The Vikings went 12-4 last year and were a field goal away from winning the NFC championship but have stumbled to a 3-7 start this season. Last year, the Vikings swept the Packers. This year, the Packers returned the favor.
"It's part of the deal, it's part of the job description," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of the riches-to-rags nature of the job. "It's a tough business from a lot of different angles. It just goes with the territory."
Highly regarded defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will take over on an interim basis, with a chance to earn the job during his six-game trial. This is the second time this season a resounding Green Bay victory has led to a coaching being dismissed. Dallas fired Wade Phillips after the Packers blasted the Cowboys 45-7.
Childress and McCarthy were part of the NFL's coaching Class of 2006. Childress finished 40-37, including playoffs, and led the Vikings to two NFC North titles and one conference championship game. McCarthy is 46-31, including playoffs, and has led the Packers to one NFC North title, one wild-card berth and one conference championship game.
"I think like any coach in this industry, you're disappointed," McCarthy said. "You feel for his family. I have great respect for every individual in the coaching profession. I know the struggles, the challenges and the rewards that you go through as a head coach in this league. You never want to see that happen."
A rare rout
The Metrodome – the building now known as Mall of America Field – has been a house of horrors over the years for the Packers.
Actually, on the surface, it hasn't been so bad. The Vikings were 15-12 against the Packers in the dome heading into Sunday's game. But from 1992 through 1999, Brett Favre and the Packers went 1-7 at Minnesota. Even the Super Bowl champions lost 30-21 in their trek west in 1996.
Throw in the Vikings' recent superiority at home – 17-3 in their last 20 games with an average of 16.8 points per game allowed – and the Packers seemed ripe to be upset by their rivals.
Instead, Green Bay's 28-point margin of victory represented its largest margin of victory ever in the dome, trumping a 38-14 romp in 1984.
"We've always known that those guys don't like us; we don't like them," said Donald Driver, nothing that he had never heard the "Go Pack Go!" chants in the dome quite like he did on Sunday. "It's always been a shootout. To win in that fashion, you're happy. You've got to put this on your shoulder and cherish this one for a long time."
Injury updates Safety Atari Bigby (hamstring) and cornerback Pat Lee (sprained ankle) will be "challenged" to play at Atlanta on Sunday. Center Scott Wells, who was added to the injury report on Thursday because of an arch, will be monitored by the staff. Donald Driver (quad) and Ryan Pickett (ankle) emerged from the game no worse for wear.
Four-point stance -- McCarthy was impressed with Dimitri Nance, who carried 12 times for 37 yards against the stout Vikings defense. McCarthy signaled that Nance had earned a larger role in the offense. "I look forward to going forward with him and Brandon. I think that is a good 1-2 punch," he said. -- The Packers are in a stretch of three dome games in four weeks, with their trip to Atlanta being perhaps the game of the year. "It's a great venue," McCarthy said. "It will be exciting. I can promise you that down there Sunday. It's a game we are looking forward to, and it's a big-time challenge. Atlanta is playing very well. It's evident by their record. But to be able to play in those types of environments with the practice carrying over from one week to the next is a little bit of an advantage."
-- Asked about Wells, McCarthy said: "Scott has done a very good job. He has been so steady, and it's what you want. It's something, from an offensive philosophy focus, you want the middle of your offense to be smart, disciplined, stable, and it really starts with that center, the two guards and the quarterback. I think that group has done a very good job of that and Scott has at the point of those four people especially. He has managed the games very well from an adjustment standpoint, scheme standpoint, the direction of the huddle, the tempo. I think he is having clearly his most consistent year in our time here together. He is fighting through some bumps and bruises like a lot of offensive linemen are, but I think he has been a real steady force for us."
-- This is a "Victory Monday," meaning the players got the day off to celebrate before Sunday's big test at Atlanta, which is an NFC-best 8-2.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.