Childress, coming off a 6-10 debut season as a head coach, is in control of a 2-4 club that will face Philadelphia (2-4) and San Diego (3-3) at the Metrodome before hitting the road again on Nov. 11 to play Green Bay.
Vikings players were on their best behavior following the loss at Dallas, but it was clear the frustration of having a struggling young — and at best, inconsistent — quarterback in Tarvaris Jackson was beginning to take its toll.
"You knew coming into this year (with) a young quarterback, first year starting, that there was going to be some growing pains," cornerback Antoine Winfield said. "But I think he's handled it well. There's a lot of pressure on him. He's not really performing like he wants to, but we have to stick with him and stick by him."
Jackson completed only six of 19 passes for 72 yards with no touchdowns, no interceptions and a porous 44.2 quarterback rating in a 24-14 setback against the Cowboys. Jackson earned Childress' wrath in the first quarter after he overthrew receiver Troy Williamson on a deep pass.
Turns out, Jackson also suffered a fractured right index finger in the game. A day after suffering the injury, Jackson sounded as if he thought he would be able to play against the Eagles.
Don't count on it.
Kelly Holcomb, who went 0-2 in Weeks 3 and 4 when Jackson missed time because of a strained groin, is likely to be under center on Sunday. Holcomb isn't the Vikings' long-term answer at quarterback but this injury seems like a good time to allow Jackson to regroup on the sideline.
It doesn't hurt matters that Holcomb spent most of training camp with the Eagles before being traded to the Vikings.
There also has to be concern about Jackson's confidence level at this point. If he were to start and fail against Philadelphia, the home crowd likely would turn on him quickly.
They already are turning on Childress, who came to the Vikings in January 2006 after being an assistant on the Eagles staff since 1999. Childress spent his final four seasons serving as Andy Reid's offensive coordinator.
Childress was seen as a key figure in the development of Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, and it would not be surprising if McNabb-to-Minnesota talk picks up as the offseason approaches.
This will be the first time Childress and Reid face each other. Childress said they still talk on a regular basis but probably won't converse this week.
The Eagles are as desperate for a victory as the Vikings are so this should be interesting.
Vikings rookie cornerback Marcus McCauley has been thrown into the fire this season playing left corner in nickel situations. Not surprisingly, opponents are regularly going at McCauley and he has experienced his ups-and-downs.
Although McCauley was replaced by Charles Gordon for one series last Sunday against Dallas, coach Brad Childress said the third-round pick is in no jeopardy of losing his job.
If McCauley's confidence has been shaken by his workload — normal left corner Antoine Winfield moves into the slot in the nickel — it isn't showing.
BY THE NUMBERS: 9 — Defensive touchdowns for the Vikings over the past two seasons (five interceptions, four fumble returns). That leads the NFL and is two more than Green Bay.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Pretty much you can say what you want to say, but the fact of the matter is that guys go out there to make plays. It's not like they are not trying. You go out there to make plays. Guys don't go out there to not perform and to not execute. You might mention something just to have people more focused and that might help you out. But our guys are going out there and they are fighting. That's all you want them to do." — Safety Darren Sharper, on why Vikings players have been able to bite their tongues when talking to the media despite a 2-4 start.