Vikings Lead 14-10 At Half

Posted by cjsiewert on September 26, 2010 – 12:52 pm

The Lions were able to tack on 3 more points by way of a 33-yard FG from K Jason Hanson as time expired in the 2nd quarter. Detroit got the ball back with 54 seconds remaining in the 1st half on a tipped pass from Vikings QB Brett Favre that floated into the hands of Lions CB Alphonso Smith. Smith returned the INT to the Detroit 49-yard line.

Lions QB Shaun Hill and Co. drove the ball down to the Minnesota 15-yardline setting up the Hanson FG.

Through the 1st half, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson leads all rushers with 53 yards on 13 attempts and 1 TD. Favre has completed 12 of 16 passes for 106 yards, 1 TD and an INT. The Purple defense has been stout allowing just 7 first downs and 152 net yards.

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Peterson Gives Vikings 14-7 Lead In 2nd Quarter

Posted by cjsiewert on September 26, 2010 – 12:27 pm

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson gave the Vikings their 1s lead of the game after a 6-yard TD run through the middle of the Lions defense. Peterson recorded 28 yards on 5 carries during the drive and now has 12 carries for 54 yards and 1 TD on the day.

The scoring drive – that lasted 5:58 on 10 plays for 66 yards – was kept alive by a Lion penalty on just the 2nd play of the series. Vikings QB Brett Favre was sacked and fumbled but Lions LB Julian Peterson was flagged for unnecessary roughness resulting in a 15-yard penalty and the ball staying in the Vikings possession.

It’s 14-7 late in the 2nd quarter.

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Vikings Tie It Up 7-7 With Harvin TD

Posted by cjsiewert on September 26, 2010 – 11:58 am

The Lions found themselves in excellent field position following a 27-yard INT by DT Corey Williams on a short pass from Brett Favre intended for RB Toby Gerhart. The Lions started on the Vikings 12-yard line and after 3 plays the Lions finished their short drive on a 5-yard TD pass from QB Shaun Hill to TE Tony Scheffler.

The Vikings had a tough time getting their offense moving but after a muffed punt return by Lions WR Stefan Logan, the Purple turned the field position battle in their favor. Chad Greenway recovered the muffed catch and on the ensuing play Favre connected with WR Percy Harvin for a 24-yard TD.

The game is tied at 7 early in the 2nd quarter.

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Griffin To Make 1st Start After Knee Injury

Posted by cjsiewert on September 26, 2010 – 11:00 am

Vikings CB Cedric Griffin will make his 1st start of the 2010 season today against the Detroit Lions since suffering a torn ACL during the NFC Championship game last January. Griffin was listed as questionable leading up to today and the Vikings coaches made the decision to start the 5-year veteran in place of Lito Sheppard.

Rookie CB Chris Cook may be joining Griffin on the field today as he made the team’s active roster. Cook has not played since injuring his knee during the 3rd preseason game.

The pair of CBs rejoining the lineup comes as a welcome sight to the Purple who are looking for their 1st win of the season over tough Lions team.

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Today’s Inactives

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on September 26, 2010 – 9:34 am

Here are today’s inactive players for the Vikings.  Note that both CBs Cedric Griffin and Chris Cook are active, and Griffin is starting.

QB Joe Webb (3rd QB), S Tyrell Johnson, RB Albert Young, LB Erin Henderson, C Jon Cooper, DT Fred Evans, DE Jayme Mitchell, and DE Everson Griffen.

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Vikings Hold 2nd Annual Planet Purple Week

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 25, 2010 – 8:49 am

The Vikings 2nd annual Planet Purple Week continued on Friday with a tree-planting event at Lucy Craft Laney Elementary and Cleveland Park in Minneapolis. The Vikings created Planet Purple in conjunction with the NFL’s Green Team as an initiative with the mission of developing sustainable business practices and utilizing renewable energy in an effort to lessen the team’s impact on the environment.

Vikings players and staff were on-hand at Friday’s event to help plant the trees with students, along with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Toro. Over 35 additional trees were planted at 13 different Habitat for Humanity homes in Greater Mankato to needy families as Vikings training camp staff teamed up with community volunteers from Envision 2020 and Drummer’s Garden Center. Proceeds were donated from Caribou Coffee and HyVee sales during the 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp.

Other Planet Purple events this past week included a “Home Energy Squad” event on Tuesday that focused on improving energy efficiency in homes, “World Car Free Day” on Wednesday to encourage car pooling and “Green Your Routine,” where Vikings fans and season ticket owners received email tips throughout the day with simple but effective ways to save energy and conserve natural resources.

Planet Purple Week concludes with Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. The Vikings have purchased renewable energy through Xcel Energy’s Windsource Program to offset 100 percent of the electricity used to power Mall of America Field for the Lions’ game and all other home dates for the 2010-11 season.

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CBs Cook, Griffin Questionable; Leber Probable

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2010 – 3:25 pm

The Vikings and Lions have issued their Friday injury reports. Let’s get right down to the details…

The good news is that LB Ben Leber (back) was a full participant and is listed as probable for Sunday’s game. He was limited on Wednesday and Thursday and progressed to a full participant in Friday’s practice; it appears he’s in line to play this weekend. WR Percy Harvin (hip) was limited again today but that’s good news considering he missed Wednesday’s practice with the hip ailment and an illness.

There’s been speculation that both Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin could suit up this weekend. Cook was a full participant on Friday and Griffin was limited; both are listed as questionable on the injury report and the jury is still out as to whether they’ll play on Sunday.

Here is where the other players on the Vikings injury report stand: DT Jimmy Kennedy (knee) is questionable and WR Bernard Berrian (knee), QB Brett Favre (ankle/elbow), T Bryant McKinnie (finger) and C John Sullivan (calf) are all probable.

For the Lions, QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder) has been ruled out, as expected. Also ruled out are WR Nate Burleson (ankle) and LB Zach Follett. Listed as questionable are: DE Cliff Avril (finger/knee), LB Landon Johnson (neck), LB DeAndre Levy (groin) and G Stephen Peterman (foot). Listed as probable are: S C.C. Brown (forearm), S Louis Delmas (biceps/calf/groin) and LB Ashlee Palmer (ankle).

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Cook, Harvin Good To Go For Sunday?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2010 – 6:16 am

Injuries have been a factor for the Vikings in the early portion of the 2010 season, but there were some positive developments on that front following Thursday’s practice.

After injuring his knee in the preseason, rookie CB Chris Cook has been out of action for the Vikings first 2 regular season games. Cook came on strong at the end of training camp and the preseason and was even in line to potentially start against the New Orleans Saints. But then a knee injury derailed him for a moment.

Cook was listed as a full participant for the 2nd consecutive day on Thursday and indications are that he may suit up and play on Sunday against the Lions. Cook’s presence in the defensive lineup would be a nice plus for the Vikings because they’re going against a WR with elite size and speed in Calvin Johnson. On top of that, Cook is solid in run support and the Lions bring with them a talented rookie RB in Jahvid Best who will test the Vikings run defense.

The other piece of good news on the injury front to come out of Thursday’s practice regarded WR Percy Harvin, who was listed on the week’s initial injury report as dealing with a hip injury and an illness; the illness designation indicates Harvin dealt with another migraine. Harvin missed practice on Wednesday but was back on the field as a limited participant on Thursday.

Following Thursday’s practice, Harvin told reporters he was feeling great, that he got a good night’s sleep on Wednesday night and woke up Thursday refreshed and that he rebounded quicker from this migraine than he typically had in the past.

“I’m not happy over the migraine, but I can’t ask to never have a headache again,” Harvin said. “But if I can go periods where I don’t get them, I’m happy with it.”

In addition to the migraine, Harvin is also dealing with a strained hip that has bothered him the past couple weeks. But as with the migraine, Harvin appears to be progressing well back to health and was able to practice with his teammates on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday.

“A lot of people said I looked normal,” Harvin said. “It feels good. It gets fatigued at times but with treatment and keep lifting and getting it back strong, it should make a full recovery.”

The key for both Cook and Harvin now is to see how they come back to work Friday following Thursday’s activity. Stay tuned for more as we’ll have Friday’s injury report as soon as it becomes available.

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Allen, Vanden Bosch “Luxuries” To Their Defenses

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 23, 2010 – 4:23 pm

Sunday’s NFC North showdown at Mall of America Field features a pair of powerful defensive lines. The Vikings feature the Williams Wall and pass-rushing DEs Jared Allen and Ray Edwards, of course. The Lions acquired 3 new starters along the defensive line this past offseason in #2 overall pick Ndamukong Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Corey Williams to go along with 3-year veteran Cliff Avril.

While it’s difficult to distinguish which parts of each defensive line are the most valuable, what’s clear to see is how valuable each team’s top DE is to the defense. The Vikings acquired Allen before the 2008 season and the 3-time All-Pro has responded with consecutive 14.-sack seasons. Vanden Bosch was with the Tennessee Titans for 5 seasons prior to signing in Detroit as a free agent this past offseason and he’s already been a difference maker, with 17 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his first 2 games.

Allen’s 14.5 sacks in 2009 helped the Vikings lead the league in that category with 48. But a pass-rushing DE as productive and dominant as Allen does more than just help a team tally sacks. It impacts the overall pass defense and the way coordinators are able to scheme for opposing offenses.

“I know in our case, Jared has made a tremendous difference from a pass rush standpoint and the way I call games as well,” Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “Before he arrived we were a lot more pressure (blitzing) and giving people looks. Once he arrived we were able to stay with our four-man front a little bit more and count on our four guys to rush, which helped improve our pass defense.

“It just gives you a luxury you don’t have if you don’t have a Jared Allen, one of the premier pass rushers in the National Football League. He’s made my job a lot easier and he’s made our defense better. It’s a luxury when you have a guy like that.”

Although it’s been just 2 games, it looks as if Vanden Bosch will have a similar impact on the Lions defensive line and overall defense. Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress described Vanden Bosch as a “Tasmanian Devil” earlier in the week and Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz said the improvement in his defensive line starts with Suh and Vanden Bosch; Schwartz and Vanden Bosch spent time together in Tennessee when Schwartz was the defensive coordinator there.

Schwartz points to the Vikings defensive line as a model for what the Lions are trying to accomplish.

“Go out and get a player like Jared Allen, draft a player like Kevin Williams, sign a player like Pat Williams, develop a player like Ray Edwards,” he said. “They don’t have to blitz to get pressure on the quarterback. They don’t have to get in an eight-man front to stop the run. That’s a very comforting feeling for a head coach and a defensive coordinator for that to be the case. We’re trying to build the same way.”

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Injury Reports; Harvin Practices

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 23, 2010 – 2:53 pm

The Vikings and Lions have issued their Thursday injury reports and there is little change for either team. Let’s go over the details…

WR Percy Harvin (hip) was a limited participant after missing practice on Wednesday. The “illness” designation that presumably indicates a migraine issue for Harvin was removed from Thursday’s injury report, so that is good news for the Vikings. The not-so-good news for the Vikings is that “right elbow” has been added to the injury report next to QB Brett Favre’s name. Favre was a limited participant in today’s practice but my sense is there’s isn’t serious concern at this point regarding the elbow.

Outside of the changes to Harvin and Favre, the Thursday injury report is the same as Wednesday’s for the Vikings.

There were also 2 changes to the Lions injury report on Thursday. S Louis Delmas (groin/biceps/calf) went from not practicing on Wednesday to being limited in practice on Thursday. LB Ashlee Palmer (ankle) was also limited on Thursday.

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