Vikings-Packers Key Matchups Posted

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 30, 2009 – 2:48 pm

Every Friday during the regular season, looks at 3 matchups that will help determine the outcome of the Vikings upcoming game.

This week’s Key Matchups feature has been posted and includes a breakdown of the following matchups: Vikings secondary vs. Donald Drive/Greg Jennings, QB Brett Favre vs. QB Aaron Rodgers, and RB Adrian Peterson vs. Green Bay’s front 7.

You can read this week’s Key Matchups feature by clicking here.

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SI’s Peter King Talks With Longwell About Favre’s Return

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 30, 2009 – 2:04 pm

Sports Illustrated NFL writer Peter King, who authors the popular Monday Morning Quarterback feature on each week, currently has a piece on the magazine’s website about QB Brett Favre’s return to Lambeau Field this weekend.

Except this particular piece doesn’t contain a quote from Favre (wisely) downplaying the significance of his return. King spoke with Vikings K Ryan Longwell, who spent 9 years in Green Bay before joining the Vikings in 2006. The veteran kicker has experienced – to a lesser degree, no doubt – what Favre will experience this weekend in terms of returning to Green Bay as a member of the Vikings.

King does a nice job of relaying Longwell’s perspective on this weekend’s game and Favre’s return to Lambeau Field.

“Having been around him for so many big games, he always, always, always rises to the occasion,” Longwell told King. “He plays to an almost other-worldly level when things are against him. I think even though the pressure might be on him, he somehow channels it to be a positive. I don’t know … he has a way of making the impossible possible.”

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Vikings-Packers Competition Actually Begins Today

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 30, 2009 – 11:25 am

Today the Vikings will finish a week of practices in preparation for their game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon. But even though the game is on Sunday, the competition between the Vikings and Packers will actually begin today.

Vikings DL Coach Karl Dunbar and DL Jared Allen, Pat Williams, Ray Edwards, Brian Robison, Jimmy Kennedy and Letroy Guion will take on the Green Bay Packers WRs in a friendly battle to see who can raise the most money in The Salvation Army Red Kettle Challenge from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Vikings contingent will ring-off in the Best Buy Rotunda at Mall of America, while the Packers ring-off will take place at the Lambeau Field Atrium.

Vikings fans are encouraged to help beat the Packers by stopping by the Best Buy Rotunda to make a donation and collect autographs. For those who cannot attend, donations can be made online at

To add to the excitement, Mall of America will video stream the action from the ring-off at the Packers’ site.

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McKinnie Playing At Pro Bowl Level

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 30, 2009 – 9:49 am

Fan voting for the 2010 Pro Bowl has begun. Over the previous 3 seasons, Vikings fans have helped 9 players earn Pro Bowl honors a combined 17 times. The usual suspects – DE Jared Allen, G Steve Hutchinson, RB Adrian Peterson and DT Kevin Williams – will gain heavy consideration against this year. But there is another Viking who deserves your Pro Bowl vote just as much.

LT Bryant McKinnie, who has yet to earn a Pro Bowl nod during his 8-year Vikings career, is playing well again this season. McKinnie plays a premium position because he is largely responsible for protecting the blindside of QB Brett Favre and because he goes up against the opposing team’s best pass rusher on a weekly basis.

So far this season, McKinnie’s all-star level play has allowed the Vikings to yield successful results on offense. McKinnie has given up just 1 sack so far this season, and Favre is making good use of the time McKinnie has afforded him. Heading into this week’s game against Green Bay, Favre has a 102.2 passer rating and is 6th in the NFL with 12 TD passes.

But McKinnie’s solid play benefits more than just Favre and the passing game. The Vikings have also been able to produce with the ground game behind the blocking of McKinnie and G Steve Hutchinson. When running to the left, the Vikings have averaged 4.79 yards per carry and have totaled 374 yards. On top of that, Peterson ranks 2nd in the NFL in rushing with 687 yards and the Vikings rank tied for 4th in the NFL with 9 rushing TDs.

In retrospect, one can argue McKinnie should’ve already earned a Pro Bowl berth. He’s blocked for 4 of the top 6 single-season rushers in team history as well as 3 Vikings teams that have ranked in the top 5 offensively.  He’s also been durable, starting 109 straight games since entering the NFL as the #7 overall pick in 2002.

As you can see, McKinnie’s past performance has been outstanding for the Vikings. But his play this season has been as good as any other time in his career. And for that, he is deserving of a vote on your Pro Bowl ballot.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 1 Comment » Mailbag Is Posted

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 30, 2009 – 8:00 am

This week’s Mailbag feature has been posted. You can read it by clicking here. The Mailbag is posted every Friday.

Do you have a question or a comment? Send your questions/comments to the Mailbag. You can submit your questions/comments to me by sending an email to

I can’t post every question/comment, but I’ll answer them all.

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