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Vikings Back From The Bye

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 4, 2010 – 4:29 pm

The Vikings returned from their bye week on Monday and went right to the practice field as they get set to resume their 2010 regular season schedule.

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress expects his coaches and players to get away and freshen up their minds during the bye. But what does he expect from them as they return to work?

“It’s important that they have a fresh attitude, fresh outlook and that they come out here and don’t forget everything they knew before the bye,” Childress explained to reporters after his team’s practice. “I thought we had a pretty crisp practice today, just kind of getting back in the saddle. I just look for them to come back with the right mindset, come back ready to work, come back ready to improve, not to come back and just hang out. We’ve got work to do.”

Childress said the Vikings would be back at Winter Park practicing tomorrow and then the players would have their day off on Wednesday. The normal schedule of Wednesday being the beginning of the work week for the team is pushed back a day because the Vikings next game is on Monday night. That means Thursday will be a typical Wednesday, with Childress and QB Brett Favre holding their press conferences after practice, and then Friday will be a normal Thursday, and so on.

There’s not a whole lot to update injury-wise. WR Percy Harvin told reporters after practice that this is the healthiest he’s felt in a long time and Childress said TE Visanthe Shiancoe and C John Sullivan stayed around the facility during the bye to treat their injuries; he said both players are making progress.


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DE Allen Confident In Vikings Pass Rush

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 4, 2010 – 1:46 pm

When it comes to sacking QBs, Vikings DE Jared Allen is as good an authority on the matter as any. He’s tallied 30.0 of them over the last 2+ seasons and his 72.0 since entering the league in 2004 are more than any other player during that span.

Vikings fans should take solace, then, in the fact that Allen isn’t concerned that he and his defensive teammates have only come up with 4 of them through 3 games. The relatively low number might be alarming at first sight because the Vikings led the NFL in sacks with 48 last year.

Allen didn’t sound concerned when asked about the issue on Monday after practice.

“I know they come in bunches,” Allen said. “At this point last year I had two, and then they came in bunches. We’re not worried about it up front; I think we’re doing some good things and we’re going to continue to grind.”

The 3-time Pro Bowl DE makes a good point in that sacks often times come in bunches. In 2008 Allen had 2.0 through Week 5 and then went on a tear by registering 6.0 in the next 4 games and 6.5 in Weeks 13-15. In 2009 he had 2.0 through 3 weeks before dumping Packers QB Aaron Rodgers 4.5 times in Week 4 and posting a pair of other multiple-sack efforts.

Allen pointed to another team whose pass rushed had slowed in recent weeks as more evidence that sacks come in bunches. The NY Giants tallied 4 in Week 1 but had just 1 sack in Week 2 and Week 3. Then on Sunday night they got to Chicago Bears QBs 10 times.

“It’s just one of those things where, you look at the game last (Sunday) night, they were talking about how the Giants weren’t doing anything,” Allen said. “They pulled off ten (sacks) in a game. Weird things in the league happen like that.”

Another factor is that opposing teams surely have taken note of the Vikings pass-rushing prowess and therefore take steps to combat that threat. Tactics such as using maximum protection formations and chipping defensive linemen with RBs, FBs and TEs are used against the Vikings frequently.

Ultimately, success for the Vikings defense is not based primarily on sacks; it’s about keeping the opposing offense out of the endzone and off the scoreboard. So far in 2010, Allen and Co. have played well. They’ve allowed just 10.3 points per game and rank as the NFL’s #4 defense in yards allowed per game (276.3).

“The key thing is not to get caught up with that and not to get frustrated,” Allen explained. “We’re playing good defense right now, and that’s the most important thing.”


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NFL Sacks Calf-Roping Celebration

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 4, 2010 – 11:00 am

Vikings DE Jared Allen has made a career out of sacking QBs. But this time it’s Allen who’s been sacked.

The boisterous and fun-loving Vikings DE is known for his calf-roping celebration following sacks, something he’s been able to do 30 times over the past 2+ seasons. The NFL, though, must enforce its rules and the effort to do so will result in a 15-yard penalty and fine for Allen if he executes the calf-roping celebration in the future.

FOX’s Jay Glazer reported on Sunday that the NFL has informed Allen that his calf-roping celebration violates the league’s rule that prohibits players from celebrating while on the ground. The exact language of the rule states: “Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations while on the ground.”

The NFL has been criticized in the past for rules that prohibit players from unique celebrations, and I’m guessing this particular situation will yield similar criticism. On the flip side, though, Allen may now come up with a new post-sack celebration, which will only add to his already colorful personality and likely make an even bigger fan-favorite.

No word yet from Allen on his feelings regarding this development, but we’ll see if he has any comments he’d like to share. In the meantime, what say you fans? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, telling us either how you feel about the NFL’s ruling or, better yet, what Allen’s new post-sack celebration should be.


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Week 4 NFC North Roundup

Posted by cjsiewert on October 4, 2010 – 6:19 am

As the Vikings used their early bye week to recover from a trio of hard-fought contests against the Saints, Dolphins and Lions, the rest of the NFC North was in action Sunday.

Let’s take a look at how the Vikings divisional foes faired in Week 4…

In an early Sunday afternoon game at Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers squeaked out a 28-26 victory over the Detroit Lions. The Lions took control of the game in the 2nd half by ending 4 of their 6 offensive drives with scores while the defense picked off Packers QB Aaron Rogers twice. The Packers defense made the difference, though, as it held Detroit to 0 TDs in the half despite allowing the Lions to reach Green Bay territory 5 times.

Following a Charles Woodson INT return for a TD early in the 3rd quarter, the Packers increased their lead to 28-14 and seemed to be in control of the game. But the pick-6 would result in their last points of the game, giving way to Lions QB Shaun Hill and Co. The Detroit offense drove the ball into Packer territory in 5 of their 6 second half drives – GB 21, 34, 30, 6 and 37 – but was only able to muster out 4 FGs, falling just 2 points short of Green Bay.

Hill was the staple of the Lions offense, completing 34 of 54 passes for 331 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs while also leading the team in rushing with 53 yards on 4 carries.

Sunday night’s matchup at the New Meadowlands Stadium saw a complete fallout of the Chicago Bears offense. As a result, Chicago dropped its 1st game of the season to the NY Giants 17-3. The Bears offensive line allowed 10 sacks, 9 of which landed QB Jay Cutler on his back before he was ultimately removed from the game with a concussion late in the 1st half.

The Bears offense provided a dismal performance in all facets of the game, picking up only 6 first downs (1 on a penalty), going 0-13 on 3rd down attempts and tallying a lack-luster 110 yards of total offense. Chicago also turned the ball over 3 times, once on a fumble and 2 INTs.

After Week 4, the Bears and Packers are tied atop the division at 3-1, the Vikings stay idle at 1-2 and the Lions fall to 0-4, which is certainly not a fair representation of how they have played this season.

Week 5 will have Chicago at Carolina, Detroit hosting St. Louis, Green Bay at Washington and the Vikings at the Jets on Monday night.


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