The Vikings didn’t win a road game last season, and you have to go back to late 2012 when they last won away from home -- at St. Louis, where they won today 34-6, and at Houston.
The interesting thing in the victory Sunday was that everyone was expecting Adrian Peterson to run wild. He gained a total of 75 yards and his longest run was for 17 yards.
The biggest playmaker was Cordarrelle Patterson, who wound up with 102 yards and made an absolutely sensational 67-yard run, dodging several potential tacklers. It was the longest run by a Vikings receiver in team history, and it was the first time a receiver for the Vikings gained more than 100 yards on the ground in a game.
No doubt Mr. Zimmer and his staff have done a great job, and all the praise out of Winter Park was not propaganda. But the real test will come next week, when Bill Belichick, winner of three Super Bowls, and with another great Patriots team on hand, comes to Minnesota.
The Patriots are led by the great Tom Brady, who will test the Vikings pass defense and see if it can play as well as it did against St. Louis. Even though the Patriots lost on Sunday in Miami, they will be a force this season.
Next week -- that’s when we’ll find out how good this Vikings team is.
The Vikings got their first victory today by beating Pittsburgh 34-27 in a game that was a lot like the previous two weeks.
Only this time, the Vikings made a defensive stop at the end on a great play by Everson Griffen to end the game.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is a pretty tough customer. He threw for 383 yards and it looked like he was going to tie the game on the final drive, but Griffen sacked him and Kevin Williams recovered to preserve the victory.
Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel didn't start out too well, but he completed his last 11 passes and didn't have any turnovers.
The big thing was, the Vikings got Jerome Felton back and he really helped Adrian Peterson return to his normal form.
One of the unsung heroes was Jerome Simpson, who was targeted 11 times and caught seven passes for 124 yards. He made a great play to rescue Cassel when Cassel fumbled the ball upfield. And Greg Jennings finally had a great game for the Vikings, with a 70-yard touchdown reception.
They got lucky at the end. They lost games to the Bears and Browns under similar circumstances.
With a week off, they can get some guys healthy.
As far as the quarterback situation goes, I don't think Ponder will be healthy enough to play against Carolina in two weeks. That broken rib isn't something that'll heal quickly and if they say it affects his heart, well, he's going to have to sit out.
But I think if he's healthy, they'll put him back in there. He didn't lose those games to the Bears and the Browns. The defense lost those games.
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