The Minnesota Vikings were flying high with a 5-2 record coming in to their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Undefeated at home, and looking like the real deal so far this year, most people probably had their Vegas bets in favor of a Minnesota win.
Well, that's why they play the game. Tampa Bay came in, wreaked havoc on the Vikings, and ran through Minnesota for a 36-17 victory Thursday night at the Mall of American Field in front of a national television audience.
The Hero of the Game goes to Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin. The rookie running back rushed for 135 yards on 29 carries and one score. Add to this that Martin caught three balls for 79 yards, including a 64 yard score and you have yourself a heck of a game.
Martin is not the biggest or the fastest of running backs, but he gets the job done with great lateral moves, quickness, and a hard-nosed running style. The rookie out of Boise State has made a seamless transition to the NFL, and his attacking style and ability to take the ball the distance at anytime is making the Buccaneers very happy with their draft pick.
The Zero of the Game goes to the Minnesota Vikings defense. Up until Thursday night, the Vikings were one of the better team defenses in the NFL. Their ability to shut down and limit opposing offenses was a key factor in their surprising rise so far this year.
Jared Allen and company really had their hands full with the Buccaneers offense, namely running back Doug Martin and quarterback Josh Freeman who threw for three touchdowns.
Minnesota gave up 416 total yards to the Bucs, created no turnovers; and were on the field a for 37 minutes and 45 seconds of the game while the Tampa offense marched up and down seemingly scoring at will.
Tampa leaves Minnesota happy, while the Vikings are left to wonder what happened on Thursday night; and where that steam locomotive came from that rolled over them.