Notebook: A Dirty Game?

Comments from head coach Brad Childress and running back Adrian Peterson left open the possibility that Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions was a bit dirty. See what other players had to say about that after 24 hours of reflection, and what two of the primary players on a trick play had to say about running a halfback pass with a 42-10 lead late in the third quarter.

Adrian Peterson returned to action Sunday – at least for the first 35 minutes of the game before the Vikings' 42-10 lead and his return from injury were two factors that caused the coaching the staff to pull him off the field after his second touchdown at the end of the Vikings' opening drive of the second half.

Peterson lobbied his position coach Eric Bieniemy and head coach Brad Childress to re-enter the game, but there was no reason to throw their superstar to the Lions anymore. The decision seems even wiser considering unsolicited comments from Childress and Peterson about how intense the Lions were playing against him.

"I think he got a little bit ticked out there. Somebody was talking to him a little bit, got around his neck and there was a lot of extra jaw-jacking going on, so it was kind of interesting to watch him bow up a little bit," Childress said after the game.

Without prodding on that subject, Peterson confirmed the extra-curricular activity a few minutes later on Sunday afternoon.

"We were just out there playing ball, just talking back and forth. I got choked up a couple times so they kind of pushed my buttons, you know. But we were just out there competing and playing ball," Peterson said.

Peterson delivered a wicked-sounding hit early in the game when he took a carry and headed just past the line of scrimmage. Two plays later, he broke into the open space around the right end and a defender tried to go low on him, a move that Peterson countered by hurdling over the would-be tackler for a 28-yard gain.

But it was the "choking" comments that had some wondering if the Lions game was especially physical. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe didn't hesitate when asked about Peterson getting choked, but he also admitted that isn't a rare occurrence on an NFL field.

"Of course. A lot of games are like that. You guys (reporters) don't what goes on. It's a lot of punching," Shiancoe said. "I think it was at Chicago when I recovered a fumble and they were literally punching me in my ribs and twisting my skin almost off. Yeah, all that under the pile. I had so many bruises and stuff (from) after the plays. That's just football. You guys don't see a lot of things behind the scenes. You've got to do a little documentary."

Shiancoe wouldn't identify any of the culprits, saying, "It's like a hidden code; you can't snitch."

Not surprisingly, division rivalries appear to bring out the most post-play activity. While Peterson's comments came after the Detroit game and Shiancoe referenced the Chicago Bears game, he also said the Green Bay Packers game at Lambeau Field was the worst he's experienced for physical play after the whistle, making him three-for-three in citing each of the Vikings' division rivals.

"The worst game I've experienced so far as far as after-the-play activity was probably Green Bay. Green Bay was kind of feisty (at Green Bay), but they weren't too much here. That's weird, right? It was all game, even when it was 0-0. They were hyped up," Shiancoe said.

Peterson's backfield mate, Chester Taylor, said he didn't experience anything similar to what Peterson did.

"I was cool. I'm pretty sure they were down a lot, so you'll probably get a few cheap shots here and there. The offensive line has just got to help us up and have our back out there," Taylor said Monday. "I didn't see no difference. It's football; it's going to be physical, but I didn't experience no dirty stuff."

If any of the Lions were trying to frustrate Peterson, that might not be a wise strategy anyway. Giving a 1,000-yard rusher extra motivation probably wouldn't help Detroit's defense of him, and Peterson finished with 15 carries for 116 yards before being pulled with more than 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

"You don't want to piss him off," Shiancoe said. "The next thing you know he's going to run for 2,000 yards in one game, the single record for the world."

Hyperbole aside, Peterson already has the NFL's single-game rushing record with a 296-yard performance against the San Diego Chargers earlier this year.


Taylor and Shiancoe were the passer and intended target on a halfback pass late in the third quarter of Sunday's game, when the Vikings were already winning 42-10.

Some observers viewed that an attempt by the Vikings to either run up the score or rub a big divisional win in the faces of the Lions. The Vikings said that wasn't the case.

Childress said it was to get future opponents thinking about the possibility of those plays, and Shiancoe pointed to other games where teams scored 28 or more points in a single quarter.

"You've got to keep them at arm's length, but that wasn't a Belichick though," Shiancoe said in reference to accusations that Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been running up the score on other teams when given the opportunity. "It's a rivalry. They were trying to get some extra pushes in there. That makes it even more fun. It's a war. The next man is trying to beat the next man's ass."

Taylor said he didn't hear anything from the Lions on the field about them being upset with the Vikings for calling a fake field goal and shovel pass for a first down and then a failed halfback pass two plays later.

"They didn't say nothing. It's a football game. We were just trying to score points as an offense and I didn't hear nothing from them," Taylor said.

Shiancoe ended up dropping Taylor's pass in the end zone when a defender knocked the ball away from his as he gathered it toward his body. On the next play, cornerback Travis Fisher intercepted Tarvaris Jackson, making it the first drive of the game that the Vikings didn't score a touchdown.

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