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Notebook: Redemption Sweet For Dendy


MINNEAPOLIS - Cornerback Patrick Dendy was getting picked on by the Vikings for much of Sunday's game, but the young nickelback got the last laugh and redeemed himself in the process.

Minnesota repeatedly tested Dendy by throwing deep down the sideline to Bethel Johnson. In the first half, it worked for two big plays, a 35-yard gain on a spectacular one-handed catch and a 40-yard gain when Bethel simply ran past Dendy off the line.

"When you give up a big ball, you expect them to go at you again," said Dendy, a second-year pro.

The Vikings did in the fourth quarter, but Dendy held his ground this time, getting perfect position on another deep ball to Johnson. Staying behind the receiver the entire play, Dendy made a diving interception at the Green Bay 23-yard line with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter.

"The guy was fast, he had great straight line speed, and he was getting behind me so we made some adjustments," Dendy said.

"Coach made a great coverage call and I saw the ball the whole time. So I just went and got it."

The offense converted the turnover into a late field goal for a 23-14 lead that helped put the Vikings away.

Challenges costly

The Vikings used both of their replay challenges unsuccessfully in the second half, and the two lost timeouts proved costly at game's end.

The first challenge came on Green Bay's 42-yard pass play on which Brett Favre hit Greg Jennings on a 12-yard crossing route, and then Jennings lateraled the ball to Donald Driver, who ran an additional 30 yards. The Vikings contended that Jennings' knee was down before he lateraled the ball, but the replay showed otherwise.

The second challenge came in the fourth quarter on the Packers' final scoring drive, when Ruvell Martin snagged a 20-yard pass and took a big hit from linebacker E.J. Henderson. The Vikings thought Martin lost control of the ball on the way down, but once again the call was not reversed and Minnesota lost another timeout.

That left the Vikings with just one timeout in the final two minutes while needing two scores to catch up. Upon kicking a field goal with 58 seconds left, the Vikings had no choice but to try an onside kick.

Funny bounce

The Packers nearly got a big turnover on special teams on the opening play of the fourth quarter.

{sportsad300}Jon Ryan's 57-yard punt was muffed by Minnesota's Mewelde Moore as he was drilled at the 9-yard line by Jarrett Bush. But as Bush powered through the hit, his leg swatted the loose ball backwards and out the back of the end zone, with no one having any realistic chance of recovering it.

Originally, one official ruled the play a safety, but after a discussion amongst the crew it was ruled a touchback and Minnesota took over on the 20. Because Moore never established possession of the ball when he muffed the catch, the ball officially never changed hands and Packers couldn't be awarded a safety.

Injury update

Right tackle Mark Tauscher injured his leg late in the third quarter and did not return to the game. He was replaced by Tony Moll.

Receiver Shaun Bodiford injured his knee on the opening kickoff and did not return either. He was replaced on the kickoff return unit by Noah Herron, who ran back two kickoffs 23 and 22 yards.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy had no update on either player after the game. Bodiford was on crutches while Tauscher was walking without assistance but with a slight limp.

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