Vikings Go To Half Leading 9-7

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2010 – 8:02 pm

A blocked FG at the end of the half was a downer, but the good news is the Vikings survived a serious blitz by the Saints offense (and defense) in the 1st quarter to take a 9-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.

New Orleans came out and scored in 5 plays on the 1st drive of the game to go up 7-0. The Vikings couldn’t respond and the 1st quarter finished with the Vikings garnering just 1 first down and the Saints claiming 6.

But Brett Favre put together 2 key drives to put a FG and TD on the board, the TD coming on a quick drive at the end of the quarter to take the lead. A blocked PAT prevented the Vikings from taking a 3-point lead, but a lead is a lead nonetheless when you’re in the Superdome.

Ryan Longwell nailed a 41-yard FG earlier in the quarter and became the Vikings 7th all-time leading scorer, surpassing RB Chuck Foreman.

All in all, the Vikings lead 9-7 at half after struggling in the 1st quarter. And they will receive to begin the 2nd half.

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Vikinigs Cut Into Saints Lead; Trail 7-3 In 2nd Quarter

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2010 – 7:34 pm

Oh the benefits of a veteran QB and the best RB in the NFL.

Brett Favre orchestrated a 16-play, 66-yard drive that took 9:25 off the clock and ended with a Ryan Longwell 41-yard FG to cut New Orleans’ lead to 7-3 with 5:28 to play in the 1st half.

Adrian Peterson was a monster on the drive, continually churning out 1st downs. He had 12 carries for 56 yards in the series.

Vikings have 15:17 time of possession to New Orleans’ 9:15.

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Vikings Survive But Labor In 1st Quarter

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2010 – 7:18 pm

The 1st quarter has come to a close in the Vikings season-opener and although it hasn’t been pretty, the game is still a tight one. The Saints drove through the Vikings defense quickly on the game’s opening drive to take a quick 7-0 lead, but that’s been the only score of the game to this point.

New Orleans will punt to begin the 2nd quarter and we’ll see if Brett Favre and Co. can get something going.

Drew Brees has been sacked once by Jayme Mitchell and Chad Greenway, but otherwise he’s had all day to throw and he’s taken advantage. The Vikings had just 1 first down in the 1st quarter. New Orleans had 6.

More to come.

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CB Allen, S Abudllah To Start Tonight

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2010 – 6:18 pm

Heading into training camp prevailing thought was that either Tyrell Johnson or Jamarca Sanford would start at S opposite Madieu Williams. As it can often be, prevailing thought was wrong. Husain Abdullah will be starting for the Vikings at S tonight.

In another change from what was assumed all week leading up to tonight’s season-opener between the Vikings and Saints, 2nd-year player Asher Allen will be starting at CB instead of 9-year veteran Lito Sheppard.

By all appearances, John Sullivan will be starting at C.

Let’s play.

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Griffin, Gerhart Among Vikings Inactives

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on September 9, 2010 – 4:59 pm

Here are the Vikings inactives for tonight’s game:

QB Joe Webb (3rd QB), CB Cedric Griffin, CB Chris Cook, RB Toby Gerhart, G Chris DeGeare, DT Jimmy Kennedy, TE Mickey Shuler, and DE Everson Griffen.

Also of note, CB Asher Allen will start at left cornerback, and S Husain Abdullah will start at strong safety.

We’ll try to track down New Orleans’ inactives and will post those when we can.

EDIT – Saints inactives are: Chris Ivory, Chris Reis, Stanley Arnoux, Danny Clark, Zach Strief, Jimmy Graham, Adrian Arrington, and Junior Gallette.

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Vikings Arrive At Superdome

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2010 – 4:11 pm

Kickoff of the 2010 NFL season continues to approach as the Vikings have begun arriving at the Superdome in downtown New Orleans. I’ll spare you the details of how much entering the stadium, locker room and press box brings back memories of the NFC Championship Game…none of us want to hear about that anymore. It’s a new season!

The new seasons officially begins when the ball is kicked off, but our coverage of the season-opener begins now and will continue all the way until kickoff and the launch of our live chat. We’ll have the game’s inactive list posted right here 90 minutes before kickoff and we’ll also post other updates and information that is important to tonight’s game.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@VikingsFootball). We’ll post the inactives there as well and we’ll also tweet anything important to the game. In addition to us, you can follow @SNFonNBC to hear about all the promotions and in-game elements NBC will have on air tonight.

Finally, we’ll have tonight’s inactives for both teams around 6 p.m. CST, and we’ll post them both here and on Twitter.

There’s a lot going on, but you’ve come to the right place to have everything covered. It’s almost game time!

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 22 Comments »

Some Game-Day Notes To Keep You Occupied

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2010 – 1:20 pm

It’s finally game day as kickoff to the 2010 regular season is now just hours away. But the anticipation still mounts. To hold you over for just a few more hours, here are a few game-day notes to chew on…

Vikings On Opening Day
– Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress is 3-1 in season openers, defeating the Washington Redskins 19-16 in 2006, the Atlanta Falcons 24-3 in ‘07, the Cleveland Browns 34-20 in ‘09 and falling to the Green Bay Packers 24-19 in 2008.

– Over the team’s 49-year history, the Vikings are a combined 28-20-1 on opening day.

– The Vikings have opened the regular season against the Saints just twice, both games in New Orleans in 1976 (9/12) and 1978 (9/3). Minnesota is 1-1 in those games, beating the Saints 40-9 in 1976 and losing 24-31 two years later .

Vikings vs. Saints Series Notes
– The Vikings hold an overall 20-8-0 record against the Saints; they are 12-2 at home and 8-6 at New Orleans.

– The Vikings have outscored New Orleans 771-493 in the 28-game series and have averaged 27.5 points per game against the Saints.

– The Vikings have won the last 3 of the last 4 matchups in the Super Dome.

– Fourteen of the Vikings 20 wins have been by 10+ points and 7 of them have been by 20+ points.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 12 Comments »

Big Game For Peterson May Be In The Works

Posted by cjsiewert on September 9, 2010 – 11:40 am

If you were to look back at Vikings RB Adrian Peterson’s last game against the New Orleans Saints during the 2009 NFC Championship matchup, it’s easy to say that he had a great game running the ball and finding his way into the endzone with 122 yards on 25 attempts for 3 TDs. But what dampens those numbers is the number 2 – the number of fumbles Peterson had during the overtime loss to the Saints.

Peterson has been adamant in correcting his ball-handling issues over the offseason and during the preseason to a point where he now feels comfortable with his ball placement. He’s mentioned on numerous counts that the biggest correction that needed to be made was keeping the ball high and tight and not using his hand with the ball to keep balanced when being tackled.

Does this correction alone mean that #28 will have a record game tonight? No. But there are a few factors that may be in Peterson’s favor during tonight’s game.

One being that the Saints defense has stated time and time again that they are out to get QB Brett Favre. They showed no mercy for Favre in last season’s matchup and plan on doing more of the same tonight. Sending different blitz packages at Favre could open up some gaping holes for Peterson and we all know what he can do in the open field.

The 2nd dynamic that may lead to a monster game from Peterson is the fact that the Saints LB core is still looking for a balance after losing Scott Fujita to the Cleveland Browns via free agency. This leaves the strong-side LB slot up for grabs between Jo-Lonn Dunbar and 11-year veteran Danny Clark.

Health issues have also been a concern for the Saints LBs. Former Jacksonville Jaguar outside LB Clint Ingram is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and 2nd-year LB Jonathan Casillas is lost for the season with a foot injury.

Nobody knows what the Vikings offensive game plan is for the Saints other than the players and coaches, but it will be interesting to see how they use Peterson in attacking what may be a vulnerable position for the defending Super Bowl champs.

Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 29 Comments »

Similar Lineup, Different Opener

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2010 – 9:46 am

The Vikings will open their 2010 season on the road (at New Orleans), just as they opened the 2009 season on the road (at Cleveland). The Vikings will also open the 2010 season with a starting lineup quite similar – possibly 19 out of 22 starters are the same – to the lineup they opened with in Cleveland.

But even with all of those similarities, clearly this year’s season-opener will be quite different. Vikings QB Brett Favre said as much in a Wednesday interview on John Madden’s Sirius NFL Radio show, as pointed out by the Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad.

“Last year we opened up at Cleveland. I had no clue what to expect from our team, from myself, but it sure was made a lot easier by handing the ball to Adrian [Peterson] that game,” Favre said. “I think he rushed for roughly 180 yards. I had the best seat in the house, didn’t have to do too much, was never really asked to make a big play. And that was a good way to ease into it.”

Favre’s memory serves correctly, as the Vikings ran the ball 37 times in last year’s opener while throwing just 22 passes. Peterson rushed for 180 yards and 3 TDs on 25 carries. This year’s opener will likely be much different – there is no easing into things this year. The Vikings may encounter the nastiest atmosphere of the entire season tonight as the Saints play their 1st regular season game since winning the Super Bowl last year.

The best way to take a frenzied crowd out of the game is to run the ball consistently. Will the Vikings be able to do that tonight?

“I hope so,” Favre said. “I don’t really know what to expect. What are we going to lean on? Who is our go-to guy, things like that, where I think the Saints would probably have a better feel for where they are right now.”

While Peterson and the ground game carried the Vikings to victory over Cleveland last year in Week 1, Favre will surely be relied upon to make a big play here and there against the Saints. The Vikings will attempt to establish the run against this Saints defense – Peterson had 122 yards and 3 TDs against New Orleans in last year’s NFC Championship Game – but there’s also no doubt that Favre will need to find an open receiver in a tight spot several times during the game, perhaps near the goal line or on a 3rd and long situation.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 24 Comments »