Brad Childress commented on the Vikings' defensive performance Friday following the Vikings 14-9 loss to the Saints Thursday, pointing toward the emergence of safety Husain Abdullah
, who replaced Tyrell Johnson
in the starting lineup.
"I can't give an exact date, but I know just by grading those guys and listening to the comments about that position and for the snaps we had and me paraphrasing to the coach, ‘So what we're saying is…'" Childress said. "He continued to ascend to the point where you believe he gave you the best opportunity to win. I thought he did some good things in terms of tackling and getting people on the ground. Sometimes it's not pretty in that last line of defense, but all you're talking about is usually finding angles and getting somebody down."
He also spoke to the reduction in snaps for Jared Allen
, who spent much of the night getting chipped by tight ends and running backs on more plays than he was allowed to go one on one against Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod
. The additional energy Allen had to expend being so consistently double-teamed led to the Vikings using their DE rotation more than expected.
"We had a pretty good wave going in there," Childress said. "You saw Jayme Mitchell
get in there and get a sack. You saw Brian Robison
go inside and rush. You saw Ray (Edwards) rushing from the right side where he normally rushes from the left side. We're going to keep that mixing (of players in and out). We've got good football players in there. (Letroy) Guion did a good job, (Fred) Evans did a good job, so we're going to keep those guys fresh and wave them in and out."
In the coming days, there will be much said about the sputtering offense and what can be done to solve it, but despite lapses on the first drives of each half, the Vikings defense did its part to knock off the champs and look more like a reason for optimism more than concern moving forward.
As expected, the Favre Factor in TV ratings continues to pile up. The Vikings-Packers game last year on ESPN set a network record for viewership. The second Vikings-Packers game did even better. The NFC Championship Game was the highest rated in years. Thursday was no different, as the Vikings-Saints game drew a 17.7 rating and a 28 share – meaning that more than one of every four televisions around the country that was on was watching the Vikings-Saints game. It was the highest rating since the Broncos and 49ers played on Monday Night Football in 1997 and shattered the old record of 14.5/23 Nielsen numbers for the Thursday Kickoff Game set in 2003 when the Jets played the Redskins. The ratings were a 28 percent jump from last year's game between the Titans and Steelers, which drew numbers of 13.8/23. The game drew a 78 share in New Orleans, a 64 share in the Twin Cities and, for the record, a 52 in Milwaukee, the only Nielsen ratings city in Wisconsin.
The unexpected downside of Favre-a-Palooza's return was with the CW Network. Trotting out it's marquee shows – the much-talked-about new series Nikita and the popular returning series The Vampire Diaries -- both took a beating in the ratings. So much so that, whether planned or not, the network re-ran both shows on Friday.
There is growing speculation that the Vikings are going to re-sign Javon Walker early next week. He was among the final cuts, which many attribute to the fact that, had he made the 53-man roster, his entire 2010 salary would have been guaranteed. By releasing him and re-signing him, he would essentially be on a week-to-week contract and, when Sidney Rice returns, could be released without having to pay his entire season salary.
The Vikings had well-chronicled struggles on offense, but the defense held up pretty well. Brad Childress talked about the bright spots in the defense.
Brad Childress talked about the bright spots in the defense.