Category Archive: NFL

Aug 29

Preseason Game 3: Vikings vs Cowboys

The Vikings came into the 3rd preseason game (4th for them with the Hall of Fame game) at 3-0. They left the game 4-0. Mike Zimmer is perfect in the preseason since taking the helm of the Vikings. I wish that would translate to regular season games! I must admit that I’m feeling rather positive about the Vikings and their performance to date as we head into the regular season in two weeks.

Teddy was in control tonight.

Teddy was in control tonight.

The Good

  • Vikings were the first to score with a field goal late in the 1st quarter
  • The Vikings’ defense held the Cowboys to punts in the 1st quarter
  • Teddy hit Wallace on a deep ball for 39 yards
  • Cordarelle Patterson is alive and apparently can still run. 6 points for a TD on a kick-off return of 107 yards. Fun to watch. Let’s see it in the regular season when it counts.
  • Teddy finished the night 7/7 for 76 yards. He’s looking really sharp and has a preseason QB Rating of 111.7. Can’t wait to see what the offense will do when the real season starts.
  • In a pinch, Blair Walsh can punt. He can maybe punt better than Locke.
  • Tom Johnson had a great sack on Dustin Vaughn in the 2nd quarter for a loss of 14 yards. Would love to see that lots in the regular season – especially if it’s Aaron Rodgers’ face being driven into the turf.
  • Blair Walsh barely made a 48 yard field goal. The making of it was the good part. I hope having a named long-snapper (Kevin McDermott) will help smooth out his performance. Shout out Cullen Loeffler for 12 years of great performance.
  • Taylor Heinicke has some skills at QB. Hopefully we’ll at least keep him on the practice squad.
  • Dominique Williams had a nice 4 yard rushing TD in the middle of the 3rd quarter, putting the Vikings ahead, a lead that they maintained through the end of the game.
  • Heinicke to Chase Ford for a 2-point conversion after the Williams rushing TD.
  • Eric Kendricks had a very strong game. He wasn’t much to listen to as a mic’ed up player, but maybe that’s a good thing. His focus was on doing the job, making the team; not trash talking or running his mouth to try to prove himself.
  • Audie Cole recovered a fumble in the 4th quarter.
  • A Heinicke hand-off to Joe Banyard led to another Vikings TD late in the 4th quarter, giving the Vikings a 28-14 lead.
Coach Zimmer isn't taking any crap from undisciplined dodos.

Coach Zimmer isn’t taking any crap from undisciplined dodos.

The Bad

  • Saw issues with stopping the run when the starting defense was in the game.
  • Also saw some weak tackling at times throughout the game. Constant them with this team.
  • Trae Waynes is still looking like an unproven rookie. Will be watching him during the regular season to see if he’s going to be worth the draft pick.
  • Shaun Hill went for a deep ball to Stefon Diggs in the 2nd quarter; instead of a completion, he was intercepted.
  • The 2nd string o-line started failing in the waning minutes of the 3rd quarter, letting the Cowboys’ defenders through to Heinecki repeatedly. Granted, the 2nd string players aren’t going to start, but I think we can all agree that the Vikings have had a run of bad luck with the offensive line starters over the last few years.

This capuchin monkey isn't happy with this stuff!

This capuchin monkey isn’t happy with this stuff!

The Ugly

  • 7 penalties on the Vikings in the 1st half. That’s unbelievably sloppy.
  • Walsh missed a 43 yard field goal at the end of the 3rd quarter. He’s only 4 for 7 in the preseason. He used to be so dependable. What has happened to him?
  • The 2nd half continued to lack discipline in the tackling and penalty arena. I can only assume that head coach Mike Zimmer is going to address that with the team this week as we had into the last preseason game.

The Inexplicable

  •  Audie Cole not starting in the 3rd preseason game at mike. What happened? He needs playing time. I think it’s clear that he has heart and talent. Let him get some first string reps where he belongs. Unofficially, Audie Cole is still listed as the starting middle linebacker; however, that’s a work in progress as Zimmer & his coaching staff continue to evaluate the talent. I, for one, will be watching the depth chart as we head into the first regular season game.

That’s the third preseason game in the bag, Vikings brethren. Predict the future in the poll below! See you next week for the last 2015 preseason game!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2015/08/preseason-game-3-vikings-vs-cowboys/

Aug 15

Preseason Game 1: Vikings vs Buccaneers

Preseason Week 1 and the Vikings won; and that’s great! But… the Vikings could have won big if only they had maintained intensity and rigor for 60 minutes. The starters looked solid and then the play just kind of devolved into a sloppy mess from there, causing me to mentally check out in the middle of the 4th quarter.

Teddy was in control tonight.

Teddy was in control tonight.

The Good

  • The Vikings held the Bucs to a 3-and-out on their second offensive drive.
  • Bridgewater is looking amazing – accurate, crisp and decisive. Teddy went 7 for 8 for 86 yards tonight. Preseason to date, he’s at 12 of 14 for 130 yards for a QB rating of 105.4
  • Jerrick McKinnon looks just as speedy as  last season.
  • Robert Blanton made a great play at the 1 yard line to hold the Bucs to a field goal on their first scoring drive.
  • Antone Exum had a great interception early in the 2nd quarter.
  • Everson Griffen had a nice sack in the 1st quarter.
  • Shaun Hill hit Cordarrelle Patterson in the end zone for 6 after Exum’s interception. A great way to rectify his earlier performance and for Cordarrelle Patterson to prove he can be an effective end zone target.
  • Shaun Hill hit Adam Thielen in stride for an excellent TD late in the 2nd quarter.
  • Blair Walsh has had a perfect season for extra points after the change, moving the ball to the 15 yard line.
  • The Hill-Thielen connection was strong in the 2nd quarter, resulting in a QB rating of 154.4 for Hill according to Paul Allen.
  • Zimmer’s interview during half-time made me laugh when he referenced “3 boneheaded plays” during the first half.
  • Blair Walsh hit a 42 yard field goal early in the 3rd quarter. Let’s hope we see a regular season performance reminiscent of his rookie year.
  • Eric Kendricks had some skills on display tonight. Will be interesting to see how that develops.
  • Mike Zimmer is 6-0 in the preseason. What I’d love is 16-0 in the regular season! I’ll take 11-5 though, in a pinch.
Sloppy play was exacerbated by stupid penalties.

Sloppy play was exacerbated by stupid penalties.

The Bad

  • The Vikings’ first drive was a bit anemic and resulted in only 3 points.
  • The Vikings’ second drive ended in a punt. The starters couldn’t put any points on the board against the Bucs’ starters on the drive.
  • The Vikings failed to successfully execute a 2-point conversion attempt after their first touch down. I like when Zimmer is aggressive, but clearly the execution needs to be there. The Vikings were also penalized for tripping on the failed attempt.
  • Shaun Hill’s first drive was less than auspicious, ending in a big sack for a loss.
  • After Exum’s interception early in the 2nd quarter, Shaun Hill started the offensive drive with an incomplete pass to Stefon Diggs. Later performance looked better so he may have just needed to knock the rust off.
  • The Vikings’ defense were able to get after Jameis Winston well in the 6 series the Bucs’ QB played.
  • Vikings D allowed Winston to run in a TD late in the 2nd quarter, breaking their 9 preseason quarters without allowing a TD streak. Paul Allen will be sad since he seemed extremely proud of that fact just prior to the TD. Sorry Paul!
  • Zach Line coughed up the ball on a carry at the very end of the 2nd quarter, leaving the Bucs with the ball and 25 seconds to do something with it.
  • Taylor Heinicke had a rough first series.
  • Early in the 3rd quarter, the Vikings drew a false-start penalty and immediately followed that with a Banyard fumble resulting in a turn-over. On the sidelines, Zimmer shook his head in disgust and I was with him on that.
  • Dominique Williams coughed up the ball on the goal line, resulting in a touchback for the Bucs.
This stuff is not good.

This stuff is not good.

The Ugly

  • Phil Loadholt looked to have suffered a serious lower leg injury during the first offensive series. Initial reports are now saying his injury is a torn Achilles, which is a season-ending injury from what I’ve seen. Assume we’ll get a full update from Zimmer after the game or tomorrow as the salient details are known.
  • Missed tackles. I’m tired of them.
  • Sloppy play – from penalties to turnovers. Zimmer will be very unhappy with this team post-game.
  • In the 3rd quarter, the Vikings’ defense was tripped up by a no-huddle offense and some general sloppiness. The end result was the Bucs basically walking into the end zone untouched. Let’s hope Zimmer takes care of that quickly.

The Inexplicable

  • Patterson taking an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty for taunting. When is that dude going to realize that he just needs to play and keep his mouth shut? Sometimes he reminds me of Percy Harvin or maybe the other 84 who only ever played when he felt like playing. Not good!

That’s the first preseason game, my Vikings friends. Based on tonight’s performance, what are your predictions for the Vikings’ 2015 Season?

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2015/08/preseason-game-1-vikings-vs-buccaneers/

Aug 09

2015 Preseason: Hall of Fame Game

It’s a new season. A new chance for the Vikings to triumph. The question we always ask ourselves as Vikings fans is: will they?

The Hall of Fame Game is never played at anything that even resembles the same intensity as a regular season game. I think we can still learn a little about what the Vikings will look like this year. Let’s break it down.

Football is finally here!

Football is finally here!

The Good

  • The Vikings won. Preseason or not – I’ll take it.
  • Everson Griffen looks to be a great shape.
  • Marcus Sherels still looks speedy. He’s always been a favorite of mine so I’m hoping for some improved decision making from him this year.
  • Bridgewater’s first play was a snappy screen to Kyle Rudolph for an immediate first down. He was great for most of the first drive. One throw was a little low – but hey – it’s the preseason!
  • Zimmer had the defense looking aggressive early in the game.
  • Audie Cole sighting! Tipped a pass during the Steelers’ 2nd drive and is currently the starting mike, according to the unofficial depth chart. I like that move.
  • Matt Asiata picked up 18 yards on a great run. The o-line did a great job moving the action away from the ball carrier.
  • The Vikings scored a touch down in the 1st half!  Mike Kafka to MyCole Pruitt for 34 yards.
  • The Vikings managed to avoid a ton of penalties, although Trattou had a face-mask at the end of the first half and Waynes got flagged for holding at the start of the 2nd half. Sloppy mistakes.
  • Stefon Diggs had a great punt return and, according to the analysts, he’s been making some seriously good catches in practice. If he makes the team, we may have a chance to assess his skills in a higher pressure environment.
  • Brian Peters stripped a ball for a turnover right after the Vikings had turned the ball over (as referenced below in the “Bad” section).
  • Joe Banyard looks to be fairly speedy – good acceleration coming out of the backfield.
  • Heading into the 4th quarter, the Vikings defense still looked aggressive. I hope that is the theme for 2015 – I would love to see the Vikings have a disruptive defense feared by the other 31 teams. Impossible, you say? Well – a girl can dream…
  • It was nice to see the Vikings scoring touchdowns instead of field goal after field goal. Let’s hope that type of performance continues into the regular season.
Blair Walsh isn't performing like he did rookie year.

Blair Walsh isn’t performing like he did rookie year.

The Bad

  • The first drive ended in a non-converted 4th down attempt. Would have been great to see some real holes opened by the o-line on a 4th and 1. Even with a fullback, the Vikings couldn’t convert. No reason to not be aggressive in the play calling in the preseason; hope Zimmer takes some calculated chances in the regular season.
  • Steelers converted a 4th and 1 on the drive immediately following the one in which the Vikings did not. Preseason or not, we need to see those results reversed.
  • Still seeing a plethora of missed tackles out there. Gotta assume that Zimmer isn’t going to be happy with that, whether this is preseason or not. He strikes me as the kind of guy who isn’t going to accept low effort/lack of heart performances from anyone who wants a starting spot.
  • Blair Walsh didn’t make his first 48 yard field goal attempt. He didn’t consistently boot the ball out of the back of the end zone, either. Was his rookie season an anomaly? Is this the performance he’s settling into?
  • Mike Kafka… really?
  • Jeff Locke often makes me miss Chris Kluwe for actual football reasons, not just his social commentary.
  • Chase Ford basically handed a mishandled ball to the Steelers defense, causing a turn-over that will go down as an interception for Heinicke.
This capuchin monkey isn't happy with this stuff!

This capuchin monkey isn’t happy with this stuff!

The Ugly

  • Steelers converted a 3rd and 14 with ease. Yeah, I know it’s the preseason, but let’s recognize that the Vikings’ defense has had a history of allowing the opponent to convert 3rd downs with relative ease. I’m hoping for a big change there this year as Zimmer heads into his 2nd year as a head coach.
  • Vikings came out of the gate in 2nd half with Heinicke at the helm and… punted it away after failing to convert a 3rd down. Locke punted it right out of the end zone for a touch back.

The Inexplicable (at least for now)

  •  Trae Waynes was a 1st round pick? He got totally burned, committed blatant pass interference and generally didn’t impress. Had to agree with Collingsworth (as much as that hurt): good thing he’s getting his ego right-sized in the preseason. Cris also said he was going to be a very good player in the league. I’ll be the judge of that, Cris!
  • Mick Tinglehoff wasn’t mentioned until very late (less than 4 minutes remaining) in the 4th quarter. I understand he wasn’t a first-ballot nominee, but the Vikings were one of the two selected teams to play the game and they should have mentioned him earlier and they should have provided him the same coverage. Especially given his short term memory loss from playing the sport (which the announcers mentioned in passing).

And that’s that, my Viking brethren. The first of 5 preseason games is in the hopper. I kind of like the fact that the Vikings have this extra preseason game. Hopefully it will give us a strong start to the regular season!

Based on what you saw tonight, what’s your prediction for the 2015-2016 Vikings season?

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2015/08/2015-preseason-hall-of-fame-game/

Dec 04

2014 Week 14 Picks

Match Up Pick Winner Commentary
Cowboys vs Bears Cowboys The Bears are bad. And I rejoice.
Steelers vs Bengals Steelers This could go either way, but Cinci has been unpredictable so I pick the Steelers.
Colts vs Browns Colts Luck has it. Luck, that is.
Lions vs Buccaneers Lions The Roar isn’t quite back but at least the beast is awake.
Texans vs Jaguars Texans The real question is: what will JJ Watt do?
Ravens vs Dolphins Ravens Dolphins will put up a fight, but I don’t think they’re going to win.
Jets vs Vikings Vikings It is with trepidation I pick the home team.
Panthers vs Saints Saints The Superdome is a hard place to play – or so I hear.
Giants vs Titans Giants Giants are all over the place this season but should be able to do this.
Rams vs Washington Rams Rams defense… pretty stout.
Chiefs vs Cardinals Cardinals Going with the home team even though they’ve stumbled.
Bills vs Broncos Broncos It’s Mile High.
49ers vs Raiders 49ers They haven’t looked themselves, but surely they can beat the Raiders…
Seahawks vs Eagles Seahawks Frankly this could go either way. I tossed a quarter. It picked the Seahawks.
Patriots vs Chargers Chargers Going with the home team.
Falcons vs Packers Packers As much as I hate them, they will probably win.
Week 14 Results Correct:

 

Incorrect:

 

2014 Regular Season Correct:

129

Incorrect:

62

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2014/12/2014-week-14-picks/

Dec 03

2014 Week 13 Picks Results

Match Up Pick Winner Commentary
Lions vs Bears Lions Lions Sucks to be a Bears fan right now.
Eagles vs Cowboys Eagles Eagles Eagles are looking good.
Seahawks vs 49ers Seahawks Seahawks Not a surprising outcome.
Chargers vs Ravens Ravens Chargers A win by 1 point is a still a win…
Browns vs Bills Bills Bills Bills secured a win at home while the Manziel era has begun. Probably.
Titans vs Texans Texans Texans JJ Watt with another TD catch. Total blow out.
Washington vs Colts Colts Colts Andrew has Luck.
Giants vs Jaguars Giants Jaguars Jaguars improve to 2-11 and the Giants continue to implode.
Panthers vs Vikings Vikings Vikings Score was actually 17-13, Vikings if you ignore the 2 defensive TDs of blocked punts.
Saints vs Steelers Saints Saints Saints win on the road by 4 or so points.
Raiders vs Rams Rams Rams Raiders. What happened? 0 Points for them… 54 for the Rams.
Bengals vs Buccaneers Bengals Bengals Bengals, as expected. A 1 point win is still a win.
Cardinals vs Falcons Cardinals Falcons Cardinals are no longer the talk of the town.
Patriots vs Packers Patriots Packers Boo. I look forward to the Packers losing in the play-offs.
Broncos vs Chiefs Broncos Broncos Chiefs are not who we thought they were.
Dolphins vs Jets Dolphins Dolphins Close one – but the fins bring home the win.
Week 13 Results Correct:

12

Incorrect:

4

2014 Regular Season Correct:

129

Incorrect:

62

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2014/12/2014-week-13-picks-results/

Nov 26

2014 Week 13 Picks

Match Up Pick Winner Commentary
Lions vs Bears Lions Let’s face it – the Bears aren’t good.
Eagles vs Cowboys Eagles Eagles have been playing strong.
Seahawks vs 49ers Seahawks Picking against them hasn’t worked out lately, so I’ll pick the Seahawks this time.
Chargers vs Ravens Ravens Think the home team will win this one.
Browns vs Bills Bills Could go either way so I’ll stick with the home team.
Titans vs Texans Texans Titans are not having a great year; Texans have JJ Watt.
Washington vs Colts Colts RGIII apparently done in Washington?
Giants vs Jaguars Giants Giants are up and down but the Jaguars are just bad.
Panthers vs Vikings Vikings Oh, team of mine, don’t make me regret this prognostication.
Saints vs Steelers Saints I hate the Saints but I think Brees > Big Ben.
Raiders vs Rams Rams Rams are a delightful surprise as of late.
Bengals vs Buccaneers Bengals The Bucs could win this, but I’m going with the Bengals.
Cardinals vs Falcons Cardinals Why not?
Patriots vs Packers Patriots Packers are highly overrated.
Broncos vs Chiefs Broncos I might regret this choice.
Dolphins vs Jets Dolphins I feel like the Dolphins will take this one.
Week 13 Results Correct:

 

Incorrect:

 

2014 Regular Season Correct:

117

Incorrect:

58

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2014/11/2014-week-13-picks/

Nov 24

2014 Week 12 Picks Results

Match Up Pick Winner Commentary
Chiefs vs Raiders Raiders Raiders Home team was a surprisingly good choice.
Browns vs Falcons Falcons Browns Said this one could go either way. And it did.
Buccaneers vs Bears Bucs Bears Lovie Smith’s return to Soldier Field was not triumphant.
Bengals vs Texans Bengals Bengals Bengals still going…
Jaguars vs Colts Colts Colts Jaguars looked tough early… and then lost by a 20 point margin.
Packers vs Vikings Packers Packers 24-21… the Vikings were not embarrassed, but maybe the Packers were.
Lions vs Patriots Patriots Patriots Lions got spanked. Hopes of winning the NFC North likely gone.
Titans vs Eagles Eagles Eagles Decisive win by the Eagles at home.
Rams vs Chargers Chargers Chargers Rams put up a good fight.
Cardinals vs Seahawks Cardinals Seahawks Cardinals totally fell down.
Dolphins vs Broncos Broncos Broncos Dolphins led for a long time, but the Broncos put up 22 points in the 4th quarter.
Washington vs 49ers 49ers 49ers But not by a lot!
Cowboys vs Giants Cowboys Cowboys Barely but Romo got it done.
Jets vs Bills Bills Bills The Bills destroyed the Jets in Detroit.
Ravens vs Saints Saints Ravens I do love when the Saints lose.
Week 12 Results Correct:

11

Incorrect:

4

2014 Regular Season Correct:

117

Incorrect:

59

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2014/11/2014-week-12-picks-results/

Nov 23

Week Twelve: Vikings vs Packers

The Vikings continue to sail in stormy waters.

The Vikings continue to sail in stormy waters.

I will be honest. Like I always am.

I expected the Packers to put up >50 points on the Vikings today.

I was mentally prepared to be hopeless and disgusted for 3 hours. Instead the Vikings did something worse: they kept me thinking right up until the end that they might actually win the game.

And then, of course, they lost it.

And that’s the thing with this team… they can be stout on defense until they inexplicably collapse. The offense can get in a groove until… the music stops playing… or whatever was keeping them in sync stops.

Whatever it is, it’s hard to watch it week after week.

I often think people (specifically other NFL fans) don’t understand just how hard it is to be a Vikings fan – especially for those of us who have been watching the team since the days of Bud Grant. What’s the stat I saw recently? Something to the effect that since 1994, the Vikings have had over 20 different starting quarterbacks while the Packers had just Favre followed by Rodgers. Is it any wonder why us Vikings fans are often grumpy? Well – maybe it’s just me. I am grumpy. A lot.

Enough about that, though. We all know where we sit in the starting quarterback realm.

No Zimmerisms this week. There were technical difficulties with the live stream video (at least for me). He did seem reflective based on the comments I was able to hear. Will have to go back later and re-watch to see if I missed anything good.

Let’s break it down.

The Good

  • The game was competitive and the Vikings clearly showed that the Packers are not nearly as good as their record and the announcers say they are.
  • Kyle Rudolph is back.
  • Joe Banyard had his first NFL action and he was pretty good.
  • The Vikings converted an extra point to 2.
  • Josh Robinson was solid today.
  • Harrison Smith continues to be a shiny bright spot.

The Bad

  • It took until the 3rd quarter for the Vikings to have a sack. I like seeing Rodgers with his face planted in the turf, so that was irritating to me.
  • Judd Zulgad tweeted that Matt Kalil only has 4 – 5 bad plays a game. Sure seems like a helluva lot more than that. (And I found out later that Judd was actually mocking Kalil’s assessment of himself). Kalil is a huge bust.
  • Teddy Bridgewater’s accuracy. And continued interception issues. Clearly, he was forced to play too soon.

The Ugly

  • 3rd down efficiency: 38% so the offense remains terrible in converting.
  • The opponent’s 3rd down efficiency: 54% so the Vikings’ defense continues to allow conversions over half the time.
  • 7 penalties for 77 yards. Matt Kalil was the big offender here.

Next Up: Panthers. Maybe the Vikings can secure a win.

Until next week, Vikings brethren. Skol.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2014/11/week-twelve-vikings-vs-packers/

Nov 20

2014 Week 12 Picks

Match Up Pick Winner Commentary
Chiefs vs Raiders Raiders Going with the home team.
Browns vs Falcons Falcons Home team again – but could easily be the Browns who win.
Buccaneers vs Bears Bucs The Bears are terrible – the Vikings only made them look good.
Bengals vs Texans Bengals As much as I like JJ Watt… I think the Bengals are on a roll.
Jaguars vs Colts Colts Not certain about this one…
Packers vs Vikings Packers Please don’t let the Vikings get totally embarrassed.
Lions vs Patriots Patriots The Lions are collapsing like an under-done soufflé.
Titans vs Eagles Eagles Eagles at home.
Rams vs Chargers Chargers Rams could take this one, but going with the home team.
Cardinals vs Seahawks Cardinals Perhaps not a popular pick, but achievable I think.
Dolphins vs Broncos Broncos Broncos were stunned last week. Likely to take it out on the Dolphins.
Washington vs 49ers 49ers 49ers at home.
Cowboys vs Giants Cowboys Wonder if Really Bad Eli and 5 interceptions will show up?
Jets vs Bills Bills Detroit gets another free Monday night game.
Ravens vs Saints Saints Going with the home team.
Week 12 Results Correct:

 

Incorrect:

 

2014 Regular Season Correct:

106

Incorrect:

55

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2014/11/2014-week-12-picks/

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