With another day to wait for kickoff against the Philadelphia Eagles due to “blizzard-like” weather on the East Coast, let’s take a look back at one of the most memorable – whether we’d like to remember it or not – seasons in Vikings history.
These are just a few of the notable events that will mark the 2010 season…
Aug. 17: Brett Favre ended all speculation on whether or not he would return for his 20th season by returning to Winter Park after a brief courting by fellow teammates and close friends Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson and Ryan Longwell.
Aug. 22: The Vikings lost to the San Francisco 49ers in their 2nd preseason game, but the real story of the day was the return of LB E.J. Henderson. It was Henderson’s first appearance on the field since a devastating leg injury that ended his season late last year against the Arizona Cardinal that had many thinking his career would be ended as well.
Henderson looked like the old E.J., tallying 7 tackles in just 1 quarter. One of those tackles was for a loss, and the play was the exact type of play Henderson made regularly before injuring his leg; he knifed through the backfield and swept his arm across the legs of 49ers RB Anthony Dixon to trip him up before he got back to the line of scrimmage.
Sept. 26: After starting the season with 2 consecutive losses, the Vikings returned home to Mall of America Field where they beat up division rival Detroit Lions by a mark of 24-10. RB Adrian Peterson carried the team with a 23-carry, 160-yard, 2-TD performance, highlighted by a career-long 80-yard TD run.
Oct. 6: In an unimaginable trade, the Vikings acquired WR Randy Moss from the New England Patriots to bolster a depleted WR unit. The trade reunited the Vikings and Moss, who spent his first 7 seasons in Minnesota, and excited a fan base that needed a spark after watching its team start the season with just 1 win after 3 games.
Oct. 11: The 29-20 loss to the NY Jets at the New Meadowlands Stadium marked Moss’ return to purple, but it was delayed by an hour due to heavy rain and lightning. (A sign of things to come?)
Trailing 12-0 in the 3rd quarter, Favre connected with Moss for a 37-yard TD that sparked a Vikings offense that appeared lethargic in the 1st half. The TD marked Moss’ first in purple since his departure in 2004 and Favre’s 500th career passing strike.
Nov. 7: With 4:39 remaining in the game and trailing by 14, the Vikings appeared to be on the brink of falling to 2-6 with the Arizona Cardinals silencing the Mall of America Field crowd. But Favre orchestrated his 45th-career game-winning drive by guiding the offense with a 4-play, 40-yard TD drive and another 5-play, 77-yard TD drive following a defensive hold to force the game into overtime where Longwell eventually punched through the game-winning 35-yard FG.
Favre finished the game setting new career-highs in passing yards (446) and completions (36).
Nov. 6: Just a quick as he was brought in, Moss was placed on the waiver wire. Head Coach Brad Childress simply stated, “it didn’t work out.”
Nov. 22: Childress’ tenure as Vikings head coach came to an end following consecutive losses to division leaders Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier took over as interim head coach.
Dec. 12: Due to over 17 inches of snowfall in the Twin Cities area, the Teflon roof of the Metrodome collapsed as 3 panels were destroyed. The Vikings were scheduled to host the NY Giants at Mall of America Field but the game was moved to the following Monday night at Ford Field – home of the Detroit Lions.
Dec. 20: The roof of Mall of America Field at the Metrodome was unable to be fixed in time for the Vikings next home game against the Chicago Bears, a Monday night matchup marking the Vikings last home game. The team still wanted to play its last home game in front of its fans, so the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium was shoveled out to allow the game to be played there. It took an entire week, but the stadium was readied in time for the Monday night game and the franchise was able to celebrate and honor its “50 Greatest Vikings” at halftime. Legendary Vikings head coach Bud Grant highlighted the ceremony by walking out of the tunnel in just short sleeves and was carried off the field on the shoulders of his former players.
Dec. 26: “Blizzard-like” conditions on the East Coast forced the Vikings scheduled game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field to be postponed until Tuesday night – just another weather-related schedule change for the Vikings that now seems par for the course.
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