NFC North: 2010 Week 9 Rapid Reaction

MINNEAPOLIS -- Let’s hit the high (or low) points of Sunday’s affair at the Metrodome, won 27-24 by Minnesota.

What it means: The Minnesota Vikings avoided a supernova by eking out an overtime victory against the Arizona Cardinals, improving their record to 3-5 and (presumably) saving the job of their head coach. This game was ugly for the first three and 1/2 quarters, but the 43rd game-saving/winning drive of quarterback Brett Favre’s career was enough to send the team’s faithful home happy for at least one day.

What happened: The Vikings scored 14 points in the final 3 minutes, 38 seconds of regulation and then got a 35-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell on their first possession of overtime to win it.

Chilly watch: Owner Zygi Wilf wouldn’t discuss the status of coach Brad Childress before the game, but he did make a point of shaking hands with Childress during pregame warm-ups. I’m not sure if Childress’ job was resting on the outcome of this game, but if it were, you would assume there will be no coaching change this week. You could probably make an argument that this team shouldn’t need to score 17 unanswered points to beat the Cardinals at home, but I don’t see how Wilf can be justified making a move now if he wasn’t compelled to do so last week.

Coach-battlers watch: Favre threw for a career high 446 yards, completing 36 of 47 passes. One of his two interceptions came in the end zone, robbing the Vikings of at least three points in what was a one-score game. He was also fortunate that his other interception wasn’t returned for a touchdown; Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes fumbled at the 3-yard line, and the ball trickled out of the back of the end zone for a touchback. Overall, however, it was hard to complain about a performance that --in case you forgot -- came with two bones still fractured in his left foot.

Coach-battler watch II: Receiver Percy Harvin caught a career-high nine passes for 126 yards but also lost a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, leading to a Cardinals touchdown. Harvin needed to come out of the game at least twice because of his sprained left ankle.

Apathy the best policy: Childress’ decision to waive Randy Moss and his Friday confrontation with Harvin might have raised the ire of the team’s fan base. But that anger sure didn’t manifest itself Sunday. If anything, the sellout crowd at the Metrodome was oddly quiet until the end of the fourth quarter, when I have to admit it got pretty loud as the Vikings clawed back. Earlier, however, the crowd’s near-silence was especially notable during the Cardinals’ two-minute drill to end the first half. Typically, crowd noise in the building makes it difficult for opposing offenses to run a no-huddle offense. Sunday, it felt more like a training-camp scrimmage. The loudest noises were whistles and the shouts of individual fans.

What’s next: One can only imagine. On the field, the Vikings travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears next Sunday.

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