Monday Morning Aftermath: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings finally found their 2009 form by trouncing the visiting Bills by a score of 38-14.
Without Favre and Harvin, The Offense Rolls
The offense started the day without receivers Percy Harvin and Greg Lewis, and finished the afternoon without quarterback Brett Favre, but Sidney Rice and Adrian Peterson picked up the slack. Favre was knocked out of the game on just the third play from scrimmage after Bills’ linebacker Arthur Moats put a crushing hit on Favre from behind. Tarvaris Jackson trotted into the game as the sold out crowd at the Metrodome cheered his entrance.
Despite throwing three interceptions, Jackson put together five touchdown drives. His final completion numbers were 15-of-22 with 2 touchdowns, but when asked if his performance merited a start next week, he responded that he “didn’t play great.”
Two players who did play great were Adrian Peterson and Sidney Rice. After spraining his ankle last week against the Washington Redskins, running back Adrian Peterson had to lobby the coaching staff to even be active for Sunday’s game. The Vikings made the right decision as Peterson carried the ball 16 times for 107 yards and 3 touchdowns. And in only his third game this season, wide receiver Sidney Rice showed why he is one of the top receivers in the league by hauling in 5 Tarvaris Jackson passes for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns.
What A Difference A Defense Makes
The story this week will be whether or not Brett Favre plays next week, but the real story of the game was the defense. The defense didn’t allow a touchdown — the first touchdown came off of a Tarvaris Jackson interception) until late in the game when many of the backups were playing. The defensive line pressured Bills’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick all day, registering one sack and hitting Fitzpatrick 5 times. And just like last year, when the defensive line is rolling, things go well for the Vikings. Case in point, early in the second quarter, the line pressured Fitzpatrick into an ill-advised throw and Antoine Winfield intercepted the ball and returned it 41 yards. Filling in for the injured Ray Edwards, Brian Robison recovered 2 fumbles adding to 5 total Bills turnovers.
Quarterback Controversy? Not in Minnesota
Despite Tarvaris Jackson leading his team to a blowout victory, head coach Leslie Frazier quickly squelched any possible quarterback controversy. Frazier told reporters after the game that “if Brett’s healthy, Brett’s our quarterback.” Favre suffered a sprained right sternoclavicular joint — the connection between the breastbone and collarbone — and will have an MRI on Monday.
That Was Quick: The Joe Webb Era
In a move that made the entire fan base of the Minnesota Vikings giddy, rookie sixth-round draft choice Joe Webb was active for his first game all season. Webb returned the opening kickoff 30 yards, but left the game early after suffering an injury to his right hamstring. As Chip Scoggins pointed out, Webb became the first Vikings quarterback in team history to return a kickoff.