After the Minnesota Vikings' 34-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams to start the 2014 season, there was a buzz around the team that they had turned the corner a little earlier than expected after a bad year in 2013.
At TCF Bank Stadium in Week 2, the role of Buzz Killington was played by Bill Belichick, as he reminded Vikings' fans that their team still has a long way to go.
The New England Patriots had their way with the Minnesota Vikings for the better part of the afternoon on Sunday, scoring 30 unanswered points en route to a 30-7 victory.
Things started off well for the Vikings, as they marched 80 yards in seven plays on their opening drive, concluding with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel to Matt Asiata, giving the Vikings an early 7-0 lead. That was just about the last positive thing that happened for the Vikings on the afternoon, as the Patriots scored the next 33 points, largely aided by the Vikings.
Cassel had four interceptions on the afternoon, and those turnovers led to 17 New England points. The first was returned by Devin McCourty to the Minnesota 1-yard line, and Stevan Ridley went over from there to tie the game at seven. A second-quarter interception by Darrelle Revis led to a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman, and a pick by Logan Ryan in the third quarter led to a Steven Gostkowski field goal. Rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley collected Cassel's fourth INT off of a deflection in the fourth quarter.
New England also got some help from their special teams. The Vikings brought Blair Walsh in for a 48-yard field goal attempt near the end of the first half to attempt to cut the New England lead to 17-10. However, the kick was blocked by Chandler Jones, who scooped up the loose ball and rumbled for a touchdown. The ten-point swing gave the Patriots a 24-7 lead going into the locker room, and pretty much squashed any potential momentum that the Vikings could have gathered for the afternoon.
The Vikings' offense had a significantly different look without Adrian Peterson at running back. The team ran for just 54 yards on 19 carries on the afternoon. Cassel finished the game 19/36 for 202 yards, a touchdown, and the four interceptions.
The Vikings fall to 1-1 on the season, which will still leave them in no worse than a first-place tie in the NFC North after today's action is complete. They'll be traveling to New Orleans next weekend to take on the 0-2 Saints.