This is the most important game of the preseason—at least it's supposed to be.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier is treating it that way. In his Wednesday press conference he said the team was treating this like a regular-season game and that the starters would play the entire first half—with the exception of running back Adrian Peterson.
Charlie Whitehurst will get the start at quarterback, giving Philip Rivers the night off. According to Ricky Henne on Chargers,com, not only will Rivers get the night off, but so will tight end Antonio Gates, as well as 16 other Charger players.
Whitehurst is coming off an a very effective game against the Cowboys, finishing 7-for-12 for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Even without Peterson that stacks the odds in the Vikings favor, or it should. However, the Vikings have not played well through the first 30 minutes.
Christian Ponder has thrown his first interception of the preseason. Along with a fumble by Lex Hilliard, the Chargers jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
After missing a 45-yard field goal attempt to open the second quarter, Blair Walsh hit a 29-yarder with eight seconds left in the second quarter to pull the Vikings within three points.
With 8:40 left in the game Nate Kaeding just hit a 54-yard field goal to put the Chargers ahead 9-3.
Third-string quarterback Sage Rosenfels goes 6-for-6, leading the Vikings to a 10-9 lead with less than two minutes left in the game.
However, as Frazier indicated, the Vikings were going to treat this one like a regular season game. True to form. the Vikings defense—granted it was the third stringers, with the exceptions of rookie safety Harrison Smith.
The defense allowed the Chargers, behind rookie third-string quarterback Jarrett Lee, to drive into Vikings territory.
Nate Novak matched Kaeding with his second field goal, winning it for the Chargers on a 45-yarder as time expired.
Final score:L Chargers 12, Vikings 10.
Vikings fans, keep telling yourself these games don't mean anything.