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Sep 18

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Vikings vs Buccaneers: Post Game Breakdown

Jared Allen is the heart of our defense. But where did you go???

Today was the Vikings’ home opener at the newly turfed and roofed Dome. At home, in front of the fans, Viking horn signaling first downs, Immigrant Song blasting through the stadium.

Do you think the Purple People Eaters could hang onto a 17 point lead they took into half-time? Hell no. Of course they couldn’t.

The game started great – Jared Allen sacked Freeman on the first play and the Defense forced a 3 and out. When the Offense took over, a receiver jumped to catch a ball, and immediately I knew it wasn’t Berrian. Peterson had a great run and then Berrian and McNabb killed the drive.

The second drive went better, even though Bernard Berrian was still on the team. A 31 yard run by Gerhart was followed by Adrian Peterson running it in for a TD. The highlight here is that Berrian can throw his hands up in the air to signal a TD… but he can’t actually GET a TD.

Jamarca Sanford was all over the field today, making great plays. It’s been a while since we had a safety have such a good performance during the game.

Adrian Peterson: 1 fumble, 100+ rushing yards, 2 TDs

Adrian Peterson fumbled at the start of the 2nd quarter. Anthony Herrera recovered. I swear – if Peterson starts that 2009 fumbling crap again… I will be very, very angry.

McNabb brought out the skip-throws at inopportune moments. Late in the 2nd quarter, the Vikings were dominating on offense but we couldn’t seal the deal with McNabb missing Shank in the end zone. We settled for a consolation prize of a field goal, instead.

At the end of the second quarter, Adrian Peterson got his second rushing TD, putting him at 54. Earlier in the game, when he rushed for his 1st TD, he set a new Vikings record, surpassing Bill Brown and Chuck Foreman. Just prior to the TD, during the previous play, McNabb literally fell down after the snap. I thought we would end up with another field goal.

I didn’t let myself feel too much hope, even though we were leading at the half. I watched this team last week and I know that they’re a bunch of half-time babies that Bud Grant would eat for lunch.

The Bucs adjusted during the break and came out, scored quickly and then did an on-side kick. At this point, I could feel my blood pressure pounding with anger at how we were playing… until Hussein Abdullah intercepted a Josh Freeman ball in the end zone, returning it over 40 yards.

When a Vikings receiver jumps - it's never Bernard Berrian.

Could we capitalize on that though? No, indeed we could not. Although we did have a Bernard Berrian sighting – he caught a ball for a 17 yard gain, right before Peterson got stuffed for a loss and McNabb got sacked and Kluwe punted.

On the next Bucs drive, the Vikings recovered a fumble… or would have, had Brian Robison not been off-sides. The Bucs responded with a huge run downfield and an apparent TD, that was negated by the Bucs’ illegal shift. They settled for a field goal, bringing the score to 17-10.

The Vikings put together another offensive drive, but were unable to take it to the house. Longwell on clean up duty, extending the lead to 10. At this point, I was considering how anemic our offense had been during the 2nd half and what that means for the rest of the season. I decided it can’t be good.

What to do when the second half kills you?

Let’s pause to consider the Vikings’ issue with 2nd half momentum. It’s not specific to the 2011 season. We saw that a lot last year as well. I believe there are two issues. 1) The Vikings are unable to make adjustments at half-time, which allows the other team to dominate them in the 2nd half and 2) a complete failure on the part of the coaches to keep this team motivated.

And how does one do that? You start benching players who don’t play a full 60 minutes. Work your way through the depth chart – if you’re going to lose from a lack of effort, give the younger, hungrier crowd a chance. The problem is that Leslie Frazier doesn’t have the cojones to do what needs to be done. He demonstrated that by bringing in McNabb. He demonstrated that by keeping worthless Bernard Berrian on the roster. I believe we’re destined for a season chock full of 2nd halves collapsing like an underdone soufflé.

I'm going to put this pic right here to give us all something to smile about. That is all.

The Bucs were able to easily score again with 31 seconds left in the game. Percy Harvin capped a horrendous effort by this team in the most fitting way possible: he bobbled the ball on the kick off and ensured we had crappy field position.

So, that’s it. We fall to 0-2. Bottom of the division, right back where we left off in January. Last season, when I was doing my picks, I repeatedly hammered McNabb for not being able to play an entire game. Well, you know what? He seems to have infected our whole team.

Thanks, Vikings, for another heart-breaking game. Way to score exactly 3 points in 2 second-halves over two games. You totally rock. Your coaching staff is tremendous!

I shouldn’t write these when I’m angry because my sarcasm might not be coming through.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/09/vikings-vs-buccaneers-post-game-breakdown/

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