Vikes Impose Their Will on Chargers

The Chargers expected to sail the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a fourth consecutive victory. Instead, they drowned in a sea of penalties, injuries and missed tackles.

--The Chargers' three-game winning streak had to end sometime, but most expected it to be snapped next week by the Indianapolis Colts. The 2-5 Minnesota Vikings had other plans. The 37-17 loss drops San Diego back to .500 at 4-4.

--The highly anticipated battle in the trenches turned into a massacre. The Vikings' offensive line allowed just one sack and paved the way for a rushing attack that averaged 8.8 yards per carry.

--Adrian Peterson led the way with 296 rushing yards, setting a new single-game record.

--Shawne Merriman, who planned to lay a smack down on Peterson, had nothing but praise for the rookie after the game.

"We knew he was good," Merriman said. "We knew the guy wanted to win. He's one of the best, if not the best, running backs in the National Football League. He played hard and they won the game."

--Lorenzo Neal paved the way for LaDainian Tomlinson's first touchdown of the game. Tomlinson's spin move into the end zone was his 107th career touchdown. Tomlinson passed Jim Brown for fourth place on the all-time rushing touchdowns list. Tomlinson needs three more to catch his childhood hero, Walter Payton.

--Tomlinson has scored six rushing touchdowns this season, but today's score at the Metrodome was his first touchdown on the road this season.

--Antonio Cromartie is the future of the Chargers' secondary. The longest play in NFL history sealed the deal. Cromartie returned a missed field goal 109 yards to end the first half. It was Cromartie's third touchdown in the last two games.

--Cromartie went into the game looking for his third interception in three games but settled for making NFL history.

--It was an up-and-down day for Drayton Florence. He was burnt by Sidney Rice for a 40-yard touchdown, but he also recovered a Peterson fumble at a pivotal point in the fourth quarter. Cromartie will replace Florence in the starting lineup no later than next season.

--The Chargers defense knocked a quarterback from the game for the second-straight week. Matt Schaub felt Florence's fierce smack-down in week eight and was forced from the game. Vikings' QB Tarvaris Jackson, who came into the game with a broken right index finger, was carted off the field after a combo hit by Stephen Cooper and Merriman.

--With Jackson out, third-string QB Brooks Bollinger was called in. On his first play, Bollinger was sacked by Luis Castillo.

--On the second play after intermission, Castillo got tangled up at the bottom of a large pile up and limped off the field with assistance.

--The Chargers' clutch went out. The Vikings shut out Antonio Gates in the first half, the first time that had happened all season. Gates was seeking his third-straight 100-yard game on the road, but was held to 10 yards on one reception.

--The silver lining is that each of the Chargers' AFC West foes also lost on Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Green Bay Packers, 33-22; the Denver Broncos fell to the Detroit Lions, 44-7; and the Oakland Raiders lost to the Houston Texans, 24-17.

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