Vikings Lose Wild One In Miami
MIAMI, Fla. -- In a crazy, back-and-forth final quarter, a bad snap and blocked punt was the Vikings' undoing in their 37-35 loss to the Miami Dolphins today.
With the score tied at 35-35 with 45 seconds remaining, Vikings punter Jeff Locke fielded a poor snap from long snapper Cullen Loeffler and Dolphins defensive end Terrence Fede blocked the attempted punt out of the back of the endzone for a safety.
It was an unfortunate end to a game with a lot of bright spots for the Vikings.
Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater continued to show progress, going 19-for-26 for 259 yards and two touchdowns.
After a Matt Asiata touchdown opened the scoring, Bridgewater hit Greg Jennings on a 21-yard score that gave the Vikings an early 14-0 lead.
Bridgewater should have had another touchdown credited to him on a beautifully-placed ball to tight end Chase Ford at the end of the first half, but the officials said he stepped out of bounds at the one yard line - a mistake they upheld after a review.
Instead, a Blair Walsh field goal gave the Vikings a 17-7 halftime lead.
Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins offense woke up in the second half, scoring four touchdowns in the final 30 minutes.
Tannehill dissected the Vikings secondary, finishing with 396 yards and four touchdowns.
His third touchdown pass deflected off the hands of Minnesota cornerback Xavier Rhodes and caught by Miami receiver Mike Wallace, who pivoted and dived into the endzone to give the Dolphins a 28-20 lead.
Bridgewater, who has shown a penchant for bringing the Vikings back, did just that - leading a five-play, 60 yard drive and capped it off by threading the needle with a perfect pass to receiver Jarius Wright for an eight-yard touchdown.
After the successful two-point conversion, Dolphins rookie receiver Jarvis Landry fumbled the kickoff at the five yard line and Vikings special teamer Antone Exum recovered it.
Asiata plowed ahead for his second touchdown of the game and gave the Vikings a 35-28 lead with 4:35 remaining.
Tannehill then rallied the Miami offense and led a drive that tied the game at 35-35 with a short touchdown throw to running back Damien Williams.
The Vikings got the ball back with 54 seconds remaining and all three timeouts, but the offensive line struggled to contain Miami star defensive end Cameron Wake, who sacked Bridgewater on third-and-nine to force the game-losing punt.
With the loss, the Vikings drop to 6-9 on the season and will host the 5-10 Chicago Bears next Sunday in the final game of 2014.