Week 2: Highlights, Lowlights and Notes

On the first score of the game, kicker Morten Andersen went to the top of the NFL's history books for games played. Plus, find out how Aaron Elling did on kickoffs, along with more details on the red zone, the injury that killed the Vikings, T.O vs. Moss, and other notes from the Monday night madness.

ONE FOR THE AGES (OR AGED)

While 44-year old kicker Morten Andersen was registering his field goal for the Vikings, a 42-yarder with 11:20 to play in the first quarter in Philadelphia Monday night, he was also registering his 340th game played in the NFL, tying George Blanda, who played from 1949-58 and 1960-75.

Andersen finished the game 3-for-4 on field goals, hitting from 42, 19 and 39 yards, but coming up short on a critical 44-yard attempt in the fourth quarter.

THE OTHER KICKER

The Vikings opted to go with Aaron Elling on kickoffs, re-signing him last week. How did he fare?

Let's just say it's up to debate whether the roster spot was worth it.

Elling's first kick came down at the 14-yard line. His second kickoff was fielded at the 9-yard line, followed by kicks to the 11, 5, and 10. He also had one kick returned 46 yards and another 43 yards.

The Eagles' starting field position was the 38-yard line — with two starting in Vikings territory following the 40-something returns. The Vikings' average starting field position was the 27-yard line.

RED ZONE BLUES

The Vikings didn't get into the red zone (inside the 20-yard line) on their first drive, but they did get to the 24-yard line before settling for a field goal.

On their second drive, they had first-and-goal on the 2-yard line and came away with another field goal after the Eagles stuffed Onterrio Smith twice and Daunte Culpepper once.

Their third drive went three-and-out, but on their fourth drive of the game they suffered another meltdown. Culpepper converted fourth-and-1 at the 20-yard line with a bootleg pass to rookie Richard Owens that picked up the first down and much more — all the way to the 2-yard line.

But on the very next play, Culpepper tucked the ball and ran for the goal line, only to be stripped by former Packers linebacker Nate Wayne right at the goal line. A touchdown would have given the Vikings a 13-10 lead. The fumble, recovered by defensive tackle Sam Rayburn, allowed the Eagles to take their 10-6 lead into halftime at home.

In all, the Vikings got inside Philadelphia's 30-yard line six times and settled for one touchdown, three field goals, a missed field goal and the turnover on Culpepper's fumble at the goal line.

ANOTHER BLOCKER GOES DOWN

The Vikings lost tight end Jim Kleinsasser, considered by many as one of the best blocking tight ends in the league, last week with a knee injury.

On the Vikings' second drive in Philadelphia, they lost another key blocker on the outside, right tackle Mike Rosenthal, with a sprained right foot. The injury happened when Rosenthal was pass protecting against Jevon Kearse and stepped awkwardly as he was being pushed back.

He will be evaluated Tuesday.

Adam Haayer replaced Rosenthal and recovered a Smith fumble two drives later in the second quarter. However, Haayer repeatedly had trouble blocking Kearse and committed two false starts throughout a frustrating performance.

TIGHT PASSING

With Kleinsasser out, the Vikings didn't shy away from going to their tight ends in the passing game. In fact, tight ends Jermaine Wiggins and rookie Richard Owens became important outlets for Culpepper throughout the game since he wasn't allowed much time to set and throw in the pocket.

Wiggins had eight catches for 65 yards and Owens had three receptions for 36 yards.

The other rookie tight end, Jeff Dugan, didn't have a ball thrown his way.

OUT AGAIN

Michael Bennett was held out of Monday night's game, despite him saying he could play last week. Word out in Philadelphia was that Bennett will be held out Sunday against Chicago so he can be rested until after the bye week.

NOT ACTIVE

The Vikings had no way of knowing who would be injured during the game, but had they known Rosenthal would be sidelined early they probably wouldn't have deactivated rookie Nat Dorsey. While Dorsey didn't have a great preseason, he could have been used to spell Haayer during his struggles with Kearse.

Others deactivated Monday night were RB Moe Williams, Bennett, Kleinsasser, LB Keith Newman, G Adam Goldberg and DT Spencer Johnson.

The Eagles deactivated QB Jeff Blake, CB Matt Ware, FB Thomas Tapeh, DE Jamaal Green, OL Trey Darilek, T Ian Allen, WR Billy McMullen and DT Paul Grasmanis.

T.O. vs. 84

All the hype for the game was on Randy Moss vs. Terrell Owens. So how did the "matchup" fare?

Call it a stalemate.

Moss caught eight passes for 69 yards and a touchdown, but his long was only 22 yards. Owens caught only four passes, but after a questionable 45-yard touchdown "catch," Owens ended the game with 79 yards receiving.

EARLY SPEED KILLS

The Vikings have said all offseason that they are faster on defense, and they do appear that way. However, Eagles running back Brian Westbrook put some moves on Vikings defenders in the first drive of the game that indicates the defenders need to control their speed.

Westbrook got four touches in a row on the Eagles' first drive and routinely made would-be tacklers miss. In all on the first drive, Westbrook ran the ball four times for 22 yards and caught two more passes for 22 yards. While Terrell Owens was shut out in the opening drive, the Eagles certainly found another way to attack the defense.

The Vikings run defense did settle down and held the Eagles to 91 net rushing yards for the game.


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