Rookies Harvin, Knox Yielding Positive Returns

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2009 – 11:55 am

The forecast for Monday night’s game between the Vikings and Bears in Chicago calls for game-time temperatures somewhere in the 20s with gusty winds in the equation and also a 20% chance of precipitation.

These are far from desirable conditions for offensive output. It’s safe to say we shouldn’t be expecting an encore performance from either offense following last year’s game in Chicago, a 48-41 Bears victory in what is the highest scoring game in Vikings-Bears series history.

With points likely to be at a premium on Monday night, other facets of the game aside from offense will be crucial to the final outcome. One such example will be the return game.

And while odds are against a 2008-style Vikings-Bears shootout between QBs Brett Favre and Jay Cutler, we can anticipate a head-to-head matchup that is just as intriguing: Percy Harvin and Johnny Knox in the kick return game.

Monday night’s game will feature 2 of the top 3 kick returners in the NFL. Knox, a rookie WR out of Abilene Christian, ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 28.8 average and Harvin ranks 3rd with a 28.3 average.

The 2 rookie WRs also have similar styles when it comes to kick returns.

“They look to push the ball into the return first and then pick a seam second, which makes them dangerous,” Vikings special teams coordinator Brian Murphy said. “Johnny Know has that unique ability of being slippery and downhill through the return and the ability speed-wise to go the distance.”

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