Childress Comments On Crowd, Too

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 6, 2009 – 6:00 pm

Earlier today we pointed out QB Brett Favre’s comment from his post-game press conference that the Mall of America Field crowd on Monday night was “awesome.” During his usual day-after-the-game press conference, the 1st comment Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress’ had to share regarded the crowd as well.

“That place was outstanding yesterday,” Childress said Tuesday. “There was a buzz going on before the game even started. In the pregame warm-ups that place was humming and you could feel it.”

Specifically, Childress said the crowd made a difference for his defense, a unit that recorded 8.0 sacks on the evening.

“It really helped our defense be able to get up on the snap count,” Childress explained. “Time-up snap counts are very difficult, obviously, on the opposing offenses.”

Childress also wished the Twins luck as they take on the Detroit Tigers in a 1-game playoff in the stadium today.

“I wish the Twins the best of luck,” the Vikings head coach said. “I’m not sure if sound helps them at all, but I’m sure it will be a lively crew there (with their) batteries recharged for the Twins this afternoon.”

The Twins currently trail the Tigers 3-2 as the game heads to the top of the 7th. [UPDATE] The Twins pulled out a thriller at the Metrodome in 12 innings, defeating the Tigers 6-5 to advance to the American League Division Series.

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Vikings-Packers MNF Game Tops All-Time Cable Record

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 6, 2009 – 5:21 pm

Maybe it doesn’t come as a surprise, but the numbers are still a bit staggering. Monday night’s game between the Vikings and Packers, aired on ESPN by the Monday Night Football crew, produced a 15.3 rating and had 21.8 million viewers with 15.1 million HHs (households).

In layman’s terms, a lot of people turned on the TV and switched the dial to ESPN so they could watch the Vikings move to 4-0 after an intense 30-23 win.

Monday night’s Vikings-Packers tilt now tops a list of the 5 most-watched cable TV programs in history (in terms of households) that is comprised of all football games. #2 on the list is the Eagles-Cowboys game from 9/15/2008, #3 is Patriots-Ravens from 12/03/2007, #4 is Giants-Cowboys from 10/23/2006 and #5 is Panthers-Cowboys from 9/28/2009.

In addition, the list of top 5 most-watched cable TV programs in history (in terms of viewers) is topped by 3 football games (Vikings-Packers is #1).

Monday night’s game also registered the highest rating for an ESPN program, beating out Bears-Vikings from 1987 and Lions-Dolphins from 1994.

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How Good Was Jared Allen?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 6, 2009 – 2:16 pm

The simple answer to the question posed in the title of this blog entry is “Really good.” But let’s take a closer look at Allen’s performance last night against the Green Bay Packers.

Allen harassed Packers QB Aaron Rodgers literally all game, finishing the contest with 4.5 sacks that produced a loss of 19.5 yards. He also had 7 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 5 QB hits and a forced fumble. He was basically wearing Rodgers jersey, and terrorized the left side of Green Bay’s offensive line.

The 4.5-sack performance ranks as the 2nd best in Vikings history, behind only Randy Holloway’s 5.0-sack game against the Atlanta Falcons in 1984.

In addition to all of that, one of Allen’s sacks on the night came in the endzone, when he was able to bring Rodgers down for a safety with 7:25 to play in the game.

All of the numbers say that Allen had a dominant game, and anyone watching would certainly agree. I even heard one anchor on SportsCenter say it might have been one of the best defensive performances on Monday Night Football history. I certainly can’t remember all of the top defensive performances in MNF history, but Allen’s from last night was apparently good enough to warrant at least some consideration.

With all of that said, I thought Vikings QB Brett Favre said it best: “Jared Allen is a beast, man That guy is good by the way.”

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Kluwe Puts On A Punting Clinic

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 6, 2009 – 1:34 pm

There is a lot to highlight from the Vikings exciting 30-23 win over Green Bay on Monday night – everything from QB Brett Favre’s brilliant performance to Jared Allen and the defense’s dominant effort.

But there other areas of positivity for the Vikings, not the least of which was Chris Kluwe and the punting game. Kluwe had 5 punts on the evening for 212 yards (42.4-yard average), and he and the punt coverage team held Green Bay to 0 punt return yards.

Forcing a team to punt is important because it gives you a chance to flip the field position battle with an explosive return up the field. Kluwe, however, didn’t allow Green Bay to flip the field with returns.

Of Kluwe’s 5 punts, 4 were downed or went out of bounds inside the 20-yardline and 2 ended up inside the 5-yardline. Here’s a breakdown of Kluwe’s 5 punts:

– The 1st punt had such great hang time that CB Karl Paymah was able to tackle returner Will Blackmon immediately, resulting in no gain. On their ensuing drive, Green Bay turned the ball over via an interception.

– On the 2nd punt, Kluwe forced Blackmon to call a fair catch at the Green Bay 15-yardline. Three plays later, the Packers were punting the ball back to Minnesota.

– Kluwe was as precise as possible on his 3rd punt, landing it inside the 5-yardline where S Eric Frampton downed it at the 1-yardline. Three plays later, QB Aaron Rodgers was sacked in the endzone by DE Jared Allen for a safety.

– The 4th punt was perfectly guided to the sidelines by Kluwe, where it went out of bounds at the 4-yardline. Green Bay managed to drive the field and score a TD.

– Kluwe’s 5th and final punt was another beauty. It was kicked sky-high and returner Jordy Nelson actually muffed it. But Green Bay was able to recover and eventually drove the field for a FG.

All-in-all, it was a great game for Kluwe, who has had his fair share of great games over his Vikings career. Since entering the league in 2005, Kluwe has pinned opponents inside the 20-yardline 112 times, a total that ranks him 11th during that span. In 2007, Kluwe left opponents inside the 20-yard line 34 times, which ranked 3rd in the NFL and was a Vikings record.

Kluwe also had a long punt of 50 yards on Monday night, another area he specializes in. He owns the top 3 spots in most 50+ yard punts in season, with 22 in 2006, 29 in 2007 and 33 in 2008.

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Nerves Were A Factor For Favre

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 6, 2009 – 11:33 am

The hype leading into last night’s Vikings-Packers game was undeniable. Vikings QB Brett Favre even said during his post-game press conference that he altered his pregame routine because he knew it would be a “zoo” on the field.

But being an 18-year veteran and holding all significant passing records, there’s not a chance that Favre was nervous, right?

Um, wrong.

“The only thing I can say is I was about as nervous as I’ve ever been before a game, going into this one,” Favre said. “I didn’t think I would be.”

Favre said that as the work week progressed he wasn’t nervous but that when he arrived at the team hotel on Sunday, the gravity of the situation hit him.

“Monday Night games, any game is important, but I just know coming over here all those years, what it was like,” Favre explained. “I wanted to play as well as the few times I’ve played well over here. I wanted to do the same thing on the opposite side for obvious reasons, to go 4-0, regardless of what people think.”

Mission accomplished for Favre, who was 24 of 31 on the night for 271 yards 3 TDs and 0 INTs, which equates to a 135.3 passer rating and, more importantly, the Vikings 4th win in as many games. Favre produced his 12th three-TD game on Monday Night Football, becoming the all-time leader in that category (Dan Marino had 11).

So did the nerves actually help him play well, by perhaps narrowing his focus on the game rather than the buildup around it?

“It would appear that way,” the QB said, “but I felt like for anyone, you play better, you make better decisions not being nervous. I guess I’m wrong, but as much as I thought it today, I couldn’t get over it.”

In what I thought was perhaps his most interesting statement of the evening, Favre compared Monday night’s game to the feeling he had when he played for the Packers against the Raiders on Monday Night Football the day after his father passed away in 2003. In that game, Favre passed for 399 yards and had 4 TD passes in the first half to lead Green Bay to a 41–7 victory.

“And similar but yet different, I felt a lot like I did when my dad passed away,” Favre said. “But both games I played well, so maybe that’s (being nervous) a good thing.”

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Send Your Questions In For Coach Childress

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 6, 2009 – 10:48 am

Each week on “Vikings GamePlan,” which airs Sundays at 10:30 a.m. CST on FOX 9 in the Twin Cities, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress will answer a fans’ question, and that fan will win an autographed picture of Coach Childress.

To send in your question, click here.

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Favre: Fans Were “Awesome”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 6, 2009 – 10:31 am

The atmosphere inside Mall of America Field at the HHH Metrodome last night was electric from about 30 minutes prior to kickoff all the way through the end of the game. The buildup and hype kept building leading up to kickoff and the game remained close until the end, which kept the crowd loud and involved.

It appeared most of the crowd was standing for literally the whole game, and there were numerous times when the crowd noise was deafening as the Packers offense was at work. It all created an appropriate atmosphere considering the circumstances surrounding this game – a Monday night game between rivals Minnesota and Green Bay with the Vikings undefeated and QB Brett Favre under center.

It was an atmosphere that CB Antoine Winfield compared to the playoffs and it was one that caused Favre to mention it during his post-game press conference.

“Our fans were awesome tonight; I’m telling you, that place was rocking the whole night,” Favre said. “And I know what it’s like to be on the other side. It’s pretty tough.”

Monday night’s thrilling conclusion will only help build the hype that will surround the next Vikings-Packers game, which will be played at Lambeau Field on Sunday, November 1. That game will allow Favre to come full-circle in the Vikings-Packers rivalry. After that game, Favre will have been on the home team and visiting team at both Mall of America Field/Metrodome and Lambeau Field.

Favre’s experience in Green Bay and in this rivalry lead him to realize that the atmosphere the teams enjoyed on Monday night in Minneapolis will be matched by fans in Green Bay on the 1st day of November.

“I’ve been able to see the good Lambeau and the good and the bad here,” Favre said. “It was awesome here tonight. That was a great environment tonight and it will be in several weeks (when the teams play at Lambeau).”

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Vikings One of 5 Teams At 4-0

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 6, 2009 – 8:21 am

The Vikings 30-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers improved their record to 4-0, giving them their best start since 2003, when the Purple began the season with 6 straight wins.

There are currently 5 teams with perfect 4-0 records in the NFL – Denver, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New Orleans and the NY Giants. Being in limited and select company, as the Vikings are by being 5-0 with just 4 other teams, will increase the team’s profile and create heightened expectations.

But you’ll be hard-pressed to get Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress to buy into the hype.

“Based on record you’d say, ‘Yeah’,” Childress said when asked if his team was one of the league’s best. “But there’s too much football (remaining).”

Childress simply pointed out his own team from last year in illustrating the point that champions aren’t crowned in September and that there is still a way to go this season.

“There are teams that ascend, descend; we were 1-3 last year at this time and made the playoffs, so I don’t have any illusions about that,” Childress explained. “You’ve got to get it on the field week-to-week and this week we’ve got to get it on the field in a short week.”

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Vikings To Face Rams On Short Week

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 6, 2009 – 7:06 am

Following their close win over San Francisco last Sunday, the Vikings had an extra day to gear up for their Monday Night Football showdown with division rival Green Bay.

The flip side to that advantage, however, is that now they’ll have a short week of preparation for their next opponent – the St. Louis Rams.

But Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress will make no excuses for his players or his staff as they head into that short week.

“Good football teams play on Monday night and good football teams find a way to come back and win on the following Sunday,” Childress said during his post-game press conference on Monday night. “So that’ll be the next task at hand.”

One factor that will work in the Vikings favor is that while watching film of the Packers in preparation for Monday’s game, the Vikings saw a lot of Rams film as well because the Packers and Rams played against each other in Week 3.

Next week’s game against the Rams will be played in St. Louis.

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Quick Transition At Mall of America Field/Metrodome

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 6, 2009 – 12:09 am

The epic Vikings-Packers Monday Night Football game is over, and after 60 hard-fought minutes the Vikings came away with an exciting 30-23 victory. But even though the Packers have left town and the Vikings are going home, the work is not done at the Metrodome.

As ESPN wraps up their coverage and local news crews put the finishing touches on their broadcasts, the Metrodome crew is hard at work changing the building from Mall of America Field – home of the Vikings – back to the Metrodome – home of the Minnesota Twins. The Twins, of course, will be hosting the Detroit Tigers in a 1-game playoff to decide the American League Central championship.

I’d like to begin explaining everything that must be done in order to prepare the Metrodome for a baseball game, but any explanation I could offer wouldn’t come close to giving the process its justice. Suffice it to say there’s a little more to it than shoving the bleachers back behind the baggy and putting the pitching back in its place (on the 15-yardline near where the visiting team enters the field).

The Vikings-Packers game concluded at roughly 10:45 a.m., and the hard-working Metrodome crew will have the stadium ready to host a playoff-caliber baseball game by 1st pitch tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. It’s a pretty impressive feat for the stadium crew to accomplish, but it’s also one they’ve been doing for 28 years since the building opened in 1982.

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