Vikings pick off Jackson, Seahawks 20-7

The Vikings kept Tarvaris Jackson, Sidney Rice and the Seahawks in check on their way to a 20-7 win over Seattle. It was a defense-intensive effort, but the offense found a rhythm as well, even if it didn't produce many touchdowns.

The insertion of key starters made a world of difference for the Vikings defense and the team survived without some of their key offensive starters in a 20-7 win at Seattle Saturday in the second preseason game.

Minnesota's first-team defense didn't allow QB Tarvaris Jackson and the Seattle Seahawks past midfield, and it was actually the defense that produced the first scoring of the night when backup cornerback Marcus Sherels intercepted a deflected pass and returned it for a touchdown. In all, the defense held Jackson to 11 of 21 passing for 75 yards and that interception in one half of play.

Meanwhile, Donovan McNabb looked sharp, completing 6 of 8 passes for 81 yards in his two series of work before giving way to rookie Christian Ponder, who connected on 6 of 12 passes for 63 yards. The Vikings also allowed Adrian Peterson to get more work this time around, handing off to him six times for 16 yards.

Early on, the Vikings defense was the story.

The first-team defense got three series of work and allowed just one first down on each of the first two series to force punts well before the Seahawks crossed midfield. Marcus Sherels ended the Seahawks third drive with a statement, intercepting Jackson on a deflected pass and returning it 64 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Vikings lead.

The second-team defense didn't fare quite as well. On its first series, it allowed Jackson to convert a third down with an 8-yard scramble and later let running back Michael Robinson escape the pile for an 8-yard run on fourth-and-1. The defense allowed the Seahawks to convert third-and-5 when Mike Williams came down with a 17-yard catch that the Vikings challenged and lost. But, with the ball on the 2-yard line, the second-team goal-line defense was formidable. Seahawks running back Justin Forsett carried the ball four times and each time was met by a Vikings defender at the line of scrimmage to keep Seattle out of the end zone and off the scoreboard.

Despite the game being in the second quarter, McNabb came out for only his second series with his back against the goal line, but on second down hit rookie tight end Kyle Rudolph for 17 yards. On the next play, Jim Kleinsasser turned a short reception into a 23-yard gain with solid downfield blocking. Four plays later, Michael Jenkins came down with a 21-yard pass, followed immediately by a 9-yard pickup to Devin Aromashodu as McNabb found his rhythm. The drive stalled inside the red zone when the Seahawks knocked down a pass and forced early decisions with the blitz, but Ryan Longwell extended the lead to 10-0 with a 36-yard field goal with 6:33 to play in the half.

The second-team defense forced a three-and-out against Jackson and the Seahawks' first-team offense, and Ponder entered the game for Minnesota. He converted one third down with a 19-yard pass to Juaquin Iglesias. A 15-yard penalty on Seattle's Aaron Curry for throwing Ryan Cook's helmet put the Vikings in scoring range, and Longwell was true with a 34-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead with 1:47 to play that held up until halftime.

Despite two extended drives, one by each team, that ate up the third quarter, the game remained 13-0 until the fourth quarter.

On his first drive of the second half, Ponder picked up first downs with a 21-yard pass to Aromashodu and an 11-yarder to Iglesias, but penalties put Ponder in a first-and-30 situation he couldn't get out of, forcing a punt.

With Charlie Whitehurst relieving Jackson, the Seahawks started to move the ball on a 16-play drive. The intermediate passing game worked well, as Whitehurst connected on four passes between 10 and 15 yards long. Facing third-and-goal at the 3-yard line, Whitehurst scooped up a rolling shotgun snap, bought time and found Anthony McCoy in the back of the end zone for Seattle's first points of the game, cutting Minnesota's lead to 13-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

With Webb in at quarterback, the Vikings moved into scoring position thanks to the ground game, but when Emmanuel Arceneaux broke free he didn't secure the ball and had it punched out from behind, causing a turnover when the ball went through the end zone.

The defense survived two more series for the Seahawks, forcing Seattle's offense to the sideline on downs and the Vikings offense took advantage of good field position. On the second play of their final possession, the running back Tristan Davis made a great cutback run that took him 35 yards into the end zone for a 20-7 lead with 2:09 to play.

The Seahawks brought in third-string QB Josh Portis for their final drive and, while his legs proved exciting in picking up first downs, his last three passes were incomplete before a sack ended the game and sealed the Vikings win.

The second game showed progress for the Vikings. The defense looked much better with some key starters back in the lineup while McNabb and the offense found a rhythm even without Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe. In total, it was preseason progress and a win.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.



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\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"The insertion of key starters made a world of difference for the Vikings defense and the team survived without some of their key offensive starters in a 20-7 win at Seattle Saturday in the second preseason game. Minnesota's first-team defense didn't allow QB Tarvaris Jackson and the Seattle Seahawks past midfield, and it was actually the defense that produced the first scoring of the night when backup cornerback Marcus Sherels intercepted a deflected pass and returned it for a touchdown. In all, the defense held Jackson to 11 of 21 passing for 75 yards and that interception in one half of play. Meanwhile, Donovan McNabb looked sharp, completing 6 of 8 passes for 81 yards in his two series of work before giving way to rookie Christian Ponder, who connected on 6 of 12 passes for 63 yards. The Vikings also allowed Adrian Peterson to get more work this time around, handing off to him six times for 16 yards. Early on, the Vikings defense was the story. The first-team defense got three series of work and allowed just one first down on each of the first two series to force punts well before the Seahawks crossed midfield. Marcus Sherels ended the Seahawks third drive with a statement, intercepting Jackson on a deflected pass and returning it 64 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Vikings lead. The second-team defense didn't fare quite as well. On its first series, it allowed Jackson to convert a third down with an 8-yard scramble and later let running back Michael Robinson escape the pile for an 8-yard run on fourth-and-1. The defense allowed the Seahawks to convert third-and-5 when Mike Williams came down with a 17-yard catch that the Vikings challenged and lost. But, with the ball on the 2-yard line, the second-team goal-line defense was formidable. Seahawks running back Justin Forsett carried the ball four times and each time was met by a Vikings defender at the line of scrimmage to keep Seattle out of the end zone and off the scoreboard. Despite the game being in the second quarter, McNabb came out for only his second series with his back against the goal line, but on second down hit rookie tight end Kyle Rudolph for 17 yards. On the next play, Jim Kleinsasser turned a short reception into a 23-yard gain with solid downfield blocking. Four plays later, Michael Jenkins came down with a 21-yard pass, followed immediately by a 9-yard pickup to Devin Aromashodu as McNabb found his rhythm. The drive stalled inside the red zone when the Seahawks knocked down a pass and forced early decisions with the blitz, but Ryan Longwell extended the lead to 10-0 with a 36-yard field goal with 6:33 to play in the half. The second-team defense forced a three-and-out against Jackson and the Seahawks' first-team offense, and Ponder entered the game for Minnesota. He converted one third down with a 19-yard pass to Juaquin Iglesias. A 15-yard penalty on Seattle's Aaron Curry for throwing Ryan Cook's helmet put the Vikings in scoring range, and Longwell was true with a 34-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead with 1:47 to play that held up until halftime. Despite two extended drives, one by each team, that ate up the third quarter, the game remained 13-0 until the fourth quarter. On his first drive of the second half, Ponder picked up first downs with a 21-yard pass to Aromashodu and an 11-yarder to Iglesias, but penalties put Ponder in a first-and-30 situation he couldn't get out of, forcing a punt. With Charlie Whitehurst relieving Jackson, the Seahawks started to move the ball on a 16-play drive. The intermediate passing game worked well, as Whitehurst connected on four passes between 10 and 15 yards long. Facing third-and-goal at the 3-yard line, Whitehurst scooped up a rolling shotgun snap, bought time and found Anthony McCoy in the back of the end zone for Seattle's first points of the game, cutting Minnesota's lead to 13-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter. With Webb in at quarterback, the Vikings moved into scoring position thanks to the ground game, but when Emmanuel Arceneaux broke free he didn't secure the ball and had it punched out from behind, causing a turnover when the ball went through the end zone. The defense survived two more series for the Seahawks, forcing Seattle's offense to the sideline on downs and the Vikings offense took advantage of good field position. On the second play of their final possession, the running back Tristan Davis made a great cutback run that took him 35 yards into the end zone for a 20-7 lead with 2:09 to play. The Seahawks brought in third-string QB Josh Portis for their final drive and, while his legs proved exciting in picking up first downs, his last three passes were incomplete before a sack ended the game and sealed the Vikings win. The second game showed progress for the Vikings. The defense looked much better with some key starters back in the lineup while McNabb and the offense found a rhythm even without Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe. In total, it was preseason progress and a win. 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