There are plenty of negative things to point to in Brad Childress‘s resume, but perhaps the most damning is his 0-5 career record against the Packers. Five game losing streaks to the cheesebrains are just not fun. And it’s not like the Packers were that great his first year – they were only 8-8 (the same year we were 6-10). Two of those five games were at the Metrodome, a place that often became a house of horrors for the Packers in the old days, but in neither case did homefield advantage translate into victory for Chilly. A quick jog down memory lane for the fun of it:
November 12, 2006: Brad Childress’s first home shot at Green Bay. The Vikes come in 4-4 after a sloppy 9-3 loss to the Niners (and two weeks after getting shot down and field dressed by the Patriots). The Purple fall behind 10-0 after the first but two Billy McMullen TDs in the second quarter, one after he recovered a Chester Taylor fumble in the endzone, make it 14-10. Brett Favre hooks up with Donald Driver for an 82-yard TD to give the Pack a 17-14 lead going into the half. This would be the end of the touchdown scoring for the day. The Pack manage two field goals in the second half and the Vikings one, and the game ends with a 23-17 Packer win. Favre’s statline: 24/42, 347 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs. Donald Driver finishes with 191 yards and a TD on 6 catches. Brad Johnson ends up 18/30 for 257 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT (I bet the Cowboys would take that about now). And to those who lament the lameness of the current Vikings receiver corps: The Vikes’ three leading wide-outs that day were the aforementioned Billy McMullen, Bethel Johnson and Travis Taylor.
December 21, 2006: Childress’s first visit to Lambeau Field is a snoozer for the ages. The sole touchdown is scored on a 3rd quarter interception return by Fred Smoot. The remainder of the scoring is all courtesy of Packers kicker Dave Rayner – three field goals, the last, and game-winner, coming with 1:34 left in the game. A lot of folks thought this would be Brett Favre’s last game at Lambeau Field, but of course he would come back and play one more year for the Packers. It was not pretty for Brett: It took him 50 attempts to accumulate 285 yards, 0 TDs and 2 picks. It was even less pretty for Tarvaris Jackson, who by now had taken over for Firehose-Arm Johnson. Jackson went 10-20 for 50 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT in his first start. The loss sent the Vikings to 6-9 on the season and well out of the playoff picture. We had one more game left that season, but someone forgot to tell the players who would be destroyed 41-21 by the Rams.
September 30, 2007. The Vikes are 1-2 after disappointing losses to the Lions and Chiefs. They host a Packers team that is 3-0 on the season and riding high. The Vikes start Kelly Holcomb in place of the injured Tarvaris Jackson, and Holcomb actually has a decent game, throwing for 258 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Unfortunately, the Packers still have Brett Favre. #4 throws for 344 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs in what would prove to be his last Dome appearance as a member of the Packers. Favre gives the Packers the lead on a first quarter TD to Greg Jennings, his record-breaking 421st career TD pass, and the team ends up never relinquishing said lead. The Vikes fail to score a touchdown until the fourth when Holcomb hooks up with Sidney Rice to make it 23-16, the score the game would end on. Adrian Peterson has his third 100-yard game of the season, racking up 112 on just 12 carries. Two weekends hence, Adrian will bust out for 224 yards against the Bears.
November 11, 2007. A hard game to forget for numerous reasons. The Vikes are 3-6 after an unlikely win over San Diego that featured Adrian Peterson’s record-breaking 296-yard performance (and a 109-yard TD return by Antonio Cromartie off a missed field goal). They visit a Packers team that is 8-1 and beginning to look invincible. Brooks Bollinger starts for the Vikings in place of Tarvaris Jackson and Kelly Holcomb who are both dinged-up. The plan is for Bollinger to hand the ball off to AD and Chester Taylor and hope for the best. Unfortunately, the plan gets all fracked up when Al Harris goes in cheap and low on Adrian and knocks him out of the game, sending Vikings fans’ hearts into their throats (and their chairs through their TVs). The Packers would end up destroying the Vikings 34-0. Somewhat improbably, the Vikings would go on a 5-game winning streak in the wake of this epic ass-kicking, a lot of it sans Adrian Peterson who would eventually return from his knee injury to complete his stellar rookie season. Alas, the Vikes would lose their final two games of the season to finish 8-8 and once again out of the playoffs.
September 8, 2008: The Vikes come into week 1 as a trendy Super Bowl pick (thanks a million for that unnecessary pressure Dr. Z). The Packers come in without Brett Favre as their starter for the first time since the late Cretaceous. The Monday night Lambeau opener continues the trend of Brad Childress frustration against the Packers: Aaron Rodgers begins his quest to silence his doubters by leading the Pack to a 17-6 third quarter lead, aided immensely by Will Blackmon‘s 76-yard punt return TD (the special teams problems started early). Tarvaris Jackson hits Sidney Rice to make it 17-12 but the two-point conversion is missed. Rodgers then scores a rushing touchdown to make it 24-12, and celebrates with his first career Lambeau Leap. A late Adrian Peterson TD makes it 24-19 and that’s where the game ends. Since then, the Vikes have switched quarterbacks and gone 4-3. The Packers, meanwhile, have gone 3-4.
Brad Childress will try again tomorrow to get that elusive first victory against the Packers. It’s worth pointing out that Mike Tice went 4-4 against the Pack in the regular season, and beat them at Lambeau in the playoffs. Just sayin’.
Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Al Harris, Antonio Cromartie, Brad Childress, Brad Johnson, Brett Favre, Brooks Bollinger, Chester Taylor, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Donald Driver, Fred Smoot, Green Bay Packers, Greg Jennings, Kansas City Chiefs, Lambeau Field, Metrodome, Mike Tice, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Sidney Rice, St. Louis Rams, Super Bowl, Tarvaris Jackson, Will Blackmon