Vikes In, Chavous Out

A less-than-cordial Vikings team following Sunday's loss took a step backward with the announcement that safety Corey Chavous is done for the year with a broken left elbow.

Over the last few days, VU staffers have mused – well, not politely – about everything from the multiple print-version scenarios to travel plans to deadlines. Among the "ifs" and "maybes" was the worst-case scenario.

The term "worst-case scenario" has been modified. Yes, the Vikings are in the playoffs. Thus, the actual worst-case scenario was averted. But, just as things continue to spiral downward – we're dipping into "searching for the black box" territory – an already-exploited defense took a hit Sunday when the Vikings lost safety Corey Chavous with a broken left elbow.

In his place, Willie Offord is expected to be the go-to guy. It may be up to Brett Favre to determine the definition of "go-to guy."

* Lost in the disappointment Sunday was a stellar performance from Kevin Williams. He single-handedly killed two Redskins drives – ironically both from the Vikings 21-yard line – with an interception and a forced fumble. You can bet there will be Redskins offensive linemen voting him to the Pro Bowl next year – even if they don't see him play.
* Williams set a franchise record for most sacks by a Viking in his first two years with 22.5 – breaking the record of another defensive tackle, Keith Millard, who had 21.5. For the record, in five years, Chris Hovan has 17 sacks.
* Daunte Culpepper quietly set a league record Sunday for most combined yardage for a quarterback. Culpepper finished the year with 5,123 yards – 4,717 passing and 406 rushing. It broke Dan Marino's 20-year record of 5,077 yards – 5,084 passing and minus-7 yards rushing – he apparently took a knee more often than Daunte.
* Mike Tice should give a game ball to guard David Dixon. After the game, Dixon made a point to call out the Packers – something out of character and sure to get back to the Packers press box screamers. At a time when the Vikings needed a leader to say something, someone did. His name is Dixon.
* Antoine Winfield started Sunday, but was relegated to nickel-back duties when his ankle flared up.
* For those wondering why the Vikings wore purple Sunday, it's the choice of the home team to pick its own color and the Redskins chose to wear white – which shouldn't be a coincidence. When Redskins coach Joe Gibbs faced the Cowboys – who always wear white at home – he would force them to wear their blue uniforms. His track record may not have been great against the Cowboys, but he's 1-0 with the Vikes in his second term in Washington.

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