Starting at 8:15 p.m. CST tomorrow night on NFL Network, tune in for nearly two hours of Vikings-related programming.
First up is a replay of Sunday’s 24-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys via NFL Network’s “NFL Replay” program that offers an exclusive look at the game 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.
Then, at 9:30 p.m. CST, NFL Network will air “Best of Sound FX: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson,” which gives fans an on-field perspective of the sights and sounds of Adrian Peterson’s illustrious NFL career.
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Husain Abdullah beat out Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford for the staring S position opposite of Madieu Williams during training camp and the preseason this summer, but Sanford wound up playing defense during Sunday’s win over the Cowboys when Abdullah was forced out of action with a head injury.
Speaking with reporters after the game, Childress said Sanford played well in Abdullah’s stead.
“He did a great job,” Childress said, “I thought playing in the back end and still attends to our kicking team because he is every bit as valuable as Heath Farwell is on our kick (coverage) game.”
Childress indicated that Abdullah will now go through the standard NFL and Vikings protocol with regard to head injuries, which will likely land him on this week’s injury report and leave his status for next week’s game in Green Bay in question.
Speaking of head injuries, that issue got a lot of press this weekend because of some serious injuries and incidents that happened both college and pro games. Player safety – and specifically concussions – have been at the forefront of the game for a while now and many are speculating on what the NFL will do with regard to rules to protect the players.
Childress was asked about this issue and said he anticipates the NFL to be as proactive as possible to keep player safety a top priority.
“I think they (the NFL) always entertain any and all forms of discipline,” Childress said. “I know it’s in the form of a fine right now. I know people have been suspended in the past for particular heinous helmet-to-helmet collisions. I think they’re always going to error on the side of safety.
“I think they’re going to try to be safe and do what’s best for the player. And if the official is going to error, he’s going to error in pulling the flag if he thinks that’s what happened.”
Tags: Husain Abdullah, Jamarca Sanford
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 18 Comments »
In this week’s Monday Morning Mailbag a reader asked what WR Randy Moss’ impact has been through 2 games with the Vikings. We pointed out several ways he’s impacted the team to this point but also threw in the disclaimer that it would be a question better-answered by head coach Brad Childress, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell or even QB Brett Favre.
Well, during his regular Monday morning press conference, Childress was asked that very same question. And here’s how he responded.
“I think they’re paying very close attention to him,” Childress said, “whether they’re playing with a soft umbrella coverage that they played yesterday or fading somebody to him. They’re knowing where he’s at and knowing how he can beat you; and not wanting that to happen. So generally that’s taken a couple people to stay with him.”
Childress also spoke on another way Moss has impacted the team, and that’s emotionally with his passion for the game and for winning.
“I think going back to the first time that I talked about Randy; he’s a passionate football player,” Childress explained. “I’m sure some would say that’s a plus, that’s a minus. After I said what I had to say yesterday (at halftime), we always get a little break before we go out and he kind of hit it right between the eyes in terms of what we needed to do to play Vikings football (and) win the second half.
“It always, when you don’t know that somebody has that side, there’s a bunch of guys that haven’t played with him before, it’s kind of like an epiphany for them. He’s speaking from the heart and when you speak from the heart it’s always taken very well.”
Tags: Randy Moss
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 60 Comments »
In a back-and-forth battle between 2 teams in desperate need of a win, the Vikings came out victorious over the Dallas Cowboys by a mark of 24-21 late Sunday afternoon, giving the Purple their 2nd win on the season.
The win moved the Vikings to 2-3 while they also gained ground in the NFC North rankings. How much ground? Let’s take a look at how the rest of the division fared…
Bears: Chicago got out to an early lead on a 6-yard TD run by RB Matt Forte, but that would be the last lead of the day for the Bears as they dropped their 2nd game of the season 23-20 to the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field.
Offensively, the Bears couldn’t get much going with Forte’s 1st-quarter TD marking the only TD for the offense. The passing game was a non-factor with QB Jay Cutler completing just 17 of 39 attempts for 290 yards and 0 TDs. And when moving the chains – or lack thereof – the Bears didn’t convert a single 3rd down attempt (0-12).
Former Vikings RB Chester Taylor led the Bears dismal rushing attack with 4 carries for 31 yards. Forte was limited to 11 yards on 8 carries (1.4 yards per carry) and the TD.
Devin Hester returned a punt 89 yards for a TD late in the 4th quarter, but it was too little too late as the Bears fell to 4-2 on the season.
The Bears remain atop the NFC North and will host the Washington Redskins next Sunday.
Lions: Following a blowout victory over the St. Louis Rams last week, the Detroit Lions fell back to their losing ways with a 28-20 loss to the NY Giants at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
The loss to the Giants wasn’t the only loss the Lions encountered Sunday afternoon, as QB Shaun Hill left the game late in the 1st half with a broken left arm. Detroit was already down to its backup QB with Matthew Stafford sidelined from a sprained throwing shoulder suffered in the 1st game of the season.
The Lions struck first on a Shaun Hill-Nate Burleson 14-yard TD connection half way through the 1st quarter, but were soon playing catch-up the remainder of the contest.
After Hill went down with the broken arm, Detroit’s 3rd-string QB, Drew Stanton, stepped in, completing 19 of 34 passes for 222 yards, 1 TD and an INT – the TD on an 87-yard pass to WR Calvin Johnson early in the 4th quarter – but eventually fell short to the Giants for their 5th loss on the season.
The Lions drop to 1-5 heading into their bye week and will host the Washington Redskins on October 31.
Packers: For the 2nd week in a row, the Green Bay Packers came up short in an OT contest. This week the Packers fell victims to a 23-20 OT loss to the Miami Dolphins at Lambeau Field.
The Packers and Dolphins kept the game tightly-contest throughout the entire contest with 3 scoring ties and 5 lead-changes. But the last lead-change was the one that counted most on a 44-yard game-winning FG from Dolphins K Dan Carpenter.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who was coming off a week of recovering from a concussion suffered during last Sunday’s OT loss to the Redskins, completed 18 of 33 passes for 313 yards, 1 TD and an INT. His favorite target was WR Greg Jennings, who hauled in 6 receptions for 133 yards and a TD. Jennings’ TD came on an 86-yard pass from Rodgers late in the 1st quarter.
The Packers fall to 3-3 and will host Brett Favre, Randy Moss and the Vikings at Lambeau Field in a marquee Sunday night matchup next week.
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 15 Comments »
It’s easy for special teams play to get lost in the shuffle when evaluating and digesting NFL games. But we won’t let that happen here, not after the Vikings put together perhaps the most complete special teams performance since Brian Murphy took over as coordinator of the unit before the 2009 season.
We’ve mentioned a few times in the vikings.com Blog this season that the special teams unit is playing well, but often times that praise has been easily overlooked because the team got off to a rocky 1-3 start. So now with win #2 on the season in the books, let’s take a quick look at the impact Murphy’s group had on the outcome.
– We’ll begin with the catalyst for the Vikings 2nd-half surge against Dallas. The Vikings went into the locker room at halftime trailing 14-7. But they came out of the locker room in the 2nd half and immediately tied the game when Percy Harvin dashed 95 yards through the middle of the field for a TD. Harvin was virtually untouched on the play, so credit goes to the 10 blockers there. And he did a nice job of sticking his foot in the ground and heading straight upfield.
“Coming out of the half there’s no better way to set the tempo than taking the opening kick back,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said after the game. “It’s a testament to those special teams. You talk about covering people up, I don’t know that Percy broke stride on that return. He set the tempo for us special teams-wise as well as those other 10 guys and then got on the field and got a three-and-out on defense and were able to hold on.”
– As explosive as Harvin was with that return, P Chris Kluwe was every bit as consistent on the day, as he’s been all season. Kluwe had 5 punts on the day for a net average of 41.8. But more importantly, he landed 4 of those 5 punts inside the 20 and 2 of them inside the 10. Of Kluwe’s 5 punts, only 2 of them were returned and Dallas managed just 3 total yards on those 2 returns. That’s outstanding work from Kluwe.
“He’s done a great job of directional punting,” Childress said of Kluwe. “He’s really taken that bit. The other thing he’s doing is kicking with great height and hang-time and I think I’ve mentioned to you guys before the people that do a great job in terms of not having punt returns are the people that are able to hang it up in the air and let our guys go down and cover it. Again, the kicking teams were outstanding.”
– While a lot of credit is due to Kluwe for the lack of Dallas return yardage on Sunday, credit also goes to the Vikings coverage unit. LB Jasper Brinkley tallied 3 special teams tackles on Sunday while the newly-acquired Fran Walker also got in on the action. Dallas returned 5 kickoffs on the day and averaged 16.2 yards per return, a pedestrian average. The most impressive kickoff cover of the day may have been the opening kickoff, when Brinkley smashed Akwasi Owusu-Ansah at the Cowboys 19 after just a 13-yard return. The hit got a great reaction from the crowd that went from “Whoa!” to loud cheers.
– We can’t talk about the Vikings special teams play without talking about K Ryan Longwell, who was perfect on his PAT tries and also hit the game-winning FG in the 4th quarter from 38 yards out. Longwell also appeared to do a nice job on his kickoffs in terms of placing the ball where the coverage team expected him to place it.
– Finally, the best special teams play (aside from Harvin’s return) may have been the last special teams play of the day. The Vikings forced a 3-and-out after Longwell’s 38-yard FG and the offense took over on the MN 25. Four Adrian Peterson runs and a pass interference penalty allowed the Vikings to run over 2 minutes off the clock. Ultimately the Vikings had to punt the ball away with 29 seconds remaining in the game. Kluwe’s punt came down near the Dallas 4, where Dez Bryant received it and tried to make a few moves to pickup yardage. But the Vikings punt team covered the perfectly placed kick well and strung Bryant out. Eventually Bryant was surrounded by the entire coverage team and he was dropped after just a 3-yard gain to the 7. That left the Cowboys with more than 60 yards to gain in 13 seconds to get in FG range, a task too tough to accomplish as the Vikings came away with the 24-21 victory.
Tags: Chris Kluwe, Frank Walker, Jasper Brinkley, Percy Harvin, Ryan Longwell
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 6 Comments »