Well what a game this was. All week it was said by the media and maybe me, that this game definitely lacked some appeal because of the teams involved. It turned out to be most thrilling game that began at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The Vikings were able to pull out the victory after blowing their 20-15 lead with just 20 seconds remaining. Blaine Gabbert connected with Cecil Shorts on a gorgeous 39 yard touchdown pass to give Jacksonville the late 23-20 lead. Things looked bleak at this point for Minnesota and it appeared they were on their way to a brutally painful week 1 loss. Like he did for the majority of the game Christian Ponder put the team on his back. He was able to hit Aromishodu for 26 yards on first down and then tight end Kyle Rudolph on second down to set up an oppurtunity for the game tying field goal. Blaine Walsh was able to knock through the 55 yard field goal as time expired, as well as the game winner on the first drive of overtime.
There are numerous positives for the Vikings to take from this game but one outshines the rest. Just 8 months removed from extremely serious knee surgery Adrian Peterson returned with a bang. After Minnesota was hush hush about his status all week the former all-pro ran for 84 yards and 2 tds in the debut proving that anything is possible. Everyone doubted AP coming into this season and while it is only one game it was a heck of a response to the non-believers. Also, on the offensive side of the ball Christian Ponder played arguably the best game of his young career. He completed 74 percent of his passes and drove the team down the field on the final drive of regulation and in overtime. Both of these things are incredible positives for the Vikings. Rookie kicker Blaine Walsh also played a major role in this victory. The rookie went 4-4 including the game-tying and game-winning field goals. With the performances of Ponder and AP things all of a sudden are looking up for the Vikings offense. The defense showed some promise as well but was hurt in the secondary. The front seven was able to contain the Jaguars run game rather well with an extraordinary performance from Chad Greenway and a nearly as impressive performance from E.J. Henderson. What hurt the secondary was the lack of pass rush from Jared Allen. With the linebacker play as good as it was, this defense has a chance to play well any day if Allen can give an offensive line fits. It is clear that the secondary needs his presence to succeed. Yes it is just one game but the Vikings impressed in multiple spots and maybe just maybe can be more competitive then was originally thought.