Vikings get coveted blowout

The Vikings were looking forward to a road win that wasn't close and they finally got it Sunday with a 30-12 win in Jacksonville.

The Vikings will play host to Chicago on Sunday night in a nationally televised game looking to even the season series and put themselves in position to enter December with an excellent chance of winning the NFC North.

Minnesota and the Bears were tied for first at 6-5 — the 5-5 Packers played at New Orleans on Monday night — after the Vikings beat Jacksonville 30-12 Sunday and the Bears cruised to a 27-3 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

The Vikings' 18-point victory over the Jaguars was especially important because it marked one of the first times this season that Minnesota did not have one of its victories go down to the wire. The Vikings had won their previous five games before Sunday by an average of only 4.6 points.

"We came in with the mindset that it doesn't have to be close," said Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was held under 100 yards rushing for the second consecutive game. "We can blow these guys out. It started off sweet. We got 14 points real easy. We just kept the momentum from that point on."

Peterson wasn't kidding. The Vikings had a 14-0 lead only 1 minute, 41 seconds into the game. That resulted from a bad snap by the Jaguars that led to a fumble return for a touchdown by linebacker Napoleon Harris and a fumble by the Jaguars on the ensuing kickoff that led to another Minnesota touchdown.

The victory was only the Vikings' second on the road this season and their first in an outdoor stadium.

Now, defensive end Jared Allen is looking forward to the opportunity to deliver some payback to a Bears team that beat the Vikings 48-41 in Chicago on Oct. 19.

"That is a game that we've got to have," he said. "We get to go home and play Chicago, a division game in front of our home crowd. Our only goal right now is we've got to get to 7-5 and this game meant a lot. We have to take this momentum and we have to carry this home. We owe Chicago a butt whooping because of what happened defensively (to the Vikings) there. I'm excited for it."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "In your wildest dreams you don't think it's going to be like that, but you don't turn anything back." — Vikings coach Brad Childress, on the fast start against Jacksonville.

LINEUP WATCH: Wide receiver Darius Reynaud, an undrafted rookie free agent, was promoted from the practice squad to return kicks. Regular return man Maurice Hicks was inactive. Reynaud is second in West Virginia history with a kick return average of 26.8 yards and ran back two kicks for 36 yards. Hicks, a running back signed as a free agent this offseason, has disappointed so far. He averaged 22.3 yards on 26 returns, including 21.6 yards on five returns last week against Tampa Bay. He also lost a fumble on a fourth-quarter return that the Bucs recovered. The Vikings also made a change at punt returner, using receiver Bernard Berrian for the first time this season. Berrian had one return for 19 yards.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4 — 50-plus-yard field goals veteran kicker Ryan Longwell has made this season, a team record.


  • RB Adrian Peterson did not play on the Vikings' opening two series Sunday at Jacksonville after being late to a team meeting Saturday. CB Cedric Griffin was benched for one series for the same reason.

  • TE Garrett Mills was inactive for Sunday's game because of an ankle injury. Mills has missed three games this season because of ankle problems.

  • LB Vinny Ciurciu did not play because of a hand injury. Ciurciu's loss is significant because he plays on all special teams.

  • WR Robert Ferguson has not played in the past four games despite being healthy. Coach Brad Childress has said he has no plans to release Ferguson but the veteran clearly isn't going to get back into the lineup unless there is an injury.

  • WR Bobby Wade played Sunday despite a thigh injury suffered early the previous week against Tampa Bay. Wade entered the game with a team-leading 38 receptions but only had one catch in the victory.

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