StarTribune.com

September 2007


What’s next?

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

The bye week might come at the right time for the 1-3 Vikings but it certainly won’t be enjoyable. The Packers’ 23-16 victory on Sunday at the Metrodome puts Green Bay at 4-0. The Lions are 3-1 after beating the Bears 37-27; Chicago, which will play host to the Vikings in two weeks, also is 1-3.

Brad Childress is now 7-13 as a head coach. The Vikings have lost three in a row overall and are 3-11 in their past 14 games. Childress also is 0-3 against the Packers and coach Mike McCarthy. When Childress took over the Vikings from Mike Tice, Minnesota had won three in a row against Green Bay.

“We are obviously extremely disappointed,” Childress said. “We’re a 1-3 football team. We had an opportunity to win all three of those games. I’m not going to point in any one direction but we could all improve in all the areas.”

One of the main questions that Childress is going to have to answer is who is going to be his quarterback? The answer almost certainly will be Tarvaris Jackson. Kelly Holcomb started a second consecutive game Sunday in place of the injured Jackson (strained groin) but that was done to get Jackson an extra week of rest. Holcomb’s play certainly doesn’t have anyone saying that Jackson should remain on the bench.

The plan for defensive end Erasmus James almost must be decided. James missed most of last season because of a knee injury; he started training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list but long ago returned from that. James has been going full speed in practice, yet he still hasn’t played in a regular-season game in 2007.

One guy who probably deserves some credit for the job he did Sunday is defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Frazier knew the Packers were going to pass the ball, just as Detroit did two weeks ago, and came out with a game plan that utilized a 3-3-5 formation quite a bit. That is three down linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs.

You might recall Mike Tomlin used that same type of personnel package last season when he was the Vikings’ defensive coordinator. Frazier said the Vikings had been working on the 3-3-5 as far back as training camp.

Brett Favre still threw two touchdown passes — rookie Marcus McCauley was the victim on both — and passed for 344 yards.

But both of Favre’s scoring passes came on throws that made it look as if it was 1996 again in Green Bay.

Favre breaks record

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Brett Favre’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings with 4:56 left in the first quarter to become the all-time leader in career TD passes with 421. The score gave the Packers a 7-0 lead.

Peterson on kickoff return

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Adrian Peterson will return the opening kickoff of the game today. Aundrae Allison is inactive.

Moore, Allison among inactives

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

For the second time in four games this season, running back Mewelde Moore will be among the Vikings’ inactives. Chester Taylor will return after a two-game absence and start ahead of Adrian Peterson. Fullback Tony Richardson also will be back after spending the last two games sidelined because of an injury to his arm.

Rookie receiver Aundrae Allison, who has been returning kicks, also won’t play today. Allison didn’t win any points with the coaching staff last week against Kansas City by attempting to return a kick from 5 yards deep in the end zone.

Also inactive are quarterback Tarvaris Jackson; cornerback Ronyell Whitaker; tight end Garrett Mills; offensive tackle Chase Johnson; defensive tackle Fred Evans; and defensive end Erasmus James.

Kelly Holcomb will start again at quarterback in place of Jackson, who suffered a groin strain two weeks ago at Detroit. This means Jackson will get three weeks to rest his injury. The Vikings will have a bye next Sunday.

Safety Dwight Smith (hamstring) was limited in practice again during the week but will start today.

As expected Packers running back Brandon Jackson will sit out because of an injury to his shin suffered last Sunday against San Diego. DeShawn Wynn will start in Jackson’s place.

The Packers also are going to get running back Vernand Morency back for the first time this season. Morency, expected to be Green Bay’s top running back, was injured on the first day of training camp.

The rest of Green Bay’s inactives: cornerback Frank Walker; linebacker Demond Bishop; tackle Orrin Thompson; guard Allen Barbre; defensive tackles Justin Harrell and Daniel Muir; and defensive end Michael Montgomery.

Welcome to Lambeau West

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Brett Favre, who is one touchdown pass from breaking Dan Marino’s career record, is on the Metrodome field and the Packers fans have started entering their building. Coming into this place this morning, it looks as if the Packers will be very well represented today.

It seems as if the Vikings might change the way they normally do things. Under Brad Childress, the Vikings have been introduced as a team. But this morning the P.A. announcer was practicing introducing the defense. Might be the Vikings want to get some cheers from the home fans.

How does Favre rate? It matters to the Vikings

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Packers are 75-7 when Packers quarterback Brett Favre compiles a passer rating of at least 100.0. Here’s a look at Favre’s rating in games played at the Metrodome, along with the final score.

1992: 43.4 rating; Vikings 27, Green Bay 7

1993: 49.1 rating; Vikings 15, Green Bay 13

1994: 25.8 rating; Vikings 13, Green Bay 10, overtime

1995: 46.1 rating; Vikings 27, Green Bay 24

1996: 85.1 rating; Vikings 30, Green Bay 21

1997: 84.8 rating; Green Bay 27, Vikings 11

1998: 105.4 rating; Vikings 28, Green Bay 14

1999: 52.2 rating; Vikings 24, Green Bay 20

2000: 117.2 rating; Green Bay 33, Vikings 28

2001: 79.3 rating; Vikings 35, Green Bay 13

2002: 63.7 rating; Vikings 31, Green Bay 21

2003: 105.4 rating; Green Bay 30, Vikings 27

2004: 109.2 rating; Green Bay 34, Vikings 31

2005: 121.6 rating; Vikings 23, Green Bay 20

2006: 100.0 rating; Green Bay 23, Vikings 17

Favre is 5-10 at the Metrodome in his career entering Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Notice at one point Favre was 1-7 at the Dome. Through 2002, he was 2-9 in the stadium; since then he has won three of four starts.

Here’s another one. Care to guess how many starting quarterbacks the Vikings have used since Favre took over as the Packers starter in 1992? The answer is 13. Here’s the list:

– Todd Bouman

– Daunte Culpepper

– Randall Cunningham

– Gus Frerotte

– Rich Gannon

– Jeff George

– Kelly Holcomb

– Tarvaris Jackson

– Brad Johnson

– Jim McMahon

– Warren Moon

– Sean Salisbury

– Spergon Wynn

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