The Minnesota Vikings’ defense pounded Philip Rivers with four sacks and held the San Diego Chargers to just 3.2 yards per carry. Adrian Peterson stiff armed, bounced and pounded his way to 126 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries as the Vikings took care of business for the second consecutive week at TCF Bank Stadium.
A relentless defensive effort slowed the Chargers passing attack and held River to 21 of 34 for 246 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. The defensive performance was so dominate that River was pulled from the game after a hit from Anthony Barr knocked the wind out of him. Eric Kendericks led the team with 9 solo tackles and Barr contributed a good game with 6 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
For the second strait week, the Vikings’ defense intercepted a fourth quarter pass that helped ice the game. This time it was Chad Greenway that stepped up and made the play picking off Rivers as the Chargers were in the red zone trying to cut a 24-7 deficit. Actually, it was Hodges who made the hit on the receiver that sent the tipped ball into Greenway’s hands. And, it was the entourage of defenders that formed a convoy to insure Greenway found pay-dirt that should also get credit for the big play and score.
Blair Walsh connected on 2 of 2 field goal attempts, and Jeff Locke had a good game punting downing two inside the 20 yard line giving him 7 on the season.
However, for the second straight week, the game ball goes to Adrian Peterson. His second touchdown run of the day is a must see highlight clip that the sports networks will be replaying all week. Peterson’s ability to bounce a run to the outside, use a stiff arm, run over a tackler, and out-sprint a defender to the goal line is still a spectacle worthy of admiration. Peterson’s big play happened early in the third quarter with the Vikings up 10-7. On 1st-and-10 from the Vikings 43, Peterson takes the inside handoff from Teddy Bridgewater and cuts outside. In typical AD fashion, he goes the distance sending defenders to their knees with his combination of power and speed.
Two plays before Peterson’s highlight run, it was Tom Johnson’s 11-yard sack on 3rd-and-7 that help set the tone for the Vikings strong second half.
Bridgewater didn’t need to be anything more than a game manager connecting on just 13 of 24 for 121 yards on the day. That’s ok with me because defense wins championships. I also believe the deep threat of Bridgewater to Wallace is the real deal that can strike on any given Sunday.