Case Keenum, Stefon Diggs propel Minnesota Vikings past Tampa Bay Buccaneers

By Brian Hall, The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 24, 2017 at 6:47 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Case Keenum threw for a career-high 369 yards passing and three touchdowns and Stefon Diggs caught eight passes for 173 yards and two scores in the Minnesota Vikings' 34-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Sam Bradford missed his second straight game with a knee injury, but Keenum was much better at home against a depleted Tampa Bay defense after a road loss at Pittsburgh last week. Adam Thielen caught five passes for 98 yards and rookie running back Dalvin Cook had 169 total yards (97 yards rushing, 72 receiving) and his first career touchdown in the win for Minnesota (2-1).

The Vikings' defense intercepted Jameis Winston three times -- Minnesota's first takeaways of the season -- and held the Buccaneers to 26 yards rushing in another decisive home victory.

Winston went 28 of 40 for 328 yards and tossed touchdown passes to tight end Cameron Brate and DeSean Jackson for Tampa Bay (1-1).

Fresh off their convincing season-opening win last week, the Buccaneers' defense was in shambles without three defensive starters and several players leaving during the game with various injuries. Meanwhile, the offense couldn't sustain drives and was 1 of 6 on third downs.

With Bradford limited during the week and missing practice on Friday, Keenum got more time to prepare for his second start and it showed.

Keenum, who completed 25 of 33 passes, connected with Thielen on a 45-yard gain on the third play of the game and willingly went deep several times on Sunday. Diggs caught passes for 47 and 59 yards, the two longest of his career. His weaving run after the catch led to a 59-yard touchdown to put Minnesota up 28-3 early in the third quarter.

Jarius Wright added a touchdown catch for the Vikings.

For Keenum, it's the third time he's beaten Tampa Bay in his career. He twice led the Rams to victories while completing 65.1 percent of his passes for a 118.8 passer rating.

NOTES: Tampa Bay WRs Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson kneeled for the national anthem while the rest of the team stood with arms locked in unity. Minnesota had a similar show with arms locked down its sideline, including owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, and general manager Rick Spielman. ... The Buccaneers were without three defensive starters in CB Brent Grimes (shoulder), LB Kwon Alexander (hamstring) and DT Chris Jones (illness). Tampa Bay saw several defenders leave the game. DT Gerald McCoy left in the third quarter with an ankle injury, but returned in the fourth. DE Noah Spence, DE Robert Ayers and CB Vernon Hargreaves III all left at times and later returned. LB Lavonte David was carted off with 3:14 left in the game after Vikings TE David Morgan fell on his left leg. ... CB Trae Waynes, S Andrew Sendejo and S Harrison Smith all had interceptions for Minnesota.

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