Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress held his usual day-after-the-game press conference on Monday and wasted no time pointing out a couple of important factors in his team’s dramatic comeback victory – Greg Camarillo’s hustle play on a 1st-quarter INT-turned-touchback and a decided home-field advantage thanks to a frenzied Mall of America Field crowd.
“Great, great effort and resolve by our club all the way around, really battled right to the very end,” Childress said. “I think when you look at the effort, you look at those guys resolve, probably as big of a hustle play as there was on the field was Greg Camarillo…to be able to force a touchback from down, outside on the left being 45 yards away, going to make that play. You saw (Phil) Loadholt, (Bryant) McKinnie running as hard as they could run, funnel it back to him. There was determination there, offensively and defensively in being able to get the ball back.”
For those of you who didn’t see the game, the play Childress is referring to is a 1st-quarter INT by Arizona FS Kerry Rhodes in which Camarillo chased Rhodes down after a 66-yard return and punched the ball out right near the goal line to force a touchback and give the Vikings possession again.
The second factor Childress mentioned was the crowd, which was clearly displeased for most of the game as they watched the Vikings fall behind 24-10 early in the 4th quarter. Things seemed to have bottomed out when the Vikings were stuffed on the Arizona goal line and the Cardinals took possession with 6:18 to play. But rather than file for the exits, the crowd got loud and put the pressure on Arizona’s offense.
“I thought the crowd was a huge factor with energy late in the game, to make our defense be able to get off a little quicker, a little harder to hear (on the offense),” Childress said. “They had big stops there at the end. It would have been really easy to cash it in, after you are denied on a fourth and one on the goal line. Our guys weren’t going to have it.”
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