CB Cook Progressing Well From Knee Injury

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 12, 2010 – 4:46 pm

The Vikings got bad news on Tuesday when head coach Brad Childress confirmed that CB Cedric Griffin was lost for the season because of a “significant” knee injury. But Childress also delivered some good news regarding another CB on the roster.

Rookie Chris Cook, who impressed during training camp and the preseason, is working his way back from a 2nd knee injury as well and Childress indicated he was progressing to the point where he might be able to play this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

“He was out here moving around this morning and certainly he is feeling more comfortable right now than he was at this point from his procedure on the other side,” Childress explained. “It just remains to be seen. He’ll get out there and practice this week and we’ll just see how he comes back tomorrow from today’s movement, how he practices this week and there’s a chance he makes it to this weekend.”

Cook suffered a knee injury at the end of the preseason that kept him out of action, but he made it back to the field for Week 3′s game against Detroit. But then he injured the other knee against Detroit and has been rehabbing ever since, a process that kept him out of Monday’s game against the Jets.

Having Cook back in the lineup would be a nice boost for a Vikings secondary that will face a talented WR corps this weekend that includes Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Roy Williams along with TE Jason Witten. Cook is a bigger body than Antoine Winfield, so he could be used to muscle up with Roy Williams or Dez Bryant.

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Griffin Out For Season With Knee Injury

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 12, 2010 – 2:28 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress confirmed while meeting with reporters on Tuesday afternoon that CB Cedric Griffin will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury he suffered with about 10 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter of Monday night’s loss to the NY Jets.

You have to feel for Griffin because he’s been a young, up-and-coming player on the Vikings defense and now he’ll be rehabbing a significant knee injury for the 2nd consecutive year. He injured an ACL in last year’s NFC Championship Game at New Orleans and spent the entire offseason and training camp rehabbing it. He eventually made it back on the playing field ahead of schedule.

Now Griffin will go through the rigorous rehab process again. Coming back from dual significant knee injuries is certainly difficult but it’s not impossible. In fact, Vikings LB Chad Greenway, who was drafted by the Vikings in the same year (2006) as Griffin, has done it. We send our best to Cedric as he begins the long, grueling road to recovery.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 23 Comments »

NFL Network To Replay Monday’s Vikings-Jets Game

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 12, 2010 – 1:35 pm

NFL Network will air a replay of yesterday’s Vikings-Jets game at 7 p.m. CST on Wednesday, Oct. 13 via their “NFL Replay” program.

NFL Replay offers an exclusive look at the previous week’s games in a condensed, 75-minute, high-octane format. With the use of bonus NFL Films and NFL Network footage, including never-before-seen camera angles and coaches’ commentary, combined with exclusive wired sound from the field, locker rooms and sidelines, viewers will experience the game like never before.

NFL Replay programs are now a part of the new ‘Field Pass’ block airing every Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00-11:00 PM ET. ‘Field Pass’ takes fans inside the game like never before with exclusive NFL Films footage and sound. Following NFL Replay at 10:30 PM ET is Sound FX featuring a ‘best of’ theme highlighting an NFL great on Tuesday nights and a compilation of the sound from the previous Sunday’s games on Wednesday.

For more info on NFL Network and complete broadcast schedule, click here.

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Optimistic Or Pessimistic?

Posted by cjsiewert on October 12, 2010 – 1:26 pm

The 29-20 loss to the NY Jets on Monday Night Football sent the Vikings into a 1-3 hole that is going to take a lot of work to climb out of. But the reality of it all is that the Purple have played just 4 games this season and only 1 in their division. This leaves 12 more regular season games – 5 in the division – to make a playoff push.

You could take 2 polar opposite viewpoints on the outlook for the Vikings from Monday night’s loss to the Jets.

One being that the Vikings offense has been slow-starting early in the game, which seemingly puts them in a hole they cannot escape – a negative aspect that may plague the Vikings for the rest of the season.

The other takes on a more optimistic view; the Vikings offense showed signs of greatness after the Brett Favre-Randy Moss connection for a TD, igniting a furious come-from-behind effort that fell just short – a positive sign of things to come from a star-studded offensive cast.

As Mike noted this morning, we here on the Blog would like to point out the latter rather than the former because “that’s how we roll.” But don’t get us wrong, we are well aware of both sides of the outlook here.

First off, if the Vikings can put together a complete game of what they showed during the 2nd half of Monday night’s game, watch out. That was a stout pass defense the Vikings just faced in the Jets – anchored by CBs Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis – and Favre and Co. broke through in the 2nd half with 233 passing yards and 3 TDs. The 2nd half performance by the Vikings offense was an obvious improvement from the 1st half, but also a step forward in comparison to their previous 3 games

Second, a 1-3 start is not the end of the world and the Vikings have proven this in recent years. Just 2 seasons ago in 2008, the Purple started 1-3 but reversed their fortunes by winning 9 of their last 12 in route to winning the NFC North.

So how do you see the Vikings future panning out? Let us know by posting your thoughts in the comments section below this post.

Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 116 Comments »

Did You Know? (Randy Moss Edition)

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 12, 2010 – 12:19 pm

WR Randy Moss made his debut with the 2010 Vikings on Monday night in the team’s 29-20 loss to the New York Jets. In his 1st game back with the Vikings, Moss wasted little time finding the endzone, scoring on a 34-yard strike in the 3rd quarter.

Here are a couple of facts regarding Moss TD…

– Moss now has 91 career Vikings TDs

– Monday night’s TD reception was his 51st in the last 53 games.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 14 Comments »

Submit Your Question For Coach Childress

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 12, 2010 – 10:57 am

Click here to submit your question for Head Coach Brad Childress to possibly answer on this week’s episode of “Vikings GamePlan.”

Vikings GamePlan presented by Sports Authority is the official Minnesota Vikings pregame TV show. Co-Produced by Vikings Entertainment Network and FS North, GamePlan airs on Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM on both KARE 11 and FS North. Vikings radio Play-by-Play man Paul Allen gives viewers an inside look at what to expect in the upcoming game through exclusive Film Study with Head Coach Brad Childress. KARE 11’s Tim McNiff goes head-to-head with opponent’s media in the popular Media Matchup. GamePlan also wires Vikings players during the game bringing you closer than anyone else can!

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Sunny Side Up

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 12, 2010 – 9:55 am

The Vikings 29-20 loss to the NY Jets last night on Monday Night Football is disappointing, don’t get me wrong. Offensive futility in the 1st half was a major bummer, a long kickoff return by Brad Smith following a Randy Moss TD in the 3rd quarter was a buzzkill and QB Brett Favre’s game-ending INT was a heart-breaker.

But there were also some positives to come out of the game, and here on the Blog we’re going to take a look at them. That’s how we roll. There is plenty to be negative about and there are plenty of people who will – justly in some cases – point those negatives out. So let’s take a look at some positive aspects of the game and see if the Vikings can build on them as they prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys this week.

Defensive effort: Over the course of the offseason and into the preseason, one aspect of the team I’ve consistently talked up to people is the defense. The defense has been an improving and excelling group under assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and for some reason I felt this group would be outstanding again in 2010. So far, that’s exactly what they’ve been. Through the first 3 games of the season, the Vikings defense allowed just 31 total points. Against the Jets on Monday night, the defense was consistently playing on a short field and they consistently held the Jets out of the endzone, ultimately forcing 5 FGs and forcing the Jets to go 0-4 in the red zone and 0-1 in goal-to-goal situations.

Randy Moss’ debut: Have you ever seen a story with as much excitement and hype as the return of Moss to Minnesota? I’m not sure I have; it might even top Favre signing here before the 2009 season. Regardless, Moss’ debut was actually pretty solid. He went up against a talented CB all game long in Antonio Cromartie. The Jets new their stud CB, Darrell Revis, was coming back from a hamstring injury, so they opted to use Cromartie on Moss – the Vikings best WR – instead of Revis. While Cromartie won several battles throughout the game, Moss was a factor, especially in the 2nd half. It was his 34-yard TD reception that sparked the Vikings 2nd half comeback. In total, Moss had 4 receptions for 81 yards and 1 TD; he was targeted 10 times. There will be better games for Moss, but all-in-all it was a solid debut for #84.

Percy Harvin’s highlight grabs: Harvin led all Vikings receivers with 5 receptions for 97 yards and 2 TDs and his pair of scores came on outstanding plays. The 1st TD came on a 3rd and 19 from the Jets 34 when Favre rifled a pass toward Harvin in the back of the endzone. Harvin leaped, extended both arms above his head, snagged the ball from the air and then dragged both feet in bounds before being shoved out of bounds. It was a remarkable play and a clutch catch. Harvin’s 2nd TD came on 1st and 11 from the Jets 11. Favre lofted a pass in front of Harvin and the speedy 2nd-year WR raced to the football, reached out and hauled it in just in time and his momentum carried him away from a defender. Harvin shifted that momentum forward and wound up in the endzone for what was a huge TD that made the score 22-19 in favor of the Jets (Ryan Lognwell’s PAT was good, making the score 22-20).

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ID’ing What Went Wrong For Vikings Vs. Jets

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 12, 2010 – 4:55 am

The Vikings staged a 2nd-half comeback against the NY Jets on Monday Night Football that was fun to watch and nearly resulted in victory. But ultimately it wasn’t enough to overcome a disappointing 1st half.

So what went wrong for the Vikings? I know I don’t have all the answers and I look forward to hearing from Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress to get his thoughts. In the meantime, though, let’s look at a few things that didn’t go the Vikings way on Monday night…

Slow starts: The slow starts for the Vikings are beginning to bug me. This is such a talented offensive team and there is a good mix of veterans in the bunch, too, so that leads me to believe this group shouldn’t struggled much at all and certainly not in the 1st quarter, when many of the plays are scripted and the environment has as good a chance as any time in the game to be shaped the way the coaches want it shaped. The Vikings had just three 1st downs and 51 yards in the entire 1st half against the Jets on Monday night. In fact, the Vikings have just 7 total points in all 1st halfs so far in 2010.

Turnovers: Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier explained earlier in the week that he thought turnovers would be a huge factor in determining the winner of this game. As it turns out, he was right. The Jets were +3 in the take/give department and didn’t have a turnover all night. The Vikings, meanwhile, lots 2 fumbles and had QB Brett Favre throw a game-deciding INT to help the Jets seal the deal.

The Vikings must eliminate this problem. They are now -6 in the take/give department, boasting 5 turnovers but also being guilty of 11 turnovers.

Adrian Peterson touches: Though Favre and the passing offense got it going late in the game, it’s clear that right now Favre and Co. are slow-to-go out of the gates this season. Peterson carried the Vikings in Week 2 and Week 3, leading the Vikings to victory over Detroit in Week 3 thanks to 160 rushing yards. It makes sense…having Peterson shoulder the load while the offense tries to get the passing game in order. But against the Jets on Monday night, Peterson had just 18 carries (for 88 yards) and he had only 1 reception. The Vikings need to keep Peterson more intricately involved in the offense because he’s arguably their best weapon.

Penalties: The Vikings committed 3 penalties on their opening drive, including an illegal man downfield penalty on the team’s 1st offensive snap of the game, which negated a Moss-to-Favre connection. As I explained in today’s Monday Morning Mailbag: Tuesday Edition, the Vikings have been penalized 33 times so far in 2010, which puts them on pace for 132 penalties called against them this season. That’s 31 more than they had last year and it’s just far too many, no matter how you look at it. Many of the penalties are procedural penalties that can be fixed easily.

Vikings rush defense: It’s odd to me that I’m pointing this one out because the Vikings defense has been just lights out so far in 2010, allowing just 53 offensive points; that’s 2nd-best in the NFL behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers. But teams have found a way to run against the Vikings at times and it’s bugging me. The New Orleans Saints were able to run out the clock on us in Week 1, which kept our offense off the field late in the game. Then Miami RB Ronnie Brown got loose a few times and picked up big yardage. Then on Monday night the Jets accumulated 155 total rushing yards on 32 carries, which averages out to 4.8 yards per carry. That’s too much for this dominant and talented rush defense to allow, and I’m anticipating they’ll bow up here against Dallas’ terrific RB trio.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 105 Comments »

Passing Offense Comes Alive, But Too Little Too Late

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 12, 2010 – 2:02 am

A spark in the Vikings passing offense came just in time to trigger a furious comeback in the 2nd half at the New Meadowlands Stadium, but the inadequacy of the passing offense in the 1st half was just too much for that spark to overcome, as the Vikings fell 29-20 to the NY Jets on Monday Night Football.

The Vikings passing offense ranked 8th just a season ago, but the explosive outbursts that helped the Vikings produce such a dangerous have been absent for much of the 2010 season and they were certainly absent in the 1st half of Monday night’s game. The Vikings concluded their first 5 drives with punt and saw the 6th drive end on a bobbled QB-center exchange.

QB Brett Favre and Co. were finally able to turn it around, and the turnaround came in time for the Vikings to make a game out of it. The Vikings defense played superbly all night, holding the Jets to 6 punts and 5 FGs in their first 11 possessions.

The Vikings scoring binge began when Favre found newly-acquired WR Randy Moss deep down the right sideline for a 37-yard TD, a play that seemingly ignited the Vikings offense; the play also marked the 500th career TD pass for Favre. Minnesota scored 2 more TDs on outstanding receptions by 2nd-year WR Percy Harvin, but it wasn’t enough and the Vikings comeback attempt came up just short.

On the Vikings last-ditch effort to tie the game with a FG or take the lead with a TD, Favre had his pass intended for TE Visanthe Shiancoe intercepted and returned for a TD, sealing the Jets 29-20 win and sending the Vikings home with a 1-3 record.

There is a lot to breakdown from this game and not a lot of time to do it because the Vikings have a short week coming up with Dallas coming to Mall of America Field on Sunday. We’ll dissect the loss Tuesday – with help from Brad Childress’ 3:00 p.m. CT press conference – and then we’ll quickly move on to preparing for the Dallas Cowboys.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 14 Comments »