Childress gets to face his mentor

Vikings coach Brad Childress said immediately after the Vikings game that he didn't have a preference on which team Minnesota would face in the playoffs. Turns out, he will face his old team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vikings coach Brad Childress will see several familiar faces Sunday when his team opens the playoffs against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Childress served as an assistant coach under Andy Reid with the Eagles from 1999 to 2005 and was the team's offensive coordinator for his final four seasons before landing the job as the Vikings' head coach.

This won't be the first time Childress and Reid have met as head coaches. The Eagles beat the Vikings, 23-16, on Oct. 28, 2007 at the Metrodome.

But that was against a Vikings team that finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs in Childress' second season. The Vikings were 10-6 this season and won the NFC North by beating the New York Giants Sunday.

"I'm happy more than anything for the men on this football team," Childress said. "The resolve that they showed. (For) most teams, time has run out. I'm happy for these players. I'm happy for the coaches. I'm very happy for the owners. They had to earn it, as it should be, and that makes it that much sweeter."

Added cornerback Antoine Winfield: "It's such a great feeling. We've worked so hard to become a team on both sides of the ball. We're playing together. We just need to ride the momentum. We know we're going to have a tough opponent come in here (in the Eagles) and we'll just try and continue what we're doing."

The Vikings are going to need a better performance from quarterback Tarvaris Jackson if they hope to make a legitimate playoff run. Jackson looked shaky against a Giants team that mixed in several reserves on defense in the second half. He completed 16 of 26 passes for 239 yards with a touchdown and interception.

The pick by Giants safety James Butler came in the third quarter with the Vikings at the New York 6-yard line.

Nonetheless, Jackson rallied the Vikings to victory and will be the starter in the first playoff game. Childress said even with the interception Sunday, he never thought about making a change.

"I didn't feel like we needed to make the move to (backup) Gus (Frerotte)," Childress said. "I think Tarvaris has done enough good things and made enough plays."

NOTES

  • Ryan Cook got his fourth start in five weeks at right tackle. Artis Hicks, who replaced Cook in late November, sat out again as he continues to recover from a triceps injury. Hicks, though, was active for Sunday's game.

  • DE Ray Edwards was scheduled to get an MRI after Sunday's game on his left knee. He injured the knee in the second quarter and the team initially called it a knee strain. Brian Robison replaced Edwards at the left end spot.

  • KR Maurice Hicks returned three kickoffs for an average of 36.7 yards Sunday, his best performance in that role with the Vikings. Hicks, signed as a free agent during the offseason, had lost the job last month and was inactive for three games.

  • RB Adrian Peterson finished with an NFL-leading 1,760 yards, making him the first Viking to win the rushing title in the franchise's 48-year existence. Peterson had 363 carries and is only the third Viking to lead the team in rushing attempts in every game.

  • NT Pat Williams said he hopes to return for Sunday's playoff game against Philadelphia. Williams has missed the past two games because of a broken scapula.

    Quote: "I feel like it should be us. I think we have a lot of confidence about it. And I think that if anyone can do it, it should be us. We've got to be able to do it one game at a time obviously, but we did that for the last part of our regular season. I think we are going to be OK." — Wide receiver Bobby Wade, on the fact his team should take a "why not us" attitude into the playoffs.

    By the numbers: 30 — Games it took running back Adrian Peterson to reach 3,000 yards. That ties him with Edgerrin James and Jim Brown for the third-least games needed to reach that mark. Clinton Portis and Eric Dickerson accomplished the feat in 29 games.


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