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The Minnesota Vikings moved to 5-9 on the season when they lost to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football at TCF Bank Stadium. The game will be remembered for Brett Favre as he got knocked out with a concussion leaving some to wonder if that's the last time we'll see him on the field. Favre was originally listed as out but texted head coach Leslie Frazier Sunday night and said he wanted to try and play.
"I told [Frazier], 'I don't want to put you in an awkward situation but I'd like to [play],'" Favre said. "What changed? To be honest with you, I didn't know if I could throw until I went out in pregame."
So the Vikings moved him to questionable and the Bears had to adapt. And adapt they did as they knocked Favre out of the game with a concussion leading to Joe Webb as the new Vikings quarterback. The return obviously wasn't what Favre wanted as he now has just two games remaining in his NFL career, if he can even play.
"Do I regret playing? Absolutely not," Favre said after the game. "I wanted to play."
We're not done with Favre yet, though. We'll likely be in the same situation next week wondering if he'll play.
Chicago Bears fans are celebrating over at Windy City Gridiron as Lovie Smith and Co. wrapped up the NFC North title on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears are the fourth team to clinch a playoff spot and the first to win their division. Windy City Gridiron is celebrating a couple of things besides the division title. First, there's Devin Hester, who made history Monday night:
Devin Hester made history with his 14th punt/kickoff return touchdown. Those shoes, whatever type they are, will be going to the hall of fame. He also caught a TD pass. Just because he could.
And then there's the Chicago defense which knocked Favre out of the game and dominated for most of the night:
And an absolutely dominating performance by the Bears defense. Four sacks. Three picks. It's going to be hard to give out game balls for this one. Every phase showed up, and they absolutely dominated the Minnesota Vikings.
It's hard to say many bad things about this defense. They're certainly a top five defense, probably top three, and they're the type of unit that will make someone's life miserable in the playoffs. How far can the Bears ago? After watching this defense again, I hate to put a cap on what they can do. They will be a tough out in the playoffs.
Brett Favre’s injury suffered during the Bears-Vikings game on Monday Night Football was pretty clear from one replay. With his head slamming against the rock-hard turf of TCF Bank Stadium after being sacked, it was obvious that the 41-year-old had suffered a concussion. In case you missed it, here is video of the replay in question:
Before being knocked out on that play, the night started off great for Favre and the Vikings, who took the ball down the field for a TD on their opening drive. After the game, Favre said he “probably should’ve gone straight up the tunnel after that.” Yep, probably.
After being concussed, Favre was replaced by rookie QB Joe Webb who went on to struggle for the remainder of the game. Webb finished 15-for-26 passing for 126 yards and two INTs. He also rushed for 38 yards and a TD, but was clearly uncomfortable in the pocket, often tucking the ball to run prematurely after his first passing option wasn’t open.
In the end, the game was a disaster for Favre and the entire team. They lost 40-14 in a complete embarrassment to their division rivals, who locked up the NFC North with the win.
The Minnesota Vikings fell flat on their face against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football at TCF Bank Stadium. It was one of those games that reminded you of...well, the Vikings performance the week before to the New York Giants. That's two forgettable games in a row for the Vikings in a season of forgettable games. Brett Favre was knocked out of the game with a concussion and replaced by Joe Webb, the guy who was supposed to start. SB Nation's Daily Norseman, like most Vikings fans, is frustrated.
Joe Webb flashed his athleticism at times, but largely looked lost. The Vikings' special teams allowed Devin Hester several huge returns, including a 64-yard punt return that allowed Hester to move into sole possession of the NFL record for most kick/punt return touchdowns in a career with 14. Adrian Peterson didn't play, Brett Favre got knocked out before halftime, and the Vikings look like a team that well and truly needs to just scrap the entire works and rebuild this entire team from scratch.
I'm not sure about scrapping the whole thing. Somewhere, there's talent on this team. They're just a year removed from the NFC Championship game and I think you can tell there's some talent here. It's just that when one thing unravels it can cause a domino effect. With Brett Favre imploding this year, and all that comes with that, the Vikings never really had a shot. I think they need to figure out their 2011 quarterback situation before they decide to blow anything up.
Check out Daily Norseman for more on the Vikings loss.
All due credit, Brett Favre played tonight when he had no real reason to. The Vikings are out of playoff contention, the elements were going to be unkind to someone in Favre’s condition and his consecutive starts streak is already over. We may be sick and tired of hearing announcers tell us how durable and tough-willed Favre is, but there is truth to it.
When he knocked out of Monday night’s game with a head injury, the writing was already on the wall. It’s already a foregone conclusion this is his final season ( we think). So could this have been the final play of his career?
After his post-game press conference, its become abundantly clear that Brett Favre has thrown his last NFL pass (and touchdown…and interception). At least, we think it was clear.
“My last pass was just as fun as my first.”
As finite as that sounds, Favre was sure to caveat things by throwing in “if this was my last game.” Of course he had to throw that in. And finally, Brett returned to the center, trying not to sound like he was leaning one way or the other:
“Based on my decision making I probably shouldn’t tell you one way or the other right now.”
Oh Brett, but you’ve already told us so much.
If there’s anything Brett Favre does well, it’s keep everyone guessing when he’s finally going to stop slingin’ those guns. And even when he does…we’ll keep waiting for him to do it all over again.
A year removed from winning the NFC North themselves, the Minnesota Vikings were on the other side of things Monday night. It was the Chicago Bears clinching the NFC North with a resounding 40-14 victory Monday night over the Vikings in TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota.
From there, however, things quickly went the Bears way. And for Favre, he might have just thrown his last touchdown pass. Or any pass, for that matter.
During the 2nd quarter, rookie Corey Wootten drove Brett into the ground, injuring his head. Favre remained face down on the ground before leaving under his own power. He would not return with what has been described as a head injury.
Favre would finish the game 5-for-7 for 63 yards with the TD and an interception.
In his place, Joe Webb showed flashes. But it wasn’t nearly enough to offset the strong play of the Bears defense.
Or Jay Cutler’s offense, for that matter. Cutler threw three touchdown passes on the night and kept the Bears plenty ahead of the Vikes all evening.
Also helping things was Devin Hester, who set the NFL record for kick/punt touchdown returns with his 14th return for a score. Hester came into the game with 13 touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns. In the third quarter, he fielded a punt and ran down the right sideline 64 yards into the end zone for No. 14, which broke the record he shared with Brian Mitchell. It was Hester’s 10th career punt return for a touchdown, tying a record set by Eric Metcalf.
The first outdoor game in Minnesota since December 20, 1981 happened because the Metrodome is still undergoing repairs after the roof collapsed last week due to a heavy snowstorm.
Now, the Bears can start positioning themselves for the playoffs while the Vikings will wait to hear the future of Brett Favre as they start planning for their own.
Hester took a 64-yard punt return back against the Minnesota Vikings for a TD. It moved him past Brian Mitchell for first place all-time in kicking return scores.
He’s also now tied with Eric Metcalf for most punt return TDs (10). To his credit, Hester has played in 74 career games while Metcalf played in 179.
Hester had tied Mitchell for most combined return TDs in Week 6 when he took a punt back 89 yards for a score. Mitchell recorded his 13 return TDs in 463 career games. It begs the question…how many more returns does Hester have in him?
Shockingly, it wasn’t Devin Hester this time. Instead, the Bears let Daniel Manning returned the Ryan Longwell kickoff. He then pulled a Devin Hester and returned the ball to the Bears’ 40-yard line. Chicago made it look easy from there. Jay Cutler’s third touchdown pass of the night came on a strike over the middle to Rashied Davis, and the Bears moved their lead back to 20.
With 5:16 left in a third quarter that seems to have gone on forever, the Bears lead the Vikings 34-14.
Cutler is now 13-of-21 for 181 yards, three touchdowns and one pick. Johnny Knox leads the Bears with two receptions, 78 yards and a touchdown.
The Bears rattled off a momentum-crushing ten points to kick off the second half. Couple with the news that Brett Favre is done for the night, you would imagine that the Vikings were on the verge of folding up and calling it a night.
Instead, the Vikings used a pass interference call to drop them on the other side of the field. From there, it was the Joe Webb Show. The third-stringer threw a pass to Percy Harvin and then decided to take matters into his own hands with by running for 13-yard touchdown that brought the score to 27-14 Bears.
Webb has done a solid job making us forget about that Favre guy. He’s 4-of-6 for 38 yards and has 28 rushing yards and a score. Not too shabby.
Call him the Runslinger.
Devin Hester kicked off the second half with a 79-yard burst all the way to the Minnesota six-yard-line, setting up what could have been a back-breaking touchdown. Instead, the Bears stalled, moving only one yard in three plays and settling for a 23-yard Robbie Gould field goal to make it 20-7
And so, this was the Vikings’ opportunity to get back in the game. An opportunity they squandered with a three-and-out of their own.
They kicked the ball back to Devin Hester who promptly returned it 64 yards for a touchdown, making it 27-7, and basically putting the Vikes out of their misery. It also proved the age-old theorem…don’t kick to Devin Hester.
Stick a fork in everyone wearing purple.
Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre suffered yet another injury Monday night, when Chicago Bears DE Corey Wootton drove him to the turf during the rookie’s first NFL sack. Favre landed on his left shoulder and head, with ESPN’s Michele Tafoya reporting he’s doubtful to return with a head injury.
Favre was almost held out of this game after missing last week’s due to a right shoulder injury. He’s also had chest and ankle injuries throughout the latter portion of the season.
He appears alert on the sidelines, and wasn’t motionless on the turf. He laid prone for a moment after landing, but was moving his arms as medical staff rushed to his side. At some point, somebody needs to just refuse to let Favre play football anymore. He’s going to get himself killed.
Joe Webb has taken over the Vikings offense. Webb was expected to start tonight anyway, so the Bears are likely somewhat prepared.
Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre has only thrown one incompletion in five attempts, and it came on a tipped ball. But the tip landed in Chicago Bears DE Julius Peppers’ hands deep in Vikings territory, giving Chicago an easy three after the Bears offense couldn’t get moving.
They didn’t have the same problem on their next drive, a one-play event in which QB Jay Cutler threw to WR Johnny Knox for a 67-yard touchdown. This is the kind of thing everyone is surprised to see in a game played in cold weather, but bad conditions can hurt defenses even more than offenses.
In fact, both offenses have gained right around 100 yards at the beginning of the first quarter, a productive enough rate. The Vikings have 51 on the ground and through the air, with RB Toby Gerhart on pace for a big game in his first career start. Most of Chicago’s offense came on that one Knox breakaway, but Cutler has found WR Earl Bennett for a pair of catches as well.
Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre is playing tonight, and well so far, completing two passes to WR Percy Harvin on the Vikes opening drive. The second went 23 yards for a touchdown, giving Minneosta an early Monday Night Football lead at TCF Bank Stadium.
Tonight’s other surprise start, RB Toby Gerhart, added 26 yards on four carries, including a nine-yard burst up the middle. He’s starting in place of Adrian Peterson, who was ruled out with a mysterious thigh injury.
Favre was a late starting decision, stepping in for Joe Webb after a brief pregame throwing session. He had been upgraded to Questionable earlier after missing last week due to a shoulder injury, his first missed start in 297 games.
So far the icy conditions and unpopular playing surface haven’t appeared to make an enormous impact, though a Vikings defender and Bears receiver lost control of the ball on successive plays on Chicago’s first drive.
It wouldn't be a Vikings game without more questions about starting quarterback Brett Favre and whether he will start. But Favre having his status changed from out to questionable was just one part of the story; the Vikings then had to find out if he could throw the ball.
We are told -- and have no reason to doubt -- that the man in the cold-weather outfit throwing the ball is Brett Favre, in the latest step of his will-he-or-won't-he saga over his playing status against old rival the Chicago Bears. We have, of course, since learned that Favre will in fact take the frozen field.
And, as the video shows, it will still be a frozen field despite the best efforts of the NFL and the TCF Bank Stadium ground crew to maintain a field that was never meant to be used in late December. Having played at Lambeau for years, Favre should feel at home.
Not sure which is the biggest surprise of the night: Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre is playing, or RB Adrian Peterson is not. Just two hours ago, Peterson looked like the obvious focal point of the Minnesota offense with Favre out.
Details of Peterson’s injury remain something of a mystery, but it’s officially listed as a thigh injury. It initially appeared as if it could be related to the ankle injury he suffered a few weeks ago against the Washington Redskins. But he’s played since then, and even returned to the field following that injury. And it’s listed as a thigh anyway.
Rookie RB Toby Gerhart will likely get the bulk of Minnesota’s carries with Peterson out.
Could Favre and Peterson be the same person? Come to think of it, have you ever seen them in the same place? You’ve never seen them in the same place at TCF Bank Stadium. Think about that.
The Minnesota Vikings announced via Twitter that QB Brett Favre is active and will start tonight against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. Favre came out on TCF Bank Stadium's frozen field to throw around about two hours before game time, putting his injured shoulder to the test. He threw about 15 times to mixed reviews.
Favre's consecutive-games-started streak will restart at one, and Favre may give the Vikings a better chance to play spoiler against the Bears, but rookie QB Joe Webb's ascent to Minnesota's starting role will be postponed at best. Many Vikings fans had been hoping to see what the team had in the versatile Webb.
Favre injured his shoulder two weeks ago against the Buffalo Bills. He missed last week's game against the New York Giants at Ford Field, ending his NFL-best 297-game starts streak. He's also had chest and ankle injuries at various points this season.
Join Daily Norseman for more on Favre.
Two hours before tonight’s Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre took the field for some pregame throws. Since being upgraded to Questionable, Favre planned to see if his injured shoulder could stand up to a few rounds of throws in the freezing Minnesota air.
The Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad reports Favre only threw about 15 passes, the longest a 35-yard fade, though his mid-distance throws of 10 to 20 yards had "some zip." Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers, and athletic trainer Eric Sugarman monitored Favre as he threw. The Vikings other starting option, Joe Webb, took over as Favre left the field.
If Favre plays Monday night, it won’t be based on the throwing session I watched.
The Vikings should declare Favre’s status any minute now, with only an hour and a half to go until kickoff.
UPDATE: Adrian Peterson is inactive tonight with a thigh injury.
If you're looking for a shootout as the Minnesota Vikings "host" the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium on Monday Night Football then you've probably come to the wrong place. The weather in Minnesota doesn't look like it's going to mix well with a heavy passing attack from Joe Webb (or Brett Favre!) or Jay Cutler.
SB Nation's Windy City Gridiron agrees with us on that predicting a busy day for the running backs.
As before, both teams will want to run the ball, and often. Failing that, look for a lot of safe checkdowns and high percentage plays. Neither team is likely to take too many shots downfield, especially if they're not sure their receivers can get there.
So while we're not sure if Favre will play or not, it may not matter much because Adrian Peterson may be the focal point. The snow at TCF Bank Stadium may make the Vikings turn to the running game more often and Bears fans feel the same way. In a poll at WCG, 51 percent of Bears fans think stopping AP is the No. 1 key to the game.
Adrian Peterson is important for a few reasons. As WCG points out, the Vikings offense offense could be thinking of a heavier load for AP, who had just 51 yards on 17 carries the last time he played the Bears. Chicago's run defense is among the best in the league so more carries for AP may not translate into a big game.
The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings will meet at TCF Bank Stadium for Monday Night Football in a game that will include no alcohol and possibly Brett Favre. It will also include a unique setup for getting your ticket. Since the game was moved from the Metrodome to TCF Bank Stadium, the Vikings had to get creative with the ticket situation.
There are over 63,000 Vikings season ticket holders that have a ticket to this game. There are only about 50,000 seats in TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings solution....
This is a first-come, first-served event. The Vikings anticipate this game to be well-attended and having a valid ticket does not guarantee admittance into TCF Bank Stadium. In the event that some ticket holders are turned away on game night due to capacity, only the original ticket account owners will receive a full refund.
That means if you show up early enough, you can get a ticket, just like these fans did around 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon:
That can't be very comfortable six hours before kickoff.
The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings have had a heck of a time finding a location for their Monday Night Football game. The Metrodome's roof collapsed last week forcing them to find another venue. After some debate, they decided on TCF Bank Stadium, home to the University of Minnesota.
There were plenty of logistical problems with this but none bigger than the ridiculous amount of snow that had been sitting in the stadium, which was not constructed with December games in mind. Volunteers worked round the clock to clear the snow from the stadium but that may not be enough.
According to the National Weather Service, the low tonight will be 23 degrees with 11 mile per hour winds. The chance of snow stands at 90 percent.
Players have complained that the snow on the field for the last couple weeks have made the field feel like a rock and some have wondered if it's even playable. According to both teams and the NFL, it is indeed playable, despite the player's concerns.
That 90 percent of precipitation won't help from the players perspective.
Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre missed last week's game against the New York Giants which was the first time he's missed a game in nearly two decades. He wasn't expected to play on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium but now there's word that he has a chance to play, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Favre has been upgraded to questionable and will throw about 3 hours before the game.
Favre was previously listed as out and now he's questionable. This could be a competitive advantage for the Vikings because the Bears have been preparing for Joe Webb -- and not Favre.
This changes the dynamics of the game. With Webb, you couldn't realistically expect the Vikings to beat Bears but if Favre is in that changes things. He's been far from consistent this year but his presence would give the Vikings a better chance to win than Webb.
Brett Favre apparently won't go down without a fight so we'll be monitoring his injury situation as the game nears.
After more than a week of speculation, we know where the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings will play their Monday Night Football game -- TCF Bank Stadium, home to the University of Minnesota. The Metrodome in Minneapolis had it's roof collapsed last weekend thanks to snow in the area so the NFL and the two teams have worked with the University of Minnesota to prepare TCF Bank Stadium.
There will obviously be some things that are a little unusual in this game. The playing surface has created some controversy as a few players have complained about how hard it is with the snow sitting on top of it throughout the winter and some have questioned the safety of playing there. Bears head coach Lovie Smith recently dismissed any complaints about the field and said they'll be ready to go. There will also be no alcohol sold and the tickets are first-come, first-serve.
The Bears will be facing their fourth backup quarterback of the season when Joe Webb goes under center for the Vikings. Brett Favre is out once again with injury after snapping his consecutive games played streak last week.
The Bears defense is really the key here. They're the third ranked defense and are superb against the run. That's bad news for the Vikings who may be relying on Adrian Peterson and the running game with Webb starting the game. We're going to assume the Bears will be able to slow down (but not stop) Peterson which will make for a long day for Webb and the Vikings.
The last time the Vikings played outdoors in Minnesota they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Will the result be the same this time? I think it's a safe bet that the Bears will win this one. A Chicago victory will clinch a playoff spot for them with the Green Bay Packers losing to the New England Patriots over the weekend.
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