The Vikings and Steelers sang our National Anthem reverently to accompany the obvious choice of Gene Simmons for the featured singer today. Really NFL? Gene Simmons sang the National Anthem? In London? That was the best we could do there? Paul Stanley would have been a vocal upgrade if you were really determined to have someone from Kiss start the show.
I went into the game with realistic expectations that the Vikings would eventually give away the game. They sure tried at the end, but a strip of Big Ben and a fumble recovery prevented the disaster that was threatening to throw the game into over-time.
Cassel performed better than Ponder has since he began starting for the Vikings, achieving a QB rating of 123.7 – something Ponder can only dream of to date. Could be an anomaly or it might be a level of performance that Cassel can maintain. Frazier indicated after the game that Ponder is the starting QB. This angered many Vikings fans; however, Frazier cannot possibly make any other statement at this point. If he’s singing the same tune after the bye, then I hope everyone joins me in my long-standing campaign to relieve Frazier of his head coaching duties.
Let’s break it down.
- Blair Walsh 54 yard FG in the 1st quarter
- Greg Jennings’ catch, juke and application of turbo to get his first TD is the appropriate color to pair with gold: purple!
- Adrian Peterson busting loose a 60 yard rushing TD late in the 2nd quarter.
- Jared Allen achieved 2.5 sacks in the 1st half. That would be his game-ending total as well.
- Greenway’s interception, which they were actually able to convert to a scoring drive. That’s been non-existent with Ponder at the helm.
- I’m going to put Cassel in the good section. His ability to drive the offense is clearly better than Ponder’s. If Cassel continues to play as he did today, and Frazier sticks Ponder back in once he’s recuperated, then we’ll know exactly how stupid Leslie Frazier is.
- Missed tackles, missed sacks and general defensive ineptitude. I’m putting this under “bad” instead of “ugly” because the defense is actually decent at times – but has shocking bouts of dysfunction.
- Cassel fumbled the ball late in the 1st half. The good news was that somehow Jerome Simpson managed to recover it and get the first down. I guess that’s one way to convert.
- Walsh missed a 44 yard field goal in a controlled environment, wide left. That broke his 19 FG streak extending back into last season. Chris Kluwe tweeted that the hold was a couple of inches off. Skeptical people might say he’s trying to start a controversy; I believe he was making an observation.
- Locke is not good. He is not an improvement over Kluwe in the way that Walsh was a significant upgrade over Longwell. Let’s all take a moment to understand that the Vikings wasted a draft pick on a punter for the express purpose of getting Kluwe off the team – not for performance, but for being a social progressive. This, my friends, is why I’m not going to any home games this year. I’m not giving any money to the organization because I disagree with their decision
- Josh Robinson’s PI call in the end zone resulting in a 48 yard penalty and a Steeler’s subsequent TD.
- The Steelers converted 3rd down after 3rd down after 3rd down. When is Alan Williams going to fix that? It’s been a continual theme for the last 2 seasons. Third down conversion rate for the Steelers today: 53%
- The defense was poised to throw away yet another lead. A last second strip of Big Ben and a fumble recovery prevented another travesty at the end of the game.
- Time of possession. 23:33 was the time the offense had the ball today. The Vikings can’t keep losing that stat; if they do, they’ll continue to lose more games than they win.
So the Vikings are now 1-3. When they come back from the bye, they should have a new starting quarterback who might be able to take us beyond the 5-11 I’ve been predicting since the preseason. We’ll see what happens!
Obviously, there won’t be a game to break down next week, but hopefully I’ll be doing plenty of live tweeting about a Packer loss! Skol Vikings Nation!
See you in two weeks!