December 2007 - Minnesota Vikings Wiretap
Vikings Wade: Jackson Should Be QB In 2008
Although the head coach wasn't ready to anoint Tarvaris Jackson the 2008 starter, the young quarterback got a vote of confidence Sunday night from veteran receiver Bobby Wade. Asked if Jackson should be the starter next season, Wade said, "In my opinion, yes, there's no doubt about it." "A guy that put that type of work in this year. Fight through injuries. New offense. New players. That's very rare to find, especially at that position. To have that thick skin and that short-term memory and to continue to play, I'm just excited to have Tarvaris, and I'm excited to see where he's going." Jackson also was optimistic about his play, but their opinions aren't the ones that count. That decision belongs to Vikings' Coach Brad Childress, who deferred comment for at least a couple of days. "You know, I'm going to go back and hold off on that," Childress said when asked if he was "comfortable" with Jackson. "You know, I keep getting riveted with that question, and I'm just not going to answer that question, standing here, with the emotions that flow at the end of a game. I'm sure we'll talk about it during the week."
Late Peterson TD Gives Vikes Fifth-Straight Win
Brian Urlacher and the Bears had Adrian Peterson all bottled up, at least until it really counted. Peterson's 8-yard touchdown run, started by a shoulder-shake to fake Urlacher at the line of scrimmage, sent the Vikings to their fifth straight victory, 20-13 over the Bears on Monday night.
Orton Gets Another Chance
Another quarterback switch for the floundering Bears. Kyle Orton, who started 15 games as a rookie in 2005, returned to the role ahead of veteran Brian Griese on Monday. Orton, who hasn't played since the season finale two years ago, will start next Monday night's game against the Vikings in the Metrodome. His last start came on the same field on Jan. 1, 2006, when Minnesota beat Chicago 34-10. The Bears had already clinched a division title.
Vikes' Edwards Suspended Four Games
Minnesota Vikings' defensive end Ray Edwards has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on steroid use. Edwards has been a starter for most of the season but was replaced by Erasmus James for last Sunday's game against Detroit. Coach Brad Childress said that decision had nothing to do with Edwards' violation, which the coach learned of Wednesday morning. Childress said he was disappointed in Edwards and could not comment further because of the confidentiality surrounding the policy. "It's disappointing, but there are policies in place and our players have to adhere to those policies," Childress said. "Every team goes through challenges as you go through the year. We've been through some of our own. It's an opportunity to have others step up." The Associated Press left a message with Edwards' agent Doug Hendricks seeking comment.
RealGM's Week 13 Rundown
Dallas 37, Green Bay 27 The Cowboys (11-1) are one step closer to home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs after defeating the Packers (10-2) on Thursday night. Tony Romo lit up the Green Bay defense with 309 yards and four touchdowns, while Marion Barber and Julius Jones combined for over one-hundred yards on the ground. Brett Favre left the game in the second-quarter with an elbow injury, and didn?t return. Aaron Rodgers played well in relief, going 18-for-26 with 201 yards and a touchdown strike to Greg Jennings. Ryan Grant did a majority of the heavy lifting for the Packers? offense with 94 yards and two scores, but Dallas pulled away in the fourth quarter. Fantasy Star: Tony Romo, DAL: 309 passing yards and four touchdowns. Minnesota 42, Detroit 10 The Vikings (6-6) immersed themselves into the NFC playoff picture with a dominating victory over the Lions (6-6) on Sunday. Adrian Peterson, returning from injury, ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns on just fifteen carries. Minnesota quarterback Tarvaris Jackson went 18-for-24 with 204 yards and two scores of his own. Once again the Detroit offensive line couldn?t give Jon Kitna enough time in the pocket, as the Lions offense continued to struggle. Detroit was forced to punt five times as the Vikings? defense held the Lions? in check with three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. Minnesota will take on San Francisco next week as they look to grab hold of one of the NFC?s Wild Card spots. Fantasy Star: Adrian Peterson, MIN: 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns. San Diego 24, Kansas City 10 The Chargers (7-5) won their second-consecutive game on Sunday, preserving their lead in the AFC West with a 24-10 victory over the Chiefs (4-8). LaDainian Tomlinson paced San Diego with 177 yards and two touchdowns, more than enough for the Chargers to beat the struggling Chiefs, who have now lost five-straight games. Kansas City running back Kolby Smith, who broke out with 150 yards and two scores last week against Oakland, gained just 83 yards against San Diego?s swarming defense. Tony Gonzalez caught ten passes from Damon Huard for 140 yards, but that was the lone bright spot on the day for the Chiefs. Fantasy Star: LaDainian Tomlinson, SD: 177 yards and two touchdowns. Indianapolis 28, Jacksonville 25 The Colts (10-2) took a two-game lead over the Jaguars (8-4) in the AFC South with a 28-25 win at the RCA Dome. Peyton Manning threw for 288 yards, four touchdowns and an interception against the normally-stout Jacksonville defense to lead Indianapolis to victory. Jags? quarterback David Garrard threw his first interception of the season on Sunday, during Jacksonville?s first loss in four games. Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew combined for 156 yards and a touchdown, outplaying Joseph Addai (just 67 yards), but nothing could counteract the Colts? unstoppable passing attack. With four games left, the Indianapolis seems to have the division wrapped up. Fantasy Star: Reggie Wayne, IND: 158 yards and a touchdown. Carolina 31, San Francisco 14 The combination of a wily Vinny Testaverde and the Panthers? (5-7) defense was too much for the disappointing 49ers (3-9) as Carolina cruised to a 31-14 victory. The win kept the Panthers in the NFC playoff picture momentarily, but their next loss could mathematically eliminate them from contention. Testaverde threw for just 153 yards, but connected on two touchdown passes to counteract his two interceptions. Trent Dilfer threw two scores as well, but his four interceptions, one of which was returned for a score, kept San Francisco from competing. Fantasy Star: DeShaun Foster, CAR: 58 rushing yards and a touchdown. Bills 17, Redskins 16 Washington (5-7) honored safety Sean Taylor with a 10-man unit on their first defensive play of the game, but the Bills spoiled their tribute with a game-winning field goal by Rian Lindell in the final seconds. Trent Edwards threw for 257 yards and running back Fred Jackson added 82 yards on the ground, but all Buffalo needed to win was five Lindell kicks and a second-quarter safety. Clinton Portis led the Redskins with 50 yards and a touchdown, but two Jason Campbell turnovers kept Washington from extending their early lead. The Bills scored the game?s final 12 points, en route to their first win in three weeks. Fantasy Star: Clinton Portis, WSH: 50 rushing yards and a touchdown. Tennessee 28, Houston 20 The Titans (7-5) watched Vince Young do it all, en route to a 28-20 victory over his hometown Texans (5-7). Young went 21-for-31 with 248 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 44 rushing yards. LenDale White and Chris Brown combined for 106 yards on the ground and two scores, as Tennessee kept themselves alive in the tight AFC playoff race. Houston quarterback Matt Schaub left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and didn?t return. Sage Rosenfels played decently in Schaub?s absence posting 185 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Fantasy Star: Andre Johnson, HOU: 116 receiving yards and a touchdown. St. Louis 28, Atlanta 16 Gus Frerotte played well in Marc Bulger?s absence as the Rams (3-9) knocked off the Falcons (3-9) on Sunday. Frerotte tallied 311 yards and three touchdowns against the Atlanta secondary, and Steven Jackson added 96 yards and a score as St. Louis won their third game in four weeks. Bobby Petrino benched Joey Harrington in favor of Chris Redman midway through the game, and Redman responded with 172 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Despite the quarterback turnstile in Atlanta, wide receiver Roddy White continued to show improvement with 146 yards and a touchdown. Fantasy Star: Roddy White, ATL: 146 yards and a touchdown. Seattle 28, Philadelphia 24 Philadelphia (5-7) may have ruined their postseason hopes with a disappointing loss to Seattle (8-4) at Lincoln Financial Field. A.J. Feeley was heralded for his play against the undefeated Patriots in Week Twelve, but struggled mightily against the Seahawks. He tossed four interceptions in defeat; including one in the final seconds with the Eagles were just yards away from a game-winning score. Matt Hasselbeck totaled only 187 yards to go along with his two touchdowns and interception, but Feeley?s four turnovers gave Seattle terrific field position several times. Shaun Alexander and Maurice Morris combined for 129 yards and two touchdowns, helping Seattle win its fourth consecutive contest. Fantasy Star: Kevin Curtis, PHI: 111 receiving yards and a touchdown. N.Y. Jets 40, Miami 13 The Jets (3-9) made sure the Dolphins (0-12) remained winless by thumping them 40-13 in Miami on Sunday. Leon Washington and Thomas Jones combined for 143 yards and three touchdowns, more than enough for New York to beat Miami, as John Beck turned over the ball five times in defeat. The Jets? defense held the Dolphins to just 187 total yards. Miami has four games remaining on their schedule to notch a victory, with contests coming against Buffalo, Baltimore, New England and Cincinnati. Fantasy Star: Leon Washington, NYJ: 68 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Oakland 34, Denver 20 The Raiders (4-8) severely damaged the Broncos (5-7) chances at making the playoffs as they upset Denver in Oakland on Sunday. Raiders? quarterback Josh McCown played perfectly going 14-for-21 with 141 yards and three touchdowns, and JaMarcus Russell made his NFL debut as the Raiders easily sent the Broncos packing. Russell threw seven passes, completing four of them, for 56 yards. Justin Fargas added 146 yards and a touchdown, continuing his improbable run of NFL success. Jay Cutler threw two interceptions, outweighing two end zone trips by Travis Henry. Fantasy Star: Justin Fargas, OAK: 146 rushing yards and a touchdown. Arizona 27, Cleveland 21 The Cardinals (6-6) kept their NFC Wild Card dreams alive with a surprising 27-21 victory over the surging Browns (7-5). Arizona took a 7-0 lead on a 71-yard interception return by Roderick Hood and never looked back. Edgerrin James rushed for 114 yards, and Kurt Warner hooked up with Bryant Johnson and Leonard Pope for touchdowns in the Cardinals? victory. Derek Anderson connected with Braylon Edwards seven times for 149 yards and a touchdown, but his two interceptions allowed Arizona to pull way. Fantasy Star: Braylon Edwards, CLE: 149 receiving yards and a touchdown. Tampa Bay 27, New Orleans 23 The Buccaneers (8-4) took a commanding lead in the NFC South with a tight win over New Orleans (5-7) at the Superdome in Louisiana. Tampa Bay?s Luke McCown threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns outgaining Drew Brees, who connected for 179 yards and two scores on Sunday. Earnest Graham ran well against the Saints? defense, rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown that kept the Bucs close in the third quarter. McCown hooked up with Jerramy Stevens on a four-yard touchdown pass with fourteen seconds left in the game that won the game for Tampa Bay. Fantasy Star: Earnest Graham, TB: 106 rushing yards and a touchdown. N.Y. Giants 21, Chicago 16 Giants? quarterback Eli Manning was horrible through three quarters at Solider Field on Sunday, but played well when it counted as he led New York (8-4) to a win over Chicago (5-7). Derrick Ward rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown before going down in the third quarter, but Reuben Droughns kept things going in the fourth quarter with a 2-yard game-winning touchdown. Rex Grossman looked good, 296 passing yards and a touchdown, but the Bears didn?t get much out of Adrian Peterson and their diminished running game. New York now has a two-game lead over three teams in the NFC Wild Card race, Detroit, Minnesota and Arizona, heading into the final four weeks of the season. Fantasy Star: Derrick Ward, NYG: 154 rushing yards and a touchdown. Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 10 It was the Ben Roethlisberger show once again, as the Steelers were victorious over the Bengals on Sunday night. Roethlisberger threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns and added 13 yards and a touchdown on the ground as Pittsburgh improved to 9-3. The Steelers' defense limited Carson Palmer to 183 yards on 44 pass attempts, but he connected with Chad Johnson six times for 86 yards. Pittsburgh's win, coupled with Cleveland's loss, gives the Steelers a two-game lead in the AFC North with just four games to play. Fantasy Star: Hines Ward, PIT: 90 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Peterson Returns, Dominates As Vikes Win
Adrian Peterson is back in a big way, and the Minnesota Vikings suddenly appear to be so much more than a one-man show. Peterson rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns in his return from a knee injury, and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson continued his steady improvement to lead the surging Vikings to a 42-10 victory over the free-falling Detroit Lions on Sunday. In the last three weeks, Jackson has shown poise, an accurate arm and command of the offense that simply wasn't there early in the season, and Sunday was his best game yet. He was 18-of-24 for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and the Vikings (6-6) scored TDs on their first six possessions to win their third in a row and fourth in the last five games.
Vikes' Peterson Probable For Lions' Game
Adrian Peterson was listed as probable for the Vikings' game against the Lions on Sunday after missing two games because of a torn lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. "He had some soreness, which you would expect ... just from the inactivity," Coach Brad Childress said after practice Friday.