Oct 07

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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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