Aug 17, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills in the first quarter at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-US PRESSWIRE

Vikings Vs. Bills: Minnesota Defense Key In 36-14 Victory

The Minnesota Vikings' defense led the team to a blowout victory on Friday night.

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12 Total Updates since August 17, 2012
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Harrison Smith Impresses In First Chance As Vikings Starter

When you select a player with your first pick in the draft, getting early signs that your investment may pay off is one of the best things a coach can get. After Vikings first-round pick Harrison Smith got his first start at safety on Friday, it gave him a chance to leave an impression on coach Leslie Frazier moving forward.

So far, so good, as told to ESPN 1500's Judd Zulgad.

"I've got to look at the tape, but I don't see anything from tonight that would tell me anything different," said Frazier when asked if he viewed Smith as a starter going forward. "I would think that he's going to continue to get better and better. We're counting on that. That's one of the reasons we drafted him when we did. We're counting on him to be a starter. I haven't seen anything, without looking at the tape, that would upset that."

Smith's performance included a batted down pass from Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on a safety blitz that left him free to get to the quarterback.

Smith may be raising his profile on the defense, but his mind is set on improving and doing what needs to be done to help the team win games, not on being a starter.

"Really, that has not been my focus," Smith said. "I just have come in and tried to play as hard as I can play every day, learn the defense. Really, that's where my head is at."

For more on the Vikings, visit The Daily Norseman. For the rest of the action from Preseason Week 2, go to SB Nation NFL.

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Vikings Vs. Bills Final Score: Minnesota Cruises To 36-14 Victory

The Minnesota Vikings bounced back from a lackluster opening to the 2012 preseason with an encouraging 36-14 home victory over the Buffalo Bills. The Vikings got on the board first thanks to a Christian Ponder touchdown pass and were only up eight points late in the fourth quarter, but rookie linebacker Audie Cole returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the span of 13 seconds to extend the lead to 22 points.

Ponder had an impressive game against a revamped Bills defense that should boast one of the top defensive lines in the AFC. In three drives, Ponder went 10-of-13 for 136 yards and one touchdown without turning the ball over. Back up QB Joe Webb was shaky through the air, but did lead the Vikings in rushing with 64 yards on two carries.

The Vikings defense held the Bills to 68 yards on 20 rushes and only 249 yards through the air on 45 attempts. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo's first round pick in 2011, had -8 yards on three touches.

The Vikings will be back on the field on Aug. 24 when they host the San Diego Chargers.

For more on the Vikings, visit The Daily Norseman. Get your inside scoop on the Bills at Buffalo Rumblings. For the rest of the action from Preseason Week 2, go to SB Nation NFL.

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Bills Vs. Vikings Halftime Score: Vikings Lead 16-7 At Intermission

The Minnesota Vikings put up six total points in their first preseason game, but they've already more than doubled that on Friday night in their second game. The Vikings lead the Buffalo Bills 16-7 going into the half, thanks to an early touchdown thrown by Christian Ponder and three field goals from Blair Walsh.

Ponder led three drives in the first half, going 10-for-13 for 136 yards and a one-yard touchdown pass to fullback Jerome Felton on the opening drive. He was replaced by backup Joe Webb, who was less successful through the air, going 3-for-8 for 30 yards. Webb, though, did get to flash his wheels, ripping off runs of 41 yards and 23 yards.

A mixture of Minnesota's first and second team defenses relinquished a first half touchdown early in the second quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Donald Jones.

For more on the Vikings, visit The Daily Norseman. Get your inside scoop on the Bills at Buffalo Rumblings. For the rest of the action from Preseason Week 2, go to SB Nation NFL.

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Vikings Vs. Bills: Chris Cook, Kyle Rudolph Leave Game With Possible Concussions

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook and tight end Kyle Rudolph both left Friday night's preseason game vs. the Buffalo Bills with possible concussions. Both were given concussion tests on the sideline early in the second quarter and have not returned to the game.

Rudolph, a second round pick in 2011, missed four games last season while catching 26 balls for 249 yards. Cook, a 2010 second round pick and one of Minnesota's key defenders, has only played in 12 games in his first two seasons. Last season, Cook missed most of Minnesota's season after being arrested for domestic assault.

For more on the Vikings, visit The Daily Norseman. Get your inside scoop on the Bills at Buffalo Rumblings. For the rest of the action from Preseason Week 2, go to SB Nation NFL.

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Vikings Vs. Bills Score Update: Vikings Up 10-0 After First Quarter

After an opening game that saw the Minnesota Vikings first team offense fail to put a touchdown on the board, Christian Ponder led the Vikings on a first quarter drive that culminated in a trip to the end zone. That touchdown came on a pass from Ponder to fullback Jerome Felton from one yard out.

Ponder finished the first quarter having gone 10-for-13 through the air for 136 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. The newly acquired Jerome Simpson caught three passes for 43 yards, and hurdled Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd to boot. Toby Gerhart ran six times for 30 yards, as well.

The Minnesota defense shut the Bills offense out in the first quarter, allowing only a single first down.

For more on the Vikings, visit The Daily Norseman. Get your inside scoop on the Bills at Buffalo Rumblings. For the rest of the action from Preseason Week 2, go to SB Nation NFL.

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Bills Vs. Vikings: Solomon Elimimian A 'Surprise Scratch' For Minnesota

In what Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 called a "surprise scratch" Solomon Elimimian will not participate in the second preseason game of the year for the Vikings when they take on the Buffalo Bills at Mall of America Field on Friday night.

Elimimian recorded an interception for the Vikings in his preseason game with the team after previously playing in the Canadian Football League. Despite missing no practice time, Elimimian was scratched from the lineup and did not dress for Friday's game.

Also not participating for the Vikings will be several players with injuries that ruled them out previously: running back Adrian Peterson (knee), running back Jordan Todman (ankle), guard Geoff Schwartz (sports hernia surgery), wide receiver Kamar Jorden (hand), offensive tackle DeMarcus Love (pectoral) and tight end John Carlson (knee).

For more on the Vikings, visit The Daily Norseman. Get your inside scoop on the Bills at Buffalo Rumblings. For the rest of the action from Preseason Week 2, go to SB Nation NFL.

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Vikings Vs. Bills: Minnesota's Wide Receiver Battle Worth Watching

None of the Super Bowl talk in the NFC North division is centered around what the Minnesota Vikings are doing. The Packers are still the clear favorite to win the division and make their second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons. The Bears seem to be much improved with the addition of Brandon Marshall, a re-signed Matt Forte and healthy Jay Cutler. There's also the talented, yet troubled Lions who are still knocking on the door of the league's elite.

But the Vikings' team goals are making the most of what they have and turning some heads along the way. That's why the wide receiver battle will be worth watching here, because not much is expected of them or second-year quarterback Christian Ponder, who has had his erratic moments in the preseason and training camp.

Aside from Percy Harvin, Ponder's going to be throwing to backup receivers like Stephen Burton and Kerry Taylor -- no names, essentially. Still, wide receivers coach George Stewart says he feels confident that Minnesota will have five quality receivers when the season opens against the Jaguars.

The mystery is whether or not those are going to come from the guys they already have.

For more on the Vikings, visit The Daily Norseman and SB Nation Minnesota.

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Bills vs. Vikings: Game Time, TV Schedule, Injury Updates And More

The Minnesota Vikings will play the Buffalo Bills in a preseason game Friday night at the Metrodome.

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Minnesota Vikings Training Camp: Percy Harvin, Jared Allen Set to Return Against Buffalo

Minnesota Vikings starting wide receiver Percy Harvin, defensive end Jared Allen, defensive tackle Kevin Williams, and cornerback Antoine Winfield are all scheduled to play in Friday's exhibition game against Buffalo, according to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. All four starters were held out of last week's preseason opener in San Francisco, even though they were healthy.

"We have a number of plays that we want to get to and we'll see how it goes," coach Leslie Frazier said. "But we want to get everybody some action before we get to that third preseason game."

Harvin is thought by many to be the most dynamic player in the Vikings offense, at least until the return of halfback Adrian Peterson, and Allen, Williams, and Winfield are longtime defensive standouts for the team. Needless to say, their return will be welcomed by fans.

Among those who will not play against Buffalo: tight end John Carlson, offensive tackle DeMarcus Love, and the aforementioned Peterson, who returned to practice this week but is unlikely to play for at least another week after tearing multiple ligaments in his knee last season.

For more information on the Vikings, check out The Daily Norseman. For up-to-the-minute news and analysis from the National Football League, go to SB Nation NFL.

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Minnesota Vikings Rookie Josh Robinson Set To Make Debut After Return From Injury

Rookle Josh Robinson figures to see action in his first NFL preseason game this week.

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Harrison Smith Could Start Minnesota Vikings Next Preseason Game

The Minnesota Vikings have had some issues in the past when it comes to the defensive secondary, but they're looking at shoring that up for the upcoming season. Things might even change as soon as this week, too, as Harrison Smith might be inserted into the starting lineup.

The Vikings traded up into the first round for Smith, a former standout for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but he was limited early in training camp. It sounds as though the team is ready to take off his training wheels, though, as head coach Leslie Frazier said on Sunday that he could start this weekend's preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

"We want to see how he performs in that (starter's) role," Frazier said. "He did some good things when he was in there on Friday night."

If Smith is inserted into the starting lineup on Friday night, he'll have made a pretty quick jump considering he began camp behind Jamarca Sanford -- last year's starter -- and Mistral Raymond.

For all news and information regarding the Minnesota Vikings, please visit the Daily Norseman or check out SB Nation Minnesota. For complete coverage of all things football, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

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