In return for earning a first round bye week in the playoffs, Brad Childress gave his players a five day break. During this time many players went to their homes, took it easy and received injury treatment at Winter Park, and most were relieved to simply be able to watch other teams work their butts off on Sunday.
“You know what? I enjoyed it,” Jared Allen said. “You don’t need it but it definitely helps because the body feels fresh. The mind refocuses and you get ready to make the push.”
Childress was really hoping to give players a mental break.
“There’s a little more pep in their step right here, just from the time off their feet,” he said. “I think Steve Hutchinson said it too, just mentally, to be able to get away from the game a little bit, to watch somebody else work and watch some of those games — to be able to sleep in, those kind of things.”
If the Vikings lose, some will say they were rusty. If they win, people will say they were fresh. Either way, I think the Vikings will benefit greatly from having a week off and getting guys like Karl Paymah and Jimmy Kennedy closer to being able to contribute when called upon. The Vikings will need every advantage possible in order to partake in the NFC Championship game.