Vikings Drop To 1-5 After Loss To Bears

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 16, 2011 – 10:20 pm

The Vikings were unable to retain any momentum they may have gained after last weekend’s victory over the Cardinals, as the Bears cruised to a 39-10 win over the Vikings on Sunday night in Chicago.

We’re on the bus now heading to the airport, but Mike will have a lot to say on the loss and what’s ahead for the team soon.  The biggest storyline coming out of the loss was the pulling of Donovan McNabb late in the game in favor of rookie Christian Ponder.  After the game, Head Coach Leslie Frazier said the team would discuss its options on Monday, so unlike past weeks, he did not say if McNabb would remain the team’s starting QB or not.

The team hosts the undefeated Green Bay Packers at Mall of America Field on Sunday with kickoff slated for 3:15 p.m.

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Mr. Hippe’s Weather Report

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 16, 2011 – 6:21 pm

The Vikings are playing an outdoor game on the road tonight, so that means we must call upon our friend Mr. Hippe for his trusty weather report. With tonight’s game in Chicago, the weather becomes even more of a factor than in most locations.

Mr. Hippe’s checked in with a kickoff report of 54 degrees and northwest winds of 10 miles per hour, gusting up to 15 at times.

Sounds like a pretty good night for football. Let’s play!

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Winfield Among Vikings’ Inactives For Tonight’s Game vs. Bears

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 16, 2011 – 5:00 pm

Antoine Winfield (neck) will miss his second game in a row tonight as he’s among the seven inactive players for the Vikings.  Winfield injured his neck during the week four game against the Chiefs, and was doubtful on the injury report both last week and this week.  Second-year CB Chris Cook will start in place of Winfield again this week.

Here is the full list of inactives for tonight:

CB Antoine Winfield, CB Brandon Burton, S Mistral Raymond, LB Xavier Adibi, OL Brandon Fusco, OL DeMarcus Love, and DE D’Aundre Reed.

Here are Chicago’s inactives: Bears inatives: OL Gabe Carimi, DT Matt Toeaina, WR Earl Bennett, DE Corey Wootton, QB Nathan Enderle, S Chris Harris, and DE Nick Reed.

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Vikings Arrive At Soldier Field

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 16, 2011 – 3:46 pm

The Vikings have arrived at Soldier Field and are in the midst of final preparations for their primetime NFC North battle with the Chicago Bears. Kickoff is slated for approximately 7:30 p.m. CT, with television coverage handled by NBC. And as usual, you can also catch the game on the Vikings Radio Network, with Paul Allen handling play-by-play duties, Pete Bercich analyzing the game and Greg Coleman reporting from the sidelines.

The weather right now is pretty good, with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees and only moderates winds cooling everything off. It rained earlier today but no precipitation is expected during the game tonight. The temperature will fall a few degrees of course as the sun goes down and the game wears on, but barring a sudden uptick in wind speed, the weather tonight will be great for football and especially great for playing a night game in Chicago after October 1.

Fellow NFC North squads Detroit and Green Bay already have completed their games today, with the Packers defeating the St. Louis Rams at home and Detroit falling to the San Francisco 49ers at home. That drops the Lions to 5-1, the Packers improve to 6-0, and the Bears sit at 2-3 coming into tonight’s game. The Vikings are of course 1-4 on the season, and are looking to win their second consecutive game tonight.

We’ll have more updates throughout the late afternoon and early evening, leading up to kickoff. So stay tuned, and remember to come back around kickoff to join us in the live chat. Also, remember to follow us on Twitter for (@VikingsFootball and @wobby) for even more updates before, during and after the game.

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Stadium Issue Hits Front Burner This Week

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 16, 2011 – 12:28 pm

For the last few months, the stadium issue in Minnesota may have been background noise to the casual Vikings fans. But that will change this upcoming week.

With meetings scheduled between Governor Mark Dayton and State Legislators as well as the NFL coming into town to assess the stadium situation, you’ll see a lot here on, in the newspapers and on national and local news casts about the immediate future of plans for a new stadium in Arden Hills.

The Vikings don’t play until 7:30 p.m. CT tonight, so we thought now is a good time to get a head start in thinking about the upcoming week’s developments on this issue. As this opinion piece in the Pioneer Press states, now is the time to act on the Arden Hills stadium plan. It’s the only solution that works for the State, the County, the team and Vikings fans.

What Can Vikings Fans Do To Help?
– Contract Legislative leaders by clicking here and tell them to support a Fall Special Stadium to ensure the Vikings long term future in Minnesota.
– Follow Minnesota Momentum on Facebook and Twitter
– Stay informed on the issue by logging on to and Minnesota Momentum, and also by clicking on the links below…

Bucking Stadium Doubts, Wilf says “Let’s get this done”
Vikings stadium proponents dismiss questions raised by study of Arden Hills site
Wilf says stadium issues are solvable
Panel clears obstacle for Vikings stadium project

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Four “Under The Radar” Players In Tonight’s Matchup

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 16, 2011 – 10:41 am

We’ve spent the four days talking about tonight’s Vikings-Bears matchup on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, and the discussion has focused on everything from the importance of special teams, to Chicago’s pass protection against the Vikings pass rush, to the pair of premier RBs in this matchup with Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson both among the NFL’s top rushers so far this season.

Through it all, though, there are four players about whom we haven’t talked enough. So, we’ll talk about them right now. There are two on each team, and we’ll start with the Vikings…

TE Visanthe Shiancoe and DT Kevin Williams
The Vikings best offensive weapon through 5 games has been Peterson, and he’s played well against the Bears in his career. So we can expect to see a lot of Peterson early in the game. But at some point the Vikings will have to supplement their ground attack with a strike or two through the air, and that’s where Shiancoe enters the picture. No, he’s not the Vikings top option in the passing game, but that might be precisely why he can be a factor tonight. With only 11 catches and 1 TD on the season, Chicago may pay more attention to other threats, such as Percy Harvin and Michael Jenkins. You can also be sure the Bears will make sure one of their former players – either Devin Aromashodu or Bernard Berrian – doesn’t burn them. I’m guessing Chicago will play a lot of Cover 2 defense, which is customary for them, and I’m thinking they’ll load up to stop the run. This could create plenty of one-on-one opportunities for Shiancoe, and he’s due to win a few of those matchups and find the endzone.

With Williams, my thinking is the soggy field and poor footing could slightly limit DE Brian Robison’s advantage over new starting RT Lance Louis. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Robison over Louis, but there’s no doubt Robison is better on a fast surface. The slow surface also takes a bit of Jared Allen’s advantage away because he, too, is a speed rusher off the edge who likes a fast track. That sets the stage for Williams, one of the NFL’s top interior defensive lineman and a guy who is hitting full stride right now after missing the first two games of the season. Chicago’s starting center used to be a guard, their left guard used to be an offensive tackle, and their new starting right guard is listed as a guard/center and is coming off a broken hand. Advantage: Kevin Williams

LB Lance Briggs and WR Dane Sanzenbacher
One name is familiar to you (Briggs), and the other probably is not (Sanzenbacher). But both are important pieces to the puzzle for Chicago. An argument can be made that Briggs is the best outside LB in the NFL. He’s very good against the run and he can drop back and play the pass also. Briggs has finished 1st or 2nd in tackles for the Bears every year since 2004, he’s earned 6 straight Pro Bowls and he’s accumulated the following impressive list of statistics: 10.5 sacks, 12 INTs, 48 pass break ups, 12 forced fumbles, 8 fumble recoveries and 66 tackles for a loss. That stat line illustrates just how complete a player Briggs is for this defense.

Sanzenbacher is a rookie and he’s listed as the 5th WR on Chicago’s depth chart, but don’t let any of that disguise his importance and potential impact on this team or on tonight’s game. It’s been described to me that Sanzenbacher now runs the pass routes that TE Greg Olsen used to run in this offense, and that’s an important point because Olsen had success against the Vikings during his Bears career. In 8 career games against the Vikings, Olsen had 31 receptions for 313 yards and 3 TDs. And over the last 2 seasons against the Vikings (4 games), Olsen never had fewer than 3 receptions in a game and he had 2 TDs. Sanzenbacher is not the same player as Olsen, obviously, but he can have a similar or greater impact if the Vikings don’t respect him and cover him up.

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