Peterson, Vikings Defense Dominate Bills With 38-14 Victory

Posted Dec 5, 2010

With starters Ray Edwards, Percy Harvin and Steve Hutchinson unavailable due to injury and then QB Brett Favre knocked out of the game on the Vikings first series, things didn’t look good for the Vikings early on Sunday at Mall of America Field. But it didn’t take long for RB Adrian Peterson and a suffocating Vikings defense to take over and guide the team to a 38-14 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Peterson pummeled the NFL’s worst run defense, finishing the day with 3 TDs and 107 yards on 16 carries. He scored on runs of 2, 3 and 43 yards, with the 43-yard jaunt coming just one play after a fumble recovery by DE Brian Robison.

The fumble recovery by Robison was 1 of 5 Bills turnovers on the day. Kick returner Leodis McKelvin lost a fumble in the 1st quarter following a 31-yard TD toss from Tarvaris Jackson to Sidney Rice. The recovery by Frank Walker led to Peterson’s 2-yard score in the 2nd quarter and a 14-7 Minnesota lead. Later in the 2nd quarter after Peterson’s 2nd TD, CB Antoine Winfield made a leaping INT off of Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and returned it 41 yards to the Buffalo 5. Jackson found Rice in the endzone for the 2nd time, increasing the Vikings lead to 28-7.

Ryan Longwell tacked on a FG at the end of the half and the Vikings, after faltering early, took a commanding 31-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. At that point, Jackson was impressive, completing 12 of 17 passes for 170 yards and 2 scores with 1 INT. The defense was dominant and had allowed just 41 net yards and 2 Buffalo 1st downs.

The domination by Peterson and the Vikings defense continued in the 2nd half. The teams exchanged punts and turnovers in the 3rd quarter, and that’s when Peterson ripped off the 43-yard score following Fitzpatrick’s lost fumble. That score gave the Vikings 38 unanswered points since Jackson’s pick 6 in the 1st quarter and put away any thoughts of a Buffalo comeback.

Fitzpatrick lost another fumble – this time on the Vikings 1 – and then he drove his team for a TD later in the 4th quarter on a 12-yard TD toss to WR David Nelson, making the score 38-14 with 4:47 to play in the game. The Vikings were able to salt away all but 23 seconds of the game clock on their next possession and the clock ran out with the Vikings on top by a 38-14 count, moving them to 5-7 on the season and giving them a 2010 home record of 4-2.

It was another outstanding defensive effort for the Vikings, as they allowed just 1 offensive TD and gave up 239 net yards. Fitzpatrick was pressured constantly and never found a groove, with DE Jared Allen his most frequent pest. Allen had 1.0 sack and a forced fumble, but was responsible for numerous other defensive plays and QB pressures. S Husain Abdullah led the Vikings in tackles with 7, DT Kevin Williams had a pair of tackles for loss and CB Antoine Winfield grabbed the INT.

Following the game, Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier cleared up any thought of a QB controversy, saying that if healthy Favre would be the Vikings starter next week at home against the NY Giants.