MINNEAPOLIS -- The game turned downright nightmarish for the Vikings after a promising start, ultimately resulting in a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots.

The Vikings were without star running back, Adrian Peterson, who was indicted on Friday on allegations of child abuse.

Despite the distraction and noticeable absence of Peterson, The Vikings started the game well - taking the opening drive down the field and scoring on a 25-yard Matt Cassel-to-Matt Asiata touchdown pass.

The Vikings defense held forced the Patriots to punt on the ensuing possession.

Then the game took a turn.

Cassel badly underthrew receiver Jarius Wright on a deep post pattern and the ball was intercepted and returned to the Vikings' 1-yard line by New England's Devin McCourty.

Patriots running back Stevan Ridley then plunged into the endzone to tie the game at 7-7.

The Patriots defense stymied Matt Cassel and the Vikings offense and New England held a 10-point lead near the end of the first half after a field goal by Stephen Gostkowski and a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman.

The Vikings drove at the end of the second quarter when the biggest turning point of the game occurred.

On third-and-16, Cassel was just wide on a throw to Cordarrelle Patterson who could not keep his feet in bounds.

Kicker Blair Walsh came on to attempt a 44-yard field goal with seconds remaining in the first half.

Patriots hybrid linebacker, Chandler Jones, knifed through the line, blocked the kick, and returned it 56 yards for a demoralizing touchdown.

Down 24-7 at halftime, the Vikings could not recover as poor play, bad mistakes, and bad luck doomed the purple on an otherwise gorgeous Autumn day at TCF Bank Stadium.

Other Observations:

- Dropped passes plagued the Vikings receivers all day, as Kyle RudolphGreg Jennings, and Jarius Wright had some of the more deflating drops.

- Fans were chanting "TEDDY! TEDDY!" after the second of Matt Cassel's four interceptions on the day, but rookie Teddy Bridgewater did not come in.

- Left tackle Matt Kalil did his best turnstile impression, giving up sacks to Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower.

- The one bright spot about the game today is... that it's over.

The loss drops the Vikings to 1-1 on the season and it does not get any easier as they have to travel to the Superdome in New Orleans to take on the Saints next Sunday.