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Oct 09

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2016 Week Five: Vikings vs Texans

The game began at noon for the first time since US Bank Stadium opened. I like the noon games so I was glad we weren’t on in prime time for once. Don’t judge me.

The Texans proudly walked into the stadium at 3-1. They left with looks of confusion and a 3-2 record. Thanks for stopping by our house, boys. Come back again real soon… especially if a Marcus Sherels’ punt return for 75 yards is going to be more total yards than your first half offensive output. That was a good time.

But enough gloating and celebrating our blow out.

Let’s break it down.

Marcus Sherels increased his Vikings' Punt Return for a TD record at 5.

Marcus Sherels increased his Vikings’ Punt Return for a TD record at 5.

The Good

  • Jerrick McKinnon had some bursts of speed early during the first offensive series. The Vikings came into the game as the worst rushing offense (which is weird for us, I know), but it seems like McKinnon & Asiata are going to get better with more reps, based on what we’ve seen to date. Of course, that is very much dependent upon our offensive line and their ability to create some holes.
  • Adam Thielen caught a deep ball from Bradford for a TD just 3 and a half minutes into the 1st quarter. That’s right… not even 5 minutes into the game and the Vikings had a TD. The cherry on top: Blair made the extra point.
  • The Texans were held to a 3 and out on their first offensive series.
  • On the second Vikings offensive series, the Vikings marched down the field and Matt Asiata rumbled into the end zone, giving the Vikings a 2 TD lead with over 6 minutes left… in THE FIRST QUARTER. This is the way I’ve wanted the Vikings to start forever.
  • The Texans were held to a 3 and out on their second offensive series.
  • Marcus Sherels got his 5th career punt return TD. I know I say it all the time, but I love that kid. He’s fantastic. When I saw the punt coverage was so far behind the ball and Sherels had a bunch of room to work with, I just KNEW that kid was taking it to the house. I love how much success he has on the field.
  • Finally got the first pick (after a few drops) in the 3rd quarter. Andrew Sendejo picked off Osweiler, which was good because he was starting to gain some confidence and had begun to air it out a bit. A nicely timed interception like that will make the opposing QB doubt himself.
  • Patterson had a big reception for a 9 yard TD! Patterson sightings seem to be a staple these days. I’m glad Zimmer finally got him to turn his attitude around. We need everyone contributing if we’re going to play in January and February of 2017. If you know what I mean and I’m certainly not going to say anything out loud because we’re Vikings fans and we know what that means… if you know what I mean.
  • Adam Thielen had a career day.

The Bad

The Rhodes may be closed, but he needs to be careful with the costly 3rd down penalties.

The Rhodes may be closed, but he needs to be careful with the costly 3rd down penalties.

  • The Vikings’ 3rd offensive series was terrible. Two failed runs and a sack for a near-safety. Sirles jumped for a false start, moving the Vikings back 5 yards (nearly into their end zone) and the Locke punt was short, giving the Texans unbelievable field position at the Vikings’ 38 yard line. This was NOT a pretty series for the Vikings. Thankfully, Novak is like Walsh – only he kicks wide right.
  • The 4th offensive series ended with a field goal. Ok. I know that’s not actually bad, but it’s one of the worst things that happened to that point in the 2nd quarter. Live with my “bad” designation!
  • Harrison Smith missed an easy pick-6 in the 2nd quarter (yes, I’m reaching where I’m including things I think should have happened… but I need stuff for this category).
  • Xavier Rhodes drew a PI penalty for 40+ yards in the 2nd quarter. He should keep those to a minimum.
  • Xavier Rhodes drew a holding penalty, giving the Texans another 1st down. The only 1st downs the Texans were getting in the first half was off Rhodes’ penalties. He needs to clean that up. Subsequently, the Texans scored a field goal. It just proves that those penalties are costly and they give teams opportunities to score.
  • Anthony Barr drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the 3rd quarter.
  • The Vikings just kept racking up penalties all game and that was irritating. In the 4th quarter, the Texans got an automatic 1st down off a Munnerlyn hold.
Vikings need to clean up their sloppiness - especially on defense on 3rd down.

Vikings need to clean up their sloppiness – especially on defense on 3rd down.

The Ugly

  • In the 4th offensive series for the Vikings, the Texans blitzed and somehow, Bradford managed to hit Jarius Wright for a 3rd down conversion (which is the good part of this) but then took a tremendous hit. Dear O-Line – do NOT get my boyfriend killed!
  • At the end of the 2nd quarter, we had the Texans pinned at a 4th down… until Griffen decided to be offsides, resulting in another 1st down for the Texans that they didn’t actually earn.
  • The Vikings’ energy was low late in the 3rd quarter. I don’t know what happened, but the whole team just felt sluggish. Since I’m blogging in real time, I’m hoping that they get more energetic for the 4th quarter.

The Inexplicable

  • Clemmings allowed 2 sacks on the QB in the first half. He either needs to get some talent or some help. It’s probably easier to go with help… so what are Turner and Zimmer doing to ensure Sam’s safety back there?
  • Clemmings’ stupidity continued in the 2nd half. Couldn’t pick up the blocks and then a face mask penalty.

And so another week is in the hopper, my Vikings brothers and sisters. The running game is improving but it needs to improve faster and our o-line… holy frijoles… Clemmings needs some help before Bradford gets killed.

Before I go, I want to take a moment to recognize our coach, who (previously unbeknownst to me) walks through his team on the sideline shaking hands and slapping butts as the clock winds down, thanking guys for their efforts. I think this is terrific. I love Zimmer’s style.

How are you feeling about the season?

 

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