What's Our Name?

The Vikings' national TV telecast Friday was much more likely to be due to their opponent -- the New York Jets -- than any nationwide preseason love for the Vikings. But the team sent a statement to anyone who watched that they have some new faces making big plays that were not around last year. The Vikings won't get many chances to show off on national TV, but they showed a new look Friday.

In one play, the Vikings front office may have been given a long-term pass from its fans.

On the first carry of the night by rookie Adrian Peterson, he took a rather ordinary rushing attempt to the right side of the offensive line. At the line of scrimmage, a would-be tackler was ready to make a film-study hit that would get a reaction from his teammates. When the Jets watch the film, there will be a reaction – but not the one hoped for.

Peterson did a 360-degree spin move and, starting from a dead stop, picked up 43 yards before lowering his shoulder on the next Jets defender. Simply stated, that is not a play the Vikings would have made last year. There are likely to be a lot of plays made by the 2007 Vikings that weren't made by the 2006 squad.

Chad Greenway, whose rookie was season was snuffed before it could begin, scored a touchdown. That wouldn't have happened last year. It was made possible because Ray Edwards was draped over starting quarterback Chad Pennington. A year ago, Pennington and Edwards would not have been on the field at the same time in a preseason game.

By the time many of you read this, if you're a football fan looking for a recap of the second week of preseason action and you're not clicked in on the Vikings, they are going to be the talk of the league. From multiple sources, the general line of discussion will start with the following – "through two games, the Vikings have five touchdowns. Of those, four have been scored by the defense."

While the offense still needs to step up, the fact that the national NFL chatter will include positive talk about the Vikings has to be seen as a good thing. It could be much worse – like the chatter from when training camp opened.

* Don't read too much into Chester Taylor's lack of activity in the first two games. Brad Childress knows what he has in Taylor and doesn't need to push him too hard. How things shake out once the regular season begins? That may be a different story. Stay tuned.
* In the Jets first preseason game vs. the Falcons, the team had no penalties. Against the Vikings, penalties resulted in 167 yards.
* The 37 points scored Friday by the Vikings were the most allowed in a preseason game by the Jets since 1992. It was the most the Vikings have scored in the preseason since a 42-28 win over the San Diego Chargers since 1998.
* Pete Kendall, the disgruntled guard of the Jets who has vocally complained about being underpaid after backing off contract demands a year ago with the promise of compensation, should have been presented with a game ball from the Vikings. Not only did the Jets not give him a new deal, they made him play center in the second half against the Vikings' second- and third-team defenses. The result? The Vikings scored a defensive touchdown thanks to a bad snap and had a fourth-and-goal play botched by another bad snap. After the game, Kendall showed little remorse, saying, "I expressed that I don't feel comfortable at center and I prefer to play guard. I would hope to be evaluated at guard." If he's evaluated at his play center, Kendall will get his wish to be released.
* From the "Don't Hate Department" comes this: Daunte Culpepper looked more than just a little sweet in the Raiders loss to the 49ers. Andrew Walter got the start and pretty much stunk up the joint. Pepp got the call in the second quarter and led the Raiders on a touchdown drive. Coach Lane Kiffin (someone should tell Daunte's agent that it's not spelled "Kiffen") kept him in for the first drive of the third quarter and Culpepper had a second scoring drive. For his brief stint in the game, Culpepper completed six of eight passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns. After donning his baseball sideline cap, Culpepper watched Josh McCown, who most believe should be the Raiders starter, play against the 49ers third-team defense – most of whom will no longer be on the roster in Week 1. The result? He completed eight of 17 passes for 97 yards with no TDs or picks. That Raiders game during the regular season that everyone thought would be Randy Moss' homecoming to the Metrodome might end up to be Culpepper's.

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