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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