GREEN BAY, WIS. - On a day of ignominy, the Vikings set a new low -- if not an NFL record -- in fourth-down production during a 34-0 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field.
Three times they went for it on fourth down, and they completed passes to receiver Robert Ferguson each time. Amazingly, they failed to convert all three when Ferguson was tackled short of a first down.
The Vikings' version of the West Coast offense routinely calls for players to make yardage after the catch, but coach Brad Childress said each play had "different answers." A breakdown:
With 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Vikings faced fourth-and-10 from the Packers 26-yard line. Brooks Bollinger threw a shallow crossing route to Ferguson, who was tackled for a 1-yard loss by linebacker A.J. Hawk.
With 4:07 left in the game, Ferguson was tackled for a 2-yard gain on fourth-and-3 from the Vikings 49.
With 51 seconds left, Ferguson was tackled for a 3-yard gain on fourth-and-7 from the Packers 27.
Asked about each play, Childress indicated that Bollinger could have found another receiver on the first play and that Ferguson should have extended his route on the second.
Cornerback Antoine Winfield said he knew Friday that he would not be able to play in a second consecutive game because of a pulled hamstring.
"All I can do is get treatment and hope to be out with the boys next week," he said.
Receiver Sidney Rice also sat out because of a hamstring injury. In addition to tailback Adrian Peterson leaving because of a knee injury, cornerback Eric Frampton strained a groin in the first quarter and did not return.
Happy for Williamson
Safety Dwight Smith said he was heartened by the team's decision to pay Troy Williamson for the week he missed while tending to his maternal grandmother's funeral.
The Vikings initially docked Williamson a week's pay for missing the Chargers' game, then changed their mind on Saturday. Childress attributed the decision to conversations with his veteran players.
"You don't want other guys who are in that same situation scared to go home because they might not get a game check," Smith said. "You understand that family is everything.
"To Coach's credit, it wasn't the fact of it was Troy -- it was the policy of the team, to where if you don't play in that game, you don't get paid.
"Like he said when he met with us, he wanted to do the right thing, and now he's done the right thing."
Asked about the situation, Williamson said, "That's over with, that's it, now we're moving on."