Aug 28

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Vikings vs Cowboys: Preseason Game #3 – The Dress Rehearsal

I was out with friends last night watching the game in a bar, so my review of the game had to wait until today after I had a chance to rewatch it. Let’s break it down:

The Good

Berrian should focus less on looking pretty and more on making catches.

After not doing much the past 2 seasons, it looks like Bernard Berrian might actually achieve something this season. McNabb targeted him several times during the the first-string playing time and ol’ Bernard actually made a great catch for a TD. For this exercise, I’m going to pretend he didn’t miss what should have been a catch in a subsequent series.


AD can tear up the turf!

Adrian Peterson may have had 150 yards on the night, had he played the entire game. He was looking solid on the field and the o-line didn’t overly suck in creating holes for him. Peterson was running hard and looked as good as he ever has. No signs of any lingering effects of the T-Jack collision last season.

Ballard had a tremendous sack on Romo. I don’t know why, but seeing Romo get the crap sacked out of him is almost as great as seeing Rodgers hitting the turf for me. We’ll address the obvious issue (lack of sacks in general) later.

Webb knows how to get in the end zone.

Joe Webb makes me smile. Yeah – he’s a little rough around the edges. He rabbits out of the pocket more than he should. He overthrew Robinson in the red zone… BUT he also ran for a TD. He’s got a great arm (as evidenced by his terrific fade to Arceneaux – who actually held on this time) and a ton of charm. I love when he’s on the field. It always makes me want to re-watch last year’s Philly game (which I still have on DVR).

I’ll wrap up the good with this: EJ Henderson is looking great as the mike and Greenway is setting the tone for a long-term contract (which better happen sooner rather than later).

The Bad

Erin Henderson ran into the punter. There were too many soft spots in the zone coverage. Jared Allen may have been the only one to get consistent pressure on Romo – but he’s still not looking like the be-mulleted stud of 2009. Loadholt needs to step up – he blew it several times over the course of the game. Ponder’s mad scramble for a huge loss was avoidable – Fusco should have snapped the ball properly, but failing that, Ponder should have paused long enough to throw the ball away. Kluwe’s punt through the back of the end zone was miscalculated… a fairly significant mistake for a veteran.

The Ugly

It doesn’t get worse than a blocked field goal returned for 6. This was a horrendous failure on the part of special teams. I liked Sensabaugh a lot better when he was getting burned by a Favre-Rice connection for a TD in the divisional play-off game in January 2010.

McNabb threw late and was intercepted near the red zone. Last year, the Vikings were AWFUL in the red zone. We need to make sure that isn’t repeated in 2011… but throwing INTs like that isn’t going to get us there. C’mon Donovan – you’re a veteran. No silly mistakes.

Net Result

I thought we did ok in this game. It didn’t fire me up, but I don’t feel entirely hopeless either. I think there were some great things that came out in the game, but I also think we have a ways to go to get back to that stout run stopping defense and accelerating the pressure on the opposing QB. I hope Pagac has a lot of blitzes in the plan for 2011. I love seeing us go after the QB. I think this Vikings team will be better than last season’s team, but by how much, I’m not yet sure.

Disagree with my assessment? Think I missed something? Leave a comment!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/08/vikings-vs-cowboys-preseason-game-3-the-dress-rehearsal/

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