San Diego Chargers vs. Minnesota Vikings: Preseason Week 3 Live Score, Analysis
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.
Injury update for the Vikings:
Mistral Raymond injured himself during the pre-game warmups.
Josh Robinson was removed from the game after suffering a concussion in the first half.
@gregcoleman8https://twitter.com/gregcoleman8">@gregcoleman8> on sidelines reports that Josh Robinson headed to locker-room after a collision with Jacob Hester last series #Vikings&mdash" _mce_href="https://twitter.com/search/?q=%23Vikings">nullnullnullnull&mdash">https://twitter.com/search/?q=%23Vikings">#Vikings
— KFAN1003 (@KFAN1003) https://twitter.com/KFAN1003/status/239173072349970433" data-datetime="2012-08-25T01:31:18+00:00">August 25, 2012
FINAL: Chargers 12, Vikings 10, Nick Novak's second field goal on the night, this one a 45-yarder as time expires, gives the Chargers their third victory, going 3-0 in the preseason.
At least the Vikings didn't allow a touchdown. But the offense coughed up the ball four times, and fall to 1-2.
There are still plenty of questions left for the Vikings to answer in their last preseason game next Thursday in Houston.
TOUCHDOWN Vikings. Minnesota 10, San Diego 9 with 1:54 left in the game.
OK, let Chris Kluwe come on one more time to hold for the extra point.
Sage Rosenfels is showing why he is a valuable player to have on the roster.
Playing with third and fourth-team players, he is able to drive the Vikings down the field. In his single drive of the night he goes 5-for-5 bringing the Vikings to the 3-yard line with 2:00 remaining.
It's Audie Cole time!
The Vikings strategy appears to be punt the ball and let Cole take another interception to the house.
Chris Kluwe has looked great tonight with five punts for a 50-yard average. I think it's time to take Kluwe out of the game and let someone else play.
Chargers lead 9-3 halfway through the fourth quarter on a 54-yard field goal by Nate Kaeding.
It's garbage time in the preseason with the plenty of players that will be looking for a job in a couple of weeks.
On the Vikings television broadcast they just pointed out there are two players with the number 60.
That can't feel too secure if you're defensive tackle Tydreke Powell or center Quentin Saulsberry.
Saulsberry, a rookie free agent from Mississippi State started every game in his collegiate career, playing all five positions along the offensive line, has the edge in keeping the jersey.
Christian Ponder exits the game going 9-for-16 for 115 yards and an interception.
On the preseason Ponder is now 23-of-38 for 331 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
His passer rating drops from 111.2 going into the game, to 86.6.
Charlie Whitehurst, the Chargers backup quarterback finished the night 8-of-18 with 82 yards. In two games he is 15-of-30 for 204 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating this preseason is 94.3.
Matt Asiata was looking like he could make the team—then he decided to pull his Lex Hilliard imitation and fumbled the ball on the Chargers 4-yard line.
Perhaps they all want to be like Adrian Peterson, at least the Peterson who fumbled 16 times in 2008 and 2009.
Of course he also had 3,143 yards over those two seasons.
With only six carries tonight for Toby Gerhart, he better be ready when the season opens September 9th against the Jaguars.
The Vikings need to take a page out of Harvey Spector's page and refuse to lose.
Not good news for the Vikings. Third-round draft pick Josh Robinson is taken to the locker room with a concussion.
The report from the television broadcast is he will not return.
That does not bode well with how Chris Carr has played tonight.
Some things still look the same as the Vikings Christian Ponder throws the out and Percy Harvin runs deep.
An easy interception by De'Andre Presley, a free agent rookie from Appalachian State. The second turnover for the Vikings, and the second blown call by the officials.
On the positive side for San Diego, head coach Norv Turner, he's 2-for-2 on instant-replay challenges.
Chargers lead 6-0 on two field goals following a Vikings turnover.
Thanks to instant reply, the replacement refs get another call right after reversing the down-by-contact call initially made.
San Diego safety Eric Weddle strips the ball from Lex Hilliard on his first carry of the night.
Hilliard must be thinking in order to secure the backup to the backup at running back is to play like the departed Lorenzo Booker who had three fumbles on 13 carries last season.
Through one quarter Christian Ponder and Charlie Whitehurst have identical stats—4-for-8 passing with 34 yards for Whitehurst and 33 yards for Ponder.
Which is more disappointing, the Vikings offense or the offense?
As far as Chargers fans go, they must be thinking how much more Philip River would be tearing apart this defense.
Chargers take a 3-0 lead in the 1st quarter with a 50-yard field goal by Nate Kaeding
So far the Chargers second-team offense is outplaying the Vikings offense.
Two three-and-outs for Christian Ponder and the Vikings, while Charlie Whitehurst has led the Chargers to a couple of first downs as they drive into Vikings territory.
Perhaps the Vikings are the 32nd team in the NFL as ranked by Jordan Raanan of Xfinity Sports.
Even though Adrian Peterson participated in the pre-game warmups, he is in street clothes as the game opens.
The last time the Chargers came to the Metrodome in 2007, Peterson, in his rookie season, ran for record 296 yards on 30 carries.
The Vikings won the toss and will start with the ball. Marcus Sherels gets the first chance to touch the ball with a 23-yard return.
He is a player on the bubble, especially if rookies Josh Robinson or Jarius Wright show promise as a punt returner.
It's been two years since either the Chargers or Vikings have been in the playoffs.
In 2009, after going 13-3 in the regular season, the Chargers were shocked by Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets in the divisional round of the playoffs 17-14.
The Vikings lost to Drew Brees and the Saints in the NFC Championship games after going 12-4.
Since then the Vikings win total has dropped to three last season, while the Chargers have not fallen below .500 since 2003.
Just settling in, about 10 minutes from kickoff.
It will be interesting to see if the Vikings win the toss who will get the first chance at a return. Last year in Week 1, Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
One possibility is Bryan Walters who returned eight punts for the Chargers last season.
The following Vikings' players are not expected to play tonight: guard Bridger Buche, tight end John Carlson, cornerback Chris Cook, nose tackle LeTroy Guion, wide receiver Kamar Jorden, running back Adrian Peterson and guard Geoff Schwartz.
Chris Carr will get the start at cornerback with third-round draft choice Josh Robinson seeing significant time.
According to espn.com the following players are out for the Chargers: wide receiver Vincent Brown and running back Ryan Mathews.
Wide receiver Eddie Royal is listed as probable and center Nick Hardwick is listed as questionable.
As I already posted, no Rivers and Gates.
The third game of the preseason it supposed to be the most important.
Starters play into the third quarter in order to give them the "feel" of a real game.
San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner is treating this one more like the fourth game of the preseason.
The Chargers will play without starting quarterback Philip Rivers and their receptions leader from 2011, tight Antonio Gates.
A clavicle injury has their leading rusher, Ryan Mathews, on the sideline as well.
That means the Vikings starting defensive unit will be facing, at best the Chargers second offensive unit.
Does that hurt or hinder Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier's ability to judge his defense?
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