VIKINGS: Longwell makes no excuses about missed field goal
CHICAGO After converting 16 straight field goals, Ryan Longwell has missed kicks in his past two games. He badly hooked a 38-yard attempt near the end of the first half of Sunday night's 39-10 loss to the Bears that would have pulled the Vikings ...
After converting 16 straight field goals, Ryan Longwell has missed kicks in his past two games.
He badly hooked a 38-yard attempt near the end of the first half of Sunday night's 39-10 loss to the Bears that would have pulled the Vikings within 23-6.
"It didn't feel good at all," said Longwell, who is 10 for 12 this season. "Because of the cross wind, I was aiming for the right upright. The snap and the hold were fine. I didn't even come close."
It was a dysfunctional lead-up to Longwell's attempt.
The kicker was prepared to kick a 33-yarder coming out of the two-minute warning. But the Vikings, facing fourth and 3, burned a timeout after the break and decided to go for it -- until wide receiver Michael Jenkins was flagged for a false start.
Longwell insisted that the mayhem had no effect on his kick.
"Just missed it," he said.
Coach Leslie Frazier said he felt confident the Vikings could capitalize on the scoring chance.
"We felt like we came up with something and we felt good about the extended time that we had," he said. "We ended up talking it through, wanted to go for it and try to get some point, tried to get a touchdown....That was the thinking."
Not again: Devin Hester continues to torture the Vikings.
Hester, who entered the game with three punt-return touchdowns against Minnesota, added his first-career kickoff return touchdown to the rivalry with a 98-yard score with 10:15 left in the third quarter.
Longwell's kickoff was just short of the goal line, giving Hester a clear view of a gaping hole to the right. He ran virtually untouched for the score.
Hester sucked the momentum out of the Vikings, who were coming off a long drive capped by Adrian Peterson's 4-yard touchdown run.
"When things happen the way they did tonight, you have to find a way to stem the tide," Frazier said. "We were not able to answer some of the sequences that happened in the game."
Hester's four kickoff or punt return scores against the Vikings is his highest total against any team in the NFL.
The latest score was just as painful to Peterson.
"It hit us in the gut," he said.
No ground game: A week after rushing for 122 yards and three touchdowns against Arizona, Peterson couldn't break free from the eight- and nine-man Chicago fronts.
He finished with 39 yards on 13 carries, but even more surprising was his longest run of eight yards. Peterson thrives off creating big gains once he reaches the second level of a defense, but those opportunities didn't exist.
"I knew coming in these guys were going to try to make us one dimensional, come in and stop the run," he said. "It's hard to win in this league when you're not able to move the ball on the ground or in the air."
Defenses stacking the box is nothing new to Peterson, who said he doesn't get frustrated by the extra attention.
"It comes with the territory," he said.
Injury update: The Vikings played most of the second half with two backups on the offensive line.
Starting center John Sullivan left the game early in the second half with a concussion, replaced by Joe Berger.
Right guard Phil Loadholt was limping on the sidelines with a knee injury, replaced by Patrick Brown.
Safety Jamarca Sanford also suffered a concussion in the third quarter.
Lineup shuffling: The Vikings went with five receivers Sunday after activating Percy Harvin (rib soreness) and Bernard Berrian.
Harvin missed practice time during the week because of rib soreness, and Berrian was inactive against Arizona on Oct. 9 for missing two team meetings.
Jenkins, Devin Aromashodu and Greg Camarillo completed the receiver roster against the Bears.
Berrian, a Bears receiver from 2004-07, was a surprise scratch from last year's matchup in Soldier Field because of a hamstring injury.
Camarillo played for the second consecutive week after three straight games on the inactive list.
Chris Cook started at cornerback in replace of Antoine Winfield, who missed two weeks because of neck stiffness.
Also inactive were safety Mistral Raymond, defensive end D'Aundre Reed, center Brandon Fusco, offensive tackle DeMarcus Love, cornerback Brandon Burton and linebacker Xavier Adibi.
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