About the Minnesota Vikings being in trouble without Sam Bradford starting under center… nevermind. After an underwhelming performance last week in Pittsburgh, Case Keenum bounced back in a big way with 369 yards passing and three touchdowns as he led the Vikings to a 34-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The offense looked sharp right out of the gate as the Vikings scored a touchdown on their opening drive. Running back, Dalvin Cook, had a his best game of the season with 97 yards rushing and his first career touchdown to go along with five catches for 72 yards. Receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Theilen dominated an opposing secondary for the second time in three weeks. Diggs caught eight passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns while Theilen compliment him with five catches for 98 yards.
Should the Pats/Raiders game in Mexico be moved?
The defense also had a bounce-back game as they made the Buccaneers a one-dimensional offense early and kept Tampa quarterback, Jameis Winston, under duress for much the afternoon. Despite throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns, he was sacked twice and threw three interceptions, the last two coming between the late third and fourth quarters to dash any hopes of a comeback. The Vikings defense limited Mike Evans to just 67 yards on his seven receptions to keep the Bucs top weapon in check.
After being the goat in week two, Case Keenum was the hero in today’s game. He looked like a completely different player from what we all witnessed the previous week. He completed 25 of 33 throws for 369 yards as he picked apart Tampa’s secondary, getting the ball to his playmakers with regularity. One of those playmakers was finally Dalvin Cook, who finally got a chance to show what he can do in the passing game when given space to operate. This was performance that can give Vikings fans much more comfort going into their showdown with division rival Detroit next week.
Tramaine Brock had a tough going in this one. He picked up a pass interference penalty before giving up a touchdown to DeSean Jackson after losing sight of the ball. It’s still very early in his time with the Vikings, but this was definitely not the kind of showing the team was looking for when they trade for him.
Play of the Game
Trae Waynes interception of Jameis Winston in the second quarter ultimately helped to put the Vikings permanently in the driver’s seat in this game. Despite DeSean Jackson getting behind Waynes, Winston under-threw his receiver, allowing Waynes to make the drive-killing play for the Vikings defense. The Vikings offense would capitalize on the ensuing possession with a touchdown.
The Vikings will next host the rival Detroit Lions next Sunday afternoon. The Lions swept the season series last year, the most recent game a 16-13 win on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions will be looking to rebound from their first loss of the year when they come to US Bank Stadium, coming at the hands of the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. The Vikings will once again be put to the test against a potential MVP candidate in quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Read Sam Smith’s reactions here.