Week 3 shakes Vikings' way

Not only did the Vikings get their first win Sunday, they also got losses from the other three teams in their division.

For a team that entered Sunday's game with the Carolina Panthers at 0-2, Sunday couldn't have worked out any better for the Vikings. Not only did Minnesota get its first win of the season, but everything else in the division fell perfectly for the Vikings.

Green Bay still leads the division with a 2-1 record, but, of the two games that each division team has different – against one team from the NFC East and the NFC West – the Packers played one of those Sunday night against Dallas. The Packers got throttled 27-16 at home by the Cowboys, giving Green Bay a conference loss.

The same was true with the Detroit Lions, who fell to 0-3 with a conference loss to San Francisco, making the Lions 0-3 with all three losses against NFC teams.

The same scenario played out for the Chicago Bears, who, for a second straight week, lost late to a team from the NFC South with a 27-24 overtime loss to the Buccaneers. Like the Vikings, the Bears are now 1-2, but their lone win is against the Indianapolis Colts and they are 0-2 against the NFC.

While the Vikings are still far from in great shape with Tennessee and New Orleans coming next on the schedule, with a 1-1 record in the NFC already, the Vikings are technically in second place in the NFC North and could be on their way to recovering from their 0-2 start. They're not out of the woods yet, but the chips couldn't have fallen any better for the team Sunday.

MONDAY NOTES

  • The win over Carolina could prove important down the stretch if the two end up battling for a wild card spot. The first tie-breaker is head-to-head play, so if the Vikings and Panthers should finish the year with the same record, Week 3 will have proved to be a critical win for Minnesota.

  • The media saw a rarity in the Vikings locker room following Sunday's game. Typically by the time the media is ushered into the locker room, the coaches have vacated the locker room for their own dressing rooms. On Sunday, not only was Brad Childress still in the locker room, he was individually congratulating players at their cubicles – something that hasn't been seen since the Mike Tice Administration.

  • One player who clearly seemed to benefit from having Gus Frerotte at quarterback was Bernard Berrian. Paid millions to be a big-play threat for the Vikings, Berrian finally was with Frerotte at the wheel, catching three passes for 79 yards, including a 48-yard bomb perfectly placed over his shoulder for a huge gain.

  • Although it has been discussed as being a possibility, on two plays Sunday, the Vikings had both Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor in the backfield at the same time.

  • Thomas Tapeh was a healthy scratch Sunday, as his spot on the roster was taken by Maurice Hicks – likely a precaution in the event Adrian Peterson's hamstring flared up. Tapeh, who was a free agent signee in the offseason, was active against Indianapolis, but didn't see the field in that game either.

  • Linebacker Vinny Ciurciu may be lost for the season with what appears to be a pretty serious knee injury. Ciurciu suffered the injury to his left knee Sunday and will have a magnetic resonance imaging test this morning to assess the damage. He was on crutches following the game, which is never a good sign. If Ciurciu is lost, it would be another blow to the Vikings special teams, which already lost Heath Farwell for the season during the first preseason game.

  • The 12th man got involved for the Vikings Sunday. Carolina had a season-worst 12 penalties, including six false starts – many of which were attributable to the noise in the Metrodome that had linemen unable to hear snap counts.

  • Sidney Rice missed Sunday's game, but is expected to be back in time for Sunday games with the Titans barring any setbacks this week.

  • While he may not have the same success as Oprah Winfrey when she recommends an author on her TV show, Childress sent some mad props out to George Orwell, the author of such literary classics as "1984" and "Animal Farm." As part of his pregame speech to the team Saturday night, Childress cited a passage from an Orwell work discussing diamonds in your own backyard – using the reference to preach that the team doesn't have to look elsewhere for diamonds when there are plenty in their own yard. Despite having a press box full of college graduates (or at least college attendees), nobody was able to find which Orwell book or what passage he was referencing. Perhaps if he had quoted Sam I Am in the literary classic "Green Eggs and Ham" it would have made for better media fodder.


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