Vikings QB Brett Favre talked with NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci, a former coach of Favre’s, this past Wednesday at Winter Park for an interview that will run in-full this Sunday on NFL Network’s “GameDay Morning” program which airs at 8 a.m. CST. Make sure to tune into NFL Network to view the full interview, but you can click here to view a vikings.com video preview of what Favre had to say.
For more on NFL Network, click here.
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WRs Percy Harvin (ankle/illness) and Bernard Berrian (groin) are listed as questionable on the Vikings Friday injury report. Harvin returned to practice on Friday after sitting out on Wednesday and Thursday while Berrian was added to the report on Friday and listed as a limited particiapant.
CB Asher Allen (concussion) and S Jamarca Sanford (hamstring) are doubtful for Sunday’s game while QB Brett Favre (ankle/foot/calf), DT Pat Williams (elbow), DE Everson Griffen (shoulder), T Phil Loadholt (knee), CB Lito Sheppard (hand) and CB Frank Walker (hamstring) are all listed as probable.
The Bears took CBs Tim Jennings (knee) and D.J. Moore (head) off their injury report and listed CB Zackary Bowman (foot) and C Olin Kreutz (hamstring) as questionable.
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Vikings fans who will watch this weekend’s game against the Chicago Bears on television will be familiar with the crew broadcasting the game. The same group that brought you last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals will be at Soldier Field bringing you this week’s game.
The game will be aired on TV by FOX beginning at 12:00 p.m. CT, with Kenny Albert calling the action and Daryl Johnston handling the analyst role. The sideline reporter will be Tony Siragusa.
There will be local and national radio broadcasts, with Sports USA Radio Network handling the national broadcast. Larry Kahn will be the play-by-play man with Ross Tucker taking on the analyst role. Troy West will be the sideline reporter.
But the best way to take in the Vikings-Bears game – other than being at Soldier Field – will be to listen to either KFAN-AM 1130 or KTLK 100.3 FM. Voice of the Vikings Radio Network Paul Allen will call the action with former Vikings LB and coach Pete Bercich analyzing the action. Former Vikings punter Greg Coleman will be the sideline reporter.
There will be a pre-game show on the Vikings Radio Network as well, with Mike Mussman anchoring the coverage. That begins at 10:00 a.m. CT. KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, 5-state Vikings Radio Network.
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Vikings fans know there are a multitude of ways to Show Their Horns: You can wear a Vikings jersey, your mom might sport a Vikings hat, your barbecue grill can rest under Vikings cover and even your dog can wear a Vikings bandana. But did you know your web browser can show its horns too? And for free! And that’s not all, you will also have the chance to earn digital dollars called Vikings Swag Bucks that can be redeemed for exclusive Vikings gear like an individually autographed Visanthe Shiancoe photo!
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If you already use MyVikingsSearch.com or even if you are brand new, enter the code: MVS11 in your account today. The first 1,000 people to do so will get 25 Bonus Vikings Swag Bucks instantly. MyVikingsSearch.com, where everyday searches turn into extraordinary prizes.
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Two teams quite familiar with one another will battle at Soldier Field this Sunday when the Vikings and Bears engage in an important NFC North battle. Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress mentioned to reporters on Wednesday that this year’s Bears defense looks similar – personnel-wise – to the Bears defense the Vikings faced last year – with one exception.
This year’s Bears defense likes to blitz.
“While the structure of the defense is essentially the same, you see a lot more fire zones, the linebackers coming, safeties coming, that type of thing,” Childress explained. “More aggressive from that standpoint. That’s a marked difference.”
The Vikings will need to be buttoned up in their blitz protection schemes, particularly RBs Toby Gerhart and Adrian Peterson. Both players have improved in their pass protection and both players must take another step forward in that area to protect QB Brett Favre on Sunday.
The Bears tendency to blitz is one form of their aggressiveness on defense, but another is their penchant for forcing turnovers, specifically fumbles. They do this by making a point to punch and rake at the football while defensive teammates hold the ball-carrier up.
“They’re a great rake it, strip it, try to punch it out team,” Childress said. “You have to be mindful of taking care of the football here because they do a great job of the second guy in the pile trying to take it.”
The Bears have forced more fumbles (20) than any other NFL team and only 4 teams have recovered more fumbles than Chicago (9). Peterson, who dealt with fumbling issues last year but so far this year has rectified the problem, has taken note of the Bears fumble-forcing habits.
“They’d rather try to strip the ball than tackle first,” Peterson said. “That can hurt you in the long run. That’s one thing those guys do. I’ve seen it on tape. I’ve just got to continue doing what I’ve been doing; keeping the ball high and tight and taking advantage of those guys stripping the ball instead of going for the tackle.”
Despite the high number of turnovers Chicago’s offense has committed, the Bears are still +1 in turnover ratio, a stat that is a testament to an aggressive, opportunistic defense.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart
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While we’re waiting for head coach Brad Childress to meet with reporters for the final time this week in advance of the Bears game and while we’re also waiting word on the status of Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, let’s get through some easy reading. Here are a few fun facts for Friday morning…
– The Vikings and Bears will play for the 99th time in their series history on Sunday. The Vikings lead the all-time series with the Bears 52-44-2.
– Minnesota is 4-4 vs. the Bears since Brad Childress took over the team in 2006. The Bears swept the ’06 season. The Vikings bounced back and swept the ’07 series. The two teams split in 2008 and 2009, each winning their home games.
– Former Vikings Head Coach Mike Tice is currently the Bears OL coach.
– Childress is from Aurora, IL, attended college at the University of Illinois and Eastern Illinois, and coached at the University
of Illinois. Vikings DT Fred Evans is from Chicago and attended Morgan Park High. Vikings special teams coordinator Brian Murphy is from Elmwood Park, IL.
– Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier played CB for the Bears from 1981-85 and was a starter on their 1985 Super Bowl team.
– The Vikings win last week snapped a 4-game overtime losing streak and improved the team’s record to 17-3 in their last 20 games at Mall of America Field (2008-10).
– The Vikings-Cardinals game was the 3rd straight game in which the Vikings tallied over 400 yards of offense (10/24 at GB – 402, 10/31 at NE – 410, 11/7 vs. ARI -507).
– WR Percy Harvin ranks 2nd in the NFL with 1,228 combined net yards in 2010.
Tags: Fred Evans, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice
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Holding a dominant rushing attack is nothing new for the Vikings defense. They were the NFL’s #1 rush defense for 3 consecutive seasons (2006-08) and last year they ranked #2.
This year the Vikings are yielding 96.3 yards per game, which ranks 5th in the NFL and 3rd in the NFC.
A key matchup in Sunday’s game will be the Vikings rush defense vs. the Bears ground game. The Vikings hold a statistical advantage, with their defense ranking 5th in the NFL – and 3rd in the NFC – against the run (allowing 96.3 yards per game) and Chicago generating the 27th best rushing attack at 90.6 yards per game.
To obtain the all-important divisional victory this weekend, the Vikings must hold true to their form. When combining the 3 Vikings wins, the defense has allowed just 70.0 rushing YPG. In 5 losses, the Vikings have allowed 112.0 YPG – a significant difference.
“It has been a little bit up and down,” Frazier said of his run defense on Thursday. “Hopefully we’re on the right track now. We’ll need to do well against the run this weekend. Chicago has the ability to be able to run the football. They’ve got some good backs in Forte and Chester (Taylor), so we’ll have to play good run defense.”
Placing an emphasis on stopping the run is a primary objective for any defense over the course of a season, but it will be especially significant for the Vikings come Sunday. If the Williams Wall, Jared Allen and Co. can turn the Bears offense one dimensional to the aerial attack, it might spell trouble for Chicago QB Jay Cutler.
In the 7 games Cutler has played this season, he has been sacked 28 times. So needless to say, if the Vikings can stop the run and force the Bears to drop back and air it out, Cutler has a good chance of watching the game from his backside.
It seems like a simple formula for success – stop the run, turn the offense one dimensional and capitalize on an offensive line that’s allowed an average of 4 sacks a game on its starting QB. But can it be executed? And more important is the mentality to achieve such success.
“I remember talking to Ray Edwards earlier in the week about some things we wanted to be able to do in this last ball game and he said, ‘Coach, whatever you want to do, I just want to win,’” Frazier recalled of a conversation with DE Ray Edwards. “I said, ‘Man, that’s the attitude you want to hear from your players.’ ‘Forget my statistics, I just want to win.’ If we don’t get 20 sacks this year and we win the championship, I’m a happy dude. That’s the attitude we all need to have. Don’t get caught up in stats, the bottom line is we need to win.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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