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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings not exactly road warriors

    From the San Jose Mercury News;

    Posted on Tue, Oct. 25, 2005

    Vikings not exactly road warriors

    BY DON SEEHOLZER

    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    ST. PAUL, Minn. - In an effort to improve his team's dismal road record, Vikings coach Mike Tice has tried everything from blasting loud music during practices to simulate crowd noise to changing practice schedules, hotels and travel times.

    As the team prepares to hit the road again for Sunday's game at Carolina, linebacker Keith Newman has a simple prescription for turning things around.

    "Defensively, I think we've got to get off to a better start than what we have," Newman said. "I think we've got to go out there and set the tone early in the game."

    The Vikings allowed touchdowns on their opponents' opening two drives in each of their first two road games, at Cincinnati and Atlanta en route to 37-8 and 30-10 losses, respectively.

    The defense held Chicago scoreless until the final 37 seconds of the first half of the other road game, but the Vikings still suffered a 28-3 loss that dropped their record to 9-20 on the road since Tice became full-time head coach in 2002 and to 3-23 outdoors since the start of the 2001 season.

    Newman, who has been with the Vikings since 2003, is at a loss to explain the team's road futility.

    "I don't know if we're in more of a comfort zone at home than we are on the road," he said. "I really can't give you an answer. The biggest thing is we have to find a way to reverse that. In the NFL, if you don't win on the road, you can't get to where you want to be."

    Tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who signed with the Vikings in 2004 after spending the previous 1 1/2 seasons with Carolina, said one key to winning on the road is eliminating mistakes.

    "I think if you look at what has hurt us in the past, it's turning the ball over and having the penalties," he said. "I think you just have to focus on that. You can't turn the ball over, and when you have a chance to make plays, you've got to make those plays. That's the most important thing, whether you're on the road or at home."

    Painfully aware of his team's road history, Tice turned the focus to the Carolina game immediately after Sunday's dramatic 23-20 victory over Green Bay at the Metrodome. He drove home the point again Monday.

    "We've got to find a way to win a game on the road," he said. "That's the bottom line. Otherwise, that victory ... means nothing."

    Tice said the fact that the Vikings rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to beat the Packers could help them this week, and his players said they're counting on it.

    "It's easier to snap out of a bad rut now," running back Michael Bennett said, "because guys have the confidence and the ability, knowing they can go out and make a play. I think this is a veteran team. It's got a lot more mature players on every end, and that really helps the team out."

    One of those veteran additions, free safety Darren Sharper, went 4-1 at Carolina during his eight seasons with Green Bay, but he knows the Vikings will have their work cut out for them.

    "If you don't play flawless football as a road team, it's really tough to win," he said. "The home team usually executes better, they're familiar with their surroundings, and a lot of times they get a lot of the calls. It really makes it tough. You really have to go out there and execute. That's how you win on the road."

    The Panthers are 2-1 at home this season, having posted victories of 27-17 over New England and 32-29 over Green Bay after a season-opening 23-20 loss to New Orleans.

    The fact that this game will be played outdoors is one more strike against the Vikings, but Tice and his players are hoping the emotion of the Green Bay victory will help them reverse their curse.

    "Winning on the road is a mindset and a confidence thing," Tice said. "Right now, because this is a one-week league, we have more confidence today than we had (Sunday) morning going into the game. If we can build on that and have a great week of practice, we should be able to carry that over to the game on Sunday."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    ItalianStallion's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings not exactly road warriors

    Its baffling when you think that most if not all of these players played outdoors for all of high school and college. Why do they play so poorly when they put a vikings uniform on?


    I m like a Ja Rule poster, cause I'm off the wall.

  3. #3
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    Re: Vikings not exactly road warriors

    it is going to be loud in carolina. we are going to need to step up big everywhere. and we suck on the road because we only have 2 wins and they happen to both be at home.
    We're bringing purple back.

  4. #4
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    Re: Vikings not exactly road warriors

    It is just what people and players get used to, they like their element and feel more at home in it. I think that bad streaks end somewhere, and hopefully the Vikes can end a bad streak in Carolina this weekend.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vikings not exactly road warriors

    Vikings not exactly road warriors

    Can't say that I am not shocked about that!

    Thats like saying the sky is blue.

  6. #6
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    Re: Vikings not exactly road warriors

    "ultravikingfan" wrote:
    Vikings not exactly road warriors

    Can't say that I am not shocked about that!

    Thats like saying the sky is blue.
    No sh#t, :lol:

  7. #7
    Deronn's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings not exactly road warriors

    Is it really an indoor/outdoor thing? Most NFL teams play outdoors, therefore most of our road games are oudoors. I think the problem has been less of an indoor team/outdoor team issue and more that for the most part the coaching staff hasn't had the team prepared for road games. The 2nd half of the GB game shows that they now how to motivate the players and make necessary adjustments to take control of a game, but they have not been able to do that consistently the last few years. Until they can, it's a coin toss as to which Vikings team will show up week to week. Hopefull, the changes they made this week (Monday practice,etc.) will help in this area.

    Of course, if things went that smoothly, watching the games would be kinda boring, wouldn't it? I mean, how could I get my blood pressure up and develop my shouting ability each week?? :lol:

  8. #8
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    Re: Vikings not exactly road warriors

    Singer gets my vote as PP.O artical poster guy. Ho

  9. #9
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings not exactly road warriors

    "PurplePeopleEaters" wrote:
    Singer gets my vote as PP.O artical poster guy. Ho
    I am not a Ho! :lol:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  10. #10
    GreenBaySlackers's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings not exactly road warriors

    "singersp" wrote:
    "PurplePeopleEaters" wrote:
    Singer gets my vote as PP.O artical poster guy. Ho
    I am not a Ho! :lol:
    shut up, your a ho-bag and you know it.

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