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.
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 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.
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.
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.
To start the game, the Vikings won the toss and deferred. That generated some slightly less than stellar special teams play on the kick return with the Giants getting out to the 35 yard line. That was followed by some good defense which ended up with the Giants having to punt.
The Giants punted a lot tonight. And it was glorious.
Let’s break it down.
Sam Bradford… I’m in love.
Let’s just take a moment and smile as we think about Mike Zimmer, our head coach. Close your eyes, think of his unsmiling face and revel in his short, terse sentences. This is our coach. And he’s amazing. Tough love, team first.
Praise Odin for Cordarrelle Patterson as a gunner, freaking out the Giants’ punt returner, Harris, forcing a muff and a Marcus Sherels recovery.
The Vikings’ offense managed to put up points in the first quarter. In Odin’s name, we perform a Vikings War Chant.
Jerrick McKinnon busted out a 25 yard dash on the Vikings’ 3rd offensive series. It was the Vikings’ longest run from scrimmage this season.
Everson Griffen was not having any screens for 1st downs happening on his watch tonight.
Seems like Cordarrelle Patterson got a new attitude and correspondingly, he’s being given more work. I hope he understands the value of putting the team above oneself now. Zimmer preaches what I call servant leadership; be a giver to your team and if everyone does what’s best for the team, the team itself rises.
The Bradford-Rudolph connection continues with another TD in the 2nd quarter.
While Stefon Diggs missed early, he came alive as the game went on.
Xavier Rhodes intercepted Eli in the 3rd quarter. It was pretty amazing. OBJ sulked and as I looked at the Sad Eli post-interception face I laughed as I thanked Odin & Thor.
Mid-4th quarter, McKinnon ran in for a TD and no one touched him. I did the war chant by myself in my house. I wanted to scream out “And there is your dagger!” but I’m a Vikings fan, so I don’t believe we’ve won until the time runs out and our points are greater than those of our opponents.
Anthony Barr came up with a huge play when he tipped the ball as the Giants tried to convert a 4th down. The pass fell incomplete to the turf and the defense held strong.
OBJ had his worst career game – and it was delightful because he behaves like a little toddler.
We all know this is our Achilles’ Heel.
On the Giants’ first offensive drive, Kendricks completely whiffed a tackle and that miss resulted in a punt… but that was because the Giants were penalized twice. I give the defense a B on that first series. Some good play mixed with some good luck.
Bradford and the receivers were really struggling in the 1st quarter. Charles Johnson had alligator arms in the 3rd series, Adam Thielen was interfered with but the ball was underthrown (although catchable). Diggs missed a catch he would have caught last week.
TJ Clemmings was beat several times, allowing Bradford to be pressured into throwing the ball away. We had to settle for a nerve-wracking field goal in the 3rd quarter. Nerve-wracking, of course, because it was Blair Walsh lining up to kick it.
Kendricks missed an easy INT and I could cry about it… but why? We won.
There was nothing seriously terrible about tonight (aside from Walsh) so let’s look at a drunk Kyle Orton and remember when he was a Bear. And then a Bronco. Etc.
In the first half, some of the coverage was pretty squishy and the Vikings missed several tackles they should have easily made. Net result, 3 points – 30% luck, 30% Giants penalties and then the skill of the defense at 40% of the reason why.
The running game – I know McKinnon broke one free, but we need the o-line to create some holes.
In the 4th quarter, general ineptitude on defense allowed a 67 yard screen pass…. clearly huge YAC. It was infuriating. That was followed by PI in the end zone to give the Giants more attempts at a TD. Great. Thanks Waynes.
Why the hell can the Vikings not get the offense together right out of the gate? I do not understand why the hell every week is like pulling teeth to get these guys moving.
Norv Turner’s trick plays confuse me. Like… why? We have a QB who can throw. Just play the game.
Why is Robbie Gould not in purple? Blair Walsh sucks.
So that’s it for another week my fellow Vikings cheerers!
Based on tonight’s performance, what’s your prediction for the season?
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.