Dolphins move to 2-0 as Brett Favre's 4 turnovers doom Vikes
Miami's biggest addition to the team this past offseason is clearly defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
Dolphins move to 2-0 as Brett Favre's 4 turnovers doom Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Miami Dolphins defense has put Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in quite a hole.
Favre was intercepted three times and the Dolphins defense stopped Adrian Peterson on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to preserve a 14-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Koa Misi also recovered Favre's fumble in the end zone for one of Miami's two touchdowns on the day and Brian Hartline scored the other on a 5-yard pass from Chad Henne to keep the Dolphins undefeated.
The 40-year-old Favre had his worst day as a Viking, going 19 of 28 for 197 yards with four turnovers. He threw two interceptions at home all of last season, but topped that total in the home opener Sunday.
One of those interceptions came on a tipped ball and another on what appeared to be miscommunication with Bernard Berrian. But the end result is the same -- the Vikings are 0-2, with a game against the Detroit Lions before a daunting post-bye schedule awaits.
This game was every bit the hard-nosed, grind-it-out slugfest it was expected to be. The Vikings offense came into the week out of sync in the passing game and promised to feature Peterson more on the ground, which is where the Dolphins have made their living since Tony Sparano took over as coach.
Peterson rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings, who forced two fumbles of their own, one that set up a touchdown.
The Dolphins (2-0) brought the wood on defense all game long, setting the tone by deferring instead of receiving after winning the coin toss. They stopped the Vikings on fourth down at the Miami 26 on the first possession when Randy Starks batted down Favre's pass at the line.
Henne hit Brandon Marshall for a 46-yard pass on the next play, and Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown bulled their way into the red zone with four wildcat plays. Henne hit Hartline for the TD and a 7-0 lead, and Miami's offense was put on ice for the rest of the game.
The Vikings held the Dolphins to 226 yards of offense and had the ball for almost 13 minutes longer than Miami. But just like in the NFC title game loss to New Orleans last year, turnovers were the difference.
Jason Allen had two interceptions and Vontae Davis picked one off after Percy Harvin tipped the ball up in the air at the goal line.
With under 6:30 to play in the third quarter, Robert Wake beat Visanthe Shiancoe and tackle Phil Loadholt around the right end and knocked the ball out of Favre's hand just as he was cutting it loose. Misi pounced on the ball in the end zone, giving Miami a 14-0 lead.
Erin Henderson recovered Williams' fumble and Peterson scored from 1 yard out to cut the lead to 14-7 late in the third quarter.
But Miami's defense never wavered, holding the Vikings to a field goal in the fourth quarter and then getting the big stop with the Vikings threatening to take the lead late in the game.
On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Davis and a host of Dolphins burst through the Vikings line and stuffed Peterson just short of the goal line.
Henne was 9 for 15 for 114 yards and Marshall had four catches for 71 yards. Brown and Williams combined for 110 yards on 23 carries.
Shiancoe had six catches for 86 yards.