2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Mistake-filled loss to Browns puts Vikes in peril

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-22 18:38

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The quiet in the locker room after the game was almost a respite for the Minnesota Vikings. They'd spent three hours being booed lustily during a sloppy home loss to a team in full-on rebuilding mode.

Sitting at 0-3 with a trip to London coming up, the Vikings' season is teetering on the brink of ruin, and they know it.

Jordan Cameron caught three touchdown passes, including the go-ahead grab in the back of the end zone with 51 seconds left, and the Cleveland Browns overcame a week of turmoil to stun the Vikings 31-27 Sunday.

``We have to fix it,'' said quarterback Christian Ponder, who heard chants for backup Matt Cassel throughout another uneven performance. ``Otherwise we're going to be 0-16.''

Ponder rushed for two touchdowns, but he also was 25 of 42 for 228 yards with one interception and one lost fumble. He didn't get much help from an offensive line that has woefully underperformed through three games. The unit allowed six sacks and had a hard time opening holes for Adrian Peterson against Cleveland's determined front seven.

Peterson rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown, averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and lost a fumble. The offense managed to turn four Browns turnovers into only 10 points and the defense couldn't hold a late lead for the second straight week.

The Browns trailed 27-24 and started at their 45 with 3:21 left. But Brian Hoyer capped a commanding march down the field with a 7-yard pass in the corner to Cameron to win the game.

``We've got to play better defense,'' said DE Jared Allen, who was shut down by Browns star left tackle Joe Thomas all afternoon. ``I don't know if guys underestimated the Browns coming in or what the deal was, but we have to take a long look in the mirror and get better.''

The Vikings could live with starting 0-2 with road losses to NFC North foes Chicago and Detroit. But to lose at home to a team that just traded its starting running back and elevated third-string quarterback Hoyer to the starting job in place of Brandon Weeden? That one really stings.

Hoyer completed 30 of 54 passes for 321 yards with three touchdowns in his second career start. He also threw three interceptions, but Ponder and the Vikings couldn't make him pay for it. The chants for Cassel could be heard loud and clear in the second half.

``It's impossible to not hear them,'' Ponder said. ``But look, we want to win just as bad as the fans, as bad as anyone else. We're more disappointed than they are. We've got to give them something to cheer about.''

Josh Gordon made a triumphant return from a two-game suspension with 10 catches for 146 yards and a 47-yard touchdown in the first quarter that tied the game at 7. That let the Vikings know the Browns had no intention of folding after a tumultuous week.

Far from tanking, the Browns threw everything they had at the Vikings. They executed a fake punt and a fake field goal that resulted in an 11-yard touchdown pass from holder and punter Spencer Lanning to Cameron that gave Cleveland a 24-14 lead in the second quarter.

``They just didn't listen to any of the noise and any of the things that were out there, any of the negative things or those types of things,'' Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. ``They just continued to believe and work hard.''

The Vikings are sure to hear plenty of negativity as they get ready to cross the pond to play the Steelers in London next week. There were mental errors in all three phases, the defense continues to be leaky, and Ponder hasn't shown signs of being the long-term answer at quarterback.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Ponder remains his starter, and the coach made a mistake himself, challenging a muffed punt by Cleveland in the second quarter. But NFL rules prohibit coaches from challenging changes of possession, and referee Bill Leavy doubled down on the errors by mistakenly penalizing the Vikings 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Vikings should have just been docked a timeout.

``To come up short and make some of the mistakes that we made, we've got a lot of work to do if we want to get it turned around,'' Frazier said. ``We don't want to be losing home games. It's just not a good thing.''

NOTES: The Vikings lost CB Chris Cook (groin) and A.J. Jefferson (ankle) to injuries. ... Vikings MLB Erin Henderson had eight tackles, two sacks and an interception. ... Lanning also kicked an extra point, with K Billy Cundiff (quad) hurting. According to the NFL, Lanning became the first player since 1968 with a punt, extra point and TD pass in one game.

---

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

D.J. WilliamsAug 22 05:12p

Free-agent DT Anthony McCloud (Cardinals), WR Jabin Sambrano (Falcons), DT Marcus Forston (Patriots), TE D.J. Williams (Patriots) and DE James Ruffin (Buccaneers) all cleared waivers Friday, Aug. 22.

Damien WilliamsAug 22 04:58p

Miami Dolphins RB Damien Williams has leapfrogged RBs Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee on the depth chart.

Jalil BrownAug 22 03:22p

The Miami Dolphins released CB Jalil Brown Friday, Aug. 22.

Michael EgnewAug 22 03:02p

The Miami Dolphins waived TE Michael Egnew Friday, Aug. 22.

Emmanuel SandersAug 22 11:22a

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (quadriceps) had a full practice Thursday, Aug. 21, and he could play in his first preseason game Saturday, Aug. 23.

Isaac RedmanAug 22 10:52a

Free-agent RB Isaac Redman (back) said he is no longer able to play football after suffering a spinal cord injury in 2013.

Christian PonderAug 22 10:42a

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater is entrenched as the No. 2 quarterback, and the team is confident with him there. QB Christian Ponder could be traded if he performs [ More ]

Brandon BostickAug 22 08:22a

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers TE Brandon Bostick (leg) has a slight fracture of his fibula and could return by Week 2 or Week 3.

Sean SpenceAug 22 01:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Sean Spence (knee) and Jason Worilds (knee) are not expected to have suffered serious knee injuries during the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21, according to sources.

Doug MartinAug 22 12:52a

Tampa Bay Buccaners RB Doug Martin was called the team's 'bell cow' running back by head coach Lovie Smith.

Heath MillerAug 22 12:42a

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Heath Miller had a team-high five catches for 53 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown reception, in the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21.

Nick FolesAug 22 12:12a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles completed 19 of 29 passes for 179 yards with one touchdown and one interception during the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21. He led [ More ]

LeSean McCoyAug 21 11:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (thumb) said he expects to be ready for the regular season after spraining his right thumb during the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21.

Sammy WatkinsAug 21 10:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) did not participate in team drills during practice Thursday, Aug. 21, and he has not been cleared to play in the team's preseason game Saturday, Aug. 23.

Max StarksAug 21 09:32p

Arizona Cardinals OT Max Starks (ankle), LB Kevin Minter (pectoral) and OG Jonathan Cooper (toe) did not practice Thursday, Aug. 21.

Brandin CooksAug 21 09:12p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (illness) returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday, Aug. 21, and he is questionable for the team's preseason game Saturday, Aug. 23, [ More ]

Victor ButlerAug 21 09:12p

New Orleans Saints CB Rod Sweeting (undisclosed) and LB Victor Butler (undisclosed) did conditioning work on the side with trainers during practice Thursday, Aug. 21.

LeSean McCoyAug 21 09:02p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy's (thumb) X-rays on his right thumb came back negative, but he will not return to the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21.

Jeremy MaclinAug 21 08:52p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin (knee) walked off the field under his own power after falling and clutching his right knee during the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21.

LeSean McCoyAug 21 08:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (thumb) left the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21, and went to the locker room for X-rays on his right thumb.

Le'Veon BellAug 21 07:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell started against the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night as he waits for a possible suspension after being charged for driving under the influence and marijuana possession.

Kenny BrittAug 21 07:32p

St. Louis Rams WR Kenny Britt (shoulder) may sit out of the team's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns Saturday, Aug. 23, with a shoulder injury. Britt did practice this week, however.

William HayesAug 21 07:32p

St. Louis Rams WR Jordan Harris (undisclosed), LB Pat Schiller (undisclosed), DE Sammy Brown (calf), DT Matt Conrath (undisclosed), DE William Hayes (undisclosed) OG Barrett Jones (back) and C [ More ]

J. VanderveldeAug 21 06:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Josh Huff (shoulder), RB Chris Polk (hamstring), WR Brad Smith (undisclosed), CB Brandon Boykin (leg), LB Jake Knott (hamstring) and C Julian Vandervelde (back) are not [ More ]

Reggie WayneAug 21 05:32p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) is a game-time decision against the New Orleans Saints Saturday, Aug. 23, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Darnell DockettAug 21 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Thursday, Aug. 21.

Fendi OnobunAug 21 05:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Fendi Onobun (knee) has cleared waivers and was placed on Reserve/Injured Thursday, Aug. 2.

Mike CaussinAug 21 05:12p

Washington Redskins TE Mike Caussin (undisclosed) was placed on Reserve/Injured Thursday, Aug. 21.

Isaiah PeadAug 21 05:12p

St. Louis Rams RB Isaiah Pead (knee) has cleared waivers and was placed on Reserve/Injured Thursday, Aug. 2.

Joe MaysAug 21 04:42p

Kansas City Chiefs LB Joe Mays (wrist) will have surgery on his wrist, according to a source. Mays was hurt in last week's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. [ More ]

Eric WeemsAug 21 04:02p

The Atlanta Falcons signed free-agent WR Eric Weems (Bears) Thursday, Aug. 21. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Manti Te'oAug 21 03:42p

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip), WR Vincent Brown (calf), LB Manti Te'o (foot), DT Sean Lissemore (ankle), SS Jahleel Addae (hamstring), DE Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group