Sep 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) scores a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Vikings Vs. Jaguars: Minnesota Tops Jacksonville In Overtime Thriller

The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2012 NFL season opener by a final score of 26-23 in overtime.

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2012 NFL Schedule: NFC Packers And Bears Clash, While Lions Take On 49ers

Week 2 of the NFL season kicks off on Thursday night, as the NFL has decided to expand its Thursday night coverage throughout the season this year.

Two NFC North teams square off on Thursday, as the Green Bay Packers play host to the Chicago Bears. Vikings fans will certainly want to tune in, as the match up is not only entertaining, but it's an important game for NFC North teams. A Bears win would put Chicago at 2-0 and Green Bay at 0-2, while a Packers win would have both teams even at 1-1.

With the Vikings taking on Andrew Luck and the rebuilding Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Minnesota has a perfect opportunity to either be two games up on Green Bay to start the season -- or find themselves ahead of both Chicago and Green Bay come Sunday night.

The Detroit Lions have a tough test of their own on Sunday, as they head to San Francisco to take on the 49ers on Sunday Night Football.

Though it's early, the Vikings could find themselves 2-0 on Sunday and atop the NFC North.

For a full list of Week 2's games, head over to SI.com.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 2: Vikings Move Up Slightly

The Minnesota Vikings have moved up a few spots in NFL power rankings from around the web following their 26-23 overtime victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Vikings may have moved up a few spots, but an overtime win over the Jags at home still didn't earn them much respect from the various rankers.

In Joel Thorman's power rankings at SB Nation, the Vikings rose up from 27th to 24th:

24. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 27, 1-0): Adrian Peterson is back, which means I can take Minnesota out of the running for the No. 1 overall pick next year.

Thorman bumped the Vikings up three spots, but his only analysis was that they weren't the worst team in the NFL.

The Vikes didn't get much love elsewhere either. At ESPN they climbed two spots, up from 30th to 28th. And in the rankings from the National Football Post, the Vikings made their biggest movement, a five-spot leap up from 30th to 25th.

Brian Billick of FOX Sports summed up what everyone else was thinking as he moved the Vikings up four spots from 29th to 25th:

Adrian Peterson made for a great storyline, but beating the Jags in OT at home is nothing to brag about. This team isn't very good and every other team in their division could make a case to win the division.

At the top of the rankings there are some discrepancies, but the Patriots are ranked first in all but the SB Nation rankings (which has the Ravens on top). The Ravens, 49ers, and Patriots comprise the top three for all four mentioned sites in one order or another.

For more on the Vikings, check out Daily Norseman and SB Nation Minnesota.

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Blair Walsh Nominated For NFL Rookie Of The Week

Minnesota Vikings rookie kicker Blair Walsh is one of five players nominated for the NFL Rookie of the Week after going four-for-four on field goals in the Vikings' opening victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Walsh kicked a 55-yard field goal to send the game into overtime and won the game with a 39-yard field goal in overtime.

Walsh, a sixth-round pick out of Georgia, is up against some steep competition including Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III for his stellar performance against the New Orleans Saints. The other nominees are New York Jets WR Stephen Hill who caught two TD passes, New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones with five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin who ran for 95 yards.

Fans can vote online and the winner of the award will be announced on Friday.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, check out Daily Norseman and SB Nation Minnesota.

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Matt Kalil Shows He's A Good Blocker On Both Sides Of The Ball

In a game filled with big play after big play, Matt Kalil's block of a Jacksonville Jaguars' extra point in the second quarter may go overlooked. But that play was vital.

The 6-foot-7, 308-pound Kalil blocked Josh Scobee's point after attempt, limiting the Jacksonville lead to 9-0. Had the Jaguars converted that point, the Vikings would not have been able to tie the game at the last second of regulation with a Blair Walsh 55-yard field goal. Instead, the opportunity was still there, Walsh kicked it right down the middle and the Vikings won in overtime.

Kalil knows the value of each and every point, writes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

"My attitude is every point counts," Kalil said. "Whatever I can do to help in any way to stop them from (scoring). Luckily the situation worked out where that helped."

Kalil was a good enough blocker on the offensive side at of the football at USC to warrant a fourth overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, but he was excellent at blocking kicks in college as well. Kalil blocked six field goal or extra point attempts in his college career. He hoped to continue playing on the field goal block team in the NFL and, lucky for him and Minnesota, the Vikings gave him that chance.

For more on the Vikings, head over to the Daily Norseman or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around the NFL, check out SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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Vikings Say They Got Lucky In Win Over Jaguars

The Minnesota Vikings were favored over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, despite both teams being in poor shape a season ago. As the game got closer, more and more people favored Minnesota, but if you were expecting a blowout, you were probably surprised. The Vikings walked away with a 26-23 victory in overtime that inspired little confidence in the team going forward.

But how are the players feeling about all of this? Not great, as it turns out. According to Tom Pelissero of ESPN Twin Cities, All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen says that the Vikings simply got lucky to get out of there with a win on Sunday:

"When you are terrible on first and second down," Allen said, "you get no rhythm for the game and it opens their whole playbook up, so the whole time we are guessing. "We have to be a lot better. Thank God we got lucky and we got a win."

It was the worst in the first half, as the Vikings defense just couldn't get off the field. They missed several tackles and let the Jaguars hold onto the ball for 19 minutes, amassing 170 yards of offense in the process. The luck Allen is referring to can be a lot of things, but it mostly boils down to the first-and-goal play on the Jaguars' opening drive in which Blaine Gabbert missed a totally wide open Justin Blackmon in the end zone.

If not for that bad pass, it's likely Minnesota would be 0-1 right now with a discouraged young quarterback. Instead, they're 1-0 with a long list of things they need to correct before their Week 2 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts rolls around.

For more on the Vikings, head over to the Daily Norseman or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around the NFL, check out SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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Blair Walsh Came Through With Big Kick, Says It Was Awesome

Blair Walsh kicked the game-winning field goal for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon and, shortly thereafter, the rookie was answering questions about his heroics in the locker room.

His quotes make it sound like he was impressed with his performance, but his body language apparently didn't project the same elation.

"It's awesome," Walsh said. "It's really awesome."

Well, Walsh was saying it was "awesome," but he wasn't acting like it was awesome. In fact, he didn't appear overly impressed by his accomplishments in his first regular- season NFL game. It almost was as if he were rifling through his mental files to come up with the proper response for a breathless media.

It'll be interesting to see if he gets anymore excited after his next overtime game-winning field goal.

For more on the Vikings, head over to the Daily Norseman or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around the NFL, check out SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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Vikings Streak Of Sellouts At Metrodome Now Over

The Minnesota Vikings picked up a big win on Sunday afternoon, but the victory wasn't seen live by as many people as the Vikings' ticket office likely hoped. The team was hoping to carry a streak of at least 150 sellouts into the new stadium, but those hopes ended on Sunday at the Metrodome.

The Vikings were about 7,000 fans short of a sellout on Sunday afternoon, according to 1500 ESPN, ending an era that dated back to 1998.

The streak had reached 144 games (including preseason, regular season and playoffs), dating to the 1998 season, and actually ended when exhibition games against Buffalo and San Diego last month failed to fill the Dome.

The Vikings, who went 3-13 last season, announced an attendance of 56,607 for Sunday's 26-23 overtime victory of the Jaguars. The listed seating capacity for the Dome is 63,725.

It'll be interesting to see if Sunday afternoon's exciting overtime win brings the fans back for the next home game.

For more on the Vikings, head over to the Daily Norseman or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around the NFL, check out SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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Jaguars Vs. Vikings Reaction: Ugly Wins Still Count In The Standings

The Minnesota Vikings are undefeated following Sunday afternoon's overtime victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars and, although it took overtime to do it, the win still counts in the standings as the Vikings were one of three teams in the NFC North to start their season with a win.

The one downside is that the win wasn't pretty, of course, but our friends over at Daily Norseman noted that even ugly wins are wins.

I thought that the Vikings had once again managed to find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

And it didn't happen. And it was great. One of the greatest endings to a Vikings game in recent memory, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing it on NFL Rewind this week (because, really, if this wasn't the best game of the week, it was certainly one of the top four, NFL Network).

Vikings fans would surely like to remove the drama, but they can't have too much to complain about this week.

For more on the Vikings, head over to the Daily Norseman or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around the NFL, check out SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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Antoine Winfield Played In Vikings Game Days After Brother's Murder

Antoine Winfield recorded four tackles from his cornerback position during Sunday afternoon's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he did so with a heavy heart. The Vikings veteran missed practice earlier in the week after his brother was murdered, but returned in time to help Minnesota to a season-opening overtime win.

Winfield was listed on Thursday's injury report for "non-injury reasons" and, according to Scout (via Daily Norseman), those reasons had to do with the death of his brother.

Last Wednesday, Antoine Winfield's brother was shot in Akron, Ohio, according to two team sources. The only murder in Akron that night was Anthony Travis, 30, who was shot by an unknown person while standing outside a vehicle, according to police reports. He was hit with multiple gunshots and was pronounced dead at 12:29 a.m. Nobody has been arrested and Akron police are investigating the homicide.

Hopefully the murderer is apprehended soon. For now, our condolences go out to the family.

For more on the Vikings, head over to the Daily Norseman or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around the NFL, check out SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Minnesota Get Thrilling Overtime Win, 26-23

They didn't make it easy. . .something that their fans are used to. . .but the Minnesota Vikings put together what might have been the most thrilling victory of Week 1 with a 26-23 overtime victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

Things got off to a really slow start for the Vikings, as they didn't really move the ball much in the first half. Jacksonville scored the first nine points of the game, starting things off with a 19-yard field goal from Josh Scobee in the first quarter to make it 3-0, and a 1-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to Marcedes Lewis to make their lead 9-0 early in the second quarter. It was only a 9-0 lead rather than 10-0 because Vikings' safety Mistral Raymond appeared to get a hand on Scobee's extra point attempt, causing it to go wide left.

Quarterback Christian Ponder, who struggled mightily early on, put together a very nice drive to end the first half for the Vikings, moving the team 59 yards in seven plays, setting up Adrian Peterson's first touchdown run of the season. The two-yard plunge by the returning Peterson allowed the Vikings to cut the lead to 9-7 going into the locker room at halftime.

The Vikings wasted little time getting on the board in the second half, as Gabbert fumbled a snap from center Brad Meester to give the Vikings the ball on the Jacksonville 44-yard line. Four plays later, Adrian Peterson was making his way into the end zone again, this time from two yards out to give Minnesota a 14-9 lead early in the third quarter.

From there, the teams seemed content to exchange field goals. Scobee hit one from 26 yards out to make the score 14-12, but Blair Walsh answered with one for the Vikings from 20 yards away to increase the Vikings' lead back to five at 17-12 early in the fourth quarter. On the next drive, Scobee connected from 47 to make it 17-15 in favor of Minnesota, but then Walsh hit another as well, as his 42-yarder once again put the Vikings ahead by five points at 20-15.

Then, all heck broke loose.

On the Jaguars' last possession of regulation, Gabbert drove the Jaguars 76 yards in six plays in under a minute with no time outs. The final play of the drive saw Gabbert hit Cecil Shorts for a diving, tumbling touchdown from 39 yards out to make the score 21-20 in favor of the Jaguars. When Gabbert hit rookie Justin Blackmon for a two-point conversion with 20 seconds left on the clock, it looked bleak for the Vikings.

But the Vikings weren't finished.

After the Vikings took the kickoff to the Jacksonville 35-yard line, Ponder found Devin Aromashodu for a 26 yard completion to the Jacksonville 43-yard line. Ponder then found tight end Kyle Rudolph for six more yards to the Jacksonville 37. From there, Walsh came in for the biggest kick of his young career, a 55-yarder from the right hash. Walsh left no doubt, drilling the kick down the middle with room to spare, tying the game at 23 and sending the 2012 NFL season opener into overtime.

Minnesota won the overtime coin toss and elected to take the ball first. Adrian Peterson picked up 33 yards on the first three plays of the extra frame (30 on the ground and a three-yard reception) and Ponder then hit Aromashodu for another 17 yards down to the Jacksonville 25-yard line. However, the drive stalled from there, and Walsh was called upon again for his fourth try of the afternoon. He connected once again from 38 yards out to give the Vikings a 26-23 lead.

Per the new overtime rules, the Jaguars got an opportunity to have the football, and started from their own 23-yard line. Gabbert threw incomplete on first down, and Maurice Jones-Drew gained eight yards on second. Rookie safety Harrison Smith made a diving pass breakup on third down to bring up a fourth down situation for the Jaguars, and Gabbert inexplicably threw deep into double coverage on fourth down. The pass fell incomplete, and the Vikings escaped with a 26-23 victory to start the 2012 season.

Peterson made a definite impact in his return, carrying the ball 14 times for 84 yards and the two touchdowns. Those 84 yards make him the Vikings' all-time rushing leader with 6,836 yards. Going into the day, Robert Smith was the Vikings' all-time rushing leader with 6,818 yards. While Smith needed 98 career games to amass that many yards, Peterson passed him in his 74th game as a Viking. Congratulations to Peterson on his accomplishment.

Ponder, much maligned by his critics for most of the off-season, completed 20-of-27 passes for 270 yards and, though he didn't have any touchdown passes on the day, did a very good job of running the offense, particularly in the second half. Percy Harvin led the Vikings in receiving on the afternoon with six grabs for 84 yards, and Kyle Rudolph chipped in five catches for 67 more.

The Vikings are currently in a tie for first place in the NFC North, as the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions also won their games this afternoon. Next week, the Vikings will travel to take on the team that the Bears defeated on Sunday afternoon, the Indianapolis Colts and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Game Going To Overtime

It's been quite the flurry in the last couple of minutes at the Metrodome, but we'll try to recap it for you.

The Jaguars put together an impressive drive down the field on their final possession, capping it with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to Cecil Shorts with 20 seconds left in the game. The two-point conversion from Gabbert to Justin Blackmon made the score 23-20.

However, Christian Ponder completed a couple of passes for the Vikings, one to Devin Aromashodu and another to Kyle Rudolph to put the Vikings on Jacksonville's 38-yard line.

In came rookie Blair Walsh to attempt a 55-yard field goal to tie the game, and he left no doubt, drilling the kick down the middle with room to spare as time ran out, and we are tied at 23 and headed to overtime at the Metrodome in the 2012 season opener.

Minnesota won the overtime coin toss and will get the ball first. We'll have all the action for you right here.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Blair Walsh Connects Again

The Minnesota Vikings are more than happy to exchange field goals with the Jacksonville Jaguars, as long as it keeps them in the lead, it appears.

Minnesota once again put together a decent drive, moving the ball 57 yards in nine plays. It appeared as though they were going to have a 4th-and-1 situation inside the 20, but a holding penalty on Charlie Johnson was accepted by the Jaguars. . .a strange move, to say the least. But the Jaguars got away with it, as Christian Ponder's pass went off the hands of Kyle Rudolph on third-and-11.

Blair Walsh, the rookie from Georgia, then came in and hit his second field goal of the afternoon, this one from 42 yards out, to once again give the Minnesota Vikings a five-point lead, this time at 20-15.

The time is getting short at the Metrodome, as the clock is now showing 5:33 remaining in the season opener. Can the Vikings hold on for the victory? Keep it tuned right here to SB Nation Minnesota to find out.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Jacksonville Back Within Two After Another Field Goal

The field goal exchange continues in Minneapolis, as Josh Scobee has put the Jacksonville Jaguars on the board again, pulling the Jaguars to within two points of the Minnesota Vikings at 17-15.

Jacksonville started at their own 20-yard line, and moved the ball 51 yards in ten plays to get into Minnesota territory. The Jacksonville drive was aided by a somewhat questionable personal foul penalty on Letroy Guion on a play where the Vikings sacked Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert was down, and Guion fell on top of him to down him for the sack. . .or so he thought. However, the officials deemed that Gabbert was already down, and that Guion's hit was late.

The Jaguars' drive eventually stalled, and Scobee drilled a field goal from 47 yards out to make the score 17-15.

The Vikings are taking over at their own 20-yard line after a touchback. With 9:35 left in the 2012 NFL season opener, the Minnesota Vikings hold a slim lead over the Jacksonville Jaguars, 17-15.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Blair Walsh's First NFL Field Goal Makes It 17-12

The Minnesota Vikings got themselves a very nice drive after allowing a field goal to cut their lead to 14-12, but had to settle for a field goal of their own to put the lead back to five.

The Vikings drove the ball 75 yards in 11 plays, including a very nice pass from Christian Ponder to tight end Kyle Rudolph that put the Vikings at first and goal from the Jacksonville 4-yard line. However, the Vikings couldn't get it into the end zone in three tries, and Minnesota had to settle for a 20-yard field goal from rookie Blair Walsh to make the Vikings' lead five points again at 17-12.

Rudolph is currently leading the Vikings in receiving with four catches and 61 yards. Ponder is currently 12-for-17 for 156 yards. Adrian Peterson is still at 10 carries for 48 yards and his two touchdowns.

With 12:45 left in the fourth quarter of play, the Minnesota Vikings lead the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 17-12.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Christian Ponder's Fumble Leads To Jacksonville Field Goal

The Jacksonville Jaguars made the first big mistake of this afternoon's game, and the Minnesota Vikings took advantage with a touchdown. The Vikings then made the second big mistake, but the Minnesota defense held the Jaguars to three points.

After forcing a Jacksonville punt, Christian Ponder went back to pass on the Vikings' first offensive play, and started to step up in the pocket. He was stripped of the ball, and former Vikings defensive tackle C.J. Mosley came out of the pile with the recovery. Jacksonville took over at the Minnesota 16-yard line, but could only gain eight yards. Jacksonville had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Josh Scobee, and the Vikings' lead went back to two points at 14-12.

The Vikings are putting together another decent drive as we speak, moving into Jacksonville territory. For now, with about two minutes left in the third quarter of play, the Minnesota Vikings lead the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 14-12.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Adrian Peterson Finds The End Zone Again

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made the first big mistake in their season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, and the home team took advantage to take their first lead of the afternoon.

The Jaguars were driving on their first possession of the second half, but a bad quarterback/center exchange between Brad Meester and Blaine Gabbert put the ball on the ground, and Kevin Williams got the recovery at the Jacksonville 44-yard line. From there, the Vikings went to work. Adrian Peterson took the ball 19 yards on the first play of the drive, and Christian Ponder found Percy Harvin for 19 more down to the Jacksonville 6-yard line.

Peterson handled it from there again, getting two more carries and eventually taking it into the end zone from three yards out. It's his second touchdown of the afternoon, and the Blair Walsh extra point put the Vikings ahead by a tally of 14-9.

By the way, Peterson is now just 19 yards away from passing Robert Smith to become the Minnesota Vikings all-time rushing leader. Right now, he has 10 carries for 48 yards on the afternoon.

This could be the start of some positive momentum for the Vikings. Now it's up to the defense. . .a unit that has had its problems today. . .to maintain it.

With 9:38 left in the third quarter at the Metrodome, the Minnesota Vikings now lead the Jacksonville Jaguars, 14-9.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Animation Of Adrian Peterson's Touchdown Run

In case you missed it, have a look at the touchdown run for Adrian Peterson that pulled the Vikings within 9-7 at the half.


A couple of things about this run that you have to feel pretty good about if you're a fan of the Minnesota Vikings.

First of all, the hole that Peterson had to run through was pretty sizeable. Nice job by the Vikings' offensive line of opening things up for him.

Second of all, he made a really nice cut in order to get through the hole, which shows that he's not really thinking about his injured knee too much. That's a positive sign, since it would probably be harder for him to do those sorts of things if his mind was on re-injuring himself.

So, Adrian Peterson is showing some good signs in his first game back from a serious injury. Hopefully the rest of his teammates will continue showing some signs as well.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Adrian Peterson Finds The End Zone Just Before The Half

Ladies and gentlemen, all is right in the National Football League. Adrian Peterson has found the end zone for the Minnesota Vikings, getting the team back to within two points of the Jacksonville Jaguars at 9-7.

After forcing the Jaguars to go three-and-out just before the two-minute warning, the Vikings started out at their own 41-yard line. They started the drive off right, getting the ball to Percy Harvin three consecutive times for 32 yards to move the ball into Jacksonville territory. After an 8-yard run by Peterson, Christian Ponder found receiver Michael Jenkins for a 14-yard gain to put the Vikings at first-and-goal from the Jacksonville 5-yard line.

Peterson handled the rest from there, carrying the ball on the next two plays. The second one was a three-yard touchdown run for his first score since Christmas Eve of last year against the Washington Redskins.

The Vikings really struggled to move the ball in the first half before coming alive at the end. Christian Ponder, thanks largely to that final drive, is now 7-for-11 for 78 yards on the afternoon. Harvin has three catches for 32 yards, as does tight end Kyle Rudolph. Adrian Peterson has carried the ball seven times for 23 yards and a touchdown.

We've hit halftime at the Metrodome in the 2012 season opener, and the Minnesota Vikings trail the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 9-7.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Blaine Gabbert To Marcedes Lewis Makes Jacksonville Lead 9-0

This are still going badly for the Minnesota Vikings in the season opener, as the Jacksonville Jaguars have just increased their lead to 9-0 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

After another three and out by the Vikings. . .one that saw Adrian Peterson carry the ball all three times. . .the Jaguars went on yet another long drive, going 78 yards in 11 plays and taking seven more minutes off of the clock. The drive concluded with a one-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to tight end Marcedes Lewis for the score. Jacksonville's Josh Scobee missed the extra point, and so we stand at 9-0.

The Jaguars have 11 first downs on the afternoon. The Vikings have one, and it came on their first play from scrimmage. Jacksonville has outgained Minnesota 169 to 34 thus far, and have had possession for a whopping 18:09, compared to just 6:30 for the Vikings. Jacksonville has run 32 offensive plays, while the Vikings have only run 10. That's a big reason why the score currently sits where it does.

With 5:21 remaining in the first half in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 9-0.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Jacksonville Gets On Board First, Leads 3-0

We are underway at the Metrodome in the season opener between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Minnesota Vikings, and the visitors have gotten on the board first.

The Vikings managed one first down on their opening drive, when Christian Ponder found Kyle Rudolph for 14 yards on the first play from scrimmage. They had to punt shortly thereafter, however, and the Jaguars marched the ball down the field. Jacksonville, behind quarterback Blaine Gabbert, converted four consecutive third downs on the drive, and they pushed the ball inside the Minnesota 5-yard line.

The Vikings defense stiffened up from there, however, and the Jaguars had to settle for a 19-yard field goal from kicker Josh Scobee to take an early 3-0 lead. The team dodged a bullet when Gabbert missed a wide open Justin Blackmon in the end zone, so they should be happy to have only given up three points.

Jacksonville's drive covered 77 yards in 17 plays, and took 9:22 off of the clock.

With just under three minutes left in the first quarter of play, the Jacksonville Jaguars lead the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 3-0.

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Jaguars At Vikings: Inactive Lists For Both Teams

We're about an hour and a half away from the start of the 2012 NFL season and the Week 1 match-up at the Metrodome between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Minnesota Vikings. Both teams have released their lists of inactive players for this afternoon's contest.

We'll start with the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars.

OL Josh Beekman
CB Derek Cox
DE Austen Lane
DT Jeris Pendleton
WR Brian Robiskie
DE George Selvie
LB Daryl Smith

The big names on that list are Cox and Smith, as they are both starters for the Jaguars. Smith, in particular, is the Jaguars' best coverage linebacker, which could mean big things for tight ends Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson this afternoon.

Now, for the Minnesota Vikings.

OL Mark Asper
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson
LB Audie Cole
CB A.J. Jefferson
LB Marvin Mitchell
S Andrew Sendejo
WR Jarius Wright

Running back Adrian Peterson is not only active, but is being listed as the starter at running back ahead of Toby Gerhart. Peterson will probably get between 10-15 touches. None of the Vikings' other inactives are really that big a deal, as they're all backups. In the case of Jefferson and Asper, they're simply too new to the team to contribute this early.

We're getting closer to game time, folks. Keep it right here for all the latest updates!

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Jaguars Vs. Vikings: Game Time, TV Schedule, Injury Updates And More

Adrian Peterson did not take a snap during preseason action after injuring his ACL last year, but the Vikings' running back could finally see action when Minnesota hosts Jacksonville Sunday.

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Vikings Worked Out Pair Of Offensive Linemen

The Minnesota Vikings have eight offensive linemen currently listed on their 53-man roster, but the team might be interested in adding or exchanging at least one more.

The Vikings worked out Tony Hills and Stanley Daniels on Friday afternoon, according to the Pioneer Press, as they continue to assess their options with after recently adding fellow free agent Mark Asper off of waivers.

Hills spent 2008-10 with the Steelers and 2011 with the Broncos before being released last week. Daniels played seven games with four starts for the Broncos in 2010.

Considering the Vikings didn't sign either immediately after the workout, the chances of them being added to the roster probably aren't great. Geoff Schwartz will continue to heal up from his sports hernia surgery and Asper will have another week of practices under his belt by the time next week rolls around.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Vikings Inactive List Still Up In Air For Sunday's Game

The Minnesota Vikings will have some pretty easy decisions with their inactive list for Sunday's season-opening game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the seven players stuck on the sidelines won't all be no-brainers.

The Vikings have five players who will likely be included on the inactive list, according to the Pioneer Press, due to injury and inexperience.

Three players with ankle injuries -- receiver Jarius Wright, linebacker Marvin Mitchell and safety Andrew Sendejo -- did not practice Friday and are doubtful for the game. Last week's two new acquisitions, cornerback A.J. Jefferson and offensive lineman Mark Asper, still are learning the scheme and probably won't be ready.

The remainder of that list will like include McLeod Bethel-Thompson -- the team's third quarterback -- and someone still to be decided. Whether that seventh player is going to be Adrian Peterson will be a game-time decision.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Adrian Peterson Likely To Be Game-Time Decision

Adrian Peterson's status was supposed to be decided by Saturday morning, but it's looking more and more likely like he'll be a game-time decision. Head coach Leslie Frazier said it just doesn't make sense to make a decision sooner than he has to regarding the Minnesota Vikings' All-Pro running back.

Peterson has said he's ready to play, but the Vikings have decided to wait ... and wait, according to Frazier.

"There's no reason to make a decision before Sunday," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said after today's practice. "We're going to talk with him again tomorrow to see how he feels."

Until Thursday, Frazier had been saying it would be a game-time decision. But Thursday came and he said the team would know Friday night or Saturday whether Peterson will play.

It'll be interesting to see the final decision, but it sounds like he'll play regardless -- the only thing still up in the air is likely how much he plays.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Vikings Injury Update: Ankle Injuries Leave Three Players Questionable For Opener

Three Vikings players are questionable for Sunday's opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars while nursing ankle injuries.

Wide receiver Jarius Wright, linebacker Marvin Mitchell and safety Andrew Sendejo all did not practice Thursday, and head coach Leslie Frazier was not optimistic about their availability, according to the Pioneer Press.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield missed Thursday's practice due to personal issues, but was expected to return on Friday. The Pioneer Press also said safety Mistral Raymond has practiced well since suffering back spasms in the preseason and is expected to start on Sunday. Frazier said earlier that Raymond would start if he was healthy, and that appears to be the case.

Some more good news for Vikings fans is that Sunday's game will not be blacked out.

For more on the Vikings; check out Daily Norseman and SB Nation Minnesota. For Jags coverage, check out Big Cat Country. Be sure to play SB Nation's Pick 6 Football every week this season.

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NFL Picks Week 1: Jaguars Vs. Vikings Has Experts Split

Most NFL analysts are split on who will win Sunday's season-opener between the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Of ESPN's 14 NFL experts, eight are picking Minnesota to win. Three of the eight analysts at CBS Sports think the Vikings will win. Two of the three at Yahoo! Sports predict a Vikings win.

Both teams struggled last season. Minnesota finished 3-13 and Jacksonville was 5-11. Both also come into this season with young, unproven quarterbacks in Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert. The Vikings will limit star running back Adrian Peterson as he's still recovering from knee surgery. The Jaguars will also limit their star running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, who just recently reported to the team after a lengthy holdout. Jones-Drew is expected to be the team's third down back in week one.

Stick with this StoryStream for more coverage of the Vikings in Week 1. For all things Vikings, The Daily Norseman has you covered.

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Vikings Submit Bid To Host 2018 Super Bowl At New Stadium

The Minnesota Vikings have put in a bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl at their new stadium, ESPN reported. The decision on where to hold the 2018 Super Bowl is expected to be made at the NFL's 2014 spring meetings, and the stadium is expected to be completed in time for the 2016 season. "We're determined to bring a Super Bowl to Minnesota," said Lester Bagley, Vikings' vice president of public affairs and stadium development.

NFL policy is generally to hold the Super Bowl at stadiums in warm-weather locations or in domes, and the Vikings' new stadium is expected to have some type of roof. Whether it is retractable or permanent is unknown at this time.
The Vikings last hosted the superbowl in 1992, at the Metrodome.

Stick with this StoryStream for more coverage of the Vikings in Week 1. For all things Vikings, The Daily Norseman has you covered. And don't miss SB Nation on YouTube:

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Vikings Blackout Not Happening For Opening Week

The Minnesota Vikings haven't had a home blackout since 1997, and according to the Pioneer Press' Charley Walters, fans won't have to worry about missing this weekend's opener with Jacksonville on local television either.

Despite early concerns about a lack of ticket sales, Walters reports that the threshold of roughly 57,600 tickets will be met in time to avoid the blackout taking effect. After a new NFL rule was passed this offseason to lessen the chance of blackouts happening by permitting teams to reduce capacity numbers all the way down to 85 percent, the Vikings quickly made the decision to adjust their limit to 90 percent of their estimated 64,000 capacity.

And based on the outlook for Sunday, Minnesota's decision to take advantage of the new rule looks like a wise one. The Jacksonville Jaguars are hardly the most marketable opponent on the schedule, especially during a rebuilding year. Thankfully for fans though, it doesn't appear the Vikings' blackout streak will be in jeopardy with the team only needing to reach 90 percent capacity in order to keep games on television.

Head over to Daily Norseman for more Vikings coverage, and be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL hub for more news from around the league.

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Mistral Raymond Will Likely Start For Vikings If He's Healthy

The Minnesota Vikings have yet to name Mistral Raymond the starter at safety alongside rookie first-round pick Harrison Smith, but it's not for lack of production on Raymond's part. The team simply wants to see if Raymond is healthy before they give him the nod over Jamarca Sanford.

Jeremy Fowler of The Pioneer Press had a quote from Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier on the matter, in which he talks about the situation:

"We want to see Mistral go through some things, with all the time that he missed toward the end," said Frazier on Wednesday, Sept. 5. "I just talked with Jamarca a few minutes ago just about that, just telling him to be patient, let us take a look at some things the next couple of days and we'll make a decision as the week goes on. But we have confidence in the both of them, and we'll make the right decision."

In other words, Raymond needs to show that his back spasms in Week 3 of the preseason didn't set him back on his progression. If he shows he's still the same player in practice and he doesn't regress on the injury front, he should get the nod ahead of Sanford.

But if Sanford is named the starter, he'll be ready. Sanford is coming into his fourth year in the NFL, and started 15 games a season ago. He's a core special teams player and while he doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, he's been a solid performer at the safety position in the past. Raymond out-played him in the preseason to essentially earn the starting nod, but this could be Sanford's chance to make things interesting again.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Week 1 NFL Picks: Jaguars Vs. Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings open their season on Sunday when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. ET. The Vikings and Jaguars are both looking to put subpar 2011 seasons behind them and start 2012 on the right foot. The Vikings finished 2011 with a 3-13 record, while the Jaguars went 5-11. Both teams finished their season with rookie quarterbacks who they are hoping can lead them to big things in 2012; Christian Ponder for the Vikes and Blaine Gabbert for the Jags.

The story of the season opener is the running back situation for both teams as the role of stars Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew are in question. Peterson is still recovering from a torn ACL and MCL he suffered last December and it has been announced that he will play in a limited role if he plays at all on Sunday. For the Jaguars, MJD will not be the starter thanks to his lengthy offseason holdout. Toby Gerhart and Rashad Jennings will get the starts in place of the star running backs.

With both teams in similar positions, this figures to be a complete toss up. The Jaguars had the stronger defense in 2011, but the Vikings have homefield. When all else fails, pick the home team.

Final Score Prediction: Vikings 13, Jaguars 10

For more on the Vikings; check out Daily Norseman and SB Nation Minnesota. For Jags coverage, check out Big Cat Country. Be sure to play SB Nation's Pick 6 Football every week this season.

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Marcus Sherels Sticking Around In Minnesota

Every NFL team has a player who has beaten the odds to make the roster, and with the Minnesota Vikings that's cornerback and special teams maven Marcus Sherels. Sherels went undrafted out of the University of Minnesota in 2010 but made the team in 2011. In 2012, he faced a host of corners who were highly drafted and came with more sterling reputations, but once again he made the squad.

"You've got to credit his tenacity," coach Leslie Frazier said. "He's one of those guys who's a little bit undersized, but he plays a lot bigger than he is. And he's a multipurpose guy. He does a good job for us on special teams."

(via TwinCities.com)

Last season, Sherels had 23 tackles, including a sack of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He also totalled 277 punt return yards.

Stick with SB Nation Minnesota for more coverage of the Vikings, or head over to The Daily Norseman. For news and analysis from all 32 teams across the league, SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub has you covered.

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Vikings Depth Chart: Minnesota Updates Depth Chart As Week 1 Nears

The Vikings have issued a new depth chart for their Week 1 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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A.J. Jefferson Looking Forward To New Beginning With Vikings

Cornerback A.J. Jefferson, who was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings from the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a conditional 2013 draft pick, is excited to be getting a fresh start. Jefferson started seven games for Arizona last year before losing his job, and with Minnesota he'll get a chance to prove himself all over again. Jefferson told the press on Wednesday that he's had an easy time transitioning to the Vikings system.

"It should be an easy transition," he said. "Football is football wherever you go. Terminology is a little different, playbook's a little different, that's about it."

(via TwinCities.com)

Jefferson was an undrafted free agent out of Fresno State in 2010, but he made Arizona's roster out of camp that year. For his career, he has 66 tackles and an interception.

Stick with SB Nation Minnesota for more coverage of the Vikings, or head over to The Daily Norseman. For news and analysis from all 32 teams across the league, SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub has you covered.

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Sticking With Christian Ponder As Starter Is The Right Move, Fran Tarkenton Says

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder will have to prove himself in 2012, but he's already got one notable backer: legendary Vikings QB Frank Tarkenton.

In a column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Tarkenton thinks that the Vikings are making the right decision in going with former first-round draft pick Ponder as the team's starter:

The Vikings are committing to Ponder, and it tells me the leadership on this team really gets it. The Vikings understand the only way to achieve real, sustainable success is by finding a great quarterback. Even though Joe Webb is a really talented guy, you have to know who is The Guy at quarterback.

(via TwinCities.com)

Tarkenton believes that Ponder knowing he's the undisputed starter will allow him to play with freedom, and the Pro Football Hall of Famer sees the second-year signal-caller making a huge leap in 2012.

Stick with SB Nation Minnesota for more coverage of the Vikings, or head over to The Daily Norseman. For news and analysis from all 32 teams across the league, SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub has you covered.

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Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson Cleared To Absorb More Contact In Practice

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has to get hit on his legs at some point before the team can get him back on the field for extended reps in games, and it appears the real hitting on Peterson is now taking place.

Peterson still cannot be hit below the waist, but he will absorb more contact.

Peterson is coming back from reconstructive knee surgery and is expected to be limited against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, if he even plays.

The limitations on how much Peterson can be hit have been removed.

Peterson has been practicing for three weeks since being activated off of the PUP list. A decision might not come until just before game time on Sunday.

Stick with SB Nation Minnesota for more coverage of the Vikings, or head over to The Daily Norseman. For news and analysis from all 32 teams across the league, SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub has you covered.

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NFL 2012 Schedule: Vikings Among NFC North Teams With Favorable Week 1 Matchup

The NFC North projects to be among the strongest conferences in the NFL this season and on paper it appears at least three of the teams have a favorable matchup for Week 1 to get off to a strong start.

After the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants kick off the season on Wednesday night, the four teams from the NFC North will start the 2012 season on Sunday afternoon. The Minnesota Vikings have several remaining questions heading into Week 1 with youth and injuries at key positions. Their opening game at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team with similar questions surrounding them, should provide some answers for Minnesota.

The Chicago Bears also have a favorable opener with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck making his first start with the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field. Luck and the Colts are clearly rebuilding while the Bears are looking to get off to a quick start in the division.

The Detroit Lions also have their sights set on winning the NFC North and will be heavy favorites at home when they host the St. Louis Rams.

The Green Bay Packers are the one NFC North team facing a strong Super Bowl contender when they host the San Francisco 49ers at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday at Lambeau Field. That's the type of matchup in Green Bay that brings visions of snow flurries and bundled-up fans, but the forecast for Week 1 in Green Bay includes sunshine and temperatures in the 70s.

Stick with SB Nation Minnesota for more coverage of the Vikings, or head over to The Daily Norseman. For news and analysis from all 32 teams across the league, SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub has you covered.

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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings At No. 27

The Minnesota Vikings have been ranked No. 27 in SB Nation's latest NFL Power Rankings, coming in near the bottom of the league due to concerns over Adrian Peterson's health:

27. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 30): Adrian Peterson is a freak but his knee worries me. That's a lot of damage and a quick recovery time. Once he shows me he's healthy, they'll move up in these rankings.

Peterson's recovery is progressing steadily, but it is unclear whether he will play in the season-opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, with the latest news being that it will be a game-time decision. Even if he does play, he's likely to see a very limited number of snaps.

Stick with SB Nation Minnesota for more coverage of the Vikings, or head over to The Daily Norseman. For news and analysis from all 32 teams across the league, SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub has you covered.

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Vikings Roster Cuts: Minnesota Sticking With 3 Young Quarterbacks

By cutting Sage Rosenfels, the Minnesota Vikings have left themselves with just three young quarterbacks heading into the 2012 regular season.

Christian Ponder is the clear starter, of course, with Joe Webb as the backup and free-agent signee McLeod Bethel-Thompson as the No. 3. As for why Minnesota would go with a young guy over a veteran, coach Leslie Frazier said it was Bethel-Thompson's upside that was most appealing, according to the Star Tribune.

"You never know in our business," Frazier said. "You know, right now Joe Webb is our No. 2 quarterback. We're hoping that Joe will continue to progress and get better, but we're going to give Bethel every chance to develop into a good NFL quarterback."

For more on the Vikings, keep an eye on Daily Norseman and SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, head over to SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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Adrian Peterson Says He's Not Injury Prone

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has missed only seven games in his five-year NFL career, but after blowing out his knee at the end of the 2011 season, Peterson is beating back the notion that he's "jinxed."

"No I don't think I'm jinxed at all," Peterson said. "That [first injury] happened my junior year. I'm five years in [the NFL]. That's a good span of time without having any serious injuries."

(via Minnesota Star-Tribune)

The first injury that Peterson is referring to is when he broke his collarbone as a junior at Oklahoma, which forced him to miss seven games that year. The notion of Peterson as fragile mostly dates back to his time at Oklahoma, where he dislocated a shoulder as a freshman and missed time as a sophomore with a high ankle sprain. Concern about Peterson's durability is cited as the main reason why he dropped all the way to No. 7 overall in the 2007 draft.

For more Vikings news and analysis, check out Daily Norseman or check out SB Nation Minnesota. Also make sure to check out SB Nation's NFL hub for more football news.

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Vikings Depth Chart: Toby Gerhart Prepared To Start

Minnesota Vikings RB Toby Gerhart is ready to assume the starting role if Adrian Peterson is not ready to go.

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Vikings Depth Chart: Brandon Fusco Expected To Be Regular Season Starter At RG

The Minnesota Vikings look to have reached a resolution on their final offensive line position, as second-year player Brandon Fusco is expected to open the regular season as the team's starting right guard, according to the Pioneer Press.

Though Fusco was not assured of anything other than a backup role heading into camp, a combination of lackluster play and injuries from his competitors made the decision much easier for Vikings coach Leslie Frazier. "There's nothing anyone else has done to unseat him," Frazier said on Tuesday.

The 6'4", 306-pound Fusco was taken in the sixth round by Minnesota in 2011, and has already defied the odds to become an NFL starter in just over one full season. A product of Pennsylvania's Slippery Rock University, a Division II school, Fusco figures to be in store for a breakthrough campaign after only suiting up for three games as a rookie.

Stay with this StoryStream for more Vikings preseason coverage, and head over to Daily Norseman for more news on the team. Also visit SB Nation's NFL hub for even more analysis from around the league.

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