Minnesota Vikings faked out by Cleveland Browns, 31-27
- Updated: September 23, 2013
Despite showing some flashes of promise in the first quarter, the Minnesota Vikings (0-3) were unable to hold their own agains the Cleveland Browns (1-2), stumbling to defeat after yet another series of head-scratching gaffes and miscues.
The Vikings came out of the gate firing on all cylinders. Quarterback Christian Ponder completed four of his first five passes for 74 yards, and running back Adrian Peterson capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run.
Then the line, supposedly the best in the division, seemed to forget how to block, especially on the right side. They gave up seven sacks, three of which were charged to right tackle Phil Loadholt, two to guard Brandon Fusco, and one to center John Sullivan. Peterson was held to a pedestrian 3.4 yards per carry by the fourth-rated Browns run defense.
When Ponder was given time in the pocket he was able to successfully lead the Vikings down the field. Unfortunately, they were once again unable to convert critical late possessions into touchdowns, instead coming away away with field goals. This ultimately cost them the game.
The Viking secondary took a hit early when they lost oft-injured cornerback Chris Cook to a groin injury. His replacement, A.J. Jefferson, was immediately burned on a double move by wide receiver Josh Gordon for a 55-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Brian Hoyer. He was immediately yanked, allegedly due to injuries but presumably for burn treatments. Safety Jamarca Sanford also left the game with an unspecified injury.
In their stead, cornerback Marcus Scherels played an inspiring second half of football, holding wide receiver Josh Gordon in check.
The defensive front seven failed to bring pressure on Brian Hoyer in the first half and he torched them for two touchdowns and 245 yards passing. However, in the second half, the defense harassed him to the tune of four sacks and two interceptions.
Unfortunately, the pass defense was nonexistent on the last-minute touchdown drive that put the Browns up 31-27.
Most disappointing of all, the coaching staff, which had the Vikings overachieving last year to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth, was unable to get this team prepared and focused for game day. The entire team seemed to be looking past this game to the upcoming contest in London against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
At no point did the Minnesota coaches have an upper hand. They were outcoached and outmaneuvered by Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinski in every facet of the game.
Most notable was the inability of special teams coach Mike Priefer — or really, anyone — to sniff out fakes on special teams plays.
Somehow the Browns managed to successfully dupe the Vikings not once but twice. Neither time was Minnesota prepared for the fake, even though everyone watching the game — including my wife — saw it coming.
The fake punt went for 31 yards. A few yards here or there would be understandable, but that is simply inexcusable.
On the fake field goal, tight end Jordan Cameron stood by himself on the sidelines in normal formation. Not one Viking player went over to cover him. Even worse, the coaching staff failed to recognize the situation and call a timeout. Cameron converted the play into a touchdown.
Head coach Leslie Frazier threw the challenge flag on what appeared to be a punt muffed by the Browns. On review, it turned out that the return man had grabbed the ball and attempted to advance it, meaning it should have been charged as a fumble. That was the point Frazier was trying to argue, but because it was an automatically reviewed play, the officials flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct. Instead of simply charging him a timeout, however, they marched off 15 yards. The extra yardage forced Minnesota to settle for a field goal.
Minnesota heads to London to play a “home” game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3). Both teams are coming off of fairly crushing losses at home. At this point it is difficult to have confidence in the ability of the Vikings coaching staff to develop a game plan that takes advantage of the Steelers’ weaknesses.
one thing that I missed in life-
I went to college in the same town that the vikings have pre season. I could have frequented the local strip club during the times the vikings were in town.
I too could have had a Bryant McKinnie stripper story. jesus- every single one seems fucking golden
They asked Finley,Where was he?And he replied he was at home watching his friend and current teammate Donald Driver win Dancing with the Stars again.
any chance the raiders blow up tonight- and by blow up I mean a combination of no turnovers/ sacks and 21 points- or 28-35 points with regards to numerous turnovers/ sacks
up by 2 in FF- need a monday night miracle
@natradamus There is a better chance Ponder has a 100% completion day....to his own team.
@natradamus I need Janikowski to get me 14 points to win.
3 50+ field goals should do it.
@LambeauOrWrigley nnn....nevermind. probably doesn't matter
@tmonson78 justin houston?
@tmonson78 James Anderson was an excellent LB for the Panthers,didn't get a lot of ink,but very quietly a quality LB.
@tmonson78 Your welcome. Everytime the Panthers and Bears trade each other players it works out for both sides
Cow-herd was tearing Rodgers and Packers fans apart on his show today.
You'd think Rodgers was throwing folding chairs at McCarthy or something.
@ⒶⓃⒹⓎⓁⒺⓉ➍➍➎ He is peeing on Jeremy Ross....in or on. Don't remember.
@CONCHS333 Written by the master himself
@CONCHS333 Fucking A. I sent mine in yesterday WTF lol.
As to the Finley hit the Lions Rashen Mathis was flagged for a personal foul for hitting a Redskin after he caught the ball, not leading with his helmet, not hitting his head, not hitting his knees. He just hit him with his arm to the pads and knocked him down. Was called as hitting a defenseless receiver.
@BeerLion Bullshit call. Oh well. We won. Boom to the baya
That facemask penalty on CJ Mosley was BS too. He grabbed him below his helmet and because morris' is an idiot and doesn't keep his helmet tight it fell off
@BeerLion Mathis isn't a Jaguar anymore??
Charles Johnson is faster, taller, bigger and honestly, he smells like DD round 2! Me likes!
Charles Johnson: http://www.nfl.com/draft/2013/profiles/charles-johnson?id=2541147
@tmonson78 I knew that but didn't post that
Nope... but I heard a rumor the Packers were going to cut Ross?
@MIBearFan *poops in hand*
@Antonio Brown Doo Doo Butter Damnit, now I'm more mad!!!!