Notebook: Berrian catchless, but happy to win

Wide receiver Bernard Berrian was held without a reception in Sunday's win over the Green Bay Packers. See what players and Brad Childress had to say about that and a change of heart, and get numerous other notes.

For only the second time in his initial season with the Vikings – and the first time with Gus Frerotte as his starting quarterback – wide receiver Bernard Berrian was held without a catch.

"It was just one of those things where a lot of times the reads never took us there," Frerotte said. "The couple times that we tried to go to him, obviously one was the interception on the slant. The other one I thought we had a great chance, I thought they were offside, but they called Adrian (Peterson) for a false start too when I tried to throw it down to him. That is their game. They are going to put their guys man-to-man on our receivers and they are going to take some of things away. We were trying to work other people against them and it ended up being that our running game was the best part of our offense today."

The Vikings' receivers talked all last week about the physical style of play the Packers' cornerbacks employ, and last week Viking Update also chronicled Berrian's numbers against the Packers in the past.

Entering Sunday's game, Berrian had nine games played against the Packers, producing 16 catches for 306 yards and one touchdown. In his last four games against the Packers while he was with the Chicago Bears, which coincided with the arrival of CB Charles Woodson in Green Bay, Berrian was held to one catch in every game except the final matchup between the two teams last year, when he had two catches.

When asked about his numbers against the Packers last week, Berrian said he doesn't like to look at numbers from the past because they can "sting you." Vikings coach Brad Childress said there were a few opportunities with Berrian on Sunday, but none of them produced a reception.

"I thought we had some opportunities up the field with Bernard," Childress on Monday. "I know we had one that slid out of bounds when Gus was moving a little bit and he got behind the guy. We had several of those throws incorporated. It's just a matter of being able to find them and, as a matter of fact, on that interception that we were throwing to (Visanthe) Shiancoe, the free safety did come out of the middle, which he shouldn't have. We had an opportunity to go over his head with the post throw to Bernard there. There were opportunities, but there were missed opportunities."

Berrian said after the game that the Packers didn't do anything special to limit his production.

"I got a lot of single coverage. I got some with the safety on top. It just depended on what play it was and when they were helping and when I got the single coverage," he said.

"We had guys running down the field, but we just couldn't get it done. The numbers kind of lie (from the Packers game). We still had a lot of yards, but we didn't get it done like we would have liked to have gotten it done."

Despite his history against the Packers, it was surprising to see him without a reception given that he had 27 catches since Frerotte became the starting quarterback in Week 3.

"If you would have told me he was going to go into this game and not have a catch, and we would be coming out on the front end of it, I would have probably said, ‘Not so,'" Childress said.

"It is (frustrating), but I've said before if I get zero catches and we win, I'm happy. As long as we're winning, I'm happy," Berrian said.

CHANGE OF HEART

Childress said after the game that he nearly challenged back-to-back calls in the fourth quarter, when Chester Taylor was stopped short on third-and-1, a spot that Childress challenged and lost, and when Adrian Peterson was stopped on fourth-and-1 and fumbled the ball. The officials ruled that Peterson fumbled the ball forward and therefore the Vikings couldn't be awarded a first down.

"The challenge on third down was wrong. Wanted to see it, wanted to get another look at it. Wanted to think about it a little bit," Childress said. "(I was) real close to challenging that fourth down as well, because when you fumble the ball on fourth down it goes back to the spot that you fumbled at and I actually thought it got fumbled backwards. I wasn't so sure that Adrian didn't have the line to make there. We just couldn't get another look at that thing. I mean, I think he's going to run for a first down."

Peterson said after the game that he convinced Childress to go for the fourth-down play while the officials were reviewing the challenge on the previous run by Taylor.

"It was tough. First of all talking coach into going for it, and actually having the first down, then fumbling. I was sick for the moment, thinking that we had recovered it past the mark. Unfortunately it didn't go our way," Peterson said.

"He wasn't yelling at me, or I didn't hear him yelling at me," Childress said. "He might have been yelling in general. He'll do that every now and then."

But, after 192 yards and the game-winning touchdown, his teammates nearly forgot about Peterson's fourth-down fumble that was recovered by FB Naufahu Tahi.

"Thank goodness we had 28," Frerotte said. "It was a tough day to throw three interceptions and put our team behind the eight ball like I did. I just know that we are a better team and it could have been a lot better game for us. The score doesn't really indicate how well we played."

NOTES

  • Childress said the Vikings were fortunate to beat the Packers with the turnovers they had and the returns they yielded and he came to Monday's press conference prepared with statistics to prove it. He said home teams that end up on the negative end on turnovers only win 30 percent of those games. Those who give up a return for a touchdown only win 43 percent of the time.

  • On the return before he broke his leg, Charles Gordon gave the Vikings a big spark the first time Minnesota touched the ball. Gordon took a low punt and returned it 20 yards to the Packers 39-yard line. Nine plays later, the Vikings had a 7-0 lead. The 20-yard return by Gordon was his longest of the season.

    With Gordon surely out for the season, Childress said Aundrae Allison will get the first crack to return punts. Allison has averaged 7.1 yards per punt return while Gordon averaged 4.4 yards per return. Berrian is also a possibility, Childress said.

    Benny Sapp filled in for Gordon as the nickel back and will get the first look to continue doing so, Childress said.

  • Peterson's 192-yard rushing performance against the Packers is third in the NFL year, trailing a 220-yard effort by Atlanta's Michael Turner on opening weekend and a 198-yard day by Kansas City's Larry Johnson on Sept. 28. Peterson leads the league in rushing with 1,015 yards, 20 ahead of Washington's Clinton Portis. Peterson and Portis are tied for ninth in the league among non-kickers with 42 points scored. Portis has 32 more yards from scrimmage than Peterson, who has 1,113. They are ranked 1-2 in the league in that category as well.

  • Entering the Monday night game, the Vikings have the 13th-ranked offense (fifth rusing and 20th passing) and the sixth-ranked defense (third against the run and 20th against the pass).

  • The Vikings rank fifth in a number of categories, including rushing yards per attempt, sacks per pass play (on offense) and fourth-down efficiency.

  • On defense the Vikings are fourth in rushing yards per attempt, seventh in sack per pass pass play, fourth in first downs per game and third in third-down efficiency.

  • Vikings owner Mark Wilf, linebackers Chad Greenway and Ben Leber and former Vikings linebacker and current radio analyst Pete Bercich will visit Marshall, Minn., on Tuesday as part of the Vikings' "You Made The Team" community tour. Following an appearance at Marshall Middle School, team personnel will attend a luncheon hosted by the Vikings and the Marshall Chamber of Commerce at Southwest Minnesota State University Conference Center from noon to 1 p.m.

  • TE Garrett Mills, center John Sullivan and long snapper Cullen Loeffler will call Bingo and meet and greet military veterans at the Minneapolis Veterans Home on Tuesday, which is Veterans Day. The players will give autographed prizes to the winning Bingo players.


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