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Pats rebound against Peterson-less Vikings

Sep 14, 2014 - 10:47 PM Minneapolis, MN ( - Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass, Stevan Ridley ran for another score and the New England Patriots rolled to a 30-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium.

Brady passed for only 149 yards, but was aided by a New England defense that picked off Minnesota quarterback Matt Cassel four times. The Patriots scored 17 points off the interceptions.

Ridley had 101 yards on 25 carries for New England (1-1), which rebounded from a season-opening loss at Miami. The Patriots last dropped its first two games of a season in 2001.

Cassel threw for 202 yards, 75 coming on the game's opening drive that ended in a touchdown pass to Matt Asiata.

The Vikings (1-1), coming off a win at St. Louis, played without Adrian Peterson. The club deactivated the running back after he was indicted by a grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child.

"No, it didn't affect the team. You know what affected the team? Throwing interceptions, getting a field goal blocked, not tackling well enough, having penalties on defense. That's what affected the team," Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer said when asked if the news about Peterson was a distraction.

The Vikings moved down the field effortlessly to begin the game as New England struggled mightily covering their tight ends.

Asiata, Peterson's replacement, took a short toss from Cassel to the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. Cordarrelle Patterson had drawn the defense's attention with a fake jet sweep, leaving Asiata wide open on the right side of the field.

"They got us early in the game on some misdirection plays," said New England head coach Bill Belichick, who earned his 200th career regular-season win.

Cassel's next pass was picked off downfield by Devin McCourty, whose 60-yard return to the one-yard line set up Ridley's touchdown run.

Offensive lineman Dan Connolly recovered a Julian Edelman fumble on the next England series, allowing Stephen Gostkowski to kick a go-ahead 48-yard field goal.

Darrelle Revis made his first interception with the Patriots early in the second quarter. The turnover led to Brady hitting Edelman for a 9-yard touchdown in the back left corner of the end zone. Brady converted a 3rd- and-14 earlier in the drive when he connected with Edelman for 44 yards.

The Vikings looked to trim their deficit before halftime, but Chandler Jones blocked Blair Walsh's field goal and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown.

"Huge play and we work on it every week," Belichick said about the play by Jones. "It's great to see it happen the way it did and see that hard work from practice pay off and become reality in the game."

Cassel was picked off by Logan Ryan on Minnesota's first possession of the third quarter. The Patriots again cashed in as Gostkowski drilled a 47-yarder.

Gostkowski kicked a 27-yarder to begin the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

Belichick became the sixth head coach in NFL history to reach 200 career regular-season wins and the fourth fastest to reach the mark at only 306 games ... Brady (149) moved into sole possession of third place for the most career wins as a starting quarterback in NFL history. He had been tied with John Elway ... The Patriots won their 12th straight game against the NFC North and improved to 8-4 all-time versus Minnesota ... The Vikings haven't started 2-0 since 2009.