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Cassel, Vikings look ugly in 30-7 loss to Patriots

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The Minnesota Vikings -- without Adrian Peterson -- had a horrible game as they lost 30-7 to the New England Patriots at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis Sunday afternoon.

Quarterback Matt Cassel had an erratic performance, throwing four interceptions that led to 17 points for the Patriots. Cassel finished 19 for 36 for 202 yards.

Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady went 15 for 22 for 142 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers.

The Patriots' Chandler Jones blocked a Vikings field goal attempt and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown just before halftime, which gave the Patriots a 24-7 lead and the momentum going into the locker room.

Minnesota scored on its first drive -- Cassel completed four passes and Matt Asiata scored on a 25-yard touchdown reception to put the Vikings up early, 7-0. But then the wheels came off and it was all New England from there, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

After the Vikings notched an impressive 34-6 victory last Sunday over the Rams, there was lots of talk about how new head coach Mike Zimmer was turning the team in the right direction, and Minnesota's stock was rising among football analysts.

Now, the questions begin again. After each of Cassel's second-half interceptions, fans began chanting for backup Teddy Bridgewater to be brought into the game.

After the game, Zimmer made it clear that Cassel is still his starting quarterback.

“I’m going to hold the quarterback position, just like every position here, to the same standard,” Zimmer said, according to the Star Tribune. “And I also said I wasn’t going to have a quick hook. Matt needs to play better. It’s pretty obvious he needs to play better. We all need to play better. I need to coach better.”

Peterson did not play, and was not at the stadium, after being deactivated this week by the team following his indictment on child abuse charges in Texas. It's unclear how long he'll be inactive, or what penalties he might face from the NFL.

The Minnesota Gophers lost to TCU Saturday afternoon, just one week after an impressive 35-24 victory over Middle Tennessee State.

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