In the dress rehearsal game, the Vikings took over in the third quarter and ran away from the Chiefs
The Vikings won the toss and deferred to the second half, and the Chiefs offense couldn't get much going, other than a 16 yard pass to RB Knile Davis. A Dustin Colquitt punt pinned the Vikings back to their own three, where they took the ball on their first possession.
And all the Vikings did was march 97 yards on five plays. QB Matt Cassel hit RB Matt Asiata for 31 yards on a short swing pass, and after a couple of non-descript Asiata runs, Cassel uncorked the deep ball and hit Cordarrelle Patterson for 53 yards and a score, putting the Vikings up 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.
It was the last touchdown of the first half, although the Chiefs started moving the ball. After KC and Minnesota exchanged three and out possessions, the Chiefs took over on their own 35, and found themselves at the Vikings 24 after a Josh Robinson pass interference call. But Captain Munnerlyn bailed out the defense by undercutting an Alex Smith slant pass in the end zone for an interception. Munnerlyn, who was about seven yards in the end zone, ran it out, and only got to about the 6 yard line.
That proved disastrous, as the next two play sequence for the Vikings was a three yard loss on an Asiata run, followed by a Cassel sack and fumble that resulted in a Chiefs safety, cutting the lead to 7-2.
The Chiefs took the free kick and got down to the Vikings 11, only to see another Alex Smith pass intercepted by Chad Greenway. Once again, the Vikings couldn't do much with the ball, and a Jeff Locke punt reslted in a touchback, giving the Chiefs the ball at the 20.
Once again, Kansas City moved the ball on a 13 play, 77 yard drive, but also once again, the Vikings defense stiffened in the red zone. They didn't force a turnover, but they did hold the Chiefs to a field goal, which cut the lead to 7-5.
Once again, KC and Minnesota exchanged three and out possessions, and when the Vikings got the ball back, the Vikings got on the board again with a 41 yard Blair Walsh field goal, set up by a Cassel to Kyle Rudolph pass that went for 27 yards. The half ended with the Vikings leading, 10-5.
Matt Cassel and the first team offense took the field to start the second half, but like much of the first half they couldn't get anything going and had to punt after five plays. The Chiefs couldn't get anything going either, and punted the ball right back to the Vikings.
The Vikings were able to take the ball and go 49 yards on seven plays on their next drive, highlighted by several good runs by Jerick McKinnon, and the end result was a 32 yard field goal from Blair Walsh, extending the lead to 13-5. That ended the night for Matt Cassel, who ended up 9/17 for 152 yards with one TD and one interception.
Tyler Bray came in and took over for Alex Smith, and on his third play threw a pick directly to Shaun Prater, who returned it all the way to the Chiefs 8. From there, Teddy Bridgewater came out and promptly threw an 8 yard TD pass to Alan Reisner, extending the Vikings lead to 20-5.
Bray was unable to get the Chiefs offense moving, and the Chiefs had to punt. Adam Thielen, who has to be guaranteed to make the 53 man roster at this point, took the ball at the 20, and returned it 75 yards to the KC 5. On the very next play, Bridgewater once again found Reisner for a five yard score. It was 27-5 and the rout was on.
The rest of the game was a collection of down roster guys fighting for roster spots, and rather uneventful. Christian Ponder didn't play for the second consecutive week, and the only other scoring for the Vikings came on another Blair Walsh field goal, this time from 28 yards. The Chiefs tacked on a meaningless TD at the end of the game to make the final score 30-12.
So the Vikings move to 3-0 in the pre-season, and the first set of roster cuts have to be made by 4 PM EST on Tuesday. There's some stuff this team needs to work on, but it feels like the Vikings are a much improved team, and if game three was any indication, they're going to make a lot of noise in 2014.
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