Brad Childress held Adrian Peterson and Cedric Griffin accountable when they were late for a team meeting, benching both of them for the first two series.
In the Brad Childress realm of personal accountability, there aren't exceptions made for some players – not even the face of the franchise.
When the Vikings took the field Sunday, Adrian Peterson
wasn't in the starting lineup. In fact, he sat out the first two offensive series. Following Sunday's 30-12 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars
, A.D. addressed the media as to why he was on the sidelines when the Vikings scored their first offensive points of the game.
Peterson was late arriving to a team meeting Saturday and Childress proved a point both to his star running back and the rest of the 53-man roster that there are no exceptions to the rules on this team – violate a team rule and be prepared to face the consequences.
Childress has made similar moves in the past. On two occasions last year, starting safety Dwight Smith
was sat down for violations of the same nature. Peterson, who acknowledged he was late for a mandatory meeting, said he takes responsibility and bears no ill-will for the decision.
"I understand it and accept it," Peterson said following the game. "That's one thing about our coach – there are no prima donnas. Whatever the situation is, no matter the extent of it, you have to accept the consequences."
As it turned out, cornerback Cedric Griffin
was late for the same meeting and met the same fate of being benched to start the game.
Childress said in his post-game press conference that he met with his leadership committee of veteran players to discuss the potential first-quarter benching and the vote was unanimous.
While many fans may have been outraged by the decision, especially given the gravity of Sunday's game on the Vikings' playoff hopes, Childress has said he was going to create a culture of responsibility with the team and he showed that it includes every player on the roster – not exempting a select few superstar players, which wasn't always the case.
The buzz around the Philadelphia-area media Sunday night was the funeral of Donovan McNabb's Eagles career. Yanked with his team trailing by just three points to the defensive-minded Baltimore Ravens, media reports out of Philly claim that the decision to bench McNabb came as much as a week ago, making it appear as if his leash has been short for some time. While he is still expected to start Thursday against Arizona, the feeling is that his days in Philadelphia are numbered. With that knowledge out, his trade value diminishes considerably, which would be good news for the Vikings if they're interested. If Childress is still the coach, there's no doubt he will push hard to get McNabb to come to Minnesota.
Childress described the injuries to Gus Frerotte as primarily "self-inflicted" – claiming the veteran QB held the ball too long and refused to throw away passes that had little to no chance of being completed. Frerotte, who seemingly is down at some point every game, needed the medical staff to come out on the field three times Sunday.
Ryan Longwell put himself in the record books Sunday. Not only was his 54-yard field goal against the Jaguars a team record for a fourth field goal of 50-plus yards in a season, it was also the longest field goal ever made at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium (formerly Alltel Stadium).
Although the Vikings run a Cover-2 base defense, Antoine Winfield spent almost his entire day playing man-to-man coverage on Jacksonville's top receiver, Matt Jones. Not only was Jones limited in his reception numbers, Winfield was able to force a second-half fumble that the Vikings recovered on the opening defensive drive of the half.
The hit of the day wasn't on a quarterback or a wide receiver, but on punter Chris Kluwe. Trying to cover a punt, Kluwe was launched like a lawn dart by Jacksonville defensive back Gerald Sensabaugh. He remained on the ground for a minute after the play, but came off the field smiling and painfully reminded that even a punter has to keep his head on a swivel.
Maurice Hicks, who had a critical fumble in last week's loss to Tampa Bay, was inactive Sunday. He was replaced by Darius Reynaud, who was activated from the practice squad on Saturday.
Reynaud was promoted to the 53-man roster as the Vikings finally placed Charles Gordon on injured reserve two weeks after he suffered his broken ankle against the Packers.
While Artis Hicks got the start at right tackle, he sustained an arm injury in the second half and was replaced by Ryan Cook in the fourth quarter.
On the pass that was intercepted by Madieu Williams in the fourth quarter, Pat Williams was playing defensive end. He talked line coach Karl Dunbar into letting him play outside and film shows he blew past struggling right tackle Tony Pashos and may have forced Garrard to throw the pass earlier than he wanted to.