Sunday, September 18, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Buccaneers 24, Vikings 20
By Kevin Seifert
MINNEAPOLIS -- A few thoughts after a stunning final result at the Metrodome:
What it means: The Minnesota Vikings fell to 0-2 in stunning fashion, watching a 17-0 halftime lead dissipate as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers outscored them 24-3 thereafter. The game demonstrated both the strength and weakness of the way the Vikings have built this team. They rode Adrian Peterson's power running and a bootleg-heavy passing game to the big lead, but they didn't have a downfield answer when the Bucs defense tightened on the line of scrimmage in the second half.
Second-guessing: Should Vikings coach Leslie Frazier have called timeout on the play prior to LeGarrette Blount's game-winning 4-yard touchdown run? By not calling one, the Vikings lost about 30 seconds on the clock and ultimately took over at their 10-yard line with 31 seconds remaining.
PetersonWatch: Peterson finished with 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns and became the second player in Vikings history to exceed 6,000 rushing yards in his career. But 83 yards and both scores came in the first half.
McNabbWatch: Quarterback Donovan McNabb threw for 203 yards, but I feel confident saying that nearly 75 percent of the Vikings' passing production came on plays that faked a run. Bootlegs and play-action can only take you so far. When the Vikings needed a downfield play on third down prior to the Bucs' final drive, McNabb's timing pass to receiver Devin Aromashodu down the right sideline was off.
Injury report: Vikings nickelback Chris Cook departed in the first half with a groin injury and did not return. Asher Allen served as the nickelback thereafter. It's worth noting that Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman threw for 191 yards in the second half.
What's next: The Vikings will open their divisional schedule by hosting the Detroit Lions next Sunday at the Metrodome.