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Vikings 4th-Quarter Rally Falls Short, Raiders Win 27-21

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 20, 2011 – 4:16 pm

A strong effort in the 1st quarter and a scoring surge in the 4th quarter was not enough for the Vikings to overcome 21 second-quarter points allowed, the loss of Adrian Peterson and too many turnovers, as the Oakland Raiders scratched out a 27-21 victory at Mall of America Field on Sunday afternoon.

Coming off a poor outing last Monday night against Green Bay and returning home to face the AFC West-leading Raiders at home, the Vikings came out of the gates looking solid, and took a 7-3 lead into the 2nd quarter. The Vikings picked up 7 first downs, were 2 of 2 on 3rd downs, racked up 89 total yards and found the end zone on a 12-yard Peterson TD run in the opening quarter. Rookie QB Christian Ponder was 5 of 6 for 31 yards as well in the opening stanza, and it apparent the teams were in for an afternoon-long fight.

In the 2nd quarter, though, mistakes and misfortune turned the game around. Ponder threw an interception near the goal line, the Vikings botched a FG attempt, Lorenzo Booker fumbled a kickoff return, the Raiders outgained the Vikings 126-45 and Peterson was forced out of the game because of an ankle injury. It all added up to 21 points for the Raiders and zero points for the Vikings, and the visitors led 24-7 going into the locker room at halftime.

The key sequence in the 2nd quarter came after Raiders QB Carson Palmer found WR Chaz Schilens for an 11-yard TD score midway through the period. On the ensuing drive, the Vikings were set up for a 48-yard FG try when a mishandled snap led to a failed attempt. Eight plays later, Palmer guided the Raiders down to the goal line and RB Michael Bush finished the drive with a 2-yard TD plunge. Booker lost a fumble on the ensuing kick, and the Raiders scored yet another TD – this time on a Palmer sneak – to take a commanding 24-7 lead with just 12 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter.

From that point on, though, the Vikings defense bowed up. Oakland was held to just 47 net yards, a 1 of 5 rate on 3rd down conversions and only 3 points in the 3rd quarter. The Vikings weren’t much better offensively, until the 4th quarter. Ponder found Percy Harvin for a 26-yard score on the first play of the quarter, the defense continued to play well, Letroy Guion blocked a FG attempt and then Ponder found fellow rookie Kyle Rudolph for another scoring, cutting into Oakland’s lead and making the score 27-21.

The Vikings defense did its job once again on Oakland’s next possession, forcing a punt and giving the ball back to Ponder and Co. for a try at a game-winning drive. Ponder found Michael Jenkins for one 1st down, but then the Raiders held on 4 consecutive plays to re-take possession and ultimately run the clock down to just 2 seconds remaining. A final desperation play didn’t work for the Vikings, and Oakland came away with a narrow 6-point victory after carrying a 17-point advantage into halftime.

The win improves Oakland’s record to 6-4 and gives them sole possession of 1st place in the AFC West. The Vikings drop to 2-8 on the season and will prepare for a road contest at Atlanta next week.


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Peterson Scores But Later Leaves Game With Left Ankle Injury

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on November 20, 2011 – 1:03 pm

RB Adrian Peterson scored a first quarter touchdown vs. the Raiders, but early in the second quarter he suffered a left ankle injury.  His return to the game is questionable.  Peterson had 26 rushing yards, including his 12-yard score, at the time of the injury.

POSTGAME UPDATE – Head Coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson will have an MRI on Monday.

Watch full highlights as the Vikings late comeback attempt fell short as they fell to the Raiders by a 27-21 score on Sunday at Mall of America Field…


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Today’s Inactives

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on November 20, 2011 – 10:31 am

Here are the Vikings inactive players for today’s game against the Raiders:

CB Chris Cook, S Husain Abdullah, LB Erin Henderson, G Anthony Herrera, T DeMarcus Love, WR Stephen Burton, and DE D’Aundre Reed.

Tyrell Johnson starts at FS, Kenny Onatolu starts at WLB, and Joe Berger starts at RG.

Oakland’s inactives: Terelle Pryor, Jason Campbell, Jacoby Ford, Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson, Manase Tonga, Bruce Campbell.


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Keep An Eye On Peterson As He Approaches Team’s All-Time Rushing Record

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 20, 2011 – 9:42 am

Today’s Vikings-Raiders game at Mall of America figures to be a closely-contested contest. The Raiders come in with a better record and sitting atop their division, but the Vikings are playing at home and are looking to make amends after a poor outing last Monday night.

But even if the game gets out of hand, Vikings fans will have something to watch for all 4 quarters. RB Adrian Peterson is just 191 yards away from becoming the Vikings all-time leading rusher. The current leader is Robert Smith, of course, who finished his career with 6,818 yards.

Even if Peterson gets off to a slow start against the Raiders, we know from past experience that he can get it going quickly. When he set the NFL’s single-game rushing record of 296 yards back in 2007 against San Diego, he had 253 of those yards in the 2nd half.

So even if either the Vikings or Raiders jump out in front and control the game, you can still keep your eye on #28 and root for him to inch close to, and perhaps even break, Smith’s all-time mark today.


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Vikings Fans Encouraged To Help Tackle Hunger On Sunday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 19, 2011 – 12:01 pm

The Vikings are teaming up with UnitedHealthcare to host a Food & Fund Drive to collect non-perishable food items for hungry Minnesotans. Fans attending Sunday’sVikings-Raiders game will be greeted by UnitedHealthcare volunteers who will be collecting food and funds at all entrances to Mall of America Field prior to the game.

Food and funds collected at the game will be given to Second Harvest Heartland for distribution throughout its 59-county service area. Non-perishable and non-breakable food items can include such items as canned soups, canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned meat, boxed pasta, rice, and peanut butter.

Hunger in Minnesota is on the rise. In fact, visits to Second Harvest Heartland’s member agencies increased 82% in the last three years, from 943,000 visits in the first eight months of 2008 to 1.7 million visits in the first 8 months of 2011. Senior hunger in particular is on the rise. More than 136,000 seniors age 65 and older visited food shelves in Second Harvest Heartland’s service area during the first 8 months of 2011. That’s an increase of 50% over that same 8-month period in 2008.

The Vikings Food & Fund Drive is part of UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” employee volunteer initiative. For more information on UnitedHealthcare and its “Do Good. Live Well.” campaign, visit www.dogoodlivewell.org. For more information on Second Harvest Heartland, visit www.2harvest.org. Follow the partnership between the Minnesota Vikings, UnitedHealthcare and Second Harvest Heartland on Twitter at #VikingsDGLW.


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Vikings Have Big Plans For “Salute To The Military Game” This Sunday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 18, 2011 – 5:46 pm

As part of the NFL’s Salute To Service initiative, the Vikings will incorporate several pregame, in-game and halftime military-themed elements into their game presentation for this Sunday’s contest against the Oakland Raiders at Mall of America Field.

Jared Allen has teamed with Paul Jr. Designs to help raise money for Jared Allen’s Homes For Wounded Warriors (JAH4WW). Paul Jr. is the star of the popular reality show American Choppers, and founded a custom motorcycle business upstate New York, Paul Jr. Designs. He has created an Army-themed motorcycle that will lead the Vikings out of the tunnel on Sunday.

Here is a list of other elements the Vikings will incorporate into this Sunday’s game presentation format to salute the men and women – and their families – who sacraficed so much to defend, earn and preserve our freedome.

– Minnesota National Guard 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls Band – pregame and halftime performances along with the National Anthem.
– Iowa National Guard (Red Bulls) Return Ceremony (recently returned from Afghanistan) – halftime.
– Stan “Crusher” Kowalski sounds the Gjallarhorn – decorated WWII veteran and Professional Wrestling pioneer.
– Hometown Hero – Sergeant Major Cindy Kallberg: the first female enlisted advisor of the Minnesota National Guard.
– Honorary Captain – Staff Sergeant Katheryn Morrill of the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 133rd Airlift Wing will accompany team captains to mid-field for the coin toss just before kickoff. Staff Sergeant Morrill, from Le Sueur, was selected as the “National Outstanding Airman of the Year” for the Air National Guard.
– Cheerleaders will be wearing military themed outfits in the 2nd half.
– The tunnel will be extended with cheerleaders and National Guard members standing side by side for player intros and nat’l anthem.
– Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund representatives will present two Purple Heart Recipients with grants on-field pregame.
– Season Ticket Owners who are veterans or current soldiers will hold the Norseman flag at midfield during player intros.
– Minnesota National Guard Display outside Gate H will include a Howitzer.


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Frazier Pleased With Week Of Practice, Mindset Going Into Raiders Game

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 18, 2011 – 3:16 pm

There was no shortage of disappointment, both inside the Vikings locker room and among the fan base, following the Vikings lackluster outing last Monday night against the Packers in Green Bay. Facing a short week and another division leader this weekend, the Vikings were forced to get over that loss quickly and focus on another tough opponent.

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier met with reporters on Friday following the team’s last full practice before Sunday’s game against Oakland, and he thinks the team is ready to produce a better output than they did just five days ago at Lambeau Field.

“Based on the way we practiced, I think the mindset seems to be where it needs to be,” Frazier explained. “That’s the impression that I get. Now we have to go out and play the game, but we have practiced well, we really have. Good focus, good attention to detail. We’ll see whether it translates to the type of performance that we need for Sunday.”

Outside of practicing well this week, Frazier pointed to the fact that the Vikings will be playing at home as another reason to expect the team to perform well on Sunday. The Vikings are 19-9 at Mall of America Field since the start of the 2008 season, and another sold-out crowd will pack the stadium on Sunday.

“I think we put three good days together of work on a short week,” Frazier said. “I really feel like our guys will go out and compete and play hard on Sunday, and are really looking forward to being in front of our fans at Mall of America Field. It should be a good contest against a very good football team, and as I mentioned earlier this week, we’re anxious to get back on the field and play a game.”


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Abdullah, Herrera Rule Out; Erin Henderson, Shiancoe Questionable

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 18, 2011 – 2:33 pm

On Friday the Vikings and Raiders ruled several starters out of this weekend’s game at Mall of America Field. Let’s get to the details.

For the Vikings, S Husain Abdullah (concussion) and RG Anthony Herrera (knee) have been ruled out. For the Raiders, RB Darren McFadden (foot) and CB Chris Johnson (groin/hamstring) have also been ruled out. Others who will not play include Chris Cook (not injury-related) for the Vikings and QB Jason Campbell (collarbone) and WR Jacoby Ford (foot) for the Raiders.

The Vikings have ruled LB Erin Henderson (hamstring) and TE Visanthe Shiancoe as questionable for the game; both players have been limited the last two days of practice. The Vikings listed WR Michael Jenkins (knee), LS Cullen Loeffler (shoulder) and QB Christian Ponder (hand) as probable.

The Raiders have listed Michael Huff, Michael Mitchell, Richard Seymour, Manase Tonga and DeMarcus Van Dyke as questionable and Kevin Boss, Matt Giordano, Sebastian Janikowski and Samson Satele as probable.


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Vikings To Adopt A Room At Amplatz Children’s Hospital

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 18, 2011 – 1:10 pm

Head Coach Leslie Frazier and the Minnesota Vikings announced a gift of $200,000 for the Minnesota Vikings Adopt A Room at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. The endowed gift from the Vikings will furnish a patient’s room with today’s groundbreaking technology and comfortable amenities while securing a place for future pioneering medical advancements.

Coach Frazier, along with Vikings players and coaches, will visit patients in the hospital and unveil the room on Friday afternoon.

“Watching a child battle a serious illness is one of the most difficult challenges a family can face,” said Coach Frazier. “The Adopt A Room program allows for a better experience for the patients and their families during those challenging times. Adopting a room is a great way for the Vikings organization to support Minnesota families and show our continued commitment to children’s health.”

The Vikings will also donate $240,000 from the Vikings Children’s Fund (VCF) to the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics for promising research to treat and cure childhood disease. This critical funding allows researchers the opportunity to secure data and leverage national research awards. $80,000 will be directed to support the Vikings Fitness Playbook as part of a three-year commitment to directly tackle childhood obesity. The Vikings and the VCF have now donated nearly $800,000 to charitable organizations in 2011.

“We can truly transform the experience for hospitalized children by providing a healing environment that works to meet a family’s social and emotional needs as well as the complex health conditions of the child,” said Joseph P. Neglia, M.D., M.P.H, physician–in-chief, University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota. “We are so grateful for gifts like this from the Minnesota Vikings which help to remind our community that we can all make a direct impact on the lives of children and their families.”


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Submit Your Monday Morning Mailbag Questions

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 17, 2011 – 6:37 pm

The Vikings battled the AFC West-leading Oakland Raiders all the way to the wire on Sunday in a game that was entertaining from start to finish. It was also a game that probably left fans with opinions and questions. And that’s where the Monday Morning Mailbag enters the picture.

To submit a comment or question, send an email to me at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. You can also submit your comment or question in the comments section below this entry.

Remember to include your name and town on the comment/email. We can’t post every comment/question, but we’ll try to answer each question.


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