Vikings, Dolphins Issue Thursday Injury Reports

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 16, 2010 – 2:03 pm

The Vikings and Dolphins have released their Thursday injury reports and not much has changed for either team.

The only change is that WR Percy Harvin (hip) did not take part in practice. Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell did not offer any news when asked about Harvin’s status. Harvin’s absence from practice on Thursday is not entirely alarming but the team will certainly look for him to take part in Friday’s practice.

There were no other changes for either team. Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said both Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin are “improving” and “heading in the right direction.” Frazier also said the CBs “are not that far away from getting on the field.”

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Vikings Set To Return To Home-Field Advantage On Sunday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 16, 2010 – 10:26 am

The Vikings have played their last 2 non-exhibition games (2009 NFC Championship Game, Week 1 of 2010) at the Louisiana Superdome, a venue that is filled with a raucous home crowd each time the Saints play and also a venue that provides one of the best home-field advantages that I’ve ever witnessed.

But the Saints aren’t the only team with an effective home-field advantage. The Vikings have one, too, at Mall of America Field and one of the players who is often responsible for riling up the fans inside Mall of America Field is looking forward to playing in front of those fans in the team’s home opener this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

“There’s just something about being at home, something about your crowd and the rejuvenation and energy you get from that,” Allen said. “It’s fun. I don’t know why it is, but you look all across the country and you want home-field advantage for a reason. It’s probably the crowd and the familiarity of where you’re going to be and people tend to elevate their games at home.”

The Vikings were 9-0 overall at Mall of America Field last season and their regular season record at home over the past 2 seasons is 14-2. In addition to that, the Vikings will sell out their 129th consecutive home game this weekend against Miami, a streak that extends back to the 1998 season.

Allen’s former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, just pulled off an upset last Monday night against the San Diego Chargers at their home venue – Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs fans created a decided home-field advantage and then a few exciting plays, such as a long TD run by Jamal Charles and a long punt return TD by Javier Arenas, invigorated those fans even more.

The Vikings will look to create and benefit from a similar home-field advantage this weekend and throughout the 2010 season.

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Defensive Front Ready For Dolphins Ground Game

Posted by cjsiewert on September 16, 2010 – 5:52 am

With the Vikings home opener dawning upon us, players have their undivided attention on the Miami Dolphins and aspirations of extending their 9-game home winning streak. The appeal to the Dolphins from many standpoints is their versatility in the rushing attack, but that doesn’t have the Vikings defensive line worried one bit.

“You know, the Wildcat was cool like three years ago when they broke it out,” DE Jared Allen jokingly told reporters in the Vikings locker room after Wednesday’s practice. “But no, there’s enough film on it now to where you can study it. Just like anything, if fundamentally you’re sound then it really doesn’t matter who has the ball or how they get it. Eventually, you have to find the ball and make the tackle.”

The ground game is where the Dolphins have been known to establish their offense with the tandem of RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. This was the case in Miami’s 15-10 season-opening victory over the Buffalo Bills as the Fins ran a total of 36 rushing plays (compared to 34 passing plays) – Brown and Williams combined for 31 attempts, 127 yards and a TD.

Having a great deal of emphasis on the rushing attack, the Vikings defensive front is well aware that it needs to make plays on the runner and force the Dolphins to revert their approach to the air, which is under the direction of 3rd-year QB Chad Henne. But before the front 4 can worry about the QB they must first put a halt to the rush.

“It’s going to be real important to confuse him (Henne) but I think their main game plan is their great rush attack,” DT Kevin Williams acknowledged. “We’ve got to slow that down first and earn the right to get after their quarterback. He’s a young guy and we want to rattle him of course, but we got to stop that great running game first.”

Miami has given itself a unique offensive identity over recent years with the introduction of the Wildcat and that’s been effective with the personnel available to the Dolphins, but facing a defensive front such as the Vikings, perhaps the Purple will reaffirm their identity as a stout run-stopping unit.

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