Freeman, Bucs Rally Past Vikings 24-20

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — LeGarrette Blount’s 4-yard touchdown run with 31 seconds left lifted Tampa Bay past the Minnesota Vikings 24-20 on Sunday, completing another comeback guided by Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman — this time from a 17-0 halftime deficit.

Eight of Freeman’s 14 career victories have come when the Bucs (1-1) went ahead in the fourth quarter or overtime. Given how overwhelmed they were before halftime, outgained 284 yards to 62 during the first two quarters, this might have been the most impressive.

Click here to view a slideshow from the game.

Freeman found Arrelious Benn for a 25-yard touchdown pass over Cedric Griffin with 6:39 remaining to cut Minnesota’s lead to three points. A 19-yard leaping catch by Dezmond Briscoe and a 15-yard late hit penalty on Jared Allen set up the score.

Adrian Peterson had 25 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the first half for the Vikings (0-2), who blew a healthy lead for the second straight week and were booed off the field when their desperation drive was stopped around midfield as the clock ran out.

Coach Raheem Morris said he thought his young team “blinked” last week in the 27-20 loss to Detroit, when the Lions led at the half and held on.

This time, the Bucs didn’t flinch.

After expressing frustration he wasn’t more involved last week, Blount finished with 71 yards and the two scores on 13 carries.

Tampa Bay even overcame a couple of costly mistakes. The Bucs recovered an onside kick after Blount’s first touchdown, but Freeman threw off his back foot for Kellen Winslow into the end zone. Husain Abdullah returned the interception 32 yards.

Donovan McNabb was much better than in his Minnesota debut, finishing 18 for 30 for 228 yards. But Freeman was the better quarterback when it counted most, completing 22 of 31 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The Vikings showed much better balance than the week before, but in mixing up their play calls they might have strayed too far from Peterson, who plowed and danced through Tampa Bay’s front seven for most of the afternoon.

Peterson was busy pounding the ball into the throat of Tampa Bay’s defense, which needed a bunch of ankle tackles to take him down. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave had McNabb rolling out often with the line pulling the other way, and the Bucs frequently took the bait.

After a superb first half, the defense faltered again, too, missing some crucial tackles and letting Freeman find cracks in the coverage. The touchdown toss to Benn capped an 80-yard, eight-play drive that lasted barely three minutes, and then Lorenzo Booker’s ill-advised kickoff return from the end zone netted only 9 yards.

The Vikings punted, giving the Bucs prime field position to either tie or take the lead. Tyrell Johnson dropped an interception near the goal line on first down from the 16, and the Bucs were in the end zone three plays later.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • B.Childress

    I’m hoping this team goes 0-16..Only because it seals the no-stadium deal for Wilf

  • Paul Solinger

    What an embarrassment.

  • Kevin

    Your ahead….you choke….you loose…..lather…..rinse…..repeat……

    • valkyrie

      You’re (AS IN YOU ARE) choke…you lose (NOT LOOSE CLOTHING)..lather…rinse….repeat…..SPELL!

  • Ball Boyz

    Now that three letters word “win” is becoming a dream even with 17-0 lead over Tamba Bay Buccaneers during first half. Still a lot of questions to be answered by Vikings.

  • LA wants you, We in Minnesota don't

    Best news a person could hope for on a rainy Sunday. Send them to LA

    • Real Talk

      Actually millions of people want the Vikings right here.

      How many people do you think actually want you? …..maybe 4 or 5. Welp, majority has it…time for you to skeedattle on down to another state goober.

  • Not Impressed

    These idiots don’t deserve a new stadium, especially when you suck. Go to LA.

  • Skol?? What the??

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA. UW-Whitewater would give the Vikes a run for their money.

  • JL

    This is the reason why i said NO to the new stadium…!!

  • Ferris Lind

    On a rainy day in MN a Vikings loss makes my day seem clearer and brighter

  • Franco

    I am changing my 7-9 prediction to 6-10. The queens blow!

  • Hockeyboy

    Whats the smallest room in the Metrodome??
    The Trophy room …

  • Hockeyboy

    How to the Minnesota Vikings Count?
    0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4 ,0-5 and so on

  • Kevin P.

    Headline should just read “Vikes Blow”…that is about right!

  • Doug

    I wonder what all the people who blamed Brett Favre last year think about this team ? Something is still missing from the offense. I miss 2009….

  • Face It

    The reason the Vikes lost is because they don’t have a new stadium.

    • Jake

      Do you mean, like, the twinkies????

  • Bob

    They can move to Iowa. Iowa does not have a pro team and neither does Minnesota. Lots of wide open spaces right on 35 W going south. There Gov. Can raise taxes and get them a new stadium.

  • Jake

    An absolutely PATHETIC showing in the second half. I was willing to cut them some slack in the hot air of San Diego and McNabb being pretty new to this team, but today’s performance was inexcusable. Many STUPID penalties in the second half (ROBISON ANYONE?). Not being ready for the onside kick. Very POOR time management near the end of the game. This team is a ONE-half team, with NO ability to ADJUST to the changing developments within a single game. If they finish 6-10 this year, I would consider that to be a big accomplishment. Just wait until they have to play GB or Chicago……Oh wait…. the 2-0 DETROIT LIONS come into town NEXT WEEK. Gonna be a long, stupid season. Ponder, better watch those films, take practice very seriously.

  • Jake

    If they don’t get a win within a week or two, I’ll lend them the toe of my BOOT to help them move to LA, Peterson and ALL. Would rather have no team at all than to have a team of quitters who can only play half of a game. This team does not have the ability or attiude to put another team down when they have the opportunity to do so.

  • It's just football

    Washington is 2 – 0 this year without McNabb. Philly is 1 -0 and leading in the 3rd quarter without McNabb. Need more be said?

  • MrB

    Who cares! You people who follow the vikings are loser’s just like they are. Nuff said!

  • tom

    Send the losers packing, no stadium, nov vkings, wo wilf, I root for any team that is playing MN, be good for Minnesota

    • Move you team anywhere

      I to cheer for the other team, Nothing makes my sunday like a Vikings loss. S crew him and his statium. He wants a new one put up the money

  • biglou64

    Haven’t cared about this team since I was 12. Haven’t missed much in the last 35 years. Remember what colors the LA Lakers are? Hmmm. they’d fit right in.

  • SEE YA!!!! HELLO L.A.


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