BOSTON (CBS) — It’s a lovely day for some football in Minnesota, where the Patriots will look to notch their first win of the season against the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Final — Patriots 30, Vikings 7
After the Vikings scored on the first drive of the game, the Patriots kept them off the scoreboard the rest of the afternoon, picking off Matt Cassell four times en route to their first win of the season.
The Patriots scored 30-unanswered points as Brady was 15-for-22 for 149 yards and a touchdown. But the story of the day belongs to the Patriots defense, who set the offense up in good field position all afternoon. Devin McCourty, Darrelle Revis, Logan Ryan and Dominque Easley each came down with interceptions.
Chandler Jones was a monster on the defensive line and on special teams, blocking a field goal attempt and taking it 58-yards to the house to give the Patriots a 24-7 lead right before halftime. In addition to his score, Jones had eight tackles and two sacks on Cassel.
We’ll be breaking this one down all evening, so stick with CBSBostonsports.com, catch Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38, or tune in to three full hours of postgame coverage on 98.5 The Sports Hub!
4th Quarter, 2:18: Stevan Ridley has gone over 100 rushing yards for the day, and now has 101 yards on 25 carries.
Vereen is second among the Pats rushers with 39 yards on five carries.
4th Quarter, 6:45: NOTHING is going right for Matt Cassel.
His latest pass was batted up, and fell into the hands of rookie Dominique Easley for the Patriots’ fourth interception of the day. New England now takes over at the 50 following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Hightower.
Expect even more Ridley as the Pats try to kill more clock.
4th Quarter, 7:26 — After getting the ball back, the Patriots offense goes 3-and-out for the second straight drive.
Facing a 3rd-and-1, Brady tried to get the first down himself but was stopped short, taking a big hit at the line of scrimmage.
Ridley picked up the nine yards on a pair of carries, and is having a pretty solid day overall with 66 yards on 20 carries.
The Vikings will take over on their own 33-yard line after another nice punt by Allen, but an even better special teams tackle by Nate Ebner.
4th Quarter, 12:12: The Patriots offense couldn’t make anything of their good field position, and were forced into a e-and-out of their own.
Brady was sacked for a seven yard loss on first down, and after Ridley picked up three yards on second down, the QB overthrew everyone on third down.
The Patriots thought about a 53-yard attempt by Gostkowski, but let the clock wind down and instead opted to punt the ball away. Ryan Allen delivered another nice boot, pinning the Vikings at their own 9-yard line. The Pats’ punter is having a great game today.
4th Quarter, 14:00 — Not much is going right for the Vikings right now. Cassel was sacked by Chanlder Jones on 2nd-and-7 for a three yard loss, and though he had Greg Jennings open across the middle on third down, the veteran receiver couldn’t make the catch and Minnesota was forced to punt. Jennings had beat Revis on the play and had a first down if he made the catch.
Edelman made a couple of nice moves on the punt return, taking it 34 yards to the Minnesota 31.
4th Quarter, 14:57 — Patriots 30, Vikings 7: Gostkowski makes the 27-yard attempt look easy and puts the Patriots on top by 23 points.
That’s 23-unanswered points for the Patriots, though the offense has did not look too good in that quarter.
End Of 3rd Quarter — Patriots 27, Vikings 7:
Not a pretty drive as the Patriots set up for a field goal to start the fourth quarter.
Penalties nearly killed the drive, as Jordan Devey was called for a hold on a play that would have set the Patriots up at the Minnesota 2-yard line. Instead, they had to face a 2nd-and-18, and now will have Stephen Gostkowski try a chip shot to put them on top 30-7.
Julian Edelman was shaken up a bit on a pass interference by Xavier Rhodes, but returned after spending just one play on the sideline.
3rd Quarter, 6:46: Rough stretch for Nate Solder, who was just whistled for three penalties on two plays.
He was flagged for a hold and an illegal block on one play, with the hold being declined. The very next play, he was flagged for a false start to set up a 1st-and-25 for New England.
3rd Quarter, 6:47: The Patriots offensive will take over after a quick 3-and-out forced by the defense.
Asiata was hit by Chandler Jones after picking up just two yards on first down, and Kyle Rudolph dropped a pass over the middle. Dont’a Hightowere then burst through the line and sacked Cassel on third down for an 8-yard loss, forcing the Vikings to punt.
The Pats will take over at their own 45-yard line after a 28-yard punt return by Edelman.
3rd Quarter, 8:36 — Patriots 27, Vikings 7: After Rob Gronkowski picked up 11 yards on a first down pass from Brady, the offense stalled a bit and was forced to settle for a field goal.
Ridley picked up five yards on first down after Gronk’s pickup, but Brady and Aaron Dobson couldn’t connect on second down and Brady’s pass was knocked down at the line on third down.
Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 47-yard field goal to give the Patriots a 27-7 lead.
3rd Quarter, 9:34: Let the Teddy Bridgewater watch begin!
Cassel was picked for the third time this afternoon, as Logan Ryan stepped in front of a pass for Cordarrelle Patterson for his second turnover of the season (he forced a fumble in Week 1). Ryan led the Patriots last season with five interceptions as a rookie.
The Patriots will now take over at the Minnesota 45.
3rd Quarter, 12:18: The Patriots didn’t do too much on their first possession of the second half, as Tom Brady goes a little too far for Edelman downfield on a 3rd-and-2 attempt.
Rob Gronkowski got into the fun with a pair of grabs, his first of the afternoon. Gronk now has a reception in all 52 games he’s played in.
It was more Stevan Ridley on the drive, as the back ran the ball three times for 14 yards.
Ryan Allen delivered another great punt, with Matthew Slater downing his 39-yard boot at the Minnesota 4-yard line.
Halftime, Patriots 24, Vikings 7: Blair Walsh lined up for a field goal attempt just before the half, looking to cut into the Patriots’ lead.
But what he didn’t see was Chandler Jones lining up, who used all of his 6-5 frame to jump up at the line and block the attempt, and then take it 58 yards to the house.
Cassel missed Patterson on the third down just before the attempted kick, leading him too far out of bounds on what could have been a touchdown pass. But instead of possibly being down just 17-10 heading into halftime, the Vikings now face a 24-7 hole. Plus, the Patriots get the ball back to start the second half.
We knew Chandler Jones was one heck of an athlete, and that play just further illustrates it.
Brady was 9-for-10 for 105 yards and a touchdown in the first half, with Edelman leading the way with five receptions for 69 yards and a score. Stevan Ridley is New England’s leading rusher with 29 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.
Jones has three tackles and a sack to go with his blocked field goal, but it’s Jerod Mayo who is all over the place with six tackles, including two for a loss.
Matt Cassel is 12-for-20 for 144 yards with a touchdown and two picks for the Vikings. The Patriots scored a touchdown after each of those two picks.
2nd Quarter, 2:58: The Vikings will get the ball back after the Patriots offense comes up a bit short on their last drive.
It was a steady dose of Stevan Ridley out of the back field, with a 12-yard catch from Edelman mixed in, as the back carried the ball four times. After a strong five-yard run on 2nd-and-6, Ridley was stuffed at the line by Vikings safety Harrison Smith, who has been everywhere on the field today.
The Patriots were forced to punt away, and the Vikings will start at their own 18 after a 34-yard punt by Ryan Allen.
2nd Quarter, 5:51: The Patriots will take over at their own 20 after the defense comes up with another stop.
Logan Ryan was beat by Patterson for a 10-yard catch on a 3rd-and-4, but bounced back nicely over the next few plays. He broke up a pass for Patterson on the ensuing first down, and then was there to meet Asiata for a game of just one yard on a 3rd-and-3 pass from Cassel.
Ryan has looked good after getting the start for the injured Alfonzo Dennard.
2nd Quarter, 9:30 — Patriots 17, Vikings 7: The Patriots turned another turnover into points, though the offense had to work a little harder this time around.
The drive was all about the Brady-to-Edelman connection, as they hooked up three times resulting in 59 yards and a touchdown. After a 44-yard catch-and-run by Edelman set the Patriots up at the Minnesota 21 — a lovely thread-the-needle pass by #12 — Brady went Edelman’s way on 1st-and-Goal with a beautiful corner throw from nine-yards out for the score.
Brady got hit hard after making the throw, but he probably doesn’t mind after looking up at the scoreboard.
Edelman had 59 of the Patriots’ 61 yards that drive.
2nd Quarter, 13:30: Darrelle Revis has his first interception with the Patriots thanks to another bad pass by Cassel. The Vikings QB went looking for Greg Jennings but overthrew him , allowing Revis to come down with the pick.
The Patriots will start at their own 39 thanks to the second turnover of the day forced by the D/courtesy of a terrible pass by Matt Cassel.
End Of 1st Quarter — Patriots 10, Vikings 7: Julian Edelman nearly fumbled the ball away, but Dan Connolly was there to jump on the ball after Edelman slipped on a third down screen play. That gave Stephen Gostkowski a 48-yard field goal attempt, which he put through the uprights to give the Patriots a 10-7 lead.
Aaron Dobson caught his first pass of the season on the first play of the drive, a 13-yard connection with Brady on play action. Brady also went Rob Gronkowski’s way for the first time in the game, but the tight end wasn’t ready for the pass over the middle.
Edelman had a nice 9-yard run on a sweep on a 3rd-and-2 play, and Ridley ran the ball well — though an 11-run was whipped out by a Marcus Cannon hold.
Gostkowski booted the kickoff into the stands, not even giving Patterson a chance at a return.
Just before the end of the first quarter, Chandler Jones got to Cassel for his first sack of the season.
1st Quarter, 4:43: A quick 3-and-out by the Vikings offense, as Jerod Mayo hit Asiata for a two-yard loss on first down. Cassel hit Patterson for a quick three years on second down, but his third-down pass was a little too high and fell incomplete.
The Patriots will now take over at their own 30 after a holding penalty by Jones on the punt.
1st Quarter, 6:14 — Patriots 7, Vikings 7: After an ugly drive that included a handful of penalties on both teams, Devin McCourty came up with a nice interception on a deep pass from Cassel to Wright.
The Pats’ safety took it 60 yards all the way down to the Minnesota 1-yard line.
Ridley was stuffed on first-and-goal, but found his way into the end zone on second-and-goal to tie this one at 7-7. It was all Ridley, as he didn’t get much of a push from the offensive line.
The Patriots defense needed a big play after their first trip on the field, and got it from one of their veteran captains. It was a bad throw by Cassel, but no doubt the Patriots will take it.
1st Quarter, 9:25: Nothing doing for the Patriots offense on their first trip out, as they go 3-and-out and were forced to punt.
Stevan Ridley got a pair of runs on first and second down, getting stuffed on first but gaining two yards on second. Shane Vereen ran the ball on 3rd-and-8, but was pushed out of bounds just shy of the first down.
Ryan Allen, who had a rough week in Miami, gave the ball a beautiful boot though to set the Vikings up at their own 12-yard line.
1st Quarter, 10:54 — Vikings 7, Patriots 0: Not a good start for the Patriots defense.
After containing the Vikings on first and second down, it looked like they could have forced a 3-and-out. But Matt Cassel hit Kyle Rudolph over the middle to beat a blitzing Patriots’ D, gaining 17 yards and keeping the drive alive.
The Pats had Cassel and Co. again on a 3rd-and-1, but Dont’a Hightower jumped offsides on Cassel’s hard count to move the chains. Cassel had run for the first down anyways, but the penalty gave them a few extra yards.
Following a Cassel play-action pass to tight end Rhett Ellison (the Pats were a little too focused on Patterson lining up in the backfield) that gained 24 yards, Asiate was wide open for a 25 yard sweep that turned into a touchdown to put the Vikings up by a touchdown.
The Patriots are very focused on Patterson out of the backfield, and it burned them a little too much on that first drive.
12:57pm: The Patriots won the coin toss and elected to kick off. So the Patriots will get the ball to start the second half.
We’ll see if Stephen Gostkowski boots one out of the back of the end zone, or takes his chances kicking to an explosive return man in Cordarrelle Patterson.
Logan Ryan will start at corner for the injured Alfonzo Dennard.
12:30 pm: While Peterson won’t be playing, it sounds like there is plenty of support for him in the stands:
There’s even one fan walking around with a Peterson jersey and carrying a switch:
Pretty disgusting stuff…
12:15pm: As we wait for kickoff, we’ll take a quick look at Matt Asiata, Minnesota’s backup running back who will be getting most of the carries this afternoon.
Asiata, now in his third year with Minnesota after going undrafted out of Utah in 2012, ran the ball twice for 10 yards in Week 1 against the St. Louis Rams. He has 185 career rushing yards and three touchdowns, also chipping in with seven receptions for a pair of scores.
Jerick McKinnon, who the Vikings drafted in the third round out of Southern Georgia in May, is also expected to get some carries today.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talked about changing the gameplan on the fly with Scott Zolak on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s pregame show.
“We spent a lot of times the last couple of days looking at the other backs who will potentially be there. They have good depth, so we’ll have to stop whoever is in there,” said Belichick.
He also talked about going against a Norv Turner offense, which the Patriots’ saw last year when Turner was with the Cleveland Browns.
“There’s a lot of shifting and motion, trying to get the defense to adjust,” he said. “Norv uses the tight end a lot, screens, shots down the field. He has good variety in his offense and keeps you off balance.”
Belichick also said that Deontae Skinner will probably take some snaps at linebacker with Jamie Collins inactive this afternoon.
11:42 am: Both Dennard (shoulder) and White have both been deactivated for today’s game, and wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins is also on that list.
Without Thompkins, who had five receptions for 37 yards on 10 targets in Week 1, expect Aaron Dobson to have a big role in the passing game this afternoon. Dobson is active after sitting out Week 1.
Here is the full list of Patriots inactives, courtesty of The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe:
11:15 am: Things obviously changed quite a bit on Friday, when star Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was declared out following his indictment for reckless or negligent injury to a child. Peterson was booked and released from a Texas jail early Saturday.
The Patriots will also be without a key player, as linebacker Jamie Collins was ruled out Saturday night due to a thigh injury. Collins played all but one snap in Week 1 against the Dolphins, and the Patriots will have to shuffle their linebacking corps and defensive line a bit without a three-down player in Collins. This could mean either Rob Ninkovich or Chandler Jones see some time at linebacker, and freshly signed Deontea Skinner (who was signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Saturday) could also see some action — depending if the Patriots go 4-3 or 3-4.
We’ll also be monitoring the status of cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who was seen on the field with the trainers roughly 2 1/2 hours ahead of the game along with rookie running back James White. They are likely game-time decisions, though neither player appeared on the injury report during the week. Logan Ryan is the likely candidate to start in place of Dennard if he cannot go, with Malcolm Butler playing an increased roll as well.
On the offensive line the Patriots will be without backup center Ryan Wendell, who was also ruled out Saturday night with a knee injury. Wendell was part of the offensive line rotation in Week 1, and his absence will likely mean that Dan Connolly shares the center duties with rookie Bryan Stork — if the third-round pick is healthy. If it’s not Stork, Josh Kline is the likely candidate to share time with Connolly.
We’ll find out much more when inactives are announced at 11:30 am. Stick with CBSBostonsports.com for all the updates leading up to and throughout this afternoon’s game!
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