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.
- 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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.