Among the unhappiest individuals was quarterback Brett Favre, who made it clear that coach Brad Childress attempted to take him out in the third quarter with the Vikings leading 7-6. Favre told Childress in no uncertain terms that he wasn't going to come out of the game. NBC's cameras captured the exchange.
"There was a heated discussion, I guess you would call it," said Favre, who finished 17 of 27 for 224 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. "We were up 7-6 at the time. No secret, I was getting hit a little bit. I felt the pressure on a lot of plays. We had seven points. So I think everyone in the building was like, ‘They're not moving the ball, they're not getting points.' Brad wanted to go in a different direction and I wanted to stay in the game.
"We were up 7-6. Yeah, it's not 70-6, but we're up 7-6. So I said, ‘I'm staying in the game, I'm playing.' I don't know if it was exactly to protect me, or we had seven points, I'm not sure. That's his call. But we talked it out. We didn't have time, I didn't have time to sit there and say why or what. My response was, we've got to win this ballgame and I want to stay in and do whatever I can. Now, unfortunately, I didn't do that, but that was my intention."
The fact Favre told Childress he wasn't coming out is interesting because many observers expected this kind of issue might pop up when Favre ended his retirement to join the Vikings in August. Favre and Childress are both extremely head-strong and Favre did not come to the Vikings to be replaced in a game by Tarvaris Jackson.
The Vikings have played terribly in Sunday night prime-time games two of the past three weeks but will get another chance to redeem themselves under the lights. On Monday night, they will finish the road portion of their regular-season schedule by facing the Bears at Soldier Field. They will do it as NFC North champions for the second consecutive year.
The Vikings clinched the division on Sunday when Pittsburgh beat Green Bay. The Vikings (11-3) are still hoping to get a top-two seed but they now have the red-hot Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) breathing down their necks.
If the Vikings are going to get back on track, there is little question the quarterback and head coach are going to have to patch things up.
LINEUP WATCH: Left tackle Bryant McKinnie was benched in the third quarter at Carolina and replaced by versatile veteran Artis Hicks. McKinnie was not injured but rather had given up two sacks and admitted he was just having a bad day. There are some who feel McKinnie has been playing at a Pro Bowl level this season but he certainly did not in this game.
BY THE NUMBERS: 36 — Consecutive games in which the Vikings had not allowed an opposing running back to gain 100 yards on the ground. That NFL-high streak came to an end on Sunday night as Jonathan Stewart ran for 109 yards on 25 carries.