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Vikes Drop Opener 24-17

The Minnesota Vikings started out strong in San Diego, finished weak, and ended up losing in the last couple of minutes, 24-17.

The one area of the game where the Vikings were very strong was in special teams, and that showed on the very first play of the year, as Percy Harvin took the opening kickoff and went 103 yards for the touchdown, and the Vikes were up 7-0 15 seconds into the game.

San Diego answered with a big play of their own, as Shaun Phillips tipped and intercepted Donovan McNabb’s first pass of the season, setting up San Diego on Minnesota’s 6 yard line. Three plays later, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers hit running back Mike Tolbert, and the game was tied.

The Vikings offense scored the next 10 points, as they mounted two long drives that ended in a Ryan Longwell 33 yard field goal, and a 3 yard touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb to Michael Jenkins, and at halftime Minnesota had a very impressive 17-7 lead.

But in the second half, Minnesota’s offense failed to come out of the locker room for the second half, and the Chargers ran roughshod over what turned out to be an exhausted Vikings defense. Minnesota ran only 22 offensive plays in the second half, and had no answers for anything San Diego did defensively. They also had a couple of dropped passes, and an inexplicable switch to the Wildcat after they had managed to get a first down, and it was essentially over.

On the day, Donovan McNabb was a measly 7/15 for a platry 39 yards, with the one TD and pick. His counterpart, on the other hand, went 33/48 for 335 yards and two touchdowns.

About the only consistent offense the Vikings had all day was RB Adrian Peterson, who ended up with 98 yards on 16 carries.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.