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The Vikings enter their bye week with a 7-1 record and fresh off an exciting win over Green Bay that improved their record in the NFC to 5-0 and in the NFC North to 3-0. As a result, the Vikings sit atop the division with a 2.5-game lead over both Chicago and Green Bay and also with tie-breaker priority over the Packers following a season sweep of the green and gold.
With all of that good news in mind, it’s also important to note that the bye week comes at a good time for the Vikings. They are half-way through the regular season, but when you add in a 4-week preseason, training camp, injuries and the high-profile nature of the team, you can see this Vikings team has been through a lot already in 2009.
“It’s the half way point of the season and for us I think it’s great to keep that in perspective,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said. “It is probably good to have the latest bye in the League here. You don’t hear many coaches say that it doesn’t come at a good time. It does come at a good time just from the standpoint that these guys have been going at it for a very long time with the four preseason games and two weeks of training camp.”
Although a key defensive player – Antoine Winfield – has missed the previous 2 games and the Vikings had 11 players on last week’s injury report, Childress said his team goes into the bye pretty healthy and will benefit from the week off.
“We are reasonably healthy,” the head coach said. “Individuals can get healthier. We have a handful of guys that will be staying here and trying to get healthiest this week.”
Aside from Winfield, players such as WR Bernard Berrian (hamstring), QB Brett Favre and LBs E.J. Henderson (knee) and Ben Leber (calf) will certainly benefit from an extra week of rest.
As for players who’ve managed to stay off the injury report, they too need the break to freshen their bodies and their minds for the 2nd half of the regular season and hopefully a playoff push.
“Whether they are going to sit in a deer stand or sit on the beach or contemplate their navel, whatever it is that they care to do, they are free to do as long as they are back here on Monday,” Childress explained. “It’s really a good group of guys. They have tremendous chemistry together. They play for each other. They play with each other. It’s a different, varied group of guys as all you guys know that are in the locker room every day.
“It’s a joy to come to work with these guys every day, and even though they need a time off, I know when time is up they will be anxious to get back and get on with it.”
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Ben Leber, Bernard Berrian, E.J. Henderson
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QB Brett Favre and WR/KR Percy Harvin have been nominated for player of the week awards following their impressive performances against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Lambeau Field.
Favre completed 17 of 28 passes for 244 yards and 4 TDs against his former team, leading the Vikings to a 38-26 win. Both Cowboys QB Tony Romo and Eagles QB Donovan McNabb join Favre as nominees for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week.
You can vote for Favre by clicking here.
Harvin had 5 receptions for 84 yards and 1 TD and also had 175 kickoff return yards on 5 attempts, including a 77-yard burst in the 1st quarter that led to the Vikings 1st TD. That effort makes him a nominee for Pepsi Rookie of the Week honors along with Bills S Jairus Byrd, Texans LB Brian Cushing, Panthers CB Sherrod Martin and Ravens CB Lardarius Webb.
You can vote for Harvin by clicking here.
Tags: Percy Harvin
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In our last blog entry from yesterday, we explained that Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe is on pace to set career highs in receptions and receiving TDs. After continuing to review Vikings statistics, I found another Vikings player who is on pace to establish new career highs in receiving statistics.
RB Adrian Peterson, who had 1 reception for 44 yards in Sunday’s 38-26 win over Green Bay, now has 19 receptions for 189 yards on the season. That puts him on pace for 38 receptions and 378 receiving yards, which would crush his current single-season career high in receptions (21) and receiving yards (268).
The increase in production for Peterson as a receiver is significant because about the only critique one could give the superstar RB is his performance as a receiver and in the passing game in general. The Vikings also have Chester Taylor on the roster, who is often a better option on obvious passing downs because of his experience as a receiver out of the backfield and because of his superior blocking abilities.
But as one of the team’s hardest-working and most determined players, Peterson has set out to improve in all areas of the game and specifically in the passing game. And now the results are beginning to show.
“If you can get him in air, he’s good enough to be able to turn to the quarterback with his back to the defense, catch the football,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said last week. “If you can get him to turn his face on the defenders, he’s got a chance to wiggle and then use his physical skills as a check down guy. Yeah, he can be a threat there as well.”
Taylor’s role with the Vikings will not be reduced, but the increase in performance and production from Peterson in the passing game will do nothing but make the league’s 2nd-highest scoring offense even more potent.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor, Visanthe Shiancoe
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