Biekert Enjoys New Rivalry

Greg Biekert has seen a lot in his years in Oakland, but the Vikings-Packers rivalry was something he had yet to see.

Greg Biekert had his best game as a Viking yesterday, getting pumped up as part of Packer Week in Minnesota. After the game, he said the atmosphere was something new to him.

"In Oakland we had a lot of rivalries and the fans were crazy, but I've never seen anything like this," Biekert told VU. "It was crazy. It divides families. We were at the hotel and you see a husband wearing a Vikings jersey and his wife wearing a Packers jersey. It was one of the weirdest things I've ever seen."

As a Raider playing in front of the Raider Nation in the Black Hole at Oakland home games, Biekert has seen plenty of weird things, so that was high praise indeed. But it wasn't confined to just the fans. Even the players and coaches had a different attitude.

"I've been used to the preparation that would go in when we were playing Denver or Kansas City, but it wasn't like this," Biekert told VU. "All week long there was a little difference. Everybody was working harder -- just more ready to play than we've been on other weeks. You can tell this rivalry is special. We had some good ones in Oakland, but this one is about as good as it gets."

How did Biekert celebrate the win? By watching the Raiders-Patriots rematch from the Phantom Tuck game last year. Vikings fans may not know, but it was Biekert who recovered Tom Brady's fumble -- not an incompletion -- and he held on to the ball until it was overruled by the refs and called an incompletion. At that point, he kicked the football about 30 yards.

Biekert will get his own chance for revenge like his former teammates did last night when the Vikings play New England next Sunday.

MONDAY NOTES
* Records fell Sunday like perhaps never before in Vikings history, as the all-time record books were re-written with several new additions.
* Randy Moss became the all-time NFL leader for receiving yards in his first five seasons. With 6,160 yards, he passed Jerry Rice (6,136) into first place and has six more games this season to push the new record farther out of reach for prospective challengers.
* Daunte Culpepper and Moss moved into second place all-time for a touchdown tandem with 25, tying a mark held by Fran Tarkenton and John Gilliam. One more TD connection and the two will tie for the all-time team record of 26 touchdowns from Warren Moon to Cris Carter.
* Culpepper also tied a longstanding record when he ran his fifth touchdown. It is the third straight year he has five or more rushing TDs, tying an all-time NFL record shared by Otto Graham (1953-55) and Tobin Rote (1954-56). While the new breed of running quarterbacks may join them eventually, seeing as it's been almost a half-century since somebody joined the club, that is quite and achievement.
* Moe Williams broke Bill Brown's team record of having a TD run in seven straight games. Showing his versatility, he returned a kickoff 51 yards after the Packers had tied the game Sunday 21-21 that set up the eventual game-winning field goal.
* Michael Bennett has gone places where only Robert Smith has been and where Chuck Foreman never went. His fourth consecutive 100-yard game is one short of a record set by Smith in 2000 and one more than Foreman ever had in his career. In the last four games, he has rushed for 517 yards, only 13 shy of Smith's four-game record of 530. Also, he has 297 yards in the last two games, only eight off the team's two-game record of 305 held by Scottie Graham in 1993.
* Perhaps to avoid having to deal with fans who might boo Culpepper, the Vikings introduced the defensive starters to the Metrodome crowd.

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