SAN DIEGO - Thoughts from the Qualcomm Stadium press box as the Chargers were beating the Vikings 24-17 ...
1 Adrian Peterson ran for 198 fewer yards against the Chargers than he did four years ago while setting the NFL rushing record. But he's still worth giving $36 million in guarantees. No one runs harder, but even he can't do it all by himself. He ran for 98 yards on 16 carries (6.1), but after the Chargers made halftime adjustments, Peterson had only 24 yards on seven carries (3.4).
2 Cornerback Cedric Griffin looked fine in his first full game coming off his second torn anterior cruciate ligament in as many seasons. His two rebuilt knees looked good going up to swat away a deep pass in tight coverage of Malcolm Floyd on third-and-20. Griffin, however, also was called for a late hit out of bounds. That was 15 valuable yards given up on the Chargers' game-winning drive. "It was a sideline tackle, a run-through tackle," Griffin said. It was also a mistake at a terrible time. So was defensive tackles Letroy Guion (two) and Fred Evans (one) jumping offside three times on the Chargers' game-ending drive.
3 Brian Robison might be smallish for a left defensive end, but the guy played a heck of a game. So did right end Jared Allen, but that's expected. Robison replacing Ray Edwards as a starter this season is one of the team's bigger question marks. And Robison had half a sack on a third-down rush. He also hit Philip Rivers' arm as he was throwing with 10 seconds left in the first half and the Chargers at the Vikings 17. The ball fluttered free and was intercepted by Antoine Winfield. "I'd rather have a victory than a sack," Robison said. "But it felt good to go out there and showcase what the Minn Vikings thought they had in me."
4 Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell should never, ever try to tackle a kick returner. Ever. The Chargers' Nate Kaeding tried it on the opening kickoff, strained his left knee and could leave a Super Bowl contender looking for a new kicker this week. Chargers coach Norv Turner said the team wouldn't go into next week with punter Mike Scifres as his kicker if Kaeding can't kick. Scifres went 3-for-3 on PATs and made his first NFL field goal from 40 yards. But the Chargers also had to pass up a 43-yard attempt in the first half.
5 The Vikings have the ability to move the ball on offense. They showed that in a 14-play drive that took 7:34 off the clock and led to a field goal in the first half. Donovan McNabb completed three of four passes for 27 yards. Believe it or not, he threw for only 12 yards in 10 other drives. That's 1.2 yards passing per drive!