Cassel throws four interceptions, Vikings lose to Patriots

MINNEAPOLIS - Quarterback Matt Cassel led Minnesota on an opening seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive that was as picturesque as the weather Sunday during the first regular season home game of a two-year stint for the Vikings at their home-away-fro...

New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan (26) returns an interception during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sept. 14, 2014. The Patriots defeated the Vikings 30-7. (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS - Quarterback Matt Cassel led Minnesota on an opening seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive that was as picturesque as the weather Sunday during the first regular season home game of a two-year stint for the Vikings at their home-away-from-home, University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.
Then, Cassel’s play turned as cold and ugly as the weather is forecast to be in December when the Chicago Bears visit for the finale, with the Vikings losing 30-7 to the New England Patriots to drop to 1-1 on the season.
“Any time you have four turnovers, I believe it was four turnovers, and a blocked field goal for a touchdown, you’re going to get beat,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “Like I told the team, we didn’t have any sense of urgency offensively for the whole ball game other than maybe the first drive.”
Cassel threw a 25-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the game to third-year running back Matt Asiata, who started in place of the deactivated and indicted Adrian Peterson.
Cassel then proceeded to throw four interceptions resulting in two Patriots touchdowns and a 47-yard field goal, prompting the crowd of 52,350 – many of whom were wearing No. 28 Peterson jerseys despite the running back facing charges for reckless or negligent injury of a child in Texas because he used a switch on his 4-year-old son – to call for rookie Teddy Bridgewater in the third quarter.
The fans never got the rookie, Bridgewater, however. All they got were Vikings debacles.
“I can’t turn the ball over, especially against a good football team like we played today,” Cassel said. “You can’t afford that. I have to do a better job taking care of the ball.”
Of the 30 points scored by the Patriots, 24 came off of turnovers and the blocked field goal attempt.
Tom Brady and the Patriots turned Cassel’s first INT that was returned to the Vikings 1 yard line into a 1-yard TD run by Stevan Ridley in the first quarter. Brady then floated a perfect pass to wide receiver Julian Edelman in the second quarter to cap a 7-play, 61-yard drive stemming from Cassel’s second INT.
“They made a lot of great plays, big-time plays,” Brady said about the Patriots’ defense and special teams. “That is what we needed. Hopefully they keep doing it. We have to start producing when we get it and take advantage of some of the things, getting the ball in the short field, get it in the end zone.”
Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones added to the Vikings misery by blocking a Blair Walsh field goal attempt in the final minute. Jones, who came in virtually untouched, returned the block 58 yards for a touchdown, turning a potential 17-10 halftime deficit for the Vikings into a 24-7 hole.
“Huge play and we work on it every week,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who reached the 200-win plateau. “It’s great to see it happen the way it did and see that hard work from practice pay off and become reality in the game. That’s what it’s all about.”

  • Greg Jennings, now in his second season in Minnesota after seven years and 425 catches with the Green Bay Packers, caught his 500th career ball in the fourth quarter after having the milestone wiped out via earlier via an offensive pass interference call. He also dropped a pass in the fourth quarter. The 4-yard grab was his only catch of the game.

New England 30 Minnesota 7

New England    10    14    3    3-    30

Minnesota    7    0    0    0-    7


First Quarter
MIN-Asiata 25 yard pass from Cassel (Walsh kick), 10:54.
NE-Ridley 1 yard rush (Gostkowski kick), 6:14.
NE-Gostkowski 48 yard field goal, 0:32.
Second Quarter
NE-Edelman 9 yard pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick), 9:30.
NE-Ca.Jones 57 yard blocked fg return (Gostkowski kick), 0:09.
Third Quarter
NE-Gostkowski 47 yard field goal, 8:32.
Fourth Quarter
NE-Gostkowski 27 yard field goal, 14:57.


    NE    MIN

First Downs    16    17
Total Net Yards    292    217
Rushes-Yds    37-150    19-54
Passing    142    163
Sacked-Yds Lost    1-7    6-39
Comp-Att-Int    15-22-0    19-36-4
Punts    5-42.2    5-45.6
Punt Returns    4-66    1-11
Kickoff Returns    0-0    3-49
Interceptions Ret.    4-60    0-0
Penalties-Yards    15-163    7-58
Fumbles-Lost    1-0    1-0
Time of Possession    31:34    28:26


RUSHING- NE, Ridley 25-101, S.Vereen 6-40, Edelman 1-9, B.Bolden 4-0, Brady 1-0. MIN, Asiata 13-36, Cassel 3-16, McKinnon 2-7, Jr.Wright 1-(minus 5).
PASSING- NE, Brady 15-22-0-149. MIN, Cassel 19-36-4-202.
RECEIVING- NE, Edelman 6-81, Gronkowski 4-32, Develin 2-17, Dobson 1-13, Hoomanawanui 1-6, S.Vereen 1-0. MIN, Rudolph 5-53, Asiata 5-48, C.Patterson 4-56, McKinnon 2-5, Ellison 1-24, Jr.Wright 1-12, G.Jennings 1-4.

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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