Team chemistry superb
Schism, Schmism? The addition of Brett Favre has been the anti-schism if anything. The team's chemistry WITH Favre is about as good as one could imagine.
For those concerned that Favre's arrival in Minnesota would rock the boat ... wrong.
"My one goal and only goal," Favre said, "is to lead this team to the Super Bowl. There's no doubt that the way I'm playing now is a direct result of the guys around me. It's not like I found some fountain of youth."
Head coach Brad Childress, who was recently rewarded with a contract extension through 2013, deserves a lot of the credit for rebuilding the Vikings roster with kind of players that have made up the overall team chemistry they are enjoying now with the addition of Favre.
Lucky miss on Houshmandzadeh?
NOT getting free agent wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh might have turned out to be the Vikings' best move of the offseason, because it heightened their interest in rookie Percy Harvin in the draft. Had they landed Houshmandzadeh, they may have looked in another direction.
The Vikings held Houshmandzadeh to just four catches for 36 yards this Sunday, while Harvin caught 5 for 79, including the team's first score of the game.
On the season, Houshmandzadeh has 54 catches for 618 yards (11.4 avg.) and three touchdowns. Harvin has caught 36 passes for 501 yards (13.9 avg.) and four touchdowns, but has also added 924 yards and a pair of touchdowns on kickoff returns.
Houshmandzadeh is reliable and consistent, but Harvin is clearly far more explosive.
Much-improved receiving corps
Without question, Favre has given the Vikings offense increased credibility, but the receiving corps represents a significant upgrade over the early days of the Childress era, as well.
The team's current trio of Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian provide far more "special" qualities than guys like Travis Taylor, Marcus Robinson, Troy Williamson, Robert Ferguson and Bobby Wade in years past.
While there still seemed like a dropoff from Favre to Tarvaris Jackson on Sunday, Jackson's 6-for-8 passing for 77 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown pass, catch-and-run to Sidney Rice put his QB rating at 144.3 for the game.
"I thought he did a great job," Childress said. "I told him we're not pulling back (on offense)."
Nobody's saying Favre isn't better, but the confidence the team has and the supporting cast make driving this offense easier than it's ever been under Childress.
"They have a great O-line; they have a great D-line and that is why they are 9-1," Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said of the Vikings following Sunday's game.
It was interesting to see rookie Bears running back Khalil Bell rip off a 72-yard run in his first NFL carry from scrimmage against he Eagles on Sunday night. Bell was a camp guy with the Vikings in Mankato earlier this summer but could not get past Albert Young or practice squadder Ian Johnson on the team's depth chart, perhaps in part because of an ankle injury. The Vikings obviously thought both Young and Johnson were better.
Word in Baltimore is that former Viking Matt Birk has been struggling a bit of late, especially in the run-blocking game.
Favre says he has a strong relationship with Jackson. "One thing I'm impressed with is how smart he is," Favre said recently. Quite a compliment considering the obvious physical talents Jackson possesses.
Former Vikings receiver Hassan Jones pleaded no contest to aggravated assault in an incident in which he was accused of attacking his daughter, according to the St. Petersburg Times. Jones agreed to probation and anger management counseling after being charged with dragging his daughter on concrete, grabbing her by the throat, and threatening both his wife and his daughter with a golf club. Jones spent seven years with the Vikings (1986-92) and one with the Chiefs (1993). He pleaded no contest to a charge of domestic battery in 1996, and he was also charged with drunk driving in 2006. Jones probably wouldn't make it in a Childress-era lockerroom.
On the plus side, here's a closer look at what former Viking wide receiver Jake Reed is up to these days, compliments of Capital J's Corner.
Bernard Berrian filed a federal lawsuit earlier this year against a Fresno realtor for trying to profit off Berrian's name. According to court records, Ryan Perkins bought up two internet domain names with Berrian's name then tried to re-sell them for much more. It's a practice commonly referred to as "cyber squatting."
Co-owner and president of the Vikings, Mark Wilf, will be among the more than 60 executives participating in the upcoming Princeton Sports Symposium. The event provides a forum for discussing the sports and entertainment industry, including such topics as social media and technology, public relations, television and programming, international sports, and athlete marketing and representation.
Kevin Brown has been providing personnel analysis and writing about the Vikings for more than 20 years with Viking Update. Follow VU on Twitter and discuss this and other topics on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Vikings Update web site or magazine, click here.