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Week 1 vs. CLE
Receiving: 2 / 17 / 0 on 4 targets
Rice had only four targets on the night, but was targeted twice as often as Bernard Berrian. Brett Favre targeted Rice on his only red zone pass attempt, then threw two long sideline fades in Rice's direction on one drive in the first half. Rice narrowly missed getting his feet inbounds on one sideline route and drew a pass interference call on the other. If he becomes Favre's preferred outside threat, he may be on the verge of a breakout season.
Week 2 vs. DET
Receiving: 3 / 29 / 0 on 5 targets
Rice had another quiet game with only three receptions and nothing of significance. His receptions were short to medium passes when Favre was starting to pick apart the defense. While under pressure, Favre chucked a weak-looking pass into Rice's direction but it was almost picked off. In the second quarter Rice caught a nice slant pass to foil a big run blitz from the Lions. He nearly reached the end zone on his reception in the second quarter but was tackled before he could get there. He had a solid performance but very limited opportunities.
Week 3 vs. SF
Receiving: 4 / 56 / 1 on 7 targets
Found his stride early in the game with a 30 yard TD strike from Brett Favre to put the Vikings up 7-0. At the time, it was the longest pass play for the Vikings this season and it was Rice's first TD reception for the year as well. Rice was the deep threat for the Vikings the rest of the game. When Favre wanted to go down field, Rice was the guy he looked for. He hauled in a 26 yard reception early in the 4th quarter that was called back because Favre was beyond the line of scrimmage and on the final TD drive, Rice was the target of a deep sideline pass but was several steps out of bounds when he finally made the catch.
Week 4 vs. GB
Passing: 0 - 1, 0 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Receiving: 5 / 70 / 1 on 6 targets
Sidney Rice reclaimed his #2 role for the Vikings with another impressive game. With Berrian drawing interest as the deep threat, Rice worked the sidelines and underneath the secondary in the middle of the field to turn in an impressive five reception, 70 yard day. His TD reception came on a nice route over the middle and despite being well covered, Rice hauled it in for the score. Rice's biggest contributions to the Viking victory came on the on-sides kicks last in the fourth quarter. On both Packer attempts, Rice came down with the ball and covered it up so that the Vikings could retain possession and eventually go on to win the game.
Week 5 vs. STL
Receiving: 3 / 61 / 0 on 5 targets
Sidney Rice had another big game for the Vikings. He was their main target underneath the defense, working slants and corners to help the Vikings pick apart the defense and move the ball down the field. He also went deep on several plays, helping to stretch the defense out and take advantage of the poor coverage. He drew a big pass interference play early in the 4th quarter and had a golden opportunity to score on a 23 yard TD strike from Favre. However, he couldn't get both feet down and the Vikings eventually scored on a Peterson 8 yard run. He only finished with three receptions but was a big part of the offense and made the most of the catches that he had.
Week 6 vs. BAL
Receiving: 6 / 176 / 0 on 7 targets
Sidney Rice had a huge game for the Vikings, coming up big again and again. He worked the middle of the field, executing perfect crossing routes and turned several short passes from Favre into long gains, including a beautiful catch and run on a short slant early in the 3rd quarter that resulted in a 63 yard gain late in the third quarter that eventually led to another FG. On the Vikings' final possession, when they were down for the first time all game, Favre rolled out and chucked a beautiful 58 yard bomb down the sidelines. Despite an obvious pass interference attempt by the DB, Rice was still able to make the catch and set up the Vikings to regain the lead. He finished as the game's leading receiver.
Week 7 vs. PIT
Receiving: 11 / 136 / 0 on 14 targets
Sidney Rice cemented his role as the #1 WR for the Vikings in this game. He was all over the field, catching short sideline routes, crossing routes over the middle and deeper passes down the field in tough coverage. Favre looked to him early and often, and when Berrian went down with an injury, Rice became the 'go to' guy. Although he didn't officially reach the end zone, Rice did catch a TD pass in the fourth quarter but it was called back on a questionable tripping penalty. Earlier in that same series, Rice had a 35 yard gain called back due to a holding penalty. He finished the game as the top receiver in receptions and receiving yards.
Week 8 vs. GB
Receiving: 4 / 40 / 0 on 5 targets
You know Rice has arrived when four catches for 40 yards is an immensely disappointing game. Rice's performance was not disappointing as his numbers - he went low to get an errant Favre pass in the red zone, and he also looked very comfortable catching a Favre bullet over the middle. Rice didn't get any deep target or red zone targets, which denied him the chance to make a fantasy impact, but he was still prominent in the early game plan - these numbers represent his floor going forward.
Week 10 vs. DET
Receiving: 7 / 201 / 0 on 9 targets
Sidney Rice emerged as a legitimate fantasy stud this week, burning the Lions on multiple deep passing plays for huge gains. Rice was all over the field, tearing up the sidelines, and breaking across the middle, creating space and making big plays. He became only the 4th receiver in Viking history to have more than 200 yards receiving in a game, and would have broken the single game record if he didn't drop the pass that Tavaris Jackson threw to him late in the fourth quarter. Rice is the clear #1 option for Viking receivers, and he has emerged as Brett Favre's favorite target when he want to go down the field.
Week 11 vs. SEA
Receiving: 6 / 89 / 2 on 7 targets
Sidney Rice continued to reinforce his claim as one of the elite WRS in the NFL this season with a solid performance, including great TD receptions and 89 total yards receiving for the Vikings. On his first TD, Favre was in trouble, but rolled out and threw a perfect strike to Rice in the back of the end zone. Rice found the open spot and out-leaped everyone to catch the pass for his first TD. In the fourth quarter, he took a quick sideline pass from Tavaris Jackson, spun his defender around and broke a tackle, and raced 24 yards for the final TD of the game. Rice caught underthrown and overthrown passes, sideline routes and deep patterns down the field. He is the heart and soul of the Minnesota passing offense and a must start for any fantasy league.
Week 12 vs. CHI
Receiving: 6 / 89 / 0 on 10 targets
Rice had a quiet game compared to the standards that he has set over the past six weeks. He didn't crack 100 yards receiving and didn't reach the end zone despite Favre passing for almost 400 yards and 3 TDS. However, Rice still turned in a solid performance with six receptions on ten targets for 89 yards. He was the primary target for Favre, especially on the deeper sideline routes, and he made several nice receptions despite being well covered. He nearly scored on his 33 yard reception near the end of the second quarter but stepped out of bounds after making a great catch in tight coverage. He is now drawing the main focus of the defense, and he's still coming up with big plays. It's a credit to him and a credit to Favre for helping become fantasy elite WR.
Week 13 vs. ARI
Receiving: 7 / 72 / 0 on 16 targets
Rice had a quiet game compared to weeks past, but was still the main focus of the Minnesota passing game. He was also the focus of the Arizona defense, and he drew double coverage for most of the game. Despite 16 targets for the game, Rice only came down with seven receptions and was tackled almost immediately after he made each of them. He's a must start for your fantasy team, but he just had a bad game against a tough defense.
Week 14 vs. CIN
Receiving: 4 / 39 / 1 on 9 targets
Rice was held in check by the great play of Bengal CB Johnathan Joseph. Joseph was on Rice like a second jersey for most of the game, and frequently made a great play to knock the ball down or keep Rice from making the catch. On Rice's TD catch, he broke to the end zone, and when Brett Favre directed him toward the open slot, Rice moved into perfect position for the easy score. He had another great TD catch earlier in the back of the end zone when he went up over Joseph for the reception. Unfortunately, Favre was five steps beyond the line of scrimmage and it was called back for an illegal forward pass. Favre tried several times later in the game to get the ball down the field to Rice, but it was well defended each time. Rice should rebound next week, and will definitely benefit from Percy Harvin drawing defensive attention away from him.
Week 15 vs. CAR
Receiving: 4 / 69 / 0 on 4 targets
Rice caught everything that was thrown to him. Unfortunately it was only four short and medium range passes. He had two short receptions in the first half, a nice catch and run for 25 yards early in the third quarter and a good 23 yard reception mid way through the 3rd quarter. On that final reception, Rice made a nice grab, had the defender on him, but spun and broke away for another four yard gain. Unfortunately he took a hard shot as he was spinning down and the ball popped out of his hands before he hit the ground. The Panthers recovered and it was the last opportunity that Rice had for the game. He's still the 'go to' guy for Favre and the Vikings, and he should rebound next week against the Bears.
Week 16 vs. CHI
Receiving: 6 / 56 / 1 on 8 targets
Rice was held in check with good tackling after his intermediate route catches for most of the game. He exhibited good run after catch instincts to turn upfield and run strong, but the Bears were up to the task of stopping him. He did draw a pass interference call in the end zone to set up the Vikes first TD, and he also caught a ball inside the five to set up the Vikes second TD. Rice scored the second game-tying TD in man coverage when Favre put one up high and Rice pogoed up to snag the ball out of the air with both hands over the defender's head. He didn't have any explosive plays, but Rice was sure-handed and came through on the most important play of regulation.
Week 17 vs. NYG
Receiving: 6 / 112 / 2 on 6 targets
Sidney Rice was a perfect six-of-six in converting targets to receptions in Week 17 against the New York Giants, but that does not mean that Rice was just running high-percentage routes like a possession receiver. Rice stretched the field and grabbed a deep 50-yard pass from Brett Favre in the second quarter behind two defenders. Rice added two touchdowns against the Giants inside of the Red Zone, including a gorgeous leaping 12-yard catch just before halftime. Brett Favre has increased Rice's fantasy production immensely and helped the young receiver to achieve the potential in his third season that made him an early draft pick back in 2007.
Week 19 vs. DAL
Receiving: 6 / 141 / 3 on 7 targets
Rice has benefited more from Brett Favre's play then anyone else in Minnesota. Sunday was a prime example as Rice finished with three touchdowns and over 140 yards receiving. Rice's natural talent has shown through in 2009 and Sunday was another great day for him. Rice's best catch came in the first quarter. Rice got off the line of scrimmage, evaded Michael Jenkins bump, and found himself in single coverage with Dallas safety Gerald Sensabaugh. Despite close coverage, Favre threaded the ball to a spot low and in front of Rice. Rice caught the ball one handed and ran in to the endzone before the Dallas defense even seemed to know what had happened. Rice will present a tough matchup the next two weeks as he and Brett Favre are clearly in sync.
Week 20 vs. NO
Receiving: 4 / 43 / 1 on 11 targets
Sidney Rice was covered well by New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game, but he was able to break open in the Red Zone on short yardage as he worked inside from the slot as TE Vishante Shiancoe broke outside and took away the defender, opening a small window for Brett Favre to find Rice. Rice collected three other short passes but for the most part was kept in check by the Saints despite 11 targets in Rice's direction as Bernard Berrian was far more open and acted as the hot hand for the day.