Bridgewater Skips The Baby Steps In First Career Win

The Minnesota Vikings got a glimpse into the possible future as rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater passed for 317 yards and rushed 27 yards (including a 13 yard touchdown run) as the Vikings defeated the Atlanta Falcons 41-28. The win improves Minnesota’s record to 2-2 on the season and puts the team one game behind the Detroit Lions (3-1) for first place in the NFC North.

Bridgewater’s 317 yards passing is the most ever by a quarterback making their very first start as a member of the Vikings. He still has not thrown for a touchdown in just under 2 games played this season, but he also has not thrown any interceptions (that’s 4 less than Matt Cassel threw in Week 2).

Seven different Minnesota receivers caught passes from Bridgewater and no Vikings player had more catches than wide receiver Jarius Wright. Wright set career highs in catches (8) and yards (132) as Atlanta could not find a way to stop him. Wright is one of the many Minnesota players that is happy to see Bridgewater under center. 

Bridgewater was not the only rookie that played a key role in the Vikings first home victory of the season. Rookie running back Jerick McKinnon rushed for a career high 135 yards on 18 carries. McKinnon’s 55 yard run in the 2nd quarter was the longest by a Minnesota rookie running back since 2007.

With McKinnon and fellow Vikings running back Matt Asiata running the ball and Bridgewater passing the ball, Minnesota’s offense was able to rack up a season high in points (41) and total yards (558). Asiata found the end zone 3 times and finished the game with 78 yards on 20 carries. The Vikings 241 total rushing yards against the Falcons was 128 more than the combined total yards Minnesota had rushed for in their past two games.

The Vikings defense continued its drastic improvement from a season ago as they forced Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan to throw 2 interceptions. including one by Minnesota safety Harrison Smith. The interception by Smith pretty much sealed the win for the Vikings as it came in the final minutes of the 4th quarter.

For a team that seemed to have lost its identity at the beginning of the season due to unfortunate circumstances, Minnesota may have found a new face of the franchise in the form of Bridgewater. But Vikings fans need not to worry about Teddy struggling in the spotlight as he has been known to be Great Under Major Pressure (G.U.M.P.).

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Peterson Barred From All Team Activities

A day and a half after announcing that running back Adrian Peterson would be playing this upcoming Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings have opted to place Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioners Permission list. By doing so, the Vikings have barred Peterson from any team related activities until his legal matters are resolved.

How long will he remain exempt? Who knows, Minnesota could change their mind again and decide to activate him tomorrow for all we know. One thing is for sure, Peterson’s days as a member of the Vikings are coming to an end sooner than later.

Vikings Come Back To Reality In Loss To Patriots

If someone decided to watch the first series, and only the first series, on offense for both the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, they would have thought the Vikings won this game in a blowout. However, that was far from the true ending result of this game as Minnesota suffered their first loss of the 2014 season to the Patriots by a score of 30-7.

The Vikings began the game with an 80 yard drive that ended with a 25 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Cassel to running back Matt Asiata to put the Vikings ahead 7-0. Minnesota’s defense followed up the offense’s impressive drive with one of their own and forced New England’s offense to punt after 3 downs.

The remaining 54 minutes and 35 seconds of the game would prove to be nothing like the first two drives put on the field by each of the team’s offenses. On the Vikings 2nd drive of the game, Cassel threw the ball into double coverage and was intercepted by Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty who then returned the ball all the way to the Minnesota 1 yard line.

Two plays later, New England tied the game at 7 thanks to a 1 yard touchdown run by running back Steven Ridley. After this score the Patriots and Ridley would never look back, scoring 23 more points to secure their first win of the 2014 season. New England’s win was also the 200th career win for their head coach Bill Belichick.

The Vikings and Cassel were never able to recover after the Patriots first score of the game. Cassel ended up throwing 3 more interceptions, tying his career high, as New England scored 17 points off of Minnesota turnovers (aka Cassel turnovers).

The play more than likely sealed the Vikings fate for this game came right before the end of the first half. Minnesota drove the ball down the field 52 yards in 11 plays and lined up to kick a 48 yard field goal to put the Vikings within a touchdown going into the second half. Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones had other ideas, as he blocked the field goal attempt and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown sending New England into the locker room up 24-7 at the half.

All week Minnesota’s fans heard about how the team had to prepare for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his accelerated passing abilities. It seems as though that was all the Vikings defense prepared for two as New England rushed for a total of 150 yards on 37 attempts including 101 yards on 25 carries from running back Steven Ridley. 

Minnesota’s defense did hold Brady to his lowest passing yardage total ever against an NFC North opponent with 149 yards. Brady had one pass completion over 40 yards while his 14 other completions went for 13 yards or shorter.

A week after holding one of the NFL’s best defensive lines in St. Louis to zero sacks, the Vikings offensive line gave up 6 sacks to a Patriots defense that only had 1 sack in their Week 1 game against the Miami Dolphins. Of New England’s 6 sacks, 4 of them came courtesy of linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive end Chandler Jones as each of them sacked Cassel two times.

Minnesota heads to New Orleans next week to play the Saints in their home opener and if they have any chance at all they need much better play from Cassel and their offensive line. If Cassel continues playing like he did today against the Patriots, a certain rookie quarterback could be starting for the Vikings sooner than expected.

What You Don’t Know About The Vikings/Patriots

- The Minnesota Vikings have started their season by going 2-0 in 6 of the past 20 years. Of those 6 seasons, the Vikings have made the playoffs 5 times.

- The New England Patriots have not allowed a kickoff to be returned for a touchdown for 62 straight games. The last player to do so against the Patriots was CJ Spiller of the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 of the 2010 season.

- The Vikings had a total of 5 sacks last week against the Rams and if they keep up that pace for the rest of the season they will end up with a total of 80 sacks. The all-time team record for sacks in a season is 71 (1989).

- Since 2008, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is 5-2 against teams with Mike Zimmer (Bengals) or Norv Turner (Chargers and Browns) on their coaching staff.

- Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon likely to get more playing time against the Patriots on Sunday, the most rushing yards in a game by a Vikings rookie not named Adrian Peterson was when Chuck Foreman ran for 200 yards in 1976 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 3-0 all-time against the Vikings and has averaged 284 yards passing while throwing 8 touchdowns and only 1 interception.

- Sunday will be the first time Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel has started a game against the Patriots, a team he last played for in 2008. 

- The Patriots have won 11 straight games against opponents hailing from the NFC North with the last loss coming in 2002 to the Green Bay Packers. The last time the Vikings defeated the Patriots came in 2000 when Culpepper, Carter, and Moss led the team to a 23-18 win.

Warrant Issued For Adrian Peterson’s Arrest

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted today in Montgomery County, Texas on a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child, as reported by numerous media sources. A warrant for Peterson’s arrest has been issued and it is being reported that he will turn himself in to authorities.

The Vikings have deactivated Peterson for Sunday’s game in Minnesota against the New England Patriots. Matt Asiata and rookie Jerick McKinnon are the only other active running backs on the Vikings current depth chart.

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