Coming off a phenomenal performance last Sunday, I optimistically chose the Vikings to win today. I was berating myself for my stupidity for the first half.
And then… half-time adjustments.
I love Mike Zimmer so much! The entire 2nd half was like a whole new team had taken the field…. the one I remembered from last week (quarters 2 – 4). And so… holy cow… the Vikings enter week 4 undefeated.
But enough celebrating, let’s break it down.
Marcus Sherels now holds the Vikings’ Punt Return for a TD record at 4.
The Vikings held the Panthers to a 48 yard field goal on their first offensive series. The defense quickly tightened up and was effective against the run and ultimately the pass on a 3rd and long.
Danielle Hunter sacked Newton in the Panthers’ end zone for a safety. Δ
Jerrick McKinnon busted out a great run at the end of the first quarter, helping the Vikings keep their drive going. Unfortunately, the drive itself would end in another punt. Again.
Linval Joseph and Danielle Hunter sacked Newton, who went down with a potential ankle injury. (The sack is the good part, not the injury)
Gano missed a field goal in the 2nd quarter, keeping the score 10-2 and the Vikings still had some breathing room. Let’s be clear though – it felt like the Vikings were down 50 points at this time in the game because both the offensive and defensive play had been terrible. As fans we had to hope for field goal kicks to go wide or hit the uprights just for our team to have a shot at winning.
Marcus Sherels returned a punt for 6 points. Blair Walsh, of course, screwed up the extra point.
Trae Waynes intercepted Newton with 6 seconds left in the 1st half, preventing another Panthers’ scoring drive.
The Vikings took the field like champs in the 3rd quarter and drove down the field for a Bradford-Rudolph TD followed by a Jerrick McKinnon 2 point conversion, giving the Vikings a 16-10 lead. In Odin’s name we pray.
Harrison Smith was all over the place today, making tackles, forcing Cam out of his comfort zone. He was amazing.
Brian Robison was relentless and was able to inflict a brutal sack on Newton in the 3rd quarter.
Terence Newman came up with a big INT in the 3rd quarter. It was the 2nd of the game and it was sweet!
Blair Walsh managed to make a 28 yard field goal. Kudos to him and all of the Pop Warner kickers who could make the same chip shot. He followed it up with another field goal in the 4th quarter, taking the Vikings to 22 points vs Carolina’s 10.
The Vikings sacked Newton 8 times and intercepted him 3 times as the Vikings ruined the Panthers’ 14 game home winning streak.
Newman makes some good plays but he plays pretty sloppy, too. He needs to act like a veteran.
The Panthers’ first running play of the game split the defense like a hot knife through butter. Not a stellar way to start the game. The second running play immediately following was less bad (on the part of the Vikings) as the Vikings were able to stop the runner.
The Vikings started their first offensive series with 2 runs, which made sense when Adrian Peterson was in the line up. He’s not and the choice left Bradford with 3rd down at 7. Bradford was nearly picked off after the ball was tipped. Generally a super ugly way for the Vikings to start the game. On the other hand, it felt pretty typical so mentally I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see it.
Terence Newman drew another penalty in the 1st quarter. He’s pretty sloppy for a 38 year-old veteran.
Before the 1st quarter was even over, the Panthers had scored 10 unanswered points. 2 series. 2 scores. Vikings defense? Stymied.
Kearse was called for illegal hands to the face during a punt, improving the Panthers’ field position by 10 yards after a poor Vikings field position and an average punt already had them near the 50 yard line. The number of penalties the Vikings have amassed this season is repulsive.
Xavier Rhodes started and then went out.
Alex Boone was injured during the 2nd quarter (knee, groin)
Sendejo is terrible. I still can’t believe we signed him for MORE time. Why, Vikings, why?
Kendricks was hurt late in the 4th quarter. We need him at mike!
Didn’t see this connection or the Bradford/Diggs connection until after half-time. The Vikings offense needs to get rolling much sooner.
Cam’s first pass was a 31 yard bomb to Ted Ginn against Xavier Rhodes, who appeared to be less than 100%.
The Vikings 2nd offensive series ended in disaster, with no points and terrible o-line play was punctuated with a Bradford sack before the Vikings punted the ball away. Again. After scoring no points. Again.
The Vikings defense looked like a Pop Warner 2nd-string unit that had just been compiled of people selected randomly off the street during most of the first half. It was both perplexing and infuriating since a stalwart defense is supposed to be the hallmark of the Minnesota Vikings. I spent most of the first half hoping for a Zimmer butt-kicking during half-time (for the team, of course, not me…. I was fine). Thankfully, per the usual, Zim turned it around. But I haven’t forgotten that first half performance!
Good-bye Blair. Get off my team. I was here before you and I’ll be here after you.
The Vikings defense (#92, #93) drew 2 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties after the Panthers scored their first TD. I thought Zimmer demanded control and discipline out of his players? They were pretty freakin’ sloppy during the first quarter.
They were also sloppy during the 2nd quarter. Where the hell is the discipline, Zim?
What do we do with Blair Walsh?
So that’s it, Vikings friends & neighbors. Week 3 in the hopper and the Vikings are 3-0. I can’t believe it after that day I was sitting at work and I got my first text telling me about Teddy’s injury. But here we are… and I’m proud of my team.
I was nervous going into the game. It’s a night game – which is never good for the Vikings, who routinely choke on the national stage. Sam Bradford got the start, despite having only had a week and half in the Vikings system. He didn’t do much with the first series; a couple of completions and a couple of misfires, ending in a punt. After a few series, the Bradford-Diggs connection was solidified. And I gotta admit…. Sam Bradford may just be the guy we need!
Mostly, the game was just fraught with ridiculous ineptitude and mistakes and I spent a good deal of it extremely unhappy… right up until Sam Bradford threw the ball deep as time expired.
The reigning NFC North Champions remain undefeated. But… we have work to do.
Ok – let’s break it down.
Stefon Diggs is a bright spot…. especially with Bradford at QB!
Kendricks was aggressive on defense, batting down a ball early in the first quarter, helping the defense get the Packers off the field.
After collapsing like a day-old helium balloon mid-way through the 1st quarter, the Vikings defense FINALLY showed some signs of being conscious at the end of the 1st quarter when Danielle Hunter sacked Rodgers, causing him to lose the ball; however, once again (as was to be the pattern for the evening), the Vikings couldn’t recover it (which is not the good part).
Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph gave the Vikings’ offense life. Sam threw a nice fade to Rudolph, securing the first Vikings’ TD of the season (which is ridiculous, since it’s the 2nd game of the season).
Sam Bradford was able to return to the field after having his hand lanced to release sub-q blood. (YUCK)
The Packers only had 65 yards on offense at the end of the 1st half. A “tee hee” is warranted, I think.
B-Rob came up with a strip fumble mid-4th quarter – AND – the Vikings actually recovered it! How ’bout that? (Under “Bad” or even “Ugly” one might find the description of what we did with the recovered fumble… aka NOTHING)
Linval Joseph played well.
The Vikings WON.
Matt Kalil: he’s just terrible. He was mowed down over and over and over tonight.
The Vikings missed a fumble recovery on the Packers’ first offensive play. It was ridiculous. Sendejo should have held onto that ball better.
The Vikings o-line crumbled repeatedly in the 1st quarter. What am I even saying? The ENTIRE TEAM sucked in the 1st quarter. Matt Kalil false-started for a penalty. Adrian Peterson could not gain more than ONE net yard. The whole thing was a fiasco. I literally could not believe what I was seeing on the field. It was ridiculous.
Sam Bradford’s non-throwing hand got hurt by Clay Matthews, whose hair looked like he’d gotten a recent blow-out at the salon…. it was soft, silky, just slightly turned under at the ends. Do you think he realizes that his team is on a downward trajectory?
Matt Kalil is terrible. I really have nothing more to add. Oh wait, yes I do. I put some Kalil commentary under “Inexplicable”, too.
Everson Griffen lined up off-sides in the 2nd quarter. Why – WHY – would a veteran do that at a critical time? Our veterans were having some issues tonight.
Adrian Peterson was injured in the 3rd quarter. Same leg as his original ACL injury. Hope he’s ok without surgical intervention and a long recovery.
Danielle Hunter also suffered a knee injury.
The Packers’ offense was primarily comprised of MN penalties. It was pretty aggravating.
Terence Newman executed a RIDICULOUS PI infraction in the 1st quarter, giving the Packers primo field position, since he decided to comit the penalty in the end zone. You know what he followed it up with? A holding penalty. It was stupid and a veteran should know better. I was angry.
Fusco was terrible, getting man-handled at every turn by the Packers’ defense. It was a terrible performance.
Trae Waynes and his PI infractions. Settle down dude. So frustrating…. and it wasn’t just a one time thing. It was all game long. That kid needs to learn some discipline. I hated watching him out there; don’t trust him at all.
Just how many fumbles can the Vikings force and NOT recover? A ridiculous amount, apparently.
Stefon Diggs came flying off the bench, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. This was after a nice return by Patterson. So, what did that do? Made sure the Vikings had a 3 and out.
13 penalties for 137 yards did NOT help us win this game.
Trae Waynes is terrible…. except for that one interception in that key moment in the 4th quarter!
The Packers were able to block a field goal. Where the hell were the special teams?
The O-Line. False Start after False Start. It was fricken ridiculous. Are these people actually being paid as professionals?
How in the hell could the team let Jordy Nelson get the first TD ever scored in the building. That really makes me mad.
Matt Kalil – why the hell is this guy still on the team? He’s totally worthless play after play.
Trae Waynes needs to be benched… AFTER his interception.
So that’s the first game in US Bank stadium. We lost our marquee player, likely for the season (maybe forever?), saw some good things in the Bradford-Diggs connection and learned that Trae Waynes is TERRIBLE until he makes one great play that almost negates all of his previous suckage!
So, our beloved Vikings who take use through a roller-coaster of emotion every single week are undefeated as they head into week 3. How are you feeling about the season?
The game started out with a mediocre Blair Walsh kick off, which the Titans returned to the 29 yard line. The Titans’ first offensive series ended with a punt… but for a while there, the Titans were having their way both on the ground and in the air. Eventually, Brian Robison stepped up and made a couple of plays to get the Titans’ offense off the field.
That’s how the 2016 season started for the Vikings. There is a lot of football to be played before we see how it ends.
The way the 1st game of the Vikings’ season ended was in a Vikings victory, which I admit surprised me given the team’s performance in the first half.
We haven’t seen our team on the field since January. At times, I was glad they were back… and my attitude noticeably improved when we were up 25-10!
During the Vikings’ 2nd offensive series, Hill managed to complete passes! He was out there spreading the ball around like a pro! Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph…. and then the drive ended in disgrace as Blair Walsh missed [another] field goal.
Somehow the Vikings managed to stop the Titans from scoring on their 3rd offensive series. I will attribute this to a deficiency on the part of the Titans, not on any skills the Vikings may or may not possess.
To start the 2nd half, Blair Walsh managed to make a 50 yard field goal. On Twitter, we all celebrated and then I realized how pathetic is was that we were still down 7 points and just relieved our once mighty kicker could actually score.
Shawn Hill actually hit some of the receivers in stride and played a relatively mistake-free game.
2nd half adjustments are something that Zimmer is able to achieve in a way no Vikings coach has managed to do since Bud Grant.
Coach Zimmer and his 2nd half adjustments. My friends, we finally have a coach for the long-haul.
Blair Walsh made a 2nd field goal at 30+ yards out. It’s only in the “good” category because I don’t have a “table-stakes” section.
Eric Kendricks scored a TD off a pick. A “Pick-6” as they say in the business. It was a tremendous boon for us. Too bad our “kicker” missed the extra point.
Adam Thielen is great both on and off the field.
There was a Cordarrelle Patterson sighting as a receiver AND he made a great catch.
The Titans fumbled and Danielle Hunter made the best out of the situation by taking it to the house!
Shemar Stephen forced a fumble and Andrew Sendejo picked it up. It was fun to watch, but the Vikings were unable to capitalize on it and Locke came out to punt.
Late in the 4th quarter, Hill connected with Diggs for a 33 yard passing play. I was very happy to see it!
I had this same expression on my face for much of today’s game.
The defense was sluggish out of the gate. The second time they were on the field, they were terrible against the run and terrible against the pass. Tackling fundamentals were non-existent. The Titans were held to a field goal by sheer luck.
The offense was worse; on the first drive they went 3 and out and Hill had a pathetic passing attempt… like, it was nowhere near the receiver (Diggs). I hated Donovan McNabb…. but at least he could get the ball in front of the receiver… or, at least, his feet.
Adrian Peterson looks slow and continues to have “vision” problems, meaning that he continues to be unable to see holes. He picks where he wants to run before the play develops and never deviates from his selection. Frankly a little tired of that. I guess the good news is that he managed not to fumble when he did carry.
The Vikings completely failed on their 2nd offensive series. From 2 face mask penalties to generalized incompetency, the series was a dud.
Shawn Hill ran on a 3rd down… but not far enough to convert.
We had Patterson and Sherels in the backfield to receive a punt and they lateralled into a reverse. Why didn’t we save that for game against a division rival? Now people will expect it if they’re both back there. We don’t need to show everyone everything in the first game guys.
Too many of the offensive drives ended in field goals. With Walsh’s mental block, that’s extremely risky and problematic. Especially considering our next opponent.
Good-bye Blair. Get off my team. I was here before you and I’ll be here after you.
Field goals. Blair Walsh missed a 37 yarder. And then a 56 yarder – which wasn’t even kind of close. Like it was SO FAR off, that football was on its way to Kentucky. He was less bad later in the game, but I don’t know about this guy. It may be time to cut him. He’s mentally weak and has no grit or resiliency.
The Titans exposed some deficiencies in the Vikings defense. We’ve been saying all off-season… even if our offense is just decent, that defense is gonna take us to the promised land. Well, you know what? That defense is NOT as good as we’ve been pretending it is. It took them a long time to get with the program and even then they still had some issues in the tackling arena.
Blair Walsh missed an extra point in the 3rd quarter, bring the total points he cost us to 7 on the day. HE MISSED AN EXTRA POINT. This isn’t Pop Warner; this is the NFL and you cannot have a kicker who makes you close your eyes and cross your fingers every time he lines up to kick for points.
Billy Ray Cyrus singing the National Anthem followed by an aerial shot of a drone. Billy Ray Cyrus does not have a voice that can carry our National Anthem.
Smith and Ellison with face mask penalties ON THE OFFENSE. Ridiculous.
Everson Griffen’s personal foul needlessly negated a Harrison Smith interception. Completely stupid for a veteran.
To sum up the game, it was a mixed bag of brilliant moments and completely ridiculous mistakes made by players who should know better. We were lucky to come out of the game with a win, 25-16.
So, that’s week one, Vikings brethren. 1-0 to start the season. How are you feeling about the team? Use the polls below to vote.
Everyone said the Vikings couldn’t win this game. All the analysts, all the commentators, people on the street… everyone.
I thought we’d win this game.
And we could have. We had this game within our reach. What I didn’t expect was that Adrian Peterson’s inability to hang on to the ball would cost us the game (although given his history, I don’t know WHY I didn’t expect that) and I didn’t think that Blair Walsh would fail to deliver at the end.
So – for one final time this season, let’s break it down.
Nothing good about this game.
Seattle muffed a punt and the punter took off and ran but the Vikings were able to prevent him from getting a 1st down, giving the Vikings excellent field position. As I type this, my question will always be: can the Vikings turn Seattle’s mishap into points? The answer: kind of. 3 points.
Stefon Diggs caught a pass from Teddy on the 7 yard line to secure a first down and goal after the Seattle muffed punt.
The Vikings defense was extremely stout during the 2nd quarter.
Trae Waynes came up with a critical interception in the 3rd quarter, preventing the Seahawks from converting a 4th down. The Vikings weren’t able to do much with it – another 3 points – but it gave them 6 points more than the Seahawks had at that point in the game.
Teddy better work on his mechanics in the off-season. His awareness in the pocket is not good.
In the first quarter, Teddy’s decision making was suspect.
Adrian Peterson was completely shut down and our running game suffered for it. Part of me wonders why Asiata and McKinnon don’t figure into the running game more in these instances. They have a different style and it’s pretty clear that the Seahawks have Peterson completely figured out.
Xavier Rhodes needs to figure out how to cover without getting a PI flag.
The Vikings defense needed to pressure Wilson. Instead, they let him convert 3rd downs even when his o-line failed. You can’t beat a team like Seattle when you let the QB run around and make plays.
Adrian Peterson: fumbling away the Vikings’ chances since 2009.
The Vikings have to figure out how to get a passing game going. As of the 4th quarter, they are still struggling.
When Wilson missed the snap the Vikings defense completely broke down and they missed an opportunity to really stick it to the Seahawks. The result? TD for the wrong team. Not good.
The o-line was a complete mess at too many points during the game. Teddy was sacked 3 times – but he was pressured a hell of a lot more than that and, as we’ve seen, he doesn’t cope well when he’s pressured. Net result: the Vikings offense was completely shut down and (per the usual) we had to resort to field goals – all of which Blair Walsh made… with the exception of the one we really needed.
Round up of bad stats: 58 yards rushing. Third Down Efficiency: 23%. Third Down Efficiency for Seattle: 35%. Seattle net rushing yards: 97.
Mike Zimmer challenged the field position in the 2nd quarter – which served to cost us a time out. He’s been burned on this particular challenge before.
Adrian Peterson. He costs us EVERY time. When is the last time he’s actually WON a game for us? And how many has he actually cost us? He cost us home field advantage in 2009 on Soldier field. He fumbled in the NFC Championship Game. And now today. Unbelievable.
Blair Walsh. Nearly the hero of the game. Instead? He couldn’t deliver the one time we needed him to.
Skol Vikings Nation… until next season.
So the season’s over. I know most of us didn’t expect the Vikings to get this far in Zimmer’s second season as head coach. He’s developed a team that would be outstanding IF we had a really good QB and an RB who could hang onto the ball. I have high hopes for the Zimmer-led Vikings in the future and I expect the team (Spielman & friends) to address some of our short-comings in the draft and free agency.
So, focusing on the future… how far do you think the Vikings will get next season? Vote below.
For the last time this season, I will shout “Skol” to my Vikings brethren as I go back into hibernation until training camp.