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Dealing With Dissension

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 21, 2009 – 12:45 pm

It’s normal for negativity and dissension to cluster among a team’s fan base and media contingent following a loss. But with the manner in which the Vikings lost on Sunday night and with the opportunity that existed for the Vikings had they moved to 12-2, the team is getting an extra large helping of negativity and dissension.

Instead of celebrating a 2nd consecutive NFC North title, the fan base is worried about Philadelphia catching the Vikings for the NFC’s #2 seed. Instead of assessing Brett Favre’s chances of winning the MVP, the media is talking about a heated discussion on the sideline between the QB and head coach Brad Childress.

All of it is legitimate concern, too. So now the Vikings must deal with the dissension and find a way to move forward.

The first step in doing that has already happened – the team has returned to Winter Park for their normal treatment and training regimen following a game. Later today there will be a team meeting and then Childress will address the media at approximately 3:00 p.m.

It will be interesting to hear what Childress has to say, especially regarding the reports that he tried to bench Favre in the 3rd quarter.

With all of that said, it’s also important to remember the Vikings are an 11-3 football team.


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Henderson Focused On Return

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 21, 2009 – 9:23 am

A man of few words but a team captain and natural leader, LB E.J. Henderson’s 2009 season was cut short, but his spirits remain high.

Since suffering a broken leg 2 weeks ago in Arizona, Henderson has returned to the Twin Cities where he is beginning rehab procedures and focusing on a return to the football field.

He’s also focusing on continuing to help area youth through his E.J. Henderson Urban Youth Outreach and Game Speed Football Academy.

“I know it’s going to be a long road back,” Henderson said. “I’ve just started to rehab and have put my energy into that. I’m working toward being ready to go next season and want to say thanks to all the fans and people who have called, emailed, texted, send letters, just reached out in so many ways. I truly appreciate it and it means a lot to us. It’s kept us encouraged over the past few weeks. I’m just gonna sit back and watch the Vikings make this championship run.”

The Henderson family thanked the Vikings coaches and staff, along with E.J.’s teammates, for making him comfortable during these tough times.

“We’ve had so many people check in recently,” Henderson said. “It’s made everything as good as it could be. We really appreciate everything.”


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Panthers RB Stewart Cracks 100-Yard Mark Against Vikings

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 21, 2009 – 8:45 am

We’ve already noted the reasons why the Vikings 26-7 loss on Sunday night was so disappointing.

But there are more reasons.

And one of them is that in Carolina’s winning effort, RB Jonathan Stewart did something that no other RB has been able to do against the Vikings over the previous 36 weeks – he rushed for 100 yards.

Stewart was the impetus behind Carolina’s offensive attack and 26-point output against the Vikings on Sunday night. He carried the ball 25 times and rushed for 109 yards and 1 TD while also hauling in 2 receptions for 14 yards and 1 TD.

The 2nd-year pro did most of his damage after Panthers starting RB DeAngelo Williams left the game with an ankle injury. One might have thought that without Williams in the game, the Vikings would’ve been in great shape to extend their impressive streak and pull out an important late-season road win.

But that clearly wasn’t the case.

Stewart’s 100-yard rushing performance against the Vikings is the first such performance the Vikings have allowed since Ryan Grant ran for 102 yards on 11/11/07.


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Vikings Suffer Disappointing Loss To Carolina

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 21, 2009 – 7:50 am

The Vikings suffered a disappointing and embarrassing 26-7 loss at Carolina on Sunday night. The loss was discouraging on many levels – QB Brett Favre and the offense never got going, the defense eventually relented in the 2nd half after an admirable performance during the first 2 quarters and a pair of starters were benched during the game for performance reasons.

Adding to the disappointment, though, was the fact that the Vikings had every reason to come out of the locker room at Bank of America Stadium firing on all cylinders. Just a few hours before kickoff in Carolina, the Vikings clinched their 2nd consecutive NFC North title by virtue of Green Bay’s loss at Pittsburgh and on Saturday night the New Orleans Saints fell at home to the Dallas Cowboys to leave open the possibility of the Vikings earning the #1 seed in the NFC.

But instead of seizing the moment, the Vikings issued a flat performance. Sunday night’s loss represents the Vikings 2nd in the last 3 weeks and also marks their 2nd consecutive poor performance in front of a national TV audience.

The loss drops the Vikings to 11-3 and now the Purple is just 1 game ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles for the #2 seed in the NFC. This is disappointing because the Vikings entered their game against the Panthers with a chance to cut into the Saints hold on the #1 seed, but now the Vikings must win out to ensure that they can hold their own grip on the #2 seed.


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