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Dec 28

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2015 Week Sixteen: Vikings vs Giants

I was actually at the game last night, courtesy of Bose, so my review is later that usual. Let me start by saying it was bloody cold out there last night. I like a nice 70 degrees at all times, so 12°F with a wind, making it feel around 0°F wasn’t really cutting it for me. To the lady who told me I’d be sorry for not wearing ski pants – I hate you; and also, thank you for the astute observation.

Soooo… the Vikings won last night. Soundly. In fact, one might say they delivered a knock-out beat-down on those Giants with a 49-17 win.

Prior to the game, I spent my time at Manning’s off Como, laughing as the Packers lost to the Cardinals, so we arrived at the game in great moods and I was looking forward to a trouncing of the Giants; I think we all know that the Vikings are Eli Manning’s kryptonite. And last night was no exception.

Let’s break it down.

Eli Manning: sacked 4 times during the game.

Eli Manning: sacked 4 times during the game, intercepted 3 times. I always love when the Giants come to town!

The Good

  • Mid-first quarter, Sendejo intercepted Eli Manning off an Xavier Rhodes tipped ball. The first Sad Eli face of the night was delicious and I enjoyed it.
  • Danielle Hunter got the first sack on Manning for the evening. It was a good opportunity for me and my friend Moon to jump around and celebrate to get some blood flowing in the breezy corner of the end zone. Not for nothin’ but that was Hunter’s 6th sack of the season. He leads all rookies in that particular stat (and I have to believe a lot of veterans, too).
  • Jarius Wright had several key catches during the game, including a nice 1st down pick up near the end of the 1st quarter.
  • Peterson’s ankle seemed stout. He made a lot of impressive cuts and tied Emmitt Smith for an NFL record.
  • Brian Robison started the 2nd quarter with a sack on Manning. Yet another great reason to cheer.
  • Harry-baby, you're the one! You make Pick-6s so much fun!

    Harry-baby, you’re the one! You make Pick-6s so much fun!

    Harrison Smith – stopping the run, covering receivers, jumping routes and scoring with a Pick-6. Praise the Sweet Baby Odin he’s back and healthy.

  • Vikings first passing TD of the night was a beautiful throw to Kyle Rudolph at 4 minutes into the 2nd quarter. Teddy hit 82 in stride and it was a beautiful play.
  • Linval Joseph is back. Boy, is he. Instrumental against the run, it was great to see him on the field.
  • Teddy B has started working the hard count to pull the opposing defense off-sides. Great to watch him evolve.
  • This game had the least-bad offensive coordination of the season in my opinion.
  • With 4 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Harrison Smith jumped a route and ran it back for a Pick Six. So impressive, I’ll mention it twice. One caveat: although the play was great, his attempt at spiking the ball to celebrate was the lamest attempt I’ve even seen, with the ball spinning off the top of his hand and I’ll just say it reminded me of a Donovan McNabb pass. If you didn’t catch it, go watch a highlight reel – it made me laugh. #SorryHarry
  • The Vikings seemed to have addressed some of their issues with tackling fundamentals. OR, three 2nd or 3rd stringers are now sitting back on the bench now that we have our 3 starters back and that has resolved the issue. One of those (or maybe both) are true.
  • Tom Johnson got the 3rd Manning sack of the night. He just busted right through and smacked Eli down to the turf. I approved then and I approve now.
  • Robert Blanton recovered an on-side kick near the end of the 3rd quarter. He had quite a good run back, too. Teddy said in his presser that he teased Blanton when he got back to the sideline for being chased down by an offensive lineman. Clearly Teddy found that to be hilarious, and I can’t disagree.
  • Teddy did a lot of good things during the game, including scrambling, making good decisions about whether or not to throw the ball and connecting with receivers in critical moments.
  • Matt Asiata had some nice runs. Jerrick McKinnon is obviously more explosive and versatile; however, Asiata has his place, too. It’s nice having a deep RB bench to use in various situations.
  • Captain Munnerlyn (Theeeeeeee Captain!) had a great INT in the 3rd quarter. It’s always nice to see him active on the field.
  • Chad Greenway led the team (per the usual) in tackles (6) and assists (3). I get so pissed when people discount his presence on the field. He’s repeatedly been the tackling leader on our team over his tenure. Also – if anyone thinks the team would have been able to hold their own with 3 of our defensive starters on the sidelines without Greenway at mike over the last couple of weeks, they’re out of their ever-lovin’ mind.
  • Jerrick McKinnon’s 2nd TD was mighty pretty!
Oh, AD... if you're not fumbling, you're muffing catches. Please work on your trade, which (by the way) includes pass protection. (PS - great 39 yard run - 'preciate ya!)

Oh, AD… if you’re not fumbling, you’re muffing catches. Please work on your trade, which (by the way) includes pass protection. (PS – great 39 yard run – ‘preciate ya!)

The Bad

  • In the 3rd offensive series, Peterson muffed an easy screen pass that could have secured a Vikings 1st down. This was a big deal because a) Teddy got sacked on the play immediately following, causing the Vikings to punt and b) the Vikings did not capitalize on the Sendejo interception. When your defense forces a turnover, great teams turn that into points. The Vikings rarely  do, which is not going to help the team win in the post-season.
  • Jerrick McKinnon’s first TD was negated by a false-start by Matt Kalil. Seriously, Kalil – you’re not a rookie. Act like a veteran when you’re out there.
  • The Giants scored a TD when Sendejo took the lazy-man’s way out when trying to tackle the Giants’ Randle late in the 3rd quarter. Running into a player isn’t enough to bring them down sometimes… which is why you actually have the tackle!
  • Teddy was sacked 3 times during the game. Our o-line needs to step it up.
  • I’m sure there were some other things that I thought were bad but in the afterglow of finally being warm, I’m not quite as nit-picky as usual.
NINE TIMES. ARodg was sacked 9 times. What a tasty treat the week before we see that horrid team again. Let's hope their o-line is equally as ineffective on 1/3.
NINE TIMES. ARodg was sacked 9 times. What a tasty treat the week before we see that horrid team again. Let’s hope their o-line is equally as ineffective on 1/3.

The Ugly

  • The Vikings’ first 2 offensive series resulted in zero production in terms of points. Let’s get serious now: the Vikings cannot wait to produce offensive points until the 2nd quarter when we play the Packers next week. There’s no way the Vikings win against the Packers if they take an entire quarter to warm up.

The Inexplicable

  • In terms of the inexplicable – I don’t really have anything for the Vikings for once! Instead, we could talk about the Cardinals/Packers game. That was fairly inexplicable. Like… Aaron Rodgers fumbled 3 times and lost 2 of them. I think he’s been infected with Peterson-itis, which is fantastic, as long as he keeps it away from us (i.e. doesn’t give the issue back to AD). With 101 net rushing yards and a hilarious 77 net passing yards because *someone* (not saying who, Aaron Rodgers) was sacked NINE times for a loss of 78 yards. Hahahahaha! I am sure you were laughing as hard as I was. Now… let us just hope that the Packers are equally as ineffective next week when our beloved Vikings take the field at Lameblow (NoPackNo).

So, that’s it, Vikings fans. One game left in the regular season. Whatever happens next week, the Vikings are going to the play-offs for the first time since 2012. Frankly, we have a lot more to like about this team than the one that somehow backed into the post-season 3 years ago.

So I have a new poll question for you this week. What will next week bring?

 

 

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