Falcons
Vikings
3 - 24 Final
  for this game

Vikings drub Vick-less Falcons

Sep 9, 2007 - 10:25 PM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Minnesota Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson did not take long to acclimate himself to the NFL.

Peterson - the seventh pick in this year's draft - set a team record for most yards rushing in a first NFL game, leading the Vikings to a 24-3 season-opening victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

In his first regular season game, Peterson got a little more work than he expected after starting running back Chester Taylor left the game in the first quarter with a hip contusion and did not return.

A rookie from Oklahoma, Peterson rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries and showed his big-play ability by taking a swing pass 60 yards for his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the Vikings (1-0) a 17-3 lead.

"I kind of got a bobble there for a second, but I was able to pull it in," Peterson said. "Sidney Rice opened the lane for me with a great block on the sideline, and there was nothing but green grass.

"(Taylor's injury) was unfortunate, but I was well-prepared to step in and continue."

The Vikings' defense scored a pair of touchdowns against the Falcons (0-1), who struggled with Joey Harrington at quarterback. Harrington started in place of Michael Vick, who is facing jail time for his dogfighting charges.

Harrington had a rough debut for the Falcons. He completed 23-of-32 passes for 199 yards, but was intercepted twice. Warrick Dunn was held to just 55 yards on 22 carries.

"It isn't like I felt out of whack," Harrington said. " I have not seen the statistics, but I would guess that we threw the ball for a fairly decent percentage. You know, they made the big plays and we didn't. That was what this game came down to."

Defensive tackle Kevin Williams intercepted Harrington on the Falcons' first drive of the game and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown to give Minnesota a 7-0 lead.

With the help of Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, Atlanta consistently started deep in its own end. Minnesota's defense - which led the league against the run last year - held the Falcons to 265 total yards.

The Vikings also sacked Harrington six times, including two from rookie end Brian Robison.

"When you have six sacks and two takeaways for touchdowns, you are bringing it pretty good," Minnesota coach Brad Childress said. "I would say a fair amount of those were four-man pressure. What you saw in training camp - them being able to put pressure on the passer - came to fruition here in game one."

That made it a long afternoon for Atlanta's Bobby Petrino, who was making his NFL coaching debut after a successful stint at Louisville.

"Anytime you throw the ball a lot, they get the advantage," Petrino said. "They get to tee off."

Aside from Peterson, there wasn't much offense for either team. Ryan Longwell kicked a 49-yard field goal for the Vikings in the third quarter.

Atlanta finally got on the board in the fourth on a 45-yard field goal by new kicker Matt Prater.

Then, the Vikings' defense struck again as corner back Antoine Winfield returned an interception 14 yards for the final score.

"I think we started that in the preseason with the defense scoring touchdowns," Winfield said. "Coach emphasizes that every week. Score on defense, not give up big plays, create turnovers and we should win the game."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 3 3
    MINNESOTA 7 0 3 14 24 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: MIN - TD, KEVIN WILLIAMS 54 YD INTERCEPTION
    RETURN (RYAN LONGWELL KICK), 7:17.
    MINNESOTA 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: NONE
    3RD QUARTER: MIN - FG, RYAN LONGWELL 49 YD, 13:14. Drive:
    10 plays, 59 yards in

    Sep 9 3:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD MIN
    ANTOINE WINFIELD 14 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    ATLANTA 3
    MINNESOTA 24 2:37 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Falcons vs. VikingsSep 9 3:32 PM


  • NFL
    TD MIN
    ADRIAN PETERSON 60 YD PASS FROM TARVARIS JACKSON
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    ATLANTA 3
    MINNESOTA 17 7:19 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Falcons vs. VikingsSep 9 3:20 PM


  • NFL
    ATLANTA 3
    MINNESOTA 10 9:23 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Falcons vs. VikingsSep 9 3:10 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 7 0 3 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: MIN - TD, KEVIN WILLIAMS 54 YD INTERCEPTION
    RETURN (RYAN LONGWELL KICK), 7:17.
    MINNESOTA 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: NONE
    3RD QUARTER: MIN - FG, RYAN LONGWELL 49 YD, 13:14. Drive:
    10 plays, 59 ya

    Sep 9 3:01 PM


  • NFL
    FG MIN
    RYAN LONGWELL 49 YD
    ATLANTA 0
    MINNESOTA 10 1:46 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Falcons vs. VikingsSep 9 2:53 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 7 0 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: MIN - TD, KEVIN WILLIAMS 54 YD INTERCEPTION
    RETURN (RYAN LONGWELL KICK), 7:17.
    MINNESOTA 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: NONE

    Sep 9 2:14 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    MINNESOTA 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: MIN - TD, KEVIN WILLIAMS 54 YD INTERCEPTION
    RETURN (RYAN LONGWELL KICK), 7:17.
    MINNESOTA 7-0

    Sep 9 1:39 PM


  • NFL
    TD MIN
    KEVIN WILLIAMS 54 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    ATLANTA 0
    MINNESOTA 7 7:43 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Falcons vs. VikingsSep 9 1:16 PM