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Can’t Get Away From Greenway

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 1, 2013 – 3:33 pm

Entering the 2012 season, Chad Greenway had led the Vikings in tackles for four consecutive seasons. Now you can make it five consecutive seasons.

Greenway finished the season with a career-best 184 tackles, 61 more than the next defender – rookie S Harrison Smith with 123. Only Scott Studwell has led the team in tackles for more consecutive seasons (6).

“He’s a very good tackler, those numbers speak to that,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said. “But his effort, as much as anything, has a lot to do with the number of tackles he gets. And then along with his instincts. He’s a very instinctive football player. He’s around the ball a lot, and he’s always hustling. He’s one of those guys going a hundred miles per hour, and he has a nose for the football. There are certain guys that just have a knack for being around the ball and making plays, and he’s one of those guys.”

The numbers support Frazier’s claim. Greenway had 10+ tackles in a game 10 times this season, including four consecutive games with double-digit tackles to start the season and a season-high 18 stops at Green Bay in Week 13. Greenway led the team in tackles in 8 of the team’s 16 regular season games, and he also tallied 8.0 tackles for loss, 8 passes defensed, 3.0 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble and 1 INT.

Greenway earned his first career Pro Bowl berth last season following a then career-best 174-tackle season. Although he topped that number this season and added a few splashy plays, Greenway was a snubbed from this year’s Pro Bowl.

But that’s okay. Greenway’s focus for now, as he and his teammates prepare for a playoff game at Lambeau Field on Saturday, is on a different “bowl” game 4.5 weeks.


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Adrian Peterson’s Final (And Historic) Regular Season Numbers

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 1, 2013 – 10:03 am

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson came up 9 yards short of surpassing Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. But he didn’t come up short of making history this season. Here’s a look at just a few of the incredible and historically significant records and statistics produced by Peterson and the Vikings rushing offense during the 2012 regular season…

– Peterson led the NFL in rushing with 2,097 yards, a total that ranks as the 2nd-best single-season total in NFL history and a total than was 484 yards ahead of the next RB (Washington’s Alfred Morris). He also led the NFL in scrimmage yards with 2,314, beating Lions WR Calvin Johnson by 350 yards. Peterson is just the 7th player in NFL history to rush for 2,000-plus yards.

– In Week 1, Peterson surpassed Robert Smith as the Vikings all-time leading rusher. He finished the season-opener against Jacksonville with 84 rushing yards, giving him a total of 6,836 at the time. Smith’s previous record was 6,818.

– Peterson is the first Vikings RB to lead the NFL in rushing twice (2008, 2012).

– With 2,097 rushing yards in 2012, Peterson now owns 5 of the top 7 single-season rushing totals in Vikings history. Also, Peterson had single-game rushing totals of 212, 210, 199 and 182 yards. With those single-game totals, Peterson now owns 9 of the top 12 Vikings single-game rushing totals.

– Peterson crossed the 8,000-yard rushing mark in 2012, becoming the 45th player in NFL history to do so and becoming the 6th-fastest to reach the mark (85 games).

– Peterson scored 12 rushing TDs in 2012 and became the first player in Vikings history to notch 10+ rushing TDs in 6 seasons.

– Peterson set a team record with 8 consecutive 100-yard rushing games from Week 7 to Week 15.

– With 7 runs of 50+ yards, Peterson tied Barry Sanders for the single-season NFL record in that category.

– From Week 7 to Week 15, Peterson had 1,313 rushing yards, the most rushing yards by a player in NFL history over any 8-game span.

– Peterson registered his career-long run (82 yards) on December 2 at Green Bay, and then matched it two weeks later in St. Louis with another 82-yard TD run.

– Peterson averaged 131.0 rushing yards per game this season, which ranks 1st in team history by an incredible 21.0 yards (Peterson averaged 110.0 per game in 2008).

– With three 2-TD rushing days in 2012, Peterson now has 18 2+ TD rushing games in his career, a team record. The Vikings are 13-5 in games in which Peterson has 2+ rushing TDs.

– With 2,634 rushing yards as a team, the Vikings tied a franchise record set in 2007 for  team rushing yards in a season. The Vikings also set a new team record with a 5.4-yard per-carry average.


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Griffen Steps Up In Big Spot

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 1, 2013 – 7:39 am

Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder and Blair Walsh all picked a great time to have one of their best – if not the best – performance of the 2012 season. In the game’s biggest moment, those three Vikings registered A+ performances to help lead the Vikings to victory in a true win-or-go-home scenario.

But those three weren’t working alone on Sunday. Another Vikings player also registered a season’s-best performance on Sunday, and that performance was a huge factor in the team’s win. Everson Griffen played like a man possessed, and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers paid for it.

In his 3rd season out of USC, Griffen had arguably the best game of his career Sunday. He sacked Rodgers three times for a loss of 20 yards, hit Rodgers another time, and tallied 4 total tackles on the day.

Griffen’s first sack came late in the 2nd quarter on a 2nd-and-10 from the Minnesota 38 with Green Bay driving for what looked like could be a TD right before the half. The sack resulted in a loss of 9 yards and all but eliminated the opportunity for Green Bay to score a TD and instead forced them to position themselves for a long FG try. Griffen’s 2nd sack came on the Packers first drive of the 2nd half and resulted in a loss of 3 yards on a 1st-and-10 play from the Minnesota 45. Griffen’s third and final sack came in the 4th quarter on a 1st-and-10 from the Green Bay 34. It backed Green Bay up 8 yards and eventually forced them into a 4th down, which they converted on a completion to Jarrett Boykin.

For the regular season, Griffen finished 3rd on the Vikings with 8.0 sacks, just a half-sack behind Brian Robison and 4.0 sacks behind Jared Allen. Griffen also ranked 4th on the team with 10.0 tackles for loss, 2nd on the team with 25 QB hurries, and he added 7 tackles and a forced fumble on special teams.


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Winfield’s Status Uncertain, Peterson And Robison Good To Go

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 1, 2013 – 7:23 am

The Vikings emerged from Sunday’s border battle season finale with a huge win and a berth in the postseason. For the most part, the Vikings also got out of Sunday’s game looking good on the injury front, too. Here are a few notes on injuries for both the Vikings and Green Bay Packers as they begin preparations this week for Saturday’s Wild Card round showdown…

Vikings
– It appears the biggest injury concern for the Vikings will be CB Antoine Winfield. He injured his hand two weeks ago but was able to play in Sunday’s contest against Green Bay. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to finish the game. Winfield left midway through the game and was not able to return, which raises question about whether he’ll be able to play in 5 days when the two teams battle once again in what will surely be frigid conditions at Lambeau Field. “We don’t know what’s going to happen with Antoine [Winfield], we’ll see how he does throughout the week,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said. “He was in quite a bit of pain yesterday, so we’ll have to see how he does during the week and make a decision maybe later on.”

– S Harrison Smith left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury, but Frazier said he was able to return to the game. It’s expected that Smith will not be a full participant in practice all week, but there’s optimism that Smith will be ready to play on Saturday night.

– Adrian Peterson was listed on the injury report with an abdomen injury last week. But it looks as if he came out of Sunday’s game in pretty good shape. Frazier said that Peterson reported feeling better after the Packers game than he felt a day after the Houton Texans game a week earlier.

– DE Brian Robison missed the December 23 game in Houston because of a shoulder injury, but was able to start and finish Sunday’s game against Green Bay. Frazier said Robison should be available for Saturday’s rematch with the Packers.

Packers
– Late in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, the Packers lost DL Jerel Worthy to a leg injury. He was carted off the field and, according to this report from packersnews.com, left the locker room on crutches and in a full leg brace. Green Bay Head Coach Mike McCarthy has not yet provided an update on Worthy’s status for Saturday.

– Green Bay held out WR Randall Cobb (ankle) and DB Charles Woodson (collarbone) on Sunday, but there’s a good chance both will return on Saturday. There’s nearly a 100% chance Cobb will return, in fact, and that’s big news for Green Bay because he’s a top-flight returner and he’s also the team’s leader in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receptions of 20+ yards. As for Woodson, he’s misssed 10 weeks because of the collarbone injury and is still waiting to be cleared for contact. He’s such a saavy veteran, though, that it won’t take him long to get back into the groove once he’s cleared. It won’t be a surprise to see him on the field Saturday.

– Both LB Clay Mathews and WR Jordy Nelson left Sunday’s game at one point or another, but both players are expected to play and start on Saturday.


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Sun Country To Charter Minneapolis-To-Green Bay Flight On Saturday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 1, 2013 – 6:52 am

Vikings fans who want to make the trek to Green Bay for Saturday night’s Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field but don’t want to spend time driving to do so now have an alternative transportation option thanks to Sun Country Airlines.

Sun Country has scheduled a special charter flight that will depart Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (Terminal 2 – Humphrey) at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, January 5 and arrive at the Green Bay, Austin Straubel Airport at 3:30 p.m. CT. The flight will make a return trip to MSP, departing at 11:59 p.m. CT and arriving back in Minnesota at 1:00 a.m. CT.

Coach class package cost is $299 round-trip and includes the flight, round trip transportation to and from Green Bay, Austin Straubel Airport and Lambeau Field.

First Class package cost is $499 round-trip* and includes the flight, round trip transportation to and from Green Bay, Austin Straubel Airport and Lambeau Field as well as snack and beverages in-flight.

This package DOES NOT include game tickets.

The package is for sale immediately through Sun Country Reservations at 1-800-359-6786, Monday – Sunday, 5:00 am to Midnight CT.

For more information, click here. To buy tickets to Saturday’s game, click here.


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