Another wild finish for the Vikings at home as they escaped with a 33-31 victory against the Baltimore Ravens after Steven Hauschka missed a 44-yard potential game-winning field goal as time expired.

The Vikings remained undefeated at 6-0, but there was a sense of relief in the postgame locker room after they melted down defensively in the fourth quarter to allow the Ravens back into the game.
Here are some notes and quotes from the locker room:
** The Vikings defense played well for three quarters despite losing Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield to a foot injury, but they gave up 222 yards and 21 points in the fourth quarter. Joe Flacco completed 10 of 16 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns in the quarter.
The defense’s ability to finish a game strong and bury opponents is becoming a problem.
“I think we wore down a little bit,” safety Tyrell Johnson said. “I was looking at guys’ eyes and stuff and the game was so fast and physical we just wore down a little bit. We just need to focus on getting mentally tougher and fighting through the tough times at the end.”
Said safety Madieu Williams: “Unfortunately, we leaked a little oil down the stretch but we found a way to win. It’s sad but we’re starting to get into a routine. It’s something we have to snap out of because eventually it’s going to come back and bite us.”
Pro Bowl defensive Jared Allen called the fourth quarter problems a “blessing in disguise.”
“At 6-0 and especially if you dominate a good team like the Ravens, who knows where your head goes,” he said. “If there was a bubble, it just got popped.”
** Winfield said he injured the top of his foot defending a pass play. Winfield answered only two questions before leaving. PFT reported that Winfield will have an MRI on Monday. The Vikings clearly can’t afford to lose him given how shaky Karl Paymah looked in his absence. Paymah got beat on a 32-yard TD pass to Mark Clayton in the fourth quarter.
** On the injury front, rookie Percy Harvin re-injured his left shoulder on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter. He had his arm in a sling after the game and declined comment when approached by reporters. Adrian Peterson said he twisted his left ankle on a catch in the fourth quarter but he said it felt OK after the game.
** This just in: Brett Favre is good. All joking aside, it is amazing to see how much confidence Favre has brought to the offense and his receivers. Favre had his highest passer rating (136.9) since 2007 on Sunday. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. 
Sidney Rice in particular just continues to develop into a top-flight receiver with Favre leading the offense.
Rice actually changed the route on his 58-yard catch late in the game. Favre said it was supposed to be a comeback, but Rice altered it based off the coverage.
“That’s being a football player,” Favre said. “He was supposed to have a 12 or 15-yard comeback I think. That’s the type of plays he can make. Sometimes you have to adjust. Really, with Sidney on that play you have to give him credit because I didn’t tell him to go, I didn’t tell him to come back. He just felt like he had the advantage. We have had that discussion in the past, that if he feels like he can get on top, or can win then do it. So I just wanted to make sure I could give him something he could catch.”
** Peterson rushed for 143 yards on 22 carries, his first 100-plus performance in five games.
** Nickel back Benny Sapp left the game in the second quarter after getting his bell rung on a helmet-to-helmet hit. Sapp said the medical staff took his helmet so that he wouldn’t try and get back into the game.
“They did the right thing,” said Sapp, who was able to return in the second half. “They took the right procedures when a person’s head is kind of ringing.”
Their absences left the Vikings thin at cornerback. Paymah replaced Winfield and safety Husain Abdullah moved into the nickel role for the first time since high school.
“[Defensive backs coach Joe Woods] has been teaching it to me, telling me I’m the emergency guy if something happens,” Abdullah said. “Antoine went down, Sapp went down. He looked at me and said, ‘You ready?’ I’m like, ‘Let’s go.’”
** Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe was Favre’s target four times and caught four passes for 48 yards and two touchdowns. He entered Sunday evening tied for the NFL lead with five touchdowns catches.
“My personal goal is to contribute to this offense as much as I can,” Shiancoe said. “It sounds cliche but it’s true. Hold down the middle and pull my weight. That’s actually what I want to do.”
 ** Jared Allen had a huge day against rookie tackle Michael Oher. Allen collected seven tackles, one sack, four tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries. Defensive tackle Kevin Williams had two sacks and four quarterback hurries.

Older Post

Harvin, Winfield injured

Newer Post

Winfield set for MRI this morning