Sunday’s roundup: Vikings victory christens new stadium
Minneapolis — Teddy Bridgewater was sharp in his return from a sore arm, completing 12 of 16 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown in the first half for the Vikings in a 23-10 exhibition victory Sunday over the Chargers in the official unveiling of their new stadium.
After sitting out last week, Bridgewater found Kyle Rudolph for a 27-yard score to cap a crisp 2-minute drill and led the Vikings to points on three of five possessions. Bridgewater even juked strong safety Adrian Phillips to further a 22-yard run that set up one of three field goals by Blair Walsh.
“The shoulder’s feeling great,” Bridgewater said. “I had some fun out there playing with the guys, and I can’t wait to get back out there.”
Melvin Gordon cruised through the middle of Minnesota’s starting defense for a 39-yard touchdown after Philip Rivers audibled to a run upon sensing a blitz. San Diego lost running back Branden Oliver, though, to an Achilles tendon injury on his right leg that required a cart to take him off. The loss of Oliver, the primary kickoff returner and a contributing backup behind Gordon and Danny Woodhead, left the Chargers in a somber mood.
“I went up there as a friend and just prayed for him,” Woodhead said. “That’s the only thing you can do in that situation.”
With sunlight streaming in from the floor-to-ceiling glass on the west side and through the translucent, space-age roof, the Vikings enjoyed a gleaming debut for U.S. Bank Stadium in front of a sold-out crowd of 66,143.
“It’s a beautiful place,” coach Mike Zimmer said, as purple-clad fans watched his postgame press conference from a lounge area the team walks through to reach the field. “It’s just getting used to everything.”
(At) Houston 34, Arizona 24: Brock Osweiler threw for 146 yards and a touchdown and Houston intercepted two of Carson Palmer’s passes.
Osweiler led the Texans to scores on three of his four drives. He connected with first-round pick Will Fuller on a 26-yard touchdown pass that extended Houston’s lead to 24-10 before sitting down with about three minutes left in the first half.
It was Osweiler’s second successful outing after he and Houston’s starting offense struggled in the team’s first preseason game. The expectations for Osweiler are high after the Texans signed Peyton Manning’s former backup to a $72 million contract this offseason.
While Osweiler was solid, Houston’s starting defense starred. Andre Hal intercepted Palmer’s second pass of the day to set up Houston’s first score, a 1-yard touchdown run by new running back Lamar Miller.
Palmer’s second drive was his only clean one, and it ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by David Johnson.
(At) Jacksonville 26, Cincinnati 21: Andy Dalton led the Bengals to two touchdowns in three possessions, earning him and several teammates a little extra rest long before halftime.
The Bengals felt good on both sides of the ball, too. Dalton found Giovani Bernard for a 19-yard score on a third-down play, and then Jeremy Hill capped a 9-minute drive with a 1-yard scramble to the pylon. Defensively, the Bengals held the Jaguars to just 90 yards in the first half. Jacksonville’s first three drives: turnover, three-and-out and three-and-out.
Receiver A.J. Green left in the first quarter with a bruised right knee, but the team said it was nothing serious and he should be fine for the opener.
The Jaguars had bigger problems — the offense and defense both failed to show — that raised questions about what’s supposed to the franchise’s most talented team in nearly a decade.
Chiefs safety Eric Berry signed his $190.8 million franchise tender and reported to camp.
... The Jets cut tight end Jason Vander Laan (Ferris State).
... The Eagles cut former Michigan defensive tackle Mike Martin and offensive tackle William Campbell.
... The Falcons signed free-agent safety Dashon Goldson.
... Colts left guard Jack Mewhort is expected to miss two to four weeks because of a knee injury.