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Vikings' offense wakes up, but team trails 9-7 at halftime

  • Blog Post by: Mark Craig
  • September 9, 2012 - 1:45 PM

Welcome to halftime at Mall of America Field, where the Vikings' offense was about 27 minutes late in arriving for today's season opener for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Vikings trailed 9-0, had three first downs and had yet to cross midfield when they got the ball at their 41-yard line with 2:28 left in the half.

That's when the 2012 Vikings offense arrived, or at least woke up from some awful football.

The Vikings quickly went 59 yards in seven plays to make it a 9-7 game at halftime. On the drive, quarterback Christian Ponder  completed three passes for 32 yards to Percy Harvin while Adrian Peterson carried the ball three times for 13 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown in which right guard Brandon Fusco plowed a huge hole up the middle.

The big news is Peterson got the start. The bigger news is he looks strong with seven carries for 23 yards and the touchdown.

Ponder has completed 7 of 11 passes for 78 yards, but had an awful start, going 3 of 7 for 46 yards and misfiring consistently as the offense posted back-to-back three-and-outs.

Defensively, the Vikings looked gased because the Jaguars are dominating the time of possession. Jacksonville's first drive of the game lasted 17 plays and went 75 yards before middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley stopped Rashad Jennings short of the goal line on third-and-goal from the 1. 

Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert then made it a 9-0 game with a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis. It was Lewis' first touchdown catch since 2010.

The Vikings have made Gabbert look much better than he is. He's completed 9 of 16 passes for 103 yards and a 96.6 passer rating.

One thing to keep an eye on: Peterson needs just 44 yards to break Robert Smith's career rushing mark of 6,818 yards.

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