A look back shows the stream of stress

The Vikings unbelievable season is hard to wrap up in one summary story, but it serves as a review of just how stressful the season was.

While it's usually a figure of speech to say the roof caved in on a team, for the 2010 Vikings it happened both literally and figuratively.

The roof of the Metrodome collapsed and forced the Vikings to play their final two "home" games in unfamiliar environs — Ford Field in Detroit and TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota — but the season was in shambles long before the stadium.

Quarterback Brett Favre, begged to come back, returned but finally looked like he was a 40-something playing a young man's game. His tense relationship with coach Brad Childress continued pointing southward, and the Vikings' compass went that direction quickly enough that Childress, amidst a power play involving the reunion tour gone bad with Randy Moss, was canned during the season.

The Vikings' immediate future could be in the hands of interim head coach Leslie Frazier, who at the very least can say he led the team back to respectability, or something close to it. Frazier and the Vikings discussed the possibility of removing the interim tag from his title and advanced to the point of discussing a contract.

Frazier or not, the makeup of the roster is expected to be drastically different in 2011.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Very little.

The Vikings entered the 2010 season with expectations that they would pick up where they left off after making a run to the NFC title game and losing a heart-breaker to New Orleans in overtime.

All of the pieces appeared to be in place for a potential repeat when Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson and Ryan Longwell convinced Favre to return with them to Minnesota after being dispatched to Mississippi.

That proved to be one of the few things to go in the Vikings favor.

There were a few individual accomplishments that could be pointed to as successes. Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the fourth time in his four NFL seasons and he also only lost one fumble after having losing 13 of 20 fumbles in his first three regular seasons.

Interim coach Leslie Frazier, who took over for Brad Childress on Nov. 22 did guide the team to two victories in his first two games and made a case for why he should get the job.

But considering Childress received a contract extension in leading the Vikings to a 12-4 regular season finish in 2009 and then was fired with the Vikings sitting in disarray at 3-7, it's a stretch to say that much went right for a franchise that undoubtedly was happy to see the calendar turn from 2010 to 2011.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Where do we start?

How about the first last-place finish for the franchise since 1990?

Favre went from having one of his best seasons to one of his worst and also was in the headlines as the NFL investigated his alleged inappropriate conduct toward former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger when both were with that franchise in 2008.

And this was after Favre wavered all offseason on if he even wanted to play again.

Childress and Favre's poor relationship had simmered at times during the 2009 season, but with things going so well for the Vikings it was easy to dismiss those issues. Not so this year. When Childress criticized Favre following an October loss in Green Bay, it was pretty clear any relationship they had left was finished.

This didn't help Childress' cause, but what ultimately cost him his job - along with winning only three times in the first 10 games - was his decision to jettison wide receiver Randy Moss from the roster without first getting approval from ownership to make the move.

The Vikings had spent a third-round pick to obtain Moss in early October but after only four games, and limited production and effort from Moss, Childress decided he had seen enough of the mercurial receiver.

If Childress had first informed ownership of his intentions, it's likely they would have been on board given how big of a headache Moss proved to be. But decision to act alone angered owner Zygi Wilf.

While Frazier brought stability to the situation when he was named to the job on an interim basis, the Vikings' season reached the beyond-belief point on Dec. 12 when the roof of the Metrodome collapsed under the weight of a 17-inch snowstorm.

The team was forced to play its next two "home" games in Detroit and at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus. The Vikings were outscored by a combined 61-17 in losing to the Giants and Bears.


  • QB Brett Favre did not play in the regular-season finale Sunday at Detroit because of a concussion, thus likely ending his 20-year career. The 41-year-old Favre has said this will be his final NFL season, although he has attempted retirement twice before only to continue playing.

  • S Madieu Williams was placed on injured reserve by the Vikings on Friday as CB Marcus Sherels was promoted to the 53-man roster after spending the season on the practice squad.

  • WR Juaquin Iglesias was signed to Minnesota's 53-man roster off the Bears practice squad on Sunday and S Tyrell Johnson (knee) was placed on the injured reserve.

  • WR Sidney Rice missed the final game of the season Sunday because of a concussion sustained Tuesday against Philadelphia.

  • S Jamara Sanford started his second game in a row Sunday in place of the injured Madieu Williams.

  • QB Joe Webb started his second consecutive game Sunday in place of Favre. Webb was drafted by the Vikings in the sixth round in April with the intention that he would be moved to wide receiver but ended up remaining a quarterback.

  • CB Asher Allen did not play Sunday because of an abdominal injury suffered last Tuesday at Philadelphia. Frank Walker started in Allen's place at right corner.

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