It’s been a while, but this week’s Monday Morning Mailbag will actually be on a, you know, Monday morning. Scheduling quirks and snowstorms have pushed the weekly feature to days other than Monday recently, but this week we’re back to normal.
With the season now concluded I’m sure you have a lot of comments and questions. So let’s tackle them.
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The Vikings made their first trip into the redzone early in the 4th quarter, coming away with a 27-yard FG by K Ryan Longwell – the score in now Lions 13, Vikings 10.
Vikings QB Joe Webb completed 5 of 5 passes for 27 yards and a 6-yard rush on the 12-play, 52-yard scoring drive.
Detroit is threatening to score in Vikings territory midway through the 4th quarter.
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Vikings DE Jared Allen recorded the first points of the game for the Vikings on a 36-yard INT return midway through the 3rd quarter.
On the play, LB Ben Leber came off the left end forcing Lions QB Shaun Hill to release the ball quickly with Allen coming down with the pick-6. The INT return was Allen’s 1st-career pick-6 and the Vikings 1st INT return for a TD this season.
The Lions lead 13-7 nearing the end of the 3rd quarter.
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The Lions opened up the 2nd half with an 11-play, 47-yard scoring drive that resulted in a 37-yard FG by K Dave Rayner that barely sneaked inside the right upright.
The Vikings will start their first drive of the 2nd half at their own 18 following a 20-yard return by Lorenzo Booker.
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The Lions closed out the 1st half with a 15-play, 94-yard scoring drive that ended on a 7-yard TD pass from QB Shaun Hill to WR Nate Burleson (both former Vikings). The 4:39 drive gave the Lions a 10-0 lead at halftime.
Hill has had his way with the Vikings defense throughout the 1st half, completing 20 of 25 passes for 161 yards and a TD. Burleson has been his favorite target with 5 receptions for 50 yards and a TD, including a 20-yard gain on an end-reverse setting up a 55-yard FG by K Dave Rayner midway through the 2nd quarter.
The Lions defense has bottled up Vikings RB Adrian Peterson – 7 carries for 8 yards (long of 10) – and have kept rookie QB Joe Webb in check. Webb has completed 7 of 13 passes for 60 yards and an INT, including 3 carries for 20 yards.
CB Antoine Winfield and LB Chad Greenway continue to lead the Vikings defense with 7 stops apiece. DEs Jared Allen and Ray Edwards combined for a sack and LB Ben Leber has a forced fumble credited to his name that resulted in a critical turnover deep in Vikings territory.
The Lions will receive the 2nd half kickoff.
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Lions K Dave Rayner connected on a 55-yard FG with 6:45 remaining in the 1st half to give his team a 3-0 lead.
Lions QB Shaun Hill completed 3 of 3 passes for 20 yards on the scoring drive and WR Nate Burleson highlighted the series with a 20-yard gain on a reverse off the left side.
Vikings DEs Jared Allen and Ray Edwards combined for a sack on Hill resulting in a loss of 8.
Hill and Co. tested the Vikings defense early, driving the ball 67 yards from their own 25 down to the MIN 8 on their first series of the game. But on 1st and goal, Hill’s pass completed to TE Tony Scheffler was fumbled at the 1 as Vikings LB Ben Leber jarred the ball loose. S Jamarca Sanford recovered the ball in the endzone for a touchback. The play was challenged by the Lions but upheld for the turnover.
The Vikings were unable to convert the turnover into points on the ensuing drive.
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Here are the Vikings inactives for today’s game in Detroit against the Lions:
QB Rhett Bomar (3rd QB), QB Brett Favre, WR Juaquin Iglesias, WR Sidney Rice, CB Asher Allen, LB Erin Henderson, DT Jimmy Kennedy & T Thomas Welch.
Of note for the Lions, both WR Calvin Johnson and RB Jahvid Best will play after both being listed on the injury report this week.
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A few interesting notes to think about in advance of today’s Vikings-Lions game…
– With Tuesday night’s game at Philadelphia, the Vikings have played games on Monday night, Tuesday night, Thursday night and Sunday night this season.
– According to Elias Sports Bureau, Tuesday night’s game at Philadelphia was the first since October 1, 1946, when the New York Giants beat the Boston Yanks 17-0 at Braves Field. The game was originally scheduled for September 30 but was postponed due to rain. While the last NFL game played on a Tuesday took place in 1946, there have now been 20 NFL games played on a Tuesday.
– The Vikings have played in 5 diff erent stadiums over the last 5 weeks (FedEx Field, Mall of America Field, Ford Field, TCF Bank Stadium and Lincoln Financial Field).
– QB Joe Webb became only the 2nd Vikings rookie QB to win his first career start. The other was Rob Vander Kelen (12/15/63). Both QBs gained their first win against Philadelphia.
– Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman worked as a college scout for the Lions from 1990-94 and as a pro scout from 1995-96. His brother, Chris, played LB for the Lions from 1988-95.
– Lions WR Nate Burleson was drafted by the Vikings in the 3rd round (71st overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. Burleson played in Minnesota from 2003-2005.
– Lions QB Shaun Hill was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Vikings on 4/25/02.
– The Vikings 66 wins against Detroit are the team’s most vs. any opponent in the NFL.
Tags: Joe Webb, Rick Spielman
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Unable to score tickets to this Sunday’s Vikings-Lions game in Detroit? No problem, because there are several other ways to take in the action.
– As usual, we’ll have a live chat here on vikings.com during the game. We’ll launch the chat just before kickoff, so be sure to join us.
– The game will be televised by FOX as Bryan Biederman will handle play-by-play duties and John Lynch will be the game analyst.
–I recommend tuning in to either KFAN-AM 1130 or KTLK 100.3 FM for the game to hear Paul Allen call the action and Pete Bercich handle the analysis. Greg Coleman is the sideline reporter. Also, Mike Mussman will anchor the pre-game show, which begins at 10:00 a.m. CT.
KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, 5-state Vikings Radio Network.
Tags: Paul Allen
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The Vikings and Detroit Lions will battle today at Ford Field beginning at 12:00 p.m. CT. While the game has no playoff implications, there are still plenty of interesting subplots to watch. Here are a few…
– With a rushing TD, RB Adrian Peterson can set a new Vikings team record for the most career rushing TDs. In just 4 years, Peterson has 52 rushing TDs and is now tied with Chuck Foreman and Bill Brown for the most as a Viking. Peterson can also continue to climb higher in the top 10 in NFL history for most rushing yards in the first 4 years. He currently has 5,751 rushing yards, which ranks 6th and trails Jamal Lewis’ 5,763 for 5th.
– The Vikings can finish with a top 10 defense for the 3rd straight year for the first time since 1992-94, when the team finished 8th, 1st and 5th. The Vikings are currently 7th after ranking 6th in ‘08 and ‘09.
– A win would give the Vikings a 4-2 record under Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier. The team finished 3-3 in the final 6 games of the 2009 season.
– With his sack at Philadelphia last Tuesday, DE Jared Allen reached double digit sacks for a fourth straight year (10.5 sacks currently).
– P Chris Kluwe can set the team record for the most games with a 50-yard punt. Kluwe has 68 career games with a 50-yarder, which is tied with Greg Coleman for the most in team history. Kluwe can also break his own record for most punts inside the 20 in a single season. Kluwe has 30 on the year, and his team record is 33.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Chris Kluwe, Jared Allen
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