Sep 01

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Preseason Game 4: The Exhibition

Well, it’s game 4 of the preseason. No Man’s Land. The land that the starters forgot. Scraping the bottom of the barrel for one last morsel of talent. The night of the sideline interviews of the non-sweaty starters.

Vikings 28, Texans 0 

You're right, this isn't Christian Ponder. But it makes you smile, doesn't it?

Christian Ponder, our alleged franchise QB of the future, was the “starter” tonight. And by that I mean he led zero scoring drives during the first quarter. My thought while watching him ineffectually lead the second and third string offense was, “I wonder if the #7 purple jersey is cursed.” I am happy to say that, unlike his #7 predecessor, Ponder appears to be able to hand off the ball to running backs, which is a step up for the purple faithful.

Ponder jacked up a play mid-second quarter – yet somehow came out with a net gain. Another step in the right direction. Let me restate that. The jacked up play was a sorry state of affairs, but the net gain was a step in the right direction! 2 plays later, Ponder threw a TD to Kyle Rudolph. Nice. We struck first on the scoreboard.

Little known fact: Kluwe moonlights as a Rockette in the off-season.

Chris Kluwe, punter by day, self-taught bassist by night, was a highlight of the first quarter. Now, you don’t usually want your punter to be your “star” but hey – his directional punting is among the best in the NFL.

I wish they had Kluwe mic’d up on the sidelines. I’d rather listen to his snarky comments than Mike Mayock’s incessant lisping babble. I don’t mean to mock his speech impediment but seriously – is he REALLY the best we can do for color commentary? Isn’t it enough we have to suffer through FOX’s “A Squad” of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman during the regular season?

Shape up or ship out, Fusco!

Brandon Fusco gets 10 demerits from me for the late hit towards the end of the 2nd quarter. Mayock said, “That’s what happens when you get minimal snaps and want to make an impression.” Well, you know Mayock? Drawing a 15 yard penalty plus a loss of a down, forcing us to punt is NOT the way to make an impression.

Eric Frampton got some play time outside of special teams tonight and made a couple of strong plays. He’s a solid contributor on special teams and it’s good to see him getting some additional reps… even if it is during the meaningless 4th preseason game.

After a missed interception in the first half, the Vikings forced a turnover early in the 3rd quarter. Indeed, my Vikings brethren, not only did we get pressure on a QB, but we also a) stripped the ball and b) recovered. Well, it was nice to be on the + side of the turnover ratio for once.

Joe Webb in control in Philly last season.

I was a little disappointed we didn’t segue right into Webb in the second half. Ponder had more yards rushing than throwing by the end of the second quarter – and that’s a problem. At the end of Ponder’s appearance, he capped off his time with a hand off to Robinson for a TD. Ponder has a weird way of running a bootleg…. he seems to swing way back at a weird diagonal. I have questions about that.

The second half was solid. We put another 14 points on the board through rushing TDs. Webb definitely wasn’t on fire tonight. He overthrew Robinson on a long bomb, but threw a couple of decent passes under pressure, which was a welcome change from tucking the ball and running.

Our academically-challenged Caleb King had a few productive runs. We’ll see if he makes the team. My sense is that we have better RBs that will make the 53-man cut.

To wrap this up, I’ll go on the record as looking forward to this upcoming season. I hope we hit the turf hard in San Diego. Well, I guess they have real grass, so scratch that. I very much hope we can come out with a win against the Bolts to get our season started out right. Look for my Week One picks on Wednesday next week!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/09/preseason-game-4-the-exhibition/


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  1. Carlos

    Another great article Lisa! glad we shut out the texans! cant wait to upset the chargers!

    1. VikesPrincess

      Thanks Carlos! Appreciate you stopping by, reading & going the extra mile by commenting!

      1. Carlos

        No prob. I got ya bookmarked! 🙂 Always look forward to your take on Vikings football! Oh and the pictures of Rodgers getting sacked! never gets old!

  2. Phil

    So do you think that Webb should be our second stringer? Also, isn’t it weird that our second string defense (which were the dudes who did the goal line stand in game 2) seem to be better than our first string? I gotta watch this game, I thought it was tonight.

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