MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Adrian Peterson caught a 60-yard touchdown pass in his first NFL game Sunday and Minnesota's defense scored twice as the Vikings downed Atlanta 24-3.
Atlanta Coach Bobby Petrino's debut was a difficult one as the Falcons suffered without quarterback Michael Vick, who is likely facing a jail term after his recent plea agreement on federal dogfighting charges.
Peterson, the Vikings' first-round draft pick this year, gained 103 yards on 19 carries in addition to his big touchdown catch. He played more than expected because of a hip injury suffered by starting running back Chester Taylor in the first period.
Tarvaris Jackson received his first start as Minnesota quarterback, completing 13 of 23 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown.