Green Bay Coming In On A Roll

Even Dennis Green acknowledged how well the Packers are playing this season, and the Vikings will have to face the early division leader with a couple key injuries on the Purple.

The Vikings find themselves once again facing a must-win home game, thanks to the Packers win Sunday over the Ravens.

The victory improved Green Bay to 4-1, but their only loss came in a divisional road game to Tampa Bay. A win for the Vikings would not only get the team back to 3-3, but would give them wins over both the Bucs and Packers.

Many thought after what the Ravens did to Denver on the road that they would have their way with the Packers. But, with Brett Favre healthy, he lit up the league's No.1 defense for more than 300 yards passing and three touchdowns in a 31-23 win.

Sunday's win for the Packers keeps the Vikings behind them, the Bears and Bucs in the standings -- making a win next week a must-win situation ... but we may be hearing that all season, especially considering that the next four games are vs. the Packers, Buccaneers, Giants and Eagles.

* Sunday was the first game this season that Daunte Culpepper didn't complete passes to seven different players -- he completed passes to six players this week. The team's leading receiver coming into the game -- fullback Jim Kleinsasser -- didn't catch a pass.
* Randy Moss still sits with just one touchdown through five games, but not because Culpepper isn't trying to get him the ball. He threw three passes at Moss in the end zone Sunday, but he dropped two of them.
* The Vikings are concerned about the ease with which James Stewart ran through their defense. He averaged nearly 7 yards a carry Sunday, a total similar to what the Bucs averaged in a loss to the Vikings. Perhaps even more troubling is the number of big plays the team has allowed. The Vikings allowed the Lions 19 plays of more than 10 yards, including five runs and 14 passes.
* Cris Carter told VU after the game that he isn't concerning himself with personal numbers, saying, "I've never thought about it. Maybe after my career is over, I'll look back at those types of things, but, until you guys told me about it, I didn't even know. It's not something I've thought about." In Sunday's game, Carter set a couple of major NFL milestones, passing Andre Reed into fourth place on the all-time NFL receiving yardage list with 13,276 yards and scoring his 127th career touchdown, passing Cleveland legend Jim Brown into fourth place on the all-time touchdown list.
* A couple of offensive players were revealed to be suffering from injuries. Dennis Green told the media that Michael Bennett injured his ankle and was replaced in the fourth quarter, adding that he has been fighting an ankle injury much of the season. Monday, Green revealed that Bennett will likely be out. Meanwhile, Carter, when asked about Randy Moss taking himself out of the game often, said Moss has been battling an ankle injury of his own and taking himself out was a precaution to keep him fresh for the entire game, especially if a big play was needed. Green said Moss should play Sunday but would be listed as questionable.
* In only two years as a starter, Culpepper is already No. 2 on the Vikings TD list for quarterbacks. His two rushing touchdowns Sunday give him 11 touchdowns in just 21 games, passing Wade Wilson into second place on the Vikings' all-time list and 11 behind Fran Tarkenton, known as a legendary scrambler. Tark scored 22 touchdowns in 13 seasons with the Vikings.
* The Vikings displayed the best and worst of themselves Sunday. In the first 35 minutes of the game, the Vikings outscored Detroit 31-6. In the final 25 minutes, Detroit outscored Minnesota 20-0 and, if not for a mental mistake by Germane Crowell, who didn't run out of bounds with no times outs left on the Vikings 20-yard line, it could have been even worse.
* Dennis Green had a rare lighthearted moment with the media following Sunday's game. When asked if he wanted to comment on a couple of controversial replay reviews that went against the Vikings Sunday, he brought up his son Zachary, saying he had better things to do with $10,000 (i.e. put it in Zachary's college fund) than pay the NFL in a fine for complaining publicly about the calls that went against the Vikings.

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