Although the focus and the attention of fans and the media Friday night was on some guy named Favre, rookie Percy Harvin made his debut and, while limited, he gave the fans a taste of things to come and also became the answer to a trivia question in the process. Plus, get more than two dozen game notes.
has the chance to make a lot of history for the Vikings. With his unique skill set and explosiveness at the point of attack, when the Vikings drafted Harvin, the intention was to design plays to take advantage of his speed.
While it may take a while for him to set team records, he already has put himself in the record books, being the answer to the question, "Who caught the first pass from Brett Favre
as a member of the Vikings." Harvin said he was unaware of his little piece of history, but felt great about the first of what will likely be many passes thrown by Favre and caught by Harvin.
"It's an honor and a privilege," Harvin said. "It didn't really hit me until I got to the sideline and Coach (Brad Childress) said, ‘You're a trivia question.' I was like, ‘What are you talking about, coach?' and he told me that I was the first (Viking) to catch a pass from Brett Favre. I thought about it for a minute and told Coach ‘You're right.' That's when it sunk in."
In his first pro game, Harvin caught two passes for nine yards and returned two kickoffs for 53 yards. While his role was limited, he said he was pleased with his own version of opening night.
"It was pretty good overall," Harvin said. "It helped me out a lot recognizing defenses because they blitzed us a lot. It was good to get the preparation for the blitzes the defenses threw at us and it helped us a lot."
Harvin said he wasn't intimidated by the speed of the NFL, which many point to being the biggest adjustment from the college game to the pros. Harvin said that, while the NFL is revved up a little higher, he's seen some of the top college competition in the country, so his learning curve isn't as steep as other players.
"It was a little bit faster, but I played in the SEC," Harvin said. "That was kind of fast – not at this level – but we play against one of the great defenses in the league, so I was pretty much up to speed."
If he did have a critique against his play, it was his second kickoff return. He had a chance to break a long return but took a stutter step that allowed a defender to come from behind to make a shoestring tackle – or else his coming-out party would have had a big exclamation point.
"That was one I wanted to get back," Harvin said. "That was my first time doing that in a while. It goes with anything you do – the more repetitions you get, the better off you are."
While his debut was overshadowed by that of Favre, there will be plenty of time for Harvin to make his mark.
"It'll come in time," Harvin said. "I'm looking forward to making an impact and hopefully there are much bigger things to come.
GAME DAY NOTES
The Vikings outgained the Chiefs 360-298 yards. The Vikings finished with 267 yards passing and 93 yards rushing, while the Chiefs had 192 yards passing and 106 yards rushing. The Vikings had the yardage advantage despite a strong disparity in time of possession. The Chiefs held the ball for 34:34, as opposed to 25:26 for the Vikings.
The Vikings couldn't be happy about their sloppy play Friday. The team was called for 14 penalties and had two other penalties declined because of the outcome of the play.
The Chiefs' first drive of the game saw Matt Cassel running for his life. The Vikings sacked Peyton Manning three times in the first drive of last week's game, but Cassel escaped sacks twice, scrambling for 11 yards on one and completing a 12-yard pass for another first down. However, the drive would end when running back Jamaal Charles tripped on the Vikings 48-yard line without being touched and fumbled the ball, which E.J. Henderson recovered.
The highlight of the Favre's first drive was more in the stands than on the field. Wanting to capture a piece of history, on the first two plays, thousands of camera flashes went off to capture the first Favre pass as a Viking.
Favre's night wasn't all that spectacular. He completed just one of four passes – a bullet to Percy Harvin for 4 yards.
The first-team Vikings defense held Larry Johnson in check for the first quarter. He rushed five times and gained zero yards – gaining 2 yards on one run, losing 2 yards on another and having no gain on three carries.
Tarvaris Jackson's first series was greeted loudly with boos by the Vikings fans and he didn't disappoint those who came to be negative. Jackson completed what was initially a 43-yard pass to Jaymar Johnson, but T-Jack was a clearly 3 yards past the line of scrimmage, bringing the play back.
It clearly was preseason for the officials as well. On the play in which Jackson was called for being over the line of scrimmage, the officials marked off the penalty from the 25-yard line instead of the 20. As a result, the stats crew had to credit Jackson with a 5-yard run.
The Chiefs held a substantial yardage edge in the first quarter, outgaining the Vikings 69-20. The Chiefs had 49 yards passing and 20 yards rushing, while the Vikings had just 4 yards passing and 16 yards rushing. The Chiefs held the ball for 11:13 of the quarter and were 2 of 4 on third-down conversions. The Vikings were 0-for-2 on third down.
Individually, Favre completed one of four passes for four yards in his brief stint. Peterson had four carries for 11 yards. Matt Cassel completed 5 of 8 passes for 65 yards and led the Chiefs in rushing with a scramble for 11 yards.
The Vikings offense finally got untracked in the second quarter, putting together a 14-play scoring drive that ate almost nine minutes off the clock. Starting the drive with 11:08 to play in the half, Peterson exerted his muscle early, rushing six times for 33 yards. Jackson completed 5 of 5 passes for 45 yards, including third-down conversions with a 15-yard pass to Bobby Wade and a 16-yarder to Chester Taylor. He capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Visanthe Shiancoe.
Thanks to the long drive that ate up almost nine minutes, the halftime numbers shifted into the Vikings' favor. While the Chiefs maintained a time-of-possession edge of 16:42 to 13:18, the Vikings had 179 total yards (121 passing, 58 rushing) to 148 for the Chiefs (83 passing, 65 rushing). The Vikings converted 2 of 7 third-down attempts, while the Chiefs made good on 2 of 4 third downs. The Vikings had twice as many penalties as the Chiefs – six for 47 yards as opposed to three for 20 yards for K.C.
Individually, Jackson completed 9 of 10 passes in the first half for 117 yards and a touchdown, giving him a passer rating of 148.8. Peterson led the running game with 10 carries for 44 yards. Eight different Vikings caught passes, led by Sidney Rice with three for 32 yards and Shiancoe with two catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. For the Chiefs, Cassel was 9 of 14 passing for 99 yards with a touchdown and a passer rating of 99.8. Johnson led all Kansas City rushers with eight carries for 21 yards. Eight Chiefs caught passes, led by Dwayne Bowe, who caught three passes for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Erin Henderson suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter, but did return to action later in the quarter.
Jackson finished the game with a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 after getting the crowd on its feet with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Darius Reynaud.
A sign of the preseason is always how many players have receptions in a game. Eleven different Vikings caught passes, which paled in comparison to the 14 Chiefs who caught passes.
The game wasn't in the bag until the last second ticked off the clock. Ahead by four points, a pass interference penalty gave the Chiefs first-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the final minute, but two incompletions and two tackles by Martail Bennett on runs up the middle sealed the win.
"We pride ourselves on our run defense and showed that we stick with it until the last second is on the clock," Bennett said. "We didn't want to let everybody down and all 11 guys on the defense did their part to keep them out of the end zone."
Through two games, the Vikings haven't committed a turnover. Their opponents have committed three turnovers.
Although in uniform, neither Pat Williams nor Jared Allen played Friday. They were replaced in the starting lineup by Fred Evans and Brian Robison, respectively.
The Vikings entered play with an all-time record of 131-86-3 – a winning percentage of .602.
In the 2008 preseason, the Vikings had just 12 rushing first downs. In the opener against Indianapolis, the Vikings had 14 rushing first downs and added 13 more Friday against the Chiefs.
In 2008, the Vikings defense had just eight sacks. They got three on the first six plays of preseason this year, finishing with six sacks against the Colts. They added three more Friday vs. the Chiefs for a total of nine thus far this preseason .
Friday marked the 15th meeting between the teams in the preseason. It was the seventh meeting in Minnesota – the fifth at the Metrodome and two at Metropolitan Stadium. The teams have played six times in Kansas City. They have played on a neutral site twice – in Memphis in 1989, as then-general manager Mike Lynn tried to gauge interest in Memphis getting an NFL franchise, and in Tokyo in 1994.
The captains for the game were Steve Hutchinson, Kevin Williams, E.J. Henderson and Ryan Longwell.
Former CBS studio host and Vikings postgame show host Irv Cross blew the Gjallarhorn prior to the player introductions.
The paid attendance was 62,782 – the 116th straight sellout at the Metrodome dating back to 1998.