Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress, less than 24 hours after his team completed a remarkable come-from-behind win to move to 3-0, held his usual day-after-the-game press conference on Monday and was measured in his reflective comments. He was clearly pleased with the way his team performed but he also pointed out that there’s plenty of work to be done.
“Really a good team win,” Childress said. “At the same time, all of us are aware that at 3-0, they don’t crown any champions at the end of September. I just point to where we were at record-wise last year right about now. Everything is a work in progress.”
Childress said his team has “a ton of things to clean up” in all 3 phases of the game but that the players are willing to do what it takes to improve.
“Our guys are amenable to that (improving),” Childress said. “It’s a long season but they want to get it right and as long as they have that mentality, we’re going to remain a good football team.”
After reflecting on the 49ers game, Childress quickly indicated the team’s focus is now on the upcoming game against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.
“Don’t know if I’ve ever been involved with a come-from-behind like that with no timeouts, but certainly a bunch of guys made plays, including the offensive linemen, who were able to do a great job protection-wise coming back down the field,” Childress explained. “Like I said, team win, we’ll take it, we’ll move on, we’ll get back going on Green Bay here this afternoon.”
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Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress will hold his usual day-after-the-game press conference today at 12:30, and you can watch it live on vikings.com by clicking here.
Here are a few issues I’ll be anxious to hear Childress address:
– Vikings RB Adrian Peterson had a workman-like day on Sunday, rushing for 85 yards on 19 carries for a 4.5-yard average. He didn’t have a signature, highlight-reel run, but the 4.5-yard average is solid and the 19 attempts helped balance out Brett Favre’s 46 pass attempts. At the same time, if you take away the 35-yard burst, Peterson’s stat line all of a sudden becomes concerning. I think the 49ers did a nice job of containing Peterson overall. So, I’ll be interested to see if Childress provides a little insight into what happened to cause this and what the Vikings will do to improve.
– The crowd was loud yesterday in the Metrodome, and I’m sure it was a factor in some of the San Francisco penalties and timeouts. It was also a factor, perhaps, in how the Vikings defense played. Childress has complimented in the past Vikings fans and their ability to make the Metrodome a hard place to play for opponents, and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear him do it again today.
– The blocked FG at the end of the 1st half was a huge play for San Francisco. It yielded a 10-point turnaround and definitely changed the dynamics of the game. Aside from diagnosing the particular error and who was responsible, it’ll be interesting to hear Childress’ perspective on how that changed the game.
– After Jared Allen’s strip-sack on the 1st play of the game, the Vikings didn’t generate much of a pass rush and in fact didn’t tally another sack during the game. San Francisco, meanwhile, was after Favre all day. I’m sure Childress will get into a discussion with reporters about where the blame lands for certain sacks – the QB holding the ball, receivers not getting open and thet line not protecting.
Tags: Adrian Peterson
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Even though one of his kicks yesterday resulted in a San Francisco TD and negative 10-point swing right before halftime, K Ryan Longwell’s performance was once again instrumental in the outcome of a Vikings game.
In 8 seasons as a member of the Packers, Longwell became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and tipped the scale in favor of the Packers against the Vikings several times. But then he came to Minnesota as a free agent in 2006 and his prolific career has continued to be, well, prolific.
Longwell ranks 3rd in Vikings history with 6 game-winning FGs and his 50-yarder yesterday puts him in a tie with Fuad Reveiz for most 50-yard FGs in team history (8). Although neither of his 2 FGs from yesterday are considered game-winners, they were still vital to the Vikings winning effort.
Longwell came on to salvage scoring drives twice in the 1st half. He was true from 40 yards early in the 2nd quarter to give the Vikings a 10-point lead. Then, later in the 2nd quarter after a solid punt return and a couple of fortuitous penalties, Longwell came on to split the uprights on a crucial 50-yard try to increase the lead to 13-7.
The Vikings eventually went on to win 27-24, so a couple of 1st half FGs clearly made a difference for the Vikings. And the Vikings are used to Longwell making a winning difference. Longwell is now 54 of 56 from inside 45 yards since joining the Vikings in ’06. Both of those misses are actually blocks. He’s also made 34 straight tries from inside 40 yards, which is a Vikings record.
Longwell ranks 19th all-time with 302 career FGs and 20th in all-time scoring with 1,398 points.
Tags: Ryan Longwell
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Vikings WR/KR Percy Harvin continues to have a profound impact on the Vikings during his rookie season. He made it on the highlight reel again this week with an electric 101-yard kickoff return for a TD in the 3rd quarter.
Harvin’s TD return was significant on a few levels, but perhaps most importantly because it provided a counter-punch to San Francisco’s early 2nd half FG that increased their lead to 17-13. At the time of Joe Nedney’s 37-yard FG, the 49ers had scored 17 of the game’s previous 20 points. But Harvin’s 101-yard return neutralized the momentum San Francisco had generated.
The return also marked Harvin’s 3rd TD in as many games, making him the only rookie other than Felix Jones in the past 5 years to score a TD in his first 3 games. Harvin added 4 receptions for 51 yards, increasing his average yards per reception to 10.7.
Through 3 games, Harvin has 27 total touches for 514 yards and 3 TDs. That averages out to 19.03 yards per touch. The 22nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft has gained 10+ yards on 20 of his 27 touches and is now averaging 35.8 yards per kickoff return.
Tags: Percy Harvin
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The Vikings had seen this before. Brett Favre, trailing late in the 4th quarter, rallies his troops and drives them down the field for a game-winning score to break your heart and send you home with a loss.
Except this time Favre was on the Vikings side.
“Well, it happens against you so many times playing against him, so it was great to see him on our side come out and pull it off,” DT Kevin Williams said in the locker room after the game. “He made a great play for us.”
Aside from guiding the Vikings to one of their most dramatic wins in team history, Favre also became the first Vikings QB since Daunte Culpepper in 2005 to throw for 300 yards in a game. His game-winning 32-yard pass to Greg Lewis on Sunday pushed him to 301 yards passing on the afternoon.
Favre’s timing was appropriate for one final reason on Sunday. His late-game heroics and the Vikings first 300-yard passing day since Week 3 of 2005 came the day before the 40-year anniversary of Joe Kapp’s 7-TD performance against Baltimore (9/28/1969). In that game, Kapp became the 1st Vikings QB to throw for 400 yards in a game and he set the team record for TD passes in a game (7).
Tags: Joe Kapp, Kevin Williams
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