Did You Know?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 3, 2009 – 12:53 pm

A few interesting notes to consider just a couple of days before Monday night’s Vikings-Packers game…

– QB Brett Favre has defeated 31 different NFL teams during his career and can become the 1st player in league history to beat all 32. The only team in his way is the Green Bay Packers.

– Monday night’s Vikings-Packers game will be the119th consecutive sold-out game at the Metrodome, dating back to the preseason opener of 1998. Of the regular season and postseason games (94) during that stretch, the Vikings are 65-29-0 (69.1%) in the friendly confines of the Metrodome.

– If a Vikings RB reaches 100 yards rushing, it will mark the 50th career game TE Jim Kleinsasser has blocked for a 100-yard rusher.

– The Vikings defense opened the game last week with 4 consecutive 3-and-outs, limiting the 49ers to 16 total yards on 12 plays. The 49ers first 1st down came with 11:44 remaining in the 2nd quarter, when the Vikings were flagged for defensive delay of game.

– The Vikings-Packers previous 23 games (1998-2008), which include the 1st playoff matchup between the 2 squads in 2004, have been remarkably even with a combined score of 541-538 in favor of GB. The average scores in those games have been 23.4 and 23.2, respectively.

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Berrian To Return Punts If Reynaud Can’t Go

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 3, 2009 – 10:43 am

I took a question in this week’s Mailbag about Darius Reynaud and who would return punts if Reynaud couldn’t play this weekend. Reynaud was injured during last week’s game and didn’t return, and he’s missed practice time this week because of the injury.

WR Bernard Berrian finished the game as the Vikings punt returner, even though WR Percy Harvin is listed on the team’s depth chart as the 2nd team punt returner. And on Friday during his weekly meeting with reporters, Vikings special teams coordinator Brian Murphy said it would be Berrian again who would take punt return duties if Reynaud can’t go.

We’ll know more about Reynaud’s chances of playing Monday night later today when the Vikings release their final injury report for the week.

For the season, Reynaud is averaging 17.3 yards per return on 7 chances.

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Extra Motivation?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 3, 2009 – 9:31 am

Win this game for Brett? You’d be hard-pressed to get a coach to admit that his team was motivated to win a game for a teammate also playing in the game. In fact, Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said on Friday that it wasn’t happening, and Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has been down-playing the hype all week as well.

As explained in an earlier blog entry, that’s probably the wise approach to take, and Vikings fans should be grateful it’s the approach being taken by this staff.

And even though Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is on message with that approach, he also showed a human side during his meeting with local reporters on Friday, saying that a part of him does want to win on Monday night for Favre.

“Well, I can speak for myself and I would say, ‘yeah, of course,’” Peterson said when asked if there was a part of him that wanted to win the game for Favre. “He was with the Packers for 16 years, so coming up against these guys in a Monday Night game, (it’s) a big rivalry, to take a firm hold right now in our divisional lead, it’s a big game not only for Brett, but for the Minnesota Vikings. But, inside, I definitely want to get this win for him, too.”

Again, members of the coaching staff have been 100% on the money in their approach to this game – down-playing the hype surrounding Favre facing his former team and instead focusing on the team aspect of this game and the implications this game has on the NFC North. But it is also nice to see the human side of things and see a player acknowledge a source of extra motivation in the face of one of the most-hyped regular season games in this franchise’s history.

Plus, it’s not as if extra motivation for the league’s best RB as he faces the team’s biggest rival in a home game on Monday Night Football for a chance to get to 4-0 is a bad thing, right?

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