Rookie Stefon Diggs Shines As Minnesota Vikings Defeat Kansas City Chiefs

Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings have struggled a bit to start the 2015 season. The Chiefs won their season opener and then dropped their last four games, facing three different teams in those four losses that are still undefeated, in the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, and Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile the Vikings lost their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, and also had lost to the Broncos as well, but they just had their bye week to rest and see if they are going to do better than their 2-2 record had suggested.

The Chiefs defense is clearly the star of their team. It would be evident early in the game as they would have to stop the Vikings early and often. The Vikings marched right down the first on their opening possession, but Teddy Bridgewater would make a mistake that would cost his team points. He wound up throwing an interception into the hands of Ron Parker after they were in the red zone on a third and goal play.

The Vikings next drive though was highlighted by a Stefon Diggs 31 yard reception to get them down by the red zone. Diggs would come up big again with another 14 yard reception for a key first down on a third and eleven. But it would end up at the foot of Blair Walsh as he nailed a 24 yard field goal to give the Vikings an early lead.

A few Vikings offensive drives later, Steven Nelson of the Chiefs might have had the most costly penalty of the game. He was called for roughing the passer on third and fifteen on an incomplete pass intended for Jarius Wright. That penalty was costly because it likely could have been a punting situation for the Vikings without it, but instead, just five plays later, Bridgewater would throw his only touchdown of the game to Kyle Rudolph. That would give the Vikings a 10-0 lead.

Meanwhile, you may have noticed that there has been nothing written of Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense in this first half. They only managed to get a total of 41 yards of offense. While the Chiefs would get the ball first to start the second half, they would end up quickly punting it back to the Vikings. Walsh would take advantage of this and kick a 45 yard field goal this time around and the Vikings were up by even more, leading 13-0.

The Chiefs started to mount a comeback attempt, but they just didn't have enough put together to accomplish it. For example, they drove down to the Minnesota seven yard line, from there they had Anthony Sherman rush up the middle for no gain on third down and one, and then saw Charcandrick West run up the middle for no gain as well on fourth down, for a turnover on downs in the middle of the third quarter, when they really could have used the three points to get them back on the board. Andy Reid is going to have to answer some tough questions about that one.

Then, after they forced a Vikings punt and the clock had gone into the fourth quarter, Cairo Santos would get the Chiefs their first points of the game to get them to trail by only 10 points, 13-3.

Rookie defensive back Marcus Peters was amazing as well and and was able to intercept a pass intended for Mike Wallace to stop the next Vikings possession. The Chiefs responded to this great defensive effort by getting their only touchdown of the game when Albert Wilson was able to catch a wide receiver screen right when the Vikings had gone on a big blitz toward Smith, and then he easily scampered the remaining 42 yards to get into the end zone and they were only down 13-10 now.

The Vikings would be able to run 4 minutes of clock even with the Chiefs using several defensive timeouts to get the clock down under five minutes left to play before Walsh would hit another 45 yard field goal to extend the lead to 16-10.

But the Chiefs comeback was stopped by themselves. West had a critical fumble after they had gotten the ball into the Vikings territory, and then when the Chiefs got the ball back, they wound up with a turnover on downs. That happened right at the two minute drill and with no timeouts left the Vikings simply had Bridgewater take a few kneel downs in the victory formation to close it out.

Statistical Leaders

Passing: Alex Smith (22/37, 282 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions)

Rushing: Adrian Peterson (26 carries, 60 yards)

Receiving: Stefon Diggs (7 catches, 129 yards)

Next Up

The Minnesota Vikings (3-2) will face the Detroit Lions (1-5) at Ford Field next week on October 25, 2015. Meanwhile the Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) will have to try and turn around their season next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) on the same date.