With their 38-14 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, the Vikings have won consecutive games for the first time this season. On top of that, they did it with Favre knocked out of the game, 3 starters unable to go due to injury, Joe Webb playing WR and Tarvaris Jackson coming off the bench.
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The Vikings were missing 3 starters and several other key players on Sunday but it didn’t prevent them from taking care of business and notching a convincing 38-14 victory against the Buffalo Bills at Mall of America Field. The win moves the Vikings to 5-7 and gives Leslie Frazier his first win at home as Vikings Interim Head Coach; Frazier is now 2-0 at the helm.
The game began with starters Ray Edwards (ankle), Percy Harvin (illness) and Steve Hutchinson (thumb) on the sideline and then just 3 plays into the action QB Brett Favre was lost for the day with a shoulder injury. On top of that, backup QB Tarvaris Jackson entered the game and threw a pick 6 on his 2nd series, which gave the Bills an early 7-0 lead.
But it was a “next man up” mentality for the Vikings as they showed resiliency in battling back and ultimately blowing Buffalo out of the game early with a barrage of offensive TDs and defensive turnovers. Jackson responded to the INT by leading the Vikings to a TD on the ensuing drive, with the scoring play coming on a 31-yard bomb to WR Sidney Rice down the right sideline, knotting the score at 7.
The defense played another outstanding game coming off last week’s impressive performance against Washington, allowing just 1 offensive TD and 239 net yards. Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was pressured constantly, with DE Jared Allen the most frequent pest. Allen had 1.0 sack and a forced fumble, but was in on numerous other defensive plays and QB pressures. S Husain Abdullah led the Vikings in tackles with 7, DT Kevin Williams had a pair of tackles for loss and CB Antoine Winfield grabbed an INT.
Following Jackson’s 1st-quarter INT, the Vikings scored 38 unanswered points and Jackson had help along the way. Rice finished the game with 105 yards and 2 TDs on 5 receptions and RB Adrian Peterson repeatedly punished the Buffalo defense, rushing for 107 yards and 3 TDs on just 16 carries. A couple more INTs by Jackson will take the shine off his performance, but it should be noted that he came in and played well for the offense, completing 15 of 22 passes for 187 yards and 2 TDs to go along with the 3 INTs.
We’ll have more coverage of the Vikings win over Buffalo tonight and into tomorrow here on vikings.com, so be sure to stay tuned.
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams
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Even after being held out of practice for most of the week with an ankle injury, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has proven his standing as the best RB in the league. Peterson dashed off the right side for a 43-yard TD – his 3rd of the game and 51st career rushing TD – on the 1st play of the 4th quarter.
Peterson now has 16 carries for 107 yards and 3 TDs – his first 3 TD performance since last season’s NFC Championship game and his fourth 100+ yard game of the season.
The Vikings lead the Bills 38-7 early in the 4th quarter.
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Man, this is tough to keep up with these scoring updates! Here’s a review of the 2nd quarter – another action-packed quarter for the Vikings…
After Adrian Peterson’s 2-yard TD to open the 2nd quarter – giving the Vikings a 14-7 lead – the Vikings defense held the Bills to a 3-and-out. Vikings PR Greg Camarillo returned the punt at the MIN 40 and 5 plays later, Peterson rammed his way into the endzone for his 2nd TD of the game, giving the Vikings a 21-7 lead. Tarvaris Jackson was perfect on the series, completing 2 of 2 passes for 27 yards with a 13-yard rush on a scramble.
Following Peterson’s 2nd TD, Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass intended for Stevie Johnson on a 3rd and 11 attempt was picked off by Vikings CB Antoine Winfield. The 12-year veteran returned the INT 41 yards down to the Bills 5. After a stuffed run by RB Toby Gerhart on 1st down, Jackson found Sidney Rice in the right corner of the endzone with #18 making a diving catch for the TD.
The Vikings defense held the Bills to another 3-and-out on the ensuing series, giving the ball back to Jackson and Co. at the MIN 18 following a 55-yard Brian Moorman punt.
With 5:08 remaining in the half, Jackson led the Vikings to the tune of a 12-play, 62-yard scoring drive that ended on a 38-yard FG by K Ryan Longwell as time expired. The FG gave the Vikings a 31-7 lead at halftime and the Bills will receive the 2nd half kickoff.
The Vikings defense has continued its stout performance, allowing a dismal 41 total yards – 9 passing and 32 rushing. For the Vikings offense, Jackson has completed 12 of 17 passes for 170 yards, 2 TDs and an INT. Peterson has 12 carries for 48 yards and 2 TDs and Rice leads all receivers with 4 receptions for 96 yards and 2 TDs with a long of 46.
Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe has 2 receptions for 17 yards, surpassing Stu Voigt’s 1,919 career receiving yards as a Vikings TE. Shiancoe now has 1,921 career receiving yards in purple.
With his 2 TD performance through the 1st half, Peterson has moved into 6th place in NFL history for the most rushing TDs in the first 4 NFL seasons. Peterson now has 50 career rushing TDs, passing Jim Brown and Maurice Jones-Drew, who both had 49 in their first 4 years.
On another historical note, Longwell tied George Blanda for 15th place in career FGs made with 335.
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The Bills deferred to the 2nd half and the Vikings received the opening kick. Rookie QB Joe Webb – who was activated to the 45-man roster for the 1st time this season – received the kickoff at the 5 and made a 30-yard return for his 1st appearance in a Vikings uniform.
After 2 handoffs to RB Adrian Peterson, QB Brett Favre scrambled to his right to escape a collapsing pocket. While attempting to pass, he was hit from behind forcing the ball to flutter in the air with Bills CB Drayton Florence coming down with the INT. Favre injured his shoulder on the play and his return is listed as questionable.
Tarvaris Jackson replaced Favre under center and on a 3rd and 4 attempt at the 4:43 mark in the 1st quarter, Jackson’s pass intended for Sidney Rice was picked off by Florence – his 2nd of the game – and returned 40 yards to give the Bills a 7-0 lead.
Jackson and Co. quickly responded, though, by putting together a 5-play, 70-yard scoring drive that ended with a 31-yard TD pass from Jackson to Rice. The play was initially ruled incomplete, but after interim coach Leslie Frazier’s 1st challenge as an NFL head coach, the play was overturned for the TD.
On the ensuing kickoff, Bills KR Leodis McKelvin fumbled the ball at the 19 with Vikings CB Frank Walker recovering the loose ball at the Bills 14. Five plays later, Peterson smashed his way through the Bills defensive line for the 2-yard TD.
The Vikings lead the Bills 14-7 early in the 2nd quarter.
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Vikings QB Brett Favre left Sunday’s game vs. the Bills with an apparent hand injury after being sacked on the first drive of the game. Favre was hit while throwing a pass that was intercepted. Television cameras showed Favre having his hand examined on the sideline.
Click here to view video of the hit / play that Favre left after.
Tarvaris Jackson replaced Favre at QB on the next series.
There has been no update on Favre’s status for the rest of the game at this point.
UPDATE: Favre left with a shoulder injury, and his return is questionable. He went to the locker room for, presumably, tests / examination on the injury.
UPDATE II: Favre returned to the Viking bench with his helmet on, but there has been no update on a possible return to the field.
UPDATE III: Favre said after the game he suffered a sprained SC joint in his right (throwing) shoulder and that he’s slated to have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injure. You can watch Favre’s postgame presser here. Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier said that if Favre is healthy, he’ll start for the Vikings next Sunday against the Giants. You can watch Frazier’s postgame presser here.
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The good news is that RB Adrian Peterson will be able to play today after battling an ankle injury all week. The bad news is DE Ray Edwards (ankle), WR Percy Harvin (illness) and LG Steve Hutchinson (thumb) will not be able to play after battling their injuries/ailments this week. As a result, the Vikings have tweaked their lineup significantly and we’ll break it down right here.
Harvin is not the only WR inactive for the Vikings today – Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis are also inactive. That leaves Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice as the starters, with Greg Camarillo as the top reserve. Also, QB Joe Webb was not listed as the emergency QB, which means he’s on the active 45-man roster and could jump in at WR. That would be fun to watch. Where else might Webb be able to play today? Perhaps some snaps as a wildcat QB? Kick returner?
The Vikings top reserve offensive lineman is Ryan Cook, but he’s already in the lineup replacing Anthony Herrera, who was placed on Injured Reserve. So filling in for Hutchinson on the left side will be rookie Chris DeGeare, whom the Vikings selected in the 5th round of last April’s draft. DeGeare has been inactive for the Vikings this season and has been battling an ankle injury, but he’s the next man up and we’ll get a good gauge at where he’s at in his first-year NFL development.
Brian Robison will start in place of Ray Edwards today, but also watch for Everson Griffen to get more time in the defensive line rotation.
This is just the 2nd game Harvin has missed in his career, with the first being last year’s home game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Brian Robison, Chris DeGeare, Joe Webb, Percy Harvin, Steve Hutchinson
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Here are today’s inactives for the Vikings:
WR Percy Harvin, WR Greg Lewis, WR Hank Baskett, CB Chris Cook, S Jamarca Sanford, G Steve Hutchinson, DT Fred Evans, and DE Ray Edwards.
Note that QB Joe Webb is active for the first time this season. Will be interesting to see if the Vikings are able to work him and his athleticism into their offensive gameplan at all…
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Today’s Vikings-Bills game is being broadcast on television by CBS, with former Vikings S Solomon Wilcots (game analyst) teaming with Kevin Harlan to call the action from the booth. Wilcots played for the Vikings in 1991 and he’s a guy I’ve spoken to in the past about the Vikings because he likes to see his old team do well.
Wilcots was at Winter Park on Friday for production meetings and I had the chance to chat with him for a few minutes before he and his crew left for the day.
In speaking with Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier and several of his players on Friday, Wilcots told me he senses that the Vikings feel they’ve pressed the “reset” button on the 2010 season with Frazier taking over as interim head coach and that there is a feeling of a new opportunity and new energy in the building.
I also asked Wilcots what would be the key to the Vikings defeating Bills on Sunday at Mall of America Field.
“Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart and that ground game pounding the NFL’s worst run defense,” Wilcots said without hesitation. “Now this team won’t just lay down for you. They are a tough team that can play anyone. But there’s no question, if the Vikings win the game, that the running game will factor in.
And also that front four, with Jared Allen and the Williams boys inside. They have to pressure (Bills QB Ryan) Fitzpatrick.”
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