The game was billed as 2-5 team play at a 1-5 team, in other words, not an important game. And, by the play in the first half, it was named accordingly. Both teams jockeyed for field position for most of the first half with the Vikings having a slight edge in that category.
The only score coming in a Blair Walsh 46 yard field goal as time expired in the 2nd quarter. That scoring drive seemed to give a hint on how the Vikings should run their offense in the future. Teddy Bridgewater appeared to thrive under a hurry up style offense. Maybe it gave him less time to overthink things or just not let the defense get settled in.
One bright spot was running back Jerick Mckinnon. He had some nice runs on critical downs helping the anemic Vikings passing game gain some ground and keeping the Buccaneers starting field position deep inside their own end.
The second half started much like the way the first half went. Neither team willing to move the ball. Then, the Vikings put together a nice drive culminating in a 17 yard Bridgewater to Greg Jennings touchdown pass with 7:17 left in the 3rd quarter. Teddy laid the ball perfectly behind 2 defenders right into Jennings hands.
That must have lit a fire under the Buccaneers, as they proceeded to score 13 unanswered points to take the lead with a Mike Glennon 7 yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins with 2:11 remaining the the 4th quarter.
Things look bleak for Vikings fans, but the Vikings offense put together a nice drive with Bridgewater making some nice passes, and Cordarrelle Patterson getting open on key 3rd down plays. The offense moved down the field for a Walsh field goal attempt with 0:04 seconds left in the 4th quarter.
The overtime period started with Tampa Bay winning the coin toss and electing to receive. On the first play of overtime, Glennon completed a pass to Seferian-Jenkins. Anthony Barr was in coverage and attempted to strip the ball as he was tackling the rookie tight end. Harrison Smith helped dislodge the ball with a huge hit. Barr recovered the ball and returned it for a walk off touchdown.
Notes: During the first half, I Tweeted that there isn’t a Vikings offensive lineman on the field that is worth the league minimum. Fox showed 3-4 plays where Matt Kalil did a good job of blocking Tampa’s right defensive end. The O-line did a better job of pass blocking in the second half.
Jerick McKinnon finished the game with 83 yards on 16 carries. For some reason, in the 4th quarter, the Vikings put Matt Asiata in at running back. I could not understand why, unless McKinnon needed a breather. McKinnon could be the answer for who will fill AP’s shoes. I worry about his size and ability to take the abuse the comes with being a starting running back in the NFL.
The Vikings defense held the Buccaneers to 225 net yards on offense.
The Vikings are 2-3 on the road this year. The went 0-7-1 on the road last year.
Final score Minnesota 19- Tampa Bay 13