in the 3rd quarter for 39 yards. Moss’ totals on the day stand at 4 receptions for 50 yards.
Posted in CJ Siewert | 21 Comments »
The Dallas Cowboys used a 13-play, 82-yard scoring drive to take a 14-7 lead with under a minute to play in the 1st half. Cowboys QB Tony Romo connected with WR Roy Williams for their 2nd TD of the half.
The Vikings were in FG range at the Dallas 30-yard line at the 8:51 mark in the 2nd quarter, but Brett Favre was sacked for a 12-yard loss on 3rd and 7, taking the Purple out of Vikings K Ryan Longwell’s range.
On the opening play of the 3rd quarter, Vikings WR and KR Percy Harvin received the kickoff at the 5-yard line and found his way through the Dallas return team, returning the kick for a 95-yard TD.
Stats for the 1st half include…
Brett Favre: 6-of-7 for 47 yards and a TD
Adrian Peterson: 9 attempts for 38 yards and a long of 15
Percy Harvin: 3 receptions (4 targets) for 21 yards
Randy Moss: 1 reception (1 target) for 11 yards
The game is tied 14-14 early in the 3rd quarter.
Tags: Percy Harvin
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 30 Comments »
The Dallas Cowboys took a 7-0 lead on a 15-yard TD pass from QB Tony Romo to WR Roy Williams at the 5:06 mark in the 1st quarter. The 8-play, 48-yard drive lasted 4:03. The series started on the Minnesota 48 after a Vikings fumble between QB Brett Favre and RB Adrian Peterson.
The following series resulted in a quick 3-and-out for the Vikings, giving the Cowboys the ball at their own 16 after a Chris Kluwe punt. On the 3rd play of the ensuing series, Romo’s pass intended for TE Jason Whitten was deflected at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by LB E.J. Henderson and returned 10 yards to the Dallas 16.
Brett Favre and Co. needed just 3 plays to find the endzone with Favre connecting with WR Greg Camarillo for a 10-yard TD pass.
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 122 Comments »
Here are today’s inactive players for the Vikings:
QB Joe Webb (3rd QB), WR Hank Baskett, S Tyrell Johnson, CB Chris Cook, FB Naufahu Tahi, G Chris DeGeare, DT Jimmy Kennedy, and DE Everson Griffen.
Also, C John Sullivan is active but Jon Cooper will start in his place.
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We all know that WR Randy Moss is making his anticipated return to Mall of America Field today. Moss played in this building from 1998 to 2004 and thrilled fans with highlight-reel plays regularly.
But there’s another star player for a Minnesota sports team who will make his return to the stadium, today. Twins do-everything man Michael Cuddyer will be on-hand for today’s Vikings-Cowboys game to sound the Gjallarhorn.
Cuddyer called the Metrodome his home stadium from 2001 to 2009. The Twins of course now play their home games at the brand-new Target Field, just across downtown from Mall of America Field. Though it won’t be as intense as Moss’, the ovation for Cuddyer will be a big one.
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By the time Monday morning rolls around, we’ll know the winner of this weekend’s Vikings-Cowboys game. But with another game in the books, we’ll also have a few more questions.
And that’s where the Monday Morning Mailbag comes in. So, if you have a comment/question, submit it/them to the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag by sending an email to me at email@example.com or by submitting it to the comments section below this entry. Remember to include your name and town with each email.
We can’t post every comment/question, but I’ll respond to every question.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 19 Comments »