Magic Cassel revives hope as Vikings beat Steelers in London, 34-27


It took a last-minute fumble recovery to thwart a Steelers drive, but the Vikings held on in Wembley to get a home victory in London over the Steelers, 34-27.

The story line of the game centered on Matt Cassel playing in place of the injured Christian Ponder, and the quarterback responded by giving a struggling team a shot in the arm.

And his arm was on full display. After an early Blair Walsh field goal, Cassel hit Greg Jennings for a 70-yard connection and a quick six to put Minnesota up 10-0 early. Pittsburgh responded with an eight-yard run by Le'Veon Bell, and then the game was on.

Adrian Peterson got loose, exploding for a 60-yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter. The teams traded field goals, and then Bell and Peterson traded touchdowns, and the Vikings added another Cassel-Jennings connection.

In short, the Vikings looked like a team with confidence, just one week after an embarrassing loss to Cleveland.

Pittsburgh got a late TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Jerricho Cotchery, and added a field goal to make it 34-27 Minnesota. A last minute drive by the Steelers stalled when Kevin Williams recovered a fumble with :08 left in the game.

Chad Greenway played tough defense for the Vikings, with 10 tackles, one sack and an interception.

Jared Allen also played strong, getting 2.5 sacks after a drought, and hit Roethlisberger three times on top of that.

Cassel finished the game 16 for 25 with 248 yards, 2 TDs and no interceptions.

Peterson carried the ball 23 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns with no fumbles.

A lot of jobs were probably saved for Minnesota today, perhaps even that of head coach Leslie Frazier. One person who almost certainly lost one was Christian Ponder.

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