Vikings open doors, br-r-ring cold inside for taste of Lambeau

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 1, 2013 - 9:04 PM

Leslie Frazier never really was considering an outdoor practice Tuesday as the Vikings prepare for Saturday's wild-card playoff game against the Packers at Lambeau Field. For one thing, the practice fields at Winter Park remain covered by snow.

But even if the Vikings coach had even a small thought of heading outdoors, that idea was killed permanently when he arrived at Winter Park on New Year's Day.

"It was minus-10," Frazier said. "Any thoughts I had about us going out there were kind of removed when I got out of my car."

So the Vikings practiced inside, opening the giant sliding garage doors on their field house to let the freeze in.

'I'm an idiot'

Thanks to a season-best 444 yards from the offense Sunday, the Vikings earned a playoff spot by winning a shootout over Green Bay 37-34.

But the Vikings defense allowed 286 yards and 24 points after halftime, unable to disrupt Aaron Rodgers' rhythm much at all.

Green Bay opened the second half with an 80-yard touchdown drive and Greg Jennings provided an uncovered 5-yard scoring reception. Linebacker Erin Henderson accepted full blame for the defensive breakdown on that play, allowing Jennings to race into the end zone uncovered with no defender within 20 yards of him.

"I'm an idiot," Henderson said. "That's pretty much what it was."

The more complex explanation is that Henderson bit on the play-action fake by Rodgers, worried that running back DuJuan Harris was getting the ball and cutting back through the gap that Henderson was supposed to control.

"My eyes were too big," Henderson said. "I was trying to do too much. ... If the ball would have cut back I would have had to make that tackle. But my eyes just got too big."

The Packers' biggest play of the day came two possessions later, a 73-yard Rodgers pass to Jordy Nelson, with the Green Bay receiver streaking past nickelback Marcus Sherels.

Injury report

Four players -- running back Adrian Peterson, cornerback Antoine Winfield, safety Harrison Smith and special teamer Tyrone McKenzie -- missed practice entirely Tuesday. The week's first official injury report will be issued Wednesday.

Winfield (broken right hand) has the most significant injury. He tried to play Sunday against the Packers and aggravated the injury.

McKenzie had his left arm in a sling Tuesday. He was hurt against Green Bay but was on the field when Jeremy Ross busted off a 44-yard return at the start of the second quarter. Ross' burst to the Green Bay 43 marked the first time since Week 5 that the Vikings had allowed a kickoff return past the 25.

Peterson has been rested at practices the past couple of weeks. Smith injured his right shoulder Sunday.

Back in postseason

The Vikings haven't been in a playoff game since the NFC Championship Game loss to New Orleans on Jan. 24, 2010. Only 13 players who participated in that game remain on the active roster.

But it's actually left guard Charlie Johnson who has the most playoff experience of any player on this year's team.

Johnson will be playing his 11th playoff game Saturday in Green Bay. He went to the playoffs in all five of his seasons in Indianapolis and played in Super Bowls XLI and XLIV with the Colts.

Johnson has played on teams that were favored and expected to reach the Super Bowl. Now he's enjoying a different path as part of this year's surprise underdog story.

"It gives you hope for us to win four straight and to get that momentum and then to get into the playoffs," he said. "Once you get in, anything can happen. It's been done before. There's a precedent set for teams like this getting on a roll."

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Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
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Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
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Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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