A low voice behind the wall of media caught Everson Griffen’s ear.
“What’d you say, Ted?” Griffen said after stopping his interview to address Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on Monday at Winter Park.
With the conversation taking place just feet from Bridgewater’s locker, the quarterback couldn’t help but overhear the Vikings defensive end tell reporters that the defense needed to force more turnovers so it would allow the offense to score more points and then the defense could rush more often.
If the interview had been done across the room in front of Griffen’s locker, the comment might have never crossed Bridgewater’s path, but instead he took the opportunity to interrupt the fellow team captain to set the record straight.
“We’ve got to score some touchdowns for you, Ev,” Bridgewater repeated himself. The remarks got laughs from Everson and the media, but both Vikings are right.
The Vikings are ranked 29th in the league in touchdown production. They have only 14 touchdowns through seven games, compared to first-place Arizona’s 32 through eight games. The Patriots have 28 TDs through seven games.
Bridgewater has thrown for six of the Vikings’ 14 touchdowns and the defense has accounted for one.
The Vikings defense forced nine turnovers through the first five games but had none in the past two weeks and has just one during the current three-game winning streak.
Bridgewater’s comments on Monday could be the extra motivation the defense needs to execute Griffen’s plan of more turnovers equating to more offensive touchdowns.
“It was a huge compliment having Teddy say that and knowing that he wants to score more touchdowns to help us be able to rush the passer,” Griffen said. “That’s why this is the best team, ’cause we have a guy like that. When you have your starting quarterback say ‘We’ve got to score more touchdowns,’ it just makes you more aware that he knows the situation … and allows the defense to go out there and make turnovers, too.”
Adrian Peterson’s 9-yard run on the final drive of the game set up kicker Blair Walsh’s game-winning 36-yard field goal just right.
“From that distance, I’m comfortable the most on the left hash in the medium 30-range,” Walsh said. “They did a nice job communicating with me where I would like it. [Peterson] broke a run and I’m sure that was the last thing going through his mind when he broke the run, but he did a good job of setting it up.”
Walsh added that though every kick is technically straight, the uprights appear more open from the left side.
Who’s counting, Cap?
Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn played his 100th career game Sunday in Chicago and on Monday joked that he was chasing Brett Favre and Charles Woodson on the all-time games-played list.
Favre, the former Vikings and Green Bay quarterback, is tied for seventh on the list with 302 appearances. Woodson, the longtime Oakland defensive back, is tied for 48th with 244 games.
Munnerlyn is in his second season with the Vikings after spending five with Carolina. He combined for four tackles in the milestone game Sunday. Peterson has appeared in 111 games and made his 100th career start earlier this season against San Diego.
The Vikings-Packers game at TCF Bank Stadium on Nov. 22 (Week 11) has been rescheduled from noon to 3:25 p.m., on Fox (Ch. 9).
The NFL also moved the Cincinnati at Arizona game to NBC’s Sunday night slot that week, and bumped Kansas City at San Diego to a 3:25 start on CBS (Ch. 4).