Harvin, Vikings take down Titans 30-7 to go to 4-1

Associated Press Modified: October 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm •  Published: October 7, 2012
Advertisement
;

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Percy Harvin gave Minnesota another big lift.

With Harvin's variety-pack production, Adrian Peterson's post-injury resurgence and a restored defense, the Vikings are sure soaring right now.

Harvin had one touchdown rushing and another receiving to help the Vikings keep up their commanding start to the season with a 30-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

"He's the best player I've ever played with," Peterson said.

Harvin caught eight passes for 108 yards for the Vikings (4-1), who have given up a combined 33 points in winning three straight games. Christian Ponder threw his first two interceptions after 143 attempts without one this year, but he still finished 25 for 35 for 258 yards and two scores against the reeling Titans (1-4), the latest team that couldn't contain Harvin.

"A beast, that's probably a good way to describe him," Ponder said, adding: "We're going to keep giving him the ball."

Adrian Peterson charged his way for 88 yards on 17 carries for the Vikings, another strong performance on his surgically repaired left knee. That was a stark contrast to the 24 yards Chris Johnson managed on 15 tries, often stutter-stepping at the line, trying fruitlessly to find room.

"We are who we are. There's no draft coming up. There's no adding more players and getting new coaches," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "This is the group we have, and with this group we have to play much better."

Once again, the Titans couldn't keep handing their franchise runner the ball because they fell too far behind. Matt Hasselbeck, subbing for injured starter Jake Locker, went 26 for 43 for 200 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Most of those gains came near the end of the game with the outcome no longer in doubt.

"It's kind of disappointing to be going down the same road every Sunday," Johnson said.

Ponder didn't complete a pass longer than 29 yards in any of the first four games, but the Vikings took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter fueled by the long throw that's been missing. Ponder floated a perfect pass up the sideline to Harvin, who hauled in the ball in man-to-man coverage for a 45-yard gain. The fourth-year do-it-all wide receiver then took an inside handoff and pounded his way into the end zone four plays later from 4 yards out.

Harvin's second score put the seal on this one, a highlight-reel catch and run to add to his already-impressive collection of video clips. Grabbing a quick swing pass at the line of scrimmage, Harvin used the same hesitation move twice to get overeager defenders to fly past him before bouncing into the end zone.

"A couple times they tell me, 'Slow down, I can't catch up,'" Harvin said. "I look at them and laugh and say, 'That's my job.'"

Ponder was picked off by Robert Johnson right in front of the goal line at the end of the second quarter and again by Jordan Babineaux on the first play of the second half, and with a healthy two-possession lead he settled for low-risk throws for most of the rest of the game. Except early in the fourth quarter, when he fired a 15-yard pass in double coverage that sure-handed tight end Kyle Rudolph hauled in to give the Vikings their highest score of the season.

Continue reading this story on the...