I hate having to wait until the afternoon or evening to watch the Vikings. Firstly, I’m not a patient person. Secondly, nothing good ever happens when the Vikings don’t play at noon. Now, sometimes terrible things happen at noon, too… but the later the team plays the worse they are. Today, it looked like the Vikings were going to reverse that trend. For a while. But, in the end, they lost. And while the game was competitive, we saw some of the same old problems we’ve seen week after week: terrible o-line play, sloppy tackling and Blair Walsh’s mental performance issues continue to plague.
But, there was some good stuff, too. Let’s break it down.
Excellent 1st start for this rookie.
The Vikings defense was able to hold the Broncos to a field goal on their first offensive drive through pressure on Manning and a near interception from Blanton.
A pass from Teddy to Mike Wallace kept the 2nd offensive drive alive; it had been at risk of a 3-and-out. A quarterback sneak on a 4th and short kept it going for a 2nd time. And a long pass to Mike Wallace for a 2nd time kept the drive alive… all for naught, though, since a big sack (the 3rd of the short game) on Teddy killed it.
On the Broncos’ 2nd offensive drive, the Vikings’ defense held strong and were aided by the Broncos’ penalty meltdown. Kendricks had a great sack on the aged QB to force them into a punt at their goal line.
In the 3rd offensive drive for the Vikings, the o-line was fairly terrible, but Teddy mostly kept his composure and had a hell of a pass to Diggs to keep the drive going, just in time for Blair Walsh to completely miss a 38 yard field goal.
Diggs was instrumental throughout the game. Quite a beginning for his first professional NFL game.
Blair Walsh managed to make a field goal at the end of the 2nd quarter. Collectively, Vikings Nation held our breath as we watching him approach the ball to kick. Praise be to Odin, he snuck it through the uprights.
Anthony Barr had a great interception at the end of the 2nd quarter. I find it more amusing when Eli Manning gets intercepted. I love his sad Eli face. Peyton’s head hanging low will have to do for this game.
Mike Wallace was wide open and caught a laser from Teddy in the end zone, bringing the Vikings within 3 as they headed into the locker room for half-time.
Blair Walsh fails again – this time with devastating consequences.
Shout out to Teddy who never gave up (despite a lackluster o-line performance), kept his composure and maintained his focus. Tough job for a 2nd year quarterback.
Hodges had some good tackles when defending the run.
Harrison Smith let Damaryius Thomas know that he was on the field, putting an end to the Bronco’s 2nd offensive drive of the 2nd half.
Anthony Barr was all over the place on rushing plays, many times bringing a runner down with just a hold on his feet.
4th and inches with 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter…. and the horrible o-line manages to make a hole… and Peterson runs through it and into the end zone. Way to wake up from a nap! (Peterson… not me… I’ve been paying attention the whole game).
Harrison Smith had a great interception with 9:07 left in the 4th quarter. Good way to create some momentum for the Vikings on the road. The Vikings offense ended up with a field goal, which is less than desirable, but it tied the game.
The o-line completely failed during the first offensive drive, allowing Teddy to be sacked. You could see it coming and the o-line totally collapsed, losing 13 yards in the process.
On the 2nd offensive drive, Bridgewater had all the time in the world to throw a pass and successfully did so, if you consider throwing the ball high enough and long enough for a fan in the stands to catch it. I’m being somewhat hyperbolic… but it was close.
The Vikings defense was a sloppy mess to start the 3rd quarter, allowing the Broncos to march down the field (aided by several penalties by the Vikings). It looked like the Vikings were going to make an impressive goal line stand… until the Broncos went for it on 4th and goal and Manning did a sweet little pass to the left… where he had a completely open receiver getting a pedicure as the Vikings defense bunched up in the center of the end zone… and committed holding to boot.
No, I say. These things are not good.
The offensive line couldn’t stop the Broncos’ defensive pass rush. They applied pressure, they blitzed and our o-line collapsed like an underdone soufflé.
After Blair Walsh’s complete and utter miss on the field goal, the Vikings’ defense let the first rushing play go for 72 yards… right into the end zone.
The receiving corps leaves a lot to be desired. Not a lot of separation, unable to beat man on man coverage. If the Vikings are going to reach their full potential, those receivers are going to have to find a way to beat the coverage.
While well-conceived, the direct snap to Peterson went nowhere. Because the offensive line was terrible.
Xavier Rhodes had 4 penalties today. And they were costly. I have to ask: did they return him to play too soon after the collision with Sendejo? Because he didn’t look effective out there and worse, he cost the team yardage that they needed.
Blair Walsh. I get that he sucks. That’s not the inexplicable part. What I want to know is why the hell is he still on my team? The Vikings really should bring in someone to compete against him. According to a discussion I had with Kluwe on Twitter, Walsh’s issue is mental. So… maybe competing will get him in better head space… or maybe it’d be the nail in the coffin. Either way we’d end up with a better kicker.
The Offensive Line: Matt Kalil, Brandon Fusco, Joe Berger, TJ Clemmings and Mike Harris, I’m talking to you. And, by extension, I’m talking to anyone the Vikings used to help on pass protection and rushing plays. The o-line effort today was atrocious. A total embarrassment. Which leads me to…
Teddy Bridgewater was sacked 7 times during the game. What kind of incompetency does an o-line need to have to allow that? Zimmer better fix that.
So… we’re left to contemplate what would have happened in Overtime if Blair Walsh had just made the 38 yard chip shot field goal in the first half. We’ll shake off this disappointing and needless loss as we think about week 6. Because the Vikings have a bye next week, which from my perspective, isn’t good after this loss. We’ll see if they can win their next game at home.
Until 2 weeks from now, thanks for reading. And vote below before you go!
The Vikings got off to an atrocious start. After that… it was weirdly smooth sailing. I didn’t know what to do with myself in the 4th quarter. It was weird knowing we were going to win the game WAY before the game was over. A nice feeling for once. Maybe the analysts’ predictions for the team in the off-season will pan out.
I had to really reach to find Bad and Ugly things this week. That was also a great feeling. I hope this team makes me look like a positive, optimistic homer in weeks to come.
Let’s break it down.
Chad Greenway with a Pick-6! (Photo: Minnesota Vikings)
The Vikings recovered a Philip Rivers fumble and were able to convert it for points. The unfortunate part is that it was only for 3.
The Vikings defense was strong in the 1st quarter.
Jerrick McKinnon has wheels. And ball security. A good option at running back, no matter the down.
Adrian Peterson scored the first TD of the game. The Vikings didn’t use him earlier in the drive. Felt machinated to me – had to break that dry spell, I guess. McKinnon and Asiata, along with Wallace and Wright (and Teddy, too!) did the heavy lifting to get the Vikings to the goal line.
Philip Rivers could not catch a break in the 1st half. The Vikings defense was all over the Chargers’ offense.
Everson Griffen had a great sack on Rivers in the first half.
Tom Johnson took Rivers to the turf to start the 2nd half and took away the Chargers’ plan to start the 3rd quarter with momentum.
After the Vikings’ defense forced the Chargers to punt, Marcus Sherels had a great return and then next thing we knew – Adrian Peterson was stiff-arming a defender and then rushing for a TD. My thought was: “Hey Chargers – how’s that momentum thing going for ya?”
Blair Walsh’s kick offs were stupendous.
Trae Waynes saw significant playing time after Rhodes was injured. He made the most of those opportunities and had some good plays.
Mike Wallace looks like a great add to the squad.
A Blair Walsh confidence-boosting FG was negated… by a stupid Chargers holding penalty. The result? The drive ended in a Zach Line rushing TD and a solid Blair Walsh exclamation point. Not saying the Walsh Slump is over… but… maybe?
Through the 3rd quarter, the Vikings had only 1 penalty. Great discipline. I approve!
GREENWAY with a Pick-6. All you Greenway haters out there… he’s older, sure, but he’s led this team in tackles for many years and he’s a great team player. I was happy for him on this play.
Sharrif Floyd sacked Rivers on a 4th-and-6, forcing the Chargers to turn it over on downs. Nice job guys!
Matt Kalil: struggled early in the game.
Fusco and Kalil failed when it came to pass protection in the first quarter. Multiple times.
On the 1st Vikings offensive drive, Rudolph missed a catchable ball in the end zone. The next play was Teddy being intercepted in the end zone. As I said… An atrocious start!
Charles Johnson was carted to the locker room early in the game. He later returned to the field.
Justin Trattou was injured and it doesn’t look good. As of this writing, no real information about what happened to his left leg/ankle.
The Vikings defense waned late in the 2nd quarter. The Vikings had pinned the Charges deep in their own territory and when Rivers managed to throw a bomb for a first down and then some, the defense never recovered. The result was a Chargers’ TD and an injured Xavier Rhodes.
Roughing the passer call on Everson Griffen put the Chargers in the red zone at the start of the 4th quarter. However, nothing came of it as the Vikings defense went in for the kill with Greenway’s pick-6.
The Vikings defense went on autopilot for the Chargers’ last offensive drive. I get it… but it would still be nice to see a little effort from some of the 2nd stringers.
The Vikings defense still has an issue with tackling fundamentals. It’s not everyone, and it’s not anyone in particular. Sometimes they just get sloppy. While the defense has been more than serviceable as of late, they’re going to need to work on those if they want to win enough games to get into the post season.
Sendejo got a little crazy, nearly taking Trae Waynes out. Maybe he can spend some time focusing on his coverage this week. And meditate, dude. Serenity – get in the zone.
Vikings win with plenty of fanfare on Alumni Day!
On Greenway’s pick-6, an assistant coach took out a ref, securing a 15 yard unsportsman-like conduct penalty. Totally stupid. Watch where you’re going you dodos!
So that’s it, my Vikings friends. A big win over the Chargers, bringing the Vikings to 2-1. What do you predict for our favorite team this season?
After the Monday Night Football debacle, I admit, I was filled with both excitement and terror. No matter what, I’m always going to watch the Vikings… but as a long-time Vikings fan… I have every right to be terrified of what kind of product my team is going to put on the field on any given week.
Despite the very best efforts of the officiating crew, the Vikings were still able to win the game. Did I tweet the NFL about how terrible this officiating crew was? You know I did!
Let’s break it down.
Trattou – intercepting Stafford like a boss!
The first offensive drive featured lots of Adrian Peterson with some good yardage… and an actual, real life passing touch-down from Bridgewater to Rudolph!
The first defensive appearance initially looked like a 3-and-out for the Lions, but Stafford connected with Golden Tate for another set of downs. Then B-Rob came in with a bat-down and the Lions were forced to punt.
In the 1st quarter, the Vikings defense only allowed 5 rushing yards on 4 carries. We’ll take it!
At the end of the 2nd quarter, during the 3rd offensive drive, there was a terrific reverse from AP to Wright resulting in a 17 yard gain. Bridgewater was involved in blocking for Wright.
The 3rd offensive drive began at the 50 yard and ended with Teddy faking to Adrian Peterson on 4th and goal and then running it into the end zone untouched. I’ll take that, too!
Munnerlyn stripped the ball in the opening offensive drive by the Lions at the start of the 3rd quarter. Sendejo picked it up and returned it right into the red zone – the 6 yard line. See The Ugly section for what happened next.
After Adrian Peterson fumbled the ball away, Brian Robison was a beast on defense, keeping the Lions to their side of the field and forcing a punt.
Riddick coughed up the ball when Harrison Smith went for the strip mid-3rd quarter, resulting in a Vikings take-away.
Marcus Sherels made quite a few varied and impressive plays. Love him. The Little Sherels Who Could.
Justin Trattou intercepted Matt Stafford in the 4th quarter. It was fantastic.
Everson Griffen sacked Stafford late in the 4th quarter. It was the first time the Vikings got to the quarterback all game. (I’d file that 2nd part under “Bad”)
Rhett Ellison recovered the Lions’ on-side kick, securing possession for the Vikings.
Xavier Rhode’s Pass Interference cost the Vikings a Harrison Smith INT.
The 2nd offensive drive went nowhere. If the Vikings want to make it to the post season, they’ll have to focus on being more productive on offense.
During the first quarter, the Vikings’ pass rush was anemic. Stafford had plenty of time to find a target – which is not a good plan when Calvin Johnson is in the receiving corps.
At the start of the 2nd quarter, the Lions had quite a bit of success passing against the Vikings’ defense. The Vikings need to work on man-to-man coverage and increase the intensity of the pass rush. In this 3rd offensive series, the safeties were forced to do a lot of clean up of misses by the corners.
Net result of the 3rd Lions offensive drive was a field goal by Prater. Vikings defense was serviceable on this drive – although they had lots of missed opportunities to shut down the Lions offense.
Adrian Peterson’s blocking is… less than stellar. So even if he makes up for it by catching a flip for long yardage… his blocking skills still need to be addressed.
The Vikings couldn’t score a TD off a solid 4th offensive drive. The good news is that Blair Walsh actually made the 28 yard field goal.
Matt Kalil backed the Vikings up with a stupid personal foul. Hey Matt – you’re not a rookie. Stop behaving like one.
Harrison Smith intercepted Stafford… until Rhodes was called for Pass Interference. C’mon man…
Everson Griffen undid his good sack-the-QB work with an Illegal Use of the Hands penalty, giving the Lions a first down.
Remember this? It appears to be back.
The o-line protection when Teddy was trying to pass. You can very much tell that 2 starters are missing.
As soon as the Vikings got a take-away… Adrian Peterson fumbled it away on the first play post-take-away. I swear to Odin, if we have to live through another season of Adrian Peterson’s stupidity when it comes to protecting the ball… I will scream the way I screamed from my hospital bed in December of 2009 when he fumbled away our home-field advantage on Soldier Field in OT.
Adrian Peterson fumbled AGAIN on a run to the end zone. Were it not for a penalty on the Lions, the Vikings would have been in deep doodoo. I am just going to end my sentence there because I have nothing good to say if I keep talking about Adrian and his inability to protect the ball.
On the terrible news front, AP fumbled for a third time. See “The Inexplicable” section for further commentary.
Anthony Barr made a completely bone-headed move in the 4th quarter by hitting Stafford when he was well out of bounds.
This monkey expresses my thoughts perfectly.
Blair Walsh missed AN EXTRA POINT. Are you KIDDING me? We just extended his contract this summer and he is TERRIBLE. Does anyone else on the squad have place kicking skills? Sherels? Cole? Whoever the hell the new long-snapper is? Just pull some guy from the first row at the 50 yard line and we’ll probably have the same result.
Adrian Peterson fumbled for THIRD time in the red zone, costing the Vikings a TD. Maybe Adrian needs to sit for a couple of weeks to remember how to protect the ball.
The Vikings were playing pretty clean until the 4th quarter when they went on a penalty spree. It was ridiculous! Did I tweet the offenders and tell them so? You know I did.
I cannot remember seeing a worse officiating crew since the NFC Championship Game of the 2009-2010 season when those jackalopes let the Saints repeated (and illegally) hit Brett Favre. This crew today? They were flipping ridiculous. Even the replacement refs a couple of seasons ago were less bad.
So that’s it, Vikings brethren. Week 2 of the 2015 NFL season is in the hopper, and the Vikings have their first win of the season after a performance that is more in line with what I was hoping to see this year (although the Peterson fumbling issue is problematic).
Use the poll below to let me know how you’re feeling about the Vikings’ chances this season. See you next week!