Daily Archive: October 7, 2012

Oct 07

Vikings vs Titans: The Clash That Didn’t Happen

No Mercy Percy!

As the game started, I had to flip back and forth between CBS and FOX. While I wanted to watch the Vikings’ opening drive, I also wanted to watch the lowly Colts defeat the Packers. I think we can all agree that having Blair Walsh on the Vikings is a lot better than having Mason Crosby.

For a long while, it looked like the Vikings were going to shut out the Titans. Alas, it was not meant to be. Nevertheless, the Vikings pulled out a huge win in the Dome today. Not that the Titans are any good, of course. But a loss would have been devastating and this win allows the Vikings to roll into DC with some swagger.

The Good

Percy Harvin. For the 3rd consecutive season, he has a Kick Off TD, a rushing TD and a passing TD. This is a new Vikings team record. Percy is the answer to our offense. Lined up in the back-field, waiting in the end zone, down field or in the flat, Percy is amazing. 8 receptions on the day for 108 yards.

Chad Greenway. 5 solo tackles, 4 assists and a batted down pass.

Blair Walsh. Let’s all admit it – we scoffed when the Vikings drafted him. We were over it by game three and now we’re thankful to have him on the field.

Adrian Peterson. 17 carries for 88 yards, averaging 5.1 YPC. Apparently he suffered a twisted ankle in the 1st half, but came roaring back in the 2nd half.

Leslie… you need to get the team focused on fundamentals.

The Bad

Penalties. 5 for 60 yards. The Vikings need to clean that up yet again.

Ponder’s streak-breaking INT. I got reprimanded on Twitter for tweeting “Nice one, Ponder.” after the 2nd quarter pick. Ponder was panicking and not taking care of the ball and I feel very justified in stating that it wasn’t that nice. He over-threw a wide-open Kyle Rudolph, who tipped it and while it wasn’t a horrible throw, Ponder’s lucky it wasn’t his second pick of the day. Of course, his 2nd INT of the day came right after a fantastic AD run. Ponder killed the opening drive of the 2nd half for the Vikings.

Tackling fundamentals. I got accused of “overreacting” today on Twitter when I was pointing out that the Vikings’ tackling was poor in the first defensive series. You can always tell a homer by their ire at any critique aimed at the team. The tackling fundamentals were poor. Kevin Williams missed 2 tackles in the first 2 plays. Brian Robison barely hung onto Hasselback to get a sack. Tackling is THE necessary skill for any defensive player. If a player is wiffing on almost-tackles or just down-right missing tackles, it puts unnecessary pressure on the rest of the defense. The coaching staff needs to focus on the fundamentals if the Defense is going to remain stout.

Keeping things in perspective, I can be very critical of our defense and Ponder’s panicking after a 3 consecutive win. If we were losing, then you’d see me going after the obvious versus calling out areas that need refinement.

Harrison Smith did the unthinkable and was ejected. Inexcusable.

The Ugly

Harrison Smith. You cannot touch an official. Period. Even if he’s climbing you and in your face like the one in today’s game. You still cannot touch him. Huge mistake on Harrison’s part. Hopefully he won’t face a suspension, but he surely will be fined heavily.

The Necessary

The Vikings need to sign Percy Harvin to a new contract right now. No excuses, no exceptions, no waiting. Just do it.

So the Vikings move to 4-1 and the Packers lose to the Colts. Unfortunately, the Bears also won today so that leaves the Vikings tied for 1st place in the NFC North (owning the tie-breaker, of course, if it comes to that). It’s been  a surprising start to a season that most of us expected to be a sorry state of affairs. The Vikings have a real opportunity to make it through the 2nd quarter of the season with a pretty amazing record. Will that be enough to gel the team and build enough momentum to allow them to sweep, or at least split evenly, the games against the Packers and the Bears? We shall see!

What is your prediction for the Vikings this season?

 

 

 

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Oct 07

Week 5 Picks

I’m feeling better about my football mojo. Let’s see if I can keep it going through this week’s 15 games. Raiders & Cowboys have a bye.

Cardinals vs Rams: I’m fairly certain no one was predicting a 4-0 Cardinals team heading into week 5 of the season. Meanwhile, the Rams are 2-2 and I’m not sure any knows if the Rams are going to be any good or if they’ve already had the bulk of their wins for the year. With wins against the Redskins and the Seahawks, it’s conceivable that they might bring the Cardinals their first loss in this divisional match up. On the other hand, maybe those Dirty Birds are on a roll. Cardinals 21, Rams 14.

Dolphins vs Bengals: These two teams have mirror image records. The Bengals are 3-1 while the Dolphins are 1-3. Andy Dalton’s 2nd year is finding him much improved while rookie Ryan Tannehill looks to find a groove. The Dolphins are currently #1 against the Rush, but I don’t think that’s going to help them against a team that passes over 2.5 times as much as it rushes. Bengals 24, Dolphins 20.

Packers vs Colts: With the Colts’ coach in the hospital with leukemia and the Colts’ defense dinged up already, looks like the Packers, who are not looking too hot this season, will get a win in Indy today. Maybe we can hope that the Colts win one in support of their coach? Packers 28, Colts 10.

Ravens vs Chiefs: The Chiefs used to be hard to beat at home, but now they’re pretty easy to walk over. The Ravens are on a winning streak that may take them all the way this year. Ravens 31, Chiefs 10.

Browns vs Giants: With the Browns at 0-4 and the Giants at 2-2, both of these teams have a lot to prove. If Eli can’t secure a win in this game, we all may have to question his “elite” status again. Giants 20, Browns 14.

Eagles vs Steelers: The Steelers are coming off a bye while the Eagles have a dinged up team. Going to go with the Steelers in this match up, and not just because I can’t stand Michael Vick. Steelers 20, Eagles 17.

Falcons vs Redskins: I don’t think RGIII is going to be able to out-gun a Matty Ice that is living up to his nickname. Falcons 28, Redskins 19.

Seahawks vs Panthers: The Seahawks may have a 12th man at home, but they don’t get to bring “that guy” with them on the road. Panthers 21, Seahawks 17.

Bears vs Jaguars: The Bears are coming off an impressive win while the Jaguars still have Gabbert at QB. At least Blaine doesn’t whine and pout and walk away from his coach. As much as I hate to say it… Bears 28, Jaguars 14.

Titans vs Vikings: Jake Locker is out, Hasselbeck is in. The Vikings are at home and Adrian Peterson is pretty sure he’s going to bust out a big game soon. Let’s hope it’s today. Vikings 24, Titans 19.

Broncos vs Patriots: Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady.  While the Broncos appear to be improving as Peyton settles in, I can’t imagine that Tom Brady is going to let Peyton Manning get the best of him. Patriots 27, Broncos 19.

Bills vs 49ers: The Bills are 2-2 while the 49ers are 3-1 (you’re welcome, 49ers, for your one loss!). I cannot imagine Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to have that good of a time at Candlestick Park in this match up. 49ers 31, Bills 20.

Chargers vs Saints: San Diego is 3-1 while the Saints are a (much deserved) 0-4. The Saints would have beaten the Packers last week if not for a much-maligned holding call on a field goal attempt (which they made), causing a re-kick and a miss. Is this the week Drew Brees finally leads his team to a win? Probably not. Chargers 27, Saints 21.

Texans vs Jets: No analysis needed here. Texans 42, Jets 6.

Those are my picks this week.

 

 

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