Monthly Archive: August 2013

Aug 29

Preseason Game 4: Vikings vs Titans

Preseason Game 4. It’s the game we all dread, but watch or attend anyway. None of the starters are on the field; it’s essentially 3 hours of 2nd string or unproven talent desperately trying to make one last case for a spot on the 53-man roster. It’s rare to see truly stunning play, although thoughts of Audie Cole’s INTs and pick-6 last year run through my mind. I started this game with the hope of seeing something along those lines. I got a terrific 109 kick off return by Marcus Sherels. That’ll work!

Things I Liked:

  • Cassel to Rodney Smith in the waning moments of the 1st quarter. Yes, we had a pass of 28 yards!
  • Cassel to John Carlson over the middle for good yardage and YAC.
  • Matt Asiata producing a TD at the start of the 2nd quarter and showing good running instincts during the game.
  • Joe Banyard had some solid plays in the 2nd quarter, including the screen from McLeod John Balthazar Bethel-Thompson resulting in a TD.
  • Marcus Sherels: 109 yard kick-off return TD.
  • Marcus Sherels with an INT in the 3rd quarter.
  • A fumble recovery to end the game.

Things That Bothered Me:

  • A continued emphasis on short passes in the flat for minimal or no yardage. For Odin’s sake, Musgrave – can we just stop? Air it out, man. At some point we have to develop a passing game that worries SOMEONE.
  • The Titans were able to convert 3rd down after 3rd down after…
  • Lack of effort on the Titan’s TD in the 2nd quarter; slow play by the safeties and no real effort to break up the play.
  • Paul Allen calling Marcus Sherels’ smile “pretty”. I remain creeped out.
  • Free & loose on protecting the ball (goal-line fumble anyone?).
  • Blair Walsh missing a 42 yard field goal. What happened to our Leg-a-tron? Is Locke going to be his downfall?

Things I Hated:

  • Seth Olsen’s injury in the 2nd quarter. Neck injuries are terrifying.
  • Still no improvement in tackling fundamentals

So that’s it. Next up: regular season. Are the Vikings ready? My sense is they’re not quite ready for prime time. But I hope they surprise me.

Based on what you’ve seen during preseason play, predict the Vikings’ 2013 regular season record:

 

 

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Aug 25

Preseason Game 3: Vikings vs 49s

The Vikings took the field without much fanfare and less finesse. If Twitter’s any indication, Ponder’s going to be in for a rough time from the fans as long as he’s starting. It appears that the off-season didn’t do Ponder any favors when it comes mechanics and instinct. Not that I thought it would. I’ve never been much of a Ponder fan (which probably hasn’t gone unnoticed if you’ve been reading my blog for a while).

What I Liked:

  • 1st defensive series with a short field: 3 & out for the Niners
  • Chad Greenway’s INT in the 2nd quarter
  • The incredible 1 yard TD between Ponder & Zach Line in the 2nd quarter (yeah… I’m exaggerating – but any time Ponder scores a passing TD I feel we should all look on with surprise. I mean enthusiasm.)
  • Greg Jennings drawing PI and catching passes in purple & gold (because that has to piss off Packer fans)
  • Joe Webb’s TD catch. Ran a good route and pulled the ball in. Well done.
  • Mauti looks like a solid pick.

What Bothered Me:

  • Adrian Peterson on the field. Why???
  • Ponder on the field. Why??? (This is somewhat sarcastic – but seriously – just put Cassel in already & let’s move on)
  • Frazier in a starring role as coach. Still???
  • Matt Kalil’s antics on the field
  • Ponder’s lack of time awareness
  • San Francisco fans running onto the field. Please… why drag out my agony with your antics?
  • A lack of discipline. Boy – hasn’t THAT been a constant theme on the Frazier-led Vikings squads?

What I Hated:

  • 1st offensive series: 3 & out with a Ponder fumble
  • 2nd offensive series: 3 & out with a punt by a punter who isn’t Chris Kluwe
  • Tackling fundamentals. Our tackling sucks as much now as it has in the last 2 seasons.
  • The Vikings 1st string offense struggled against the 2nd and 3rd stringers on the Niners. Pathetic!
  • Multiple fans running onto the field delayed the end of the game.

Well my Vikings brethren, that concludes the preseason Dress Rehearsal. Something tells me that we’re in for a lot of pain. I hope I’m wrong… but we have so many gaps, I don’t know how this can go well. Agree with me? Disagree? Leave me a comment or send me a tweet!

 

 

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Aug 09

Preseason Game 1: Vikings vs Texans

Welcome back, Vikings fans! As we head into the 2013 NFL season, I know we’re all asking ourselves the age old question… Will the Vikings suck this year?

Things I liked tonight:

  • Mike Mayock was nowhere to be found
  • Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are not a concern until later in the season
  • The Packers got shut out by the Cardinals at Lambeau
  • Ben Leber’s shirt
  • Mike Maunti’s plays in the goal-line stand
  • Blair Walsh

Things that concern me:

  • Christian Ponder and his 50% INT rate (yes, I know there were only 2 throws but… he looked in mid-2012 season form, not like he had a bunch of months off to practice).
  • Tackling fundamentals (for 3 years running now)
  • Coverage gaps – Spielman sounded blas√© about the gaps, stating the players were getting “pulled off” by the constant switching of the offense’s direction. Why, yes, Rick. That’s what offenses (*good* ones) DO. Do you really want to be unconcerned by players being duped?
  • The absolute lack of effort by the Vikings at the end of the game. Yes. It’s preseason. But those guys are theoretically competing for roster spots and they ended flatter than a pancake. Meanwhile, the Texans kept playing aggressive and focused. I’m going to renew my efforts in calling for Frazier’s head if I see that crap in a regular season game. Let’s just frame it up this way: preseason game or not, Bud Grant would have NEVER allowed the team to stop trying.

Things I hate:

  • The Packers. I know that’s redundant because I’m a Vikings fan, but I wanted to make sure everyone knew where I stood with regard to the green and mustard.
  • This is seriously going to bother me: someone please explain to me WHY does the Vikings’ new helmet NOT match the new uniform???? Those helmets would have looked delightful with the previous uniform. They should be dark purple. Who approved that???

Next up for the Vikings: The Buffalo Bills. T-Jack won’t be there to greet his former team since Pete Carroll decided to give him another go in June. Pete’s so sweet… but I digress. The game starts at 6 PM CDT so make sure to tune in to see the first moderate action of the starters. Let’s hope that they look solid!

 

See you after next week’s game, Vikings brethren! Skol!

 

 

 

 

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