Sep 20

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2015 Week Two: Vikings vs Lions

After the Monday Night Football debacle, I admit, I was filled with both excitement and terror. No matter what, I’m always going to watch the Vikings… but as a long-time Vikings fan… I have every right to be terrified of what kind of product my team is going to put on the field on any given week.

Despite the very best efforts of the officiating crew, the Vikings were still able to win the game. Did I tweet the NFL about how terrible this officiating crew was? You know I did!

Let’s break it down.

Trattou - intercepting Stafford like a boss!

Trattou – intercepting Stafford like a boss!

The Good

  • The first offensive drive featured lots of Adrian Peterson with some good yardage… and an actual, real life passing touch-down from Bridgewater to Rudolph!
  • The first defensive appearance initially looked like a 3-and-out for the Lions, but Stafford connected with Golden Tate for another set of downs. Then B-Rob came in with a bat-down and the Lions were forced to punt.
  • In the 1st quarter, the Vikings defense only allowed 5 rushing yards on 4 carries. We’ll take it!
  • At the end of the 2nd quarter, during the 3rd offensive drive, there was a terrific reverse from AP to Wright resulting in a 17 yard gain. Bridgewater was involved in blocking for Wright.
  • The 3rd offensive drive began at the 50 yard and ended with Teddy faking to Adrian Peterson on 4th and goal and then running it into the end zone untouched. I’ll take that, too!
  • Munnerlyn stripped the ball in the opening offensive drive by the Lions at the start of the 3rd quarter. Sendejo picked it up and returned it right into the red zone – the 6 yard line. See The Ugly section for what happened next.
  • After Adrian Peterson fumbled the ball away, Brian Robison was a beast on defense, keeping the Lions to their side of the field and forcing a punt.
  • Riddick coughed up the ball when Harrison Smith went for the strip mid-3rd quarter, resulting in a Vikings take-away.
  • Marcus Sherels made quite a few varied and impressive plays. Love him. The Little Sherels Who Could.
  • Justin Trattou intercepted Matt Stafford in the 4th quarter. It was fantastic.
  • Everson Griffen sacked Stafford late in the 4th quarter. It was the first time the Vikings got to the quarterback all game. (I’d file that 2nd part under “Bad”)
  • Rhett Ellison recovered the Lions’ on-side kick, securing possession for the Vikings.
Xavier Rhode's Pass Interference cost the Vikings a Harrison Smith INT.

Xavier Rhode’s Pass Interference cost the Vikings a Harrison Smith INT.

The Bad

  • The 2nd offensive drive went nowhere. If the Vikings want to make it to the post season, they’ll have to focus on being more productive on offense.
  • During the first quarter, the Vikings’ pass rush was anemic. Stafford had plenty of time to find a target – which is not a good plan when Calvin Johnson is in the receiving corps.
  • At the start of the 2nd quarter, the Lions had quite a bit of success passing against the Vikings’ defense. The Vikings need to work on man-to-man coverage and increase the intensity of the pass rush. In this 3rd offensive series, the safeties were forced to do a lot of clean up of misses by the corners.
  • Net result of the 3rd Lions offensive drive was a field goal by Prater. Vikings defense was serviceable on this drive – although they had lots of missed opportunities to shut down the Lions offense.
  • Adrian Peterson’s blocking is… less than stellar. So even if he makes up for it by catching a flip for long yardage… his blocking skills still need to be addressed.
  • The Vikings couldn’t score a TD off a solid 4th offensive drive. The good news is that Blair Walsh actually made the 28 yard field goal.
  • Matt Kalil backed the Vikings up with a stupid personal foul. Hey Matt – you’re not a rookie. Stop behaving like one.
  • Harrison Smith intercepted Stafford… until Rhodes was called for Pass Interference. C’mon man…
  • Everson Griffen undid his good sack-the-QB work with an Illegal Use of the Hands penalty, giving the Lions a first down.
Remember this? It appears to be back.

Remember this? It appears to be back.

The Ugly

  • The o-line protection when Teddy was trying to pass. You can very much tell that 2 starters are missing.
  • As soon as the Vikings got a take-away… Adrian Peterson fumbled it away on the first play post-take-away. I swear to Odin, if we have to live through another season of Adrian Peterson’s stupidity when it comes to protecting the ball… I will scream the way I screamed from my hospital bed in December of 2009 when he fumbled away our home-field advantage on Soldier Field in OT.
  • Adrian Peterson fumbled AGAIN on a run to the end zone. Were it not for a penalty on the Lions, the Vikings would have been in deep doodoo. I am just going to end my sentence there because I have nothing good to say if I keep talking about Adrian and his inability to protect the ball.
  • On the terrible news front, AP fumbled for a third time. See “The Inexplicable” section for further commentary.
  • Anthony Barr made a completely bone-headed move in the 4th quarter by hitting Stafford when he was well out of bounds.


This monkey expresses my thoughts perfectly.

This monkey expresses my thoughts perfectly.

The Inexplicable

  • Blair Walsh missed AN EXTRA POINT. Are you KIDDING me? We just extended his contract this summer and he is TERRIBLE. Does anyone else on the squad have place kicking skills? Sherels? Cole? Whoever the hell the new long-snapper is? Just pull some guy from the first row at the 50 yard line and we’ll probably have the same result.
  • Adrian Peterson fumbled for THIRD time in the red zone, costing the Vikings a TD. Maybe Adrian needs to sit for a couple of weeks to remember how to protect the ball.
  • The Vikings were playing pretty clean until the 4th quarter when they went on a penalty spree. It was ridiculous! Did I tweet the offenders and tell them so? You know I did.
  • I cannot remember seeing a worse officiating crew since the NFC Championship Game of the 2009-2010 season when those jackalopes let the Saints repeated (and illegally) hit Brett Favre. This crew today? They were flipping ridiculous. Even the replacement refs a couple of seasons ago were less bad.

So that’s it, Vikings brethren. Week 2 of the 2015 NFL season is in the hopper, and the Vikings have their first win of the season after a performance that is more in line with what I was hoping to see this year (although the Peterson fumbling issue is problematic).

Use the poll below to let me know how you’re feeling about the Vikings’ chances this season. See you next week!



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