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Chad Greenway Nabs Pick 6 in his Grandpa's First Vikings Game

MINNEAPOLIS — Tom Greenway sure can pick 'em. So can his grandson, Chad.

The elder Greenway attended his first Vikings game and was rewarded for making the trek to South Dakota when the 10-year linebacker caught a deflected pass, ran to the right sideline and picked up an envoy of purple blockers.

"(My grandfather) was in the stands today, and you just have to think my dad tipped the ball up," Greenway said of his late father, who passed away last December. "That's all I can put together."

Greenway's father's father is about to turn 83 and was in town from his egg and dairy farm with a huge contingency of family to celebrate the linebacker's youngest daughter turning 1 this week.

"He's just an amazing guy, obviously with my dad, the apple didn't fall far from the tree," Greenway said. "He's getting a couple knee replacements. He's mad he can't go work on his tractors. … (He's) a guy that you're proud to have as a grandpa and you're proud to wear the name on the back of the jersey that he has. For me, it's about carrying that legacy forward."

To that extent, his oldest daughter Maddyn, joined her father at the press conference. After wrapping that session, the family went back out to the field to snap a few pictures. Maddyn and her sister Beckett lined up at the 9-yard line near the spot of the interception and recreated the run, not stopping until reaching the opposite end zone.

San Diego was trying to mount a comeback, but Everson Griffen pressured King Dunlap into Philip Rivers, forcing a high throw that bounced off Stevie Johnson's hands.

Greenway collected it, slipped a tackle attempt and had enough gas and open road cleared by teammates for a 91-yard return of his 10th career interception.

"I was really pretty good until that last 15 yards," Greenway said. "I don't run 91-yard sprints, much, and I'm not going to start because of this play, either."

It is the fifth-longest interception return TD in Vikings history and the longest against the Chargers, surpassing an 81-yarder by Paul Krause against San Diego in 1975.

"It's great. He's a class, class guy," Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "He's a captain, leader and I'm talking to him all the time. I told him he would play more this week because I knew the no-huddle would tend to get us a lot more guys in there, so we're still looking at things."

The "pick 6" gave the Vikings a 24-point lead early in the fourth quarter and helped ice a 31-14 Vikings victory and added to the list of things to celebrate.

"That was just an incredible play to have, to add on to everything that happened today with my son and to have a great game," said Adrian Peterson, whose wife gave birth to their second son on Sunday morning. "Chad is a guy that's been here since I've been here. We've been through ups and downs together. We have this weird connection that I can't even explain. To see him perform and make a big play like that — 91 yards, to add on to how special today began, I couldn't ask for anything more."

Kyle Rudolph said it was enjoyable to see the defense make an "incredible effort" of getting him to the sideline.

"Once he got to the sideline, he had the whole cavalry leading him down the way," Rudolph said. "It's always great to see a guy that's out there, giving his all to have a ball fall in his lap and take it for a touchdown."

Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith said Greenway deserved a play like that.

"It's awesome," Barr said. "He's an unbelievable player. I love Chad. He's just a great person."

Smith was in on the play and part of the convoy.

"As soon as we saw Chad had the ball, I think everybody was excited to get into the end zone," Smith said. "Everybody was flying down the field, and Chad did a great job of following his blocks and getting into the end zone.

"He's a guy that we look up to, on and off the field," Smith added. "He teaches us a lot. Not just about the game, but about being a man, being a good guy in the community. We all love him, and a lot of guys try to follow his lead."

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