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Vikings Race Past Rams 38-10

Posted Oct 12, 2009

Game Summary

Behind 14 points off of turnovers and another efficient passing day from QB Brett Favre, the Vikings defeated the St. Louis Rams 38-10 in the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday. The win is the Vikings 5th of the season and it’s the franchise’s best start (5-0) since they began the 2003 season with 6 wins. Sunday’s victory also gives the Vikings their 3rd road win already this short season and it marks the 1st time Favre has been 5-0 during his 18-year NFL career.

The Vikings had less-than-ideal starts on the road in Cleveland and Detroit, but they got off to a fast start in St. Louis. RB Adrian Peterson capped the opening drive of the game with a gritty 5-yard TD run around the left end and then DE Jared Allen returned a fumble 52 yards on the Rams next drive to put the Vikings ahead 14-0 in the blink of an eye.

The teams exchanged FGs in the 2nd quarter but then in the 2nd half the Rams continued to make mistakes while the Vikings continued to pick up the pace. Minnesota led 31-10 at one point, with TE Visanthe Shiancoe, Peterson and RB Chester Taylor all recording 2nd-half scores.

With a comfortable lead in the 4th quarter, Favre was pulled from the game. But not before he posted yet another efficient outing, completing 18 of 24 passes for 232 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and a passer rating of 101.4.

The defensive effort was all-inclusive, with 3 different players accounting for 4 takeaways, LB Chad Greenway and DT Pat Williams getting credit for forced fumbles, and DT Kevin Williams adding a sack. LB E.J. Henderson recovered a fumble forced by Greenway, Allen recovered 2 fumbles and S Tyrell Johnson picked off a pass.

It was over when…

Favre led the Vikings on a 7-play, 90-yard drive in the team’s first drive of the 3rd quarter, finishing it off by hitting Shiancoe down the middle in the endzone for a 13-yard score to increase the lead to 24-3.

Highlights

-- Jared Allen had a profound impact on the game for a 2nd consecutive week. Against the Green Bay Packers last Monday night, Allen dominated with 4.5 sacks and a safety. On Sunday, Allen had a pair of fumble recoveries and returned one of them 52-yards for a TD.

-- Brett Favre might not finish the season as the top-ranked fantasy football QB, but he continues to put up efficient numbers on a consistent basis. Against the Rams, Favre was sharp while completing 18 of 24 passes for 232 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Favre’s passer rating through 5 games is 104.1, which includes an incredible 69.1 completion percentage and a TD-INT ratio of 9-2.

-- The Vikings kicking game was solid once again on Sunday. Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said he was please with K Ryan Longwell’s kickoffs and he also mentioned P Chris Kluwe as having a good game. Kluwe had 2 punts on the day, with a gross average 51.5, and both punts landed inside the Rams 20-yardline. Longwell converted a 47-yard FG attempt in the 2nd quarter and was 5-5 on PATs.

-- With Favre’s INT as the only turnover on the day, the Vikings once again won the takeaway/giveaway battle. Often times turnovers are the product of sloppy offense, but you still have to give credit to the defense for being in the correct spots to make plays. The Vikings pounced on 3 of the Rams 4 fumbles and S Tyrell Johnson intercepted a pass in the endzone to end a St. Louis drive. When all was said and done, the Rams turned the ball over 4 times, with 3 of those turnovers happening inside the 5-yardline.

-- The Vikings converted 7 of 11 third downs on the afternoon and were a perfect 4-4 in the red zone. St. Louis was 0-4 in the red zone. The importance of red zone offense was examined on the vikings.com Blog last week. In the past 2 games, the Vikings are 7-7 in red zone scoring and they’re scoring at an 88.2% clip once inside the red zone.

-- Rams RB Steven Jackson was held to 84 rushing yards on 21 carries, increasing the Vikings streak of holding an opposing rusher to fewer than 100 yards to 28 games.

-- WR Percy Harvin didn’t find the endzone on Sunday, but he continued to be a factor in the Vikings passing game. Harvin hauled in 4 receptions for 66 yards. His best effort came on a 24-yard reception during the Vikings 1st offensive series. On the play, Harvin caught a ball on what looked to be a corner route. As he caught the ball, he slowed his body enough to avoid going out of bounds, then tip-toed down the sideline for a few yards and even made it in the endzone. The officials (properly) ruled him out of bounds at the 5-yardline, but the effort Harvin gave was outstanding and it was just another example of how hard it is to tackle to slippery WR.

-- It’s appropriate to commend QB Tarvaris Jackson, who came in to relieve Favre with 6:45 to play in the game. Jackson engineered a 9-play, 80-yard TD drive that was capped by a Chester Taylor 1-yard TD. On the drive, Jackson was 3-3 for 68 yards, including a 32-yard pass to FB Fahu Tahi and a 33-yard strike to WR Sidney Rice.

-- S Tyrell Johnson was a positive element for the Vikings on Sunday. He had a pass breakup (PBU) to save a TD during the 2nd half and he also intercepted a pass in the endzone.

A couple of things to work on…

-- It’s hard to justify criticizing the defense after taking the ball away 4 times from the offense, but Rams QBs were sacked just 2 times and they combined to go 27 of 38 for 297 yards and 1 TD. Those numbers aren’t horrible for the Vikings, especially considering Marc Bulger went 7 of 7 for 88 yards and a TD once the game was already in hand, but this area of the game will probably provide some talking points in the defensive meetings rooms this week.

-- RB Adrian Peterson got the job done by rushing for 2 scores, but he was also held to 69 yards on 15 carries. Certainly the Rams stacked the box at times to stop Peterson, but this is also an area that will provide for some offensive meeting room discussion this week.

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