Vikings roll over Chargers 31-14
MINNEAPOLIS — For the second straight week, the Vikings defense overwhelmed an opposing offense and battered their quarterback in a convincing victory at TCF Bank Stadium. This time it was the San Diego Chargers, whom they defeated, 31-14, and it was Philip Rivers who was hit several times, including one especially hard one that left him clutching his rib cage.
The Vikings sacked Rivers four times, forced him to fumble once and pressured him into an interception before he found shelter on the sideline midway through the fourth quarter. And they got enough another big day from running back Adrian Peterson.
Peterson finished the game with 126 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. It was the 30-year-old back's second straight game with at least 100 rushing yards.
Peterson made the play of the game with a vintage touchdown run in the third quarter. He side-stepped a tackle in the backfield and stiff-armed another Chargers defender to the ground as he ran around the right end. He broke another tackle before reversing field for a 43-yard touchdown that put the Vikings up, 17-7.
Fullback Zach Line also scored in the third quarter, his second TD in as many weeks.
The Vikings sealed the victory, if it hadn't been sealed already, early in the fourth quarter when outside linebacker Chad Greenway intercepted a deflected pass and followed a convoy of blockers down the sideline for a 91-yard touchdown return.
The Vikings got on the board first with a 24-yard field goal from kicker Blair Walsh after outside linebacker Anthony Barr forced Rivers to fumble deep in Chargers territory. They increased their lead to 10-0 in the second quarter when Peterson capped off a long Vikings scoring drive with his first touchdown run in 22 months.
The Chargers scored late in the second quarter after Rivers found wide receiver Malcom Floyd for a 39-yard gain on 3rd and 18. Four plays later, Rivers connected with Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, who caught the pass between cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Andrew Sendejo, and ran it in for a 34-yard touchdown.
Sendejo collided with Rhodes on the play. Rhodes, whose head got snapped backward by the safety, lay face down on the turf for a couple of minutes before being helped to the locker room. Rhodes was examined for a concussion at halftime and did not return. Trae Waynes, the team's first-round draft pick, replaced Rhodes in the second half.
The Vikings, now 2-1, travel to Denver next week to play Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
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