Category Archive: Vikings Game Review

Nov 20

2016 Week Eleven: Vikings vs Cardinals

The Vikings have been through a tremendous amount of change lately, most notably Norv Turner’s departure; but we also released Walsh. Interestingly, from the very start, the game felt different. And it wasn’t because we had the purported A-squad of announcers in Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (boo, hiss).

While the offense “felt” better, I will say that the defense was REALLY bad – atrocious – against the run. Terrible. Like… repulsively bad. The half-time adjustments made by Zimmer helped a bit, but “stout” against the run the defense was not.

Let’s talk about all of the personal fouls that the Cardinals drew during the game. The sports commentators didn’t like most of them. But you know what? There was no reason to knock Bradford on his tush when he was lined up on the outside. Sure, it’s football, but what was Bradford going to do? I’ll tell you what he was going to do: nothing. So there was no point in hitting him hard enough to knock him down. That was unsportsmanlike. And the hit on Diggs? That was unnecessary, too. With all of the TBIs and CTE being a factor for players, their safety cannot be unnecessarily put at risk. And that’s what the Cardinals were doing today and I was not a fan of some of their choices.

All that being said, let’s break it down.

Xavier Rhodes gets the game ball (in my opinion).

Xavier Rhodes gets the game ball (in my opinion).

The Good

  • The Vikings defense took care of the Cardinals’ first offensive series, forcing a punt.
  • Vikings’ opening offensive series actually included rushing yards – 16 even! Average of 5.3, which is an improvement over previous weeks.
  • After the negated Bradford/Rudolph TD in the 1st quarter, the Vikings regrouped and Bradford hit Thielen for just in front of the end zone. Initially the refs said the pass was incomplete, but Zim challenged the call and won it – so the Vikings put 6 points on the board less than 5 minutes into the game. Forbath made the extra point and the Vikings were up by 7.
  • Xavier Rhodes intercepted Palmer on 3rd and goal… and he took it 100 yards to the house! Tremendous defensive play and exactly what the Vikings needed. FYI – this is a team record.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson had his 5th kick-off return TD of his career to start the 3rd quarter.
  • McKinnon looked pretty good today; the running game was slightly better for it.
  • Xavier Rhodes intercepted Palmer in the 3rd quarter. Palmer threw deep… to the wrong guy. #RhodesClosed
  • A commentary on Larry Fitzgerald. Late in the 4th quarter, Fitzgerald hit Kendricks low and Kendricks was slow to get up. When Larry saw that, he rushed to Kendricks and helped him up. THAT is sportsmanship.
The Vikings o-line is terrible. (Get it... it's a purple sieve... because the o-line... it's like a sieve. A purple one. With holes and stuff...)

The Vikings o-line is terrible. (Get it… it’s a purple sieve… because the o-line… it’s like a sieve. A purple one. With holes and stuff…)

The Bad

  • The Vikings scored a beautiful passing TD on their first possession… until Sirles was called for illegal use of the hands. Typical Vikings maneuver… something fantastic negated by a stupid, careless penalty.
  • Munnerlyn held Fitzgerald to the point where they both hit the turf. Munnerlyn seemed surprised when he was called for a penalty. C’mon man!
  • The Vikings 2nd offensive series was pretty pathetic. One 1st down conversion and then a 3 and out, returning the defense to the field.
  • On the Cardinals 3rd offensive series, David Johnson just keep running 8 – 10 yards at a time. The Vikings had no countermeasures against the Cardinals’ rushing game. The really bad part of this drive was that the Vikings didn’t bring out the blitzing until the Cardinals were in the red zone. Ultimately the Vikings held them to 3 points, but they shouldn’t have gotten that far in the first place!
  • The Vikings defense literally had no answers for the Cardinals today, absent a disruptive play like a fumble/interception. When all things are equal, those Cardinals just marched up and down the field at will throughout the 1st half. It was really hard to watch… because the defense is CLEARLY on the decline. There were some adjustments after the half time break, but the Cardinals still came VERY close to winning this game.
  • Mid-way through the 3rd quarter, the Vikings decided to go for it on a 4th and 3. Bradford was nearly picked off and the Cardinals got tremendous field position. Not a bright spot in the game – and this was after the failed wildcat behind an o-line that literally no other team in the NFL would want. What redeemed this entire fiasco was that the defense managed to hold the Cardinals to a 3 and out, punctuated by a B-Rob sack on Palmer.
  • Thielen was called for offensive pass interference, eliminating a 20 yard completion. That penalty was quickly followed by a delay of game penalty.
So many things were not right today. It was a win... but barely.

So many things were not right today. It was a win… but barely.

The Ugly

  • The Vikings defense was sub-par on the Cardinals’ 2nd offensive drive. Palmer kept hitting people over the middle as the team just marched right down the field, scoring on the 12th play of the drive as David Johnson ran right into the end zone, basically untouched. Completely unimpressive defensive effort on the part of the Vikings.
  • On the 2nd TD for the Vikings… the Cardinals blocked the Extra Point. Let me repeat: the Cardinals blocked the Extra Point. What the hell are the special teams doing?
  • And speaking of special teams, Forbath completely shanked the kick off after the TD sans Extra Point and the Cardinals just ran right up the field. Um… do I need to call for Priefer’s firing next? I’ve had no respect for him since his bigotry was revealed back when Chris Kluwe was around, so it wouldn’t take much for me to call for a change at that coaching position either. Now, you might point to the Cordarrelle Patterson kick off return TD – but to me, that’s Cordarrelle all the way. To me, the Walsh issues speak to Priefer’s inability to help him turn the corner and be the kicker he was his rookie season. That’s problematic, in my opinion. Add to that the punt return yardage the Cardinals were able to secure – then you have a mounting case for problems with the special teams scheme.
  • Trae Waynes is still drawing stupid penalties. Repeatedly. Is he going to settle in at some point and stop being a liability?
  • The o-line began melting down with 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The score was 30-17 as this began to happen. First there was a possible fumble, which stood as an incomplete pass and that was followed by Bradford getting demolished on the very next play, ruled a fumble (not an incomplete pass) with a Cardinal recovery. The o-line is terrible. Really, really terrible. NOTE: on the subsequent drive, Kendricks got dinged up and the Cardinals scored a TD. Blame the O-Line for being weak and soft.
  • Tom Johnson was called for a bogus personal foul after the Vikings had them pinned with a 4th down. Total crap officiating. The Vikings let the Cardinals got a subsequent 1st down on a Palmer rush (yes, Carson Palmer ran down field). Thankfully, Danielle Hunter ended the Cardinals’ hope with a huge sack for a loss on 4th and 5. NOTE: Carson Palmer was hit 23 times in today’s game.
So many terrible calls today. Honestly, this was potentially the worst officiating I've seen since the 2009 NFCCG in New Orleans.

So many terrible calls today. Honestly, this was potentially the worst officiating I’ve seen since the 2009 NFCCG in New Orleans.

The Inexplicable

  • Not Bad Inexplicable: The Trickery! Direct snaps to McKinnon, a Patterson to Bradford flip for a deep pass downfield to Thielen, who was interfered with, bringing the Vikings to the 1 yard line. A hand off to Asiata and the fortuitous placement of a Cardinals’ body, keeping Asiata off the turf, resulted in the Vikings’ 2nd TD of the game mid-way through the 2nd quarter.
  • Kinda Bad Inexplicable: if you have a terrible o-line, why would you run the wildcat in critical moments?
  • Really Bad Inexplicable: The Vikings had to use 2 challenges to ensure their TDs were counted. That is CRAP officiating. Given that I’m writing this in real time and we’re not done with the 2nd quarter, this could really come back to hurt the Vikings.

So that’s week 11 of the 2016 season. The Vikings managed to win the game, moving to 6-4. And they’ll be playing the Lions on Thursday… to battle for 1st place in the division…. because they didn’t beat the Lions last time they met. (sigh). So – I’ll take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving (if you happen to celebrate it) and we can all meet back here on Thursday. Skol Vikings Nation!

Use the poll below to predict the Vikings 2016 final regular season record.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2016/11/2016-week-eleven-vikings-vs-cardinals/

Nov 13

2016 Week Ten: Vikings vs Washington

The Vikings were coming off a 3 game losing streak as they entered this game. Due to their extremely pathetic effort today, they’ve stretched that losing streak to 4 games.

They are truly terrible. All 3 phases terrible. Really and truly terrible.

I don’t really feel like doing this, but let’s break it down anyway.

The game was NOT fun to watch.

The game was NOT fun to watch.

The Good

  • Nothing good happened in the 1st quarter.
  • The 2nd quarter actually brought a change of momentum. 1st, a 1 yard run by Asiata finally got the Vikings on the board, bringing the score to 14-7 Washington. The Vikings defense was stout on Washington’s next offensive series, which gave the Vikings offense another shot. Bradford managed to hit a rhythm (6 for 6) with Diggs and Rudolph doing the yeoman’s work. The drive culminated in a Bradford to Rudolph connection for a passing TD. Walsh managed to convert the PAT and that brought the game to 14-14.
  • On Washington’s next offensive series, Sendejo forced a fumble and the Vikings recovered. Bradford immediately through it down field to Diggs, who brought it in at the 5 yard line of Washington. A couple of go-nowhere plays were forgotten when Bradford hit Thielen for a TD. However, Blair Walsh shanked the PAT and that REALLY needs to be dealt with. Right. Now.
  • The Vikings held Washington’s offense to 3 points at the start of the 3rd quarter. Because Walsh missed the PAT earlier in the game, this brought Washington to within 3 points. (This last part is not good, to be clear)
  • Two highlights: Thielen and Diggs. They made some key plays.
  • I worked REALLY hard to find some good. And that’s ALL of it.
Get Walsh out of here. Now.

Get Walsh out of here. Now.

The Bad

  • The Vikings’ first offensive series was terrible. 3 and out. It completely lacked imagination or anything resembling creativity.
  • Kendricks was back for a series before being injured by Anthony Barr. Hip injury – no further information available yet.
  • The Vikings defense was bad against the run in the 1st quarter and they were worse against the pass. All around a wholly uninspiring effort.
  • The Vikings let Washington score an easy passing TD in the first minute of the 2nd quarter. It was pathetic. The Vikings defense was weak and soft. The whole effort for the purple and gold was pathetic.
  • In the 2nd quarter, the Vikings’ lack of discipline continued to plague them. Penalties galore continued through the first half. All around a terrible effort that wasn’t worth watching. Frankly, I should have turned off the game. Luckily I didn’t… because you read what happened in the good section!
  • The Vikings defense started to wane again in the 3rd quarter, allowing Washington to score another field goal, bringing the game to a tie.
  • Bradford was intercepted off a tipped ball.
Did I mention that the Vikings are terrible? No heart, no fight, NO GRIT.

Did I mention that the Vikings are terrible? No heart, no fight, NO GRIT.

The Ugly

  • On Washington’s first offensive series, the Vikings’ prevent defense allowed them to just march right down the field. The Vikings were worthless against the run and Cousins’ passing
  • attack. Tackling fundamentals were garbage. And even worse? Both Kendricks and Barr were hurt on the drive. To cap it all off, Washington scored a TD.
  • The Vikings cannot convert 3rd and short. They. Can. Not. Cannot. It’s so frustrating. The offensive line is garbage and even bringing in help to chip block or doing a hard count to pull the opponent offsides does not work.
  • Jake Long went down, probably for the season. Clearly the reason he was available was the reason he was available.

The Inexplicable

  • Defensive tackling fundamentals have degraded to Pop Warner levels
  • Sloppy is as sloppy does. The Vikings and their penalties are just really frustrating.
  • The Vikings’ 2nd “offensive” series was exactly that: offensive. They almost had 2 great plays by Hillman and Rudolph. What happened to those gains, you ask? PENALTIES. Because whatever discipline that Vikings squad had disappeared during the bye week. Truly an atrocious effort.
  • The Vikings cannot get 1 YARD when they need it. Not at mid-field. Not at the goal line. Not anywhere. It’s pathetic.

So, that’s it for week 10. Whatever magic this team possessed in the first 5 weeks has dissipated and the team has regressed to the mean, looking like the mediocre team we’ve come to expect since the 2009 NFCCG.

What do you think is wrong with the Vikings?

 

 

A side note about me. Today was the first time I’ve watched a football game without at least one of my cats by me since the 1996 season. On 9/20/2016, I had to put Smoke to sleep. She was almost 22. On Friday, I had to put my little buddy Santana to sleep. She spent many games draped across my arms as I’d blog. She was almost 23. I will put a picture of them here in tribute as they loved the Vikings, too.

Smoke (the grey one, 1995 - 2016) and Santana (the tuxedo, 1994 - 2016).

Smoke (the grey one, 1995 – 2016) and Santana (the tuxedo, 1994 – 2016).

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2016/11/2016-week-ten-vikings-vs-washington/

Nov 06

2016 Week Nine: Vikings vs Lions

Ed Hochuli is terrible. I've never liked him and his crew and I never will. But they weren't really the problem today.

Ed Hochuli is terrible. I’ve never liked him and his crew and I never will. But they weren’t really the problem today.

The Vikings offense looked great on the first 4 plays or so… and then the first offensive series limped to a disappointing conclusion when Bradford’s pass was behind Thielen, who couldn’t complete the catch for a 3rd down conversion. I will say my initial reaction to the first series, while it wasn’t stellar, I will say it felt different – like maybe the Vikings could get into a winning rhythm that would carry them through the game.

Of course, that feeling was very, very wrong. The game was a pedestrian event, full of phantom calls on the Vikings and missed calls on the Lions, poor tackling fundamentals on the part of the Vikings and just generally was no fun to watch. I don’t know what happened to the magic we could all feel during the first 5 games of the season, but it’s gone and it ain’t coming back so we should all just recognize this is the same mentally weak, no killer instinct team it’s always been and while they may back into the play-offs, this team isn’t going anywhere. Again. And really, it’s for the best. They shouldn’t get what they haven’t earned.

There were signs of life when the Vikings were on offense in the middle of the 4th quarter (you know – until Zimmer challenged in an incredibly stupid fashion and the Vikings failed to convert the 4th down and inches – but a team that spends most of the game doing nothing on offense (aside from endangering their QB on every play) is not going to win many games.

I’m sorry if I’m bursting your bubble of hope – but in my world, hope is not a strategy, so you won’t find me peddling that here. Also – people who keep saying “have faith”… no. USE LOGIC. Your eyes are telling you all you need to know: this team has no fight in it. The fact that the Vikings defense allowed Stafford to march down the field and tie it up in the last 17 seconds of the game, and then score a TD on their 1st and only possession in OT tells us exactly what this team doesn’t have: heart and fight.

Let’s break this pathetic effort down.

The Vikings are not good. Let's just acknowledge that and stop expecting them to do anything good. It'll be less painful for us in the long run.

The Vikings are not good. Let’s just acknowledge that and stop expecting them to do anything good. It’ll be less painful for us in the long run.

The Good

  • Treadwell sighting – he completed his first NFL pass for a 1st down conversion today.
  • The Vikings managed a field goal in the 2nd quarter.
  • Greenway had a nice interception. Please see “The Ugly” for what happened next.
  • After an atrocious series before the half-time break, the Vikings defense came out and actually managed to hold the Lions (THE LIONS ffs) to a 3 and out. What a nice surprise.
  • Ronnie Hillman caught a screen for 32 yards midway through the 4th quarter.
  • Stefon Diggs had a good day.

 

This team. It'll break our hearts every single time.

This team. It’ll break our hearts every single time.

The Bad

  • The Vikings defense was looking good until they let Riddick bust out a 42 yard run in the Lions’ first offensive series. Missed tackles and a poor defensive call on Zimmer’s part. Let’s just say that wouldn’t be the last time the defense didn’t look good.
  • Lions were first to score on a Prater field goal midway through the 1st quarter. This was a direct result of the Vikings’ defensive failure on the Riddick run a couple of plays earlier. While the defense ultimately got a stop and held the Lions to 3 points, those were 3 points the Lions had no business scoring. And those wouldn’t be the last points the Lions had no business scoring – but if our defense doesn’t care, why should I?
  • Several members of the defense are still trying to knock people down. TACKLE THEM. I hate watching mediocre technique.
  • The O-Line is so crappy, it almost got Bradford killed numerous times. In fact, Bradford had to be checked for concussion symptoms after the tissue paper-like o-line let him get driven into the turf. Again.
With Norv gone, guess who needs to go next?

With Norv gone, guess who needs to go next?

The Ugly

  • Greenway’s interception was completely wasted on a TJ Clemmings false start, a bogus illegal block to the back call against the Vikings because Ed Hochuli and his band of idiots couldn’t officiate their way out of a wet paper bag… and the Vikings essentially just “stunk up the joint” as my dad used to say.
  • Penalties in the red zone – the Vikings have no discipline. Have I mentioned that they’re mentally weak? Well, they are and their stupid penalties and inability to capitalize on big plays proves it.
  • Speaking of mentally weak, Blair Walsh missed an extra point on the Rudolph TD. Blair Walsh is a huge liability and why the Vikings don’t do something about that is beyond me.
  • Blair Walsh missed a field goal.
  • Waynes intercepted Stafford in the 4th quarter, but Griffen was off-sides so it didn’t count.
I don't know what happened to this team, but it's no longer fun to watch.

I don’t know what happened to this team, but it’s no longer fun to watch.

The Inexplicable

  • How the hell is a complete officiating HACK like Ed Hochuli still employed in the league??? He and his crew suck and their anyone-but-the-Vikings bias was on display early and often.
  • The Vikings defense has degraded – everything from poor play calling to a complete abandonment of tackling fundamentals. Why?
  • The Vikings defense let the Lions execute on a 17 play drive right before the half, culminating in a passing TD. Totally pathetic defensive showing by what should be the premier defense in the league.
  • Challenging a call in the red zone, wasting a time out, when McKinnon was clearly short.
  • NOT converting a 4th down and inches just yards from the end zone. Of course, we couldn’t kick a field goal because we were down by 4 points and really needed a TD – but the o-line sucked so…

That’s Week 9, Vikings friends. The mediocre offensive reign of Norv Turner is over – but Shurmur had no answers today, either (which was not helped by Walsh’s crap effort). In my opinion, the team is done and they’re so mentally weak, they’re not going to make it back.

How are you feeling about the Vikings, and what do you really think happened with Norv & the Vikings?

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2016/11/2016-week-nine-vikings-vs-lions/

Oct 31

2016 Week Eight: Vikings vs Bears

This game was more painful than last week’s game to watch. It sucked and frankly I’m tired of the sub-standard product the Vikings are putting on the field. But – after 40+ years of watching this franchise, I should have expected this devolution sooner or later.

Let’s break it down.

I don't think it's too soon to say that the Vikings are going nowhere this season.

I don’t think it’s too soon to say that the Vikings are going nowhere this season.

The Good  (Yeah – there was nothing good)

  • One good thing about the 1st quarter: Jeff Locke’s punts.
  • The Bears incurred an unsportsman-like penalty on a Vikings 3rd down, giving the Vikings their first drive that wasn’t a 3 and out. The super-charged offense managed to put up 3 points. Barely.
  • The Vikings managed to score on a 4th down and 4 in the 4th quarter. No one cared because it wasn’t like they were moving fast enough to mount a come from behind thriller of a win. At this point, they were just going through the motions. And to prove that, with 5 minutes left, and 10 points down, they did not perform an onside kick and didn’t bother to get the Bears off the field in a 3 and out – they just let them march on down the field. Because that’s how the new Vikings roll.

The Bad

  • The Vikings first offensive drive went no where. Asiata couldn’t run it more than a yard or two, Bradford’s timing was off and the offensive line collapsed repeatedly, allowing pressure to affect the QB
  • The 2nd offensive drive was a 3 and out.
  • The 3rd offensive drive was a 3 and out.
  • .The entire 1st half sucked. All phases. Xavier Rhodes was the lone stand out.
  • I was THRILLED when the first half was over. I imagine I’ll be thrilled when the whole stupid game is over.
McNugget vs McNabb. What's the difference?

A McNugget could block better than TJ Clemmings.

The Ugly

  • Kearse doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing – The Bears’ Howard broke off a 50+ yard run – it was ugly and made me swear. Repeatedly. Somehow, the Vikings managed to hold the Bears to a field goal.
  • The offensive line is a complete and utter joke. Unbelievable.
  • Zimmer challenged the dumbest call ever and it cost him a time out. When a runner is declared down and the video shows him down, don’t challenge that stuff.
  • The 3rd quarter was terrible. It’s always fun to listen to the announcers talk about the lack of urgency of the Zimmer squad when they’re behind. And it’s true – so it’s not like we can dispute it. When the Vikings are down, Zimmer has NO URGENCY. And it’s infuriating – because we never have enough time to come back. Ridiculous. I don’t go after Zimmer often, but on this, the announcers are correct.
  • The 4th quarter, while it saw an actual passing TD, was terrible, too. This was the worst football I’ve seen since… last week.

The Inexplicable

  • How could the Vikings go from so great before the bye to such a BIG PILE OF CRAP after the bye? I mean, this team is terrible. And yes, I’m aware that we’ve suffered a ton of injuries – but the team that went into the bye had something special. This team? This team is going to lose ever single game for the rest of the season unless something drastic happens.
  • Did I mention no urgency? And middle of the field throws as the time wore down? I do not understand how the hell Zimmer could allow that to happen.

So that’s it for another week, Vikings brethren. The Vikings are 5-2 and clearly on the downward trend. We should have known this world happen – and probably, secretly, we did.

Here’s a poll.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2016/10/2016-week-eight-vikings-vs-bears/

Oct 23

2016 Week Seven: Vikings vs Eagles

The game started out slow with the Eagles going 3 and out, and then the Vikings going 3 and out – until Locke sold a “hitting the kicker” penalty and the Vikings got another shot… which, they promptly squandered. Let me say for the 103rd time: the Vikings need to learn how to start fast and complete drives if they’re going to compete for a title – with or without that defense.

Let me use a few adjectives to describe the game: revolting, sloppy, bush league, unprofessional, pathetic. Do you disagree? If so, leave me a comment.

For me, this was a hard game to watch because it was the first time I really and truly doubted that the Vikings were as good as we thought they were. Coming off the bye they looked sluggish, imprecise, fatigued. Zimmer summed it up best when he said the offense was embarrassing.  Add to that a lack of urgency and low energy, I am VERY concerned that this team isn’t going to get their momentum back.

Sigh. Let’s go ahead and break this travesty of a game down.

Thank you Blair Walsh for points to avoid a shut out.

Thank you Blair Walsh for points to avoid a shut out.

The Good

  • Sendejo intercepted Wentz on the Eagles’ 2nd offensive series, taking the ball to the 3 yard line. See the Inexplicable for what happens next.
  • After Bradford’s interception, Wentz fumbled and Barr recovered. And what happened next? See The Inexplicable for the answer.
  • After Bradford was stripped and the Eagles recovered, Wentz tried to throw downfield and Xavier Rhodes decided he’d throw a wrench in that plan as he intercepted the ball.
  • The Vikings defense held the Eagles to no points and a punt on a drive that had previously been a march down the field. Since I write this in real time, I hope this heralds a momentum swing that favors the Vikings.
  • Late in the 2nd quarter, Bradford was able to connect with Thielen and Patterson for completions to help move the Vikings how the field.
  • The Vikings recovered a fumble late in the 4th.
  • The Vikings scored a TD. With 34 seconds left to play. Literally no one cared.
Marcus Sherels fumbled when we needed him to work his magic.

Marcus Sherels fumbled when we needed him to work his magic.

The Bad

  • On the first offensive drive, the Vikings got a 2nd chance at putting up some points and they couldn’t deliver.
  • Kyle Rudolph dropped a ball on a pass. Again. I don’t understand why he doesn’t show up 100% of the time.
  • Stefon Diggs was subjected to PI, and a ref threw a flag and then they decided, because the officials routinely prove they hate the Vikings, they picked up the flag and pretended it never happened.
  • Sendejo was injured on his interception. Ankle.
  • Walsh was able to put the first points for either team up on the board.
  • The Vikings started the 2nd half in the same crappy fashion they ended the 1st half. Make no mistake – this game wasn’t fun to watch at any point.
  • With only 6 minutes left in the game, Vikings players were strolling about with no sense of urgency at all. It was infuriating.

The Ugly

  • The o-line. It sucks and if that isn’t addressed (for real this time), the Vikings have no chance to win in the play-offs. You cannot have an ineffective offense, no matter how good your defense is.
  • Bradford’s timing was off or the o-line sucked so badly it made him look terrible.
  • Late in the 2nd quarter, the Eagles managed to break off a 21 yard run, which is unheard of for the Zimmer defense. This led to another 3 points for the Eagles.
  • The Vikings penalties. THE PENALTIES.
  • The Vikings were at the goal line for a 3rd time and handed it to Zach Line, who couldn’t convert a 3rd at 1. So they went for it and our own stupid left tackle blocked the hole Asiata was supposed to go through…. so we turned it over on downs.
It's been a while since I've had to dig out the angry monkey - but this very much resembles my own expression for nearly the entire game.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to dig out the angry monkey – but this very much resembles my own expression for nearly the entire game.

The Inexplicable

  • After Sendejo’s interception, Sam Bradford threw his first interception of the season in the end zone, thereby ending his no interception streak and knocking a little magic off the season. The Vikings, coming off the bye, were clearly not sharp.
  • After Barr recovered, Bradford was stripped of the ball and the Eagles recovered. You cannot make this stuff up. At this point in the game I was furious. Aren’t these people supposed to be professionals? It was Pop Warner all the way out there between Clemmings and Long – unbelievable.
  • Total turnovers in the 1st quarter: 5
  • Total points in the 1st quarter: 0
  • The Vikings special teams let the team down BIG TIME when they let the Eagles return a kick off for a TD. It was ridiculous. To make it worse, Harrison Smith managed to hit the kicker on the after point and gave the Eagles a chance to go for 2 points. Which they, of course, got.
  • Bradford was stripped of the ball yet again late in the 2nd quarter.
  • Marcus Sherels fumbled a punt, giving the ball right back to the Eagles. It was an unbelievable mistake.

So that’s week 7 in a nutshell my Vikings brethren. The Vikings are 5-1 and none of us feels good today.

How did today’s game influence how you feel about the Vikings?

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2016/10/2016-week-seven-vikings-vs-eagles/

Oct 03

2016 Week Four: Vikings vs Giants

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.

Sam Bradford… I’m in love.

The Good

  • 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.

We all know this is our Achilles’ Heel.

The Bad

  • 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 so let's look at a drunk Kyle Orton and remember when he was a Bear. And then a Bronco. Etc.

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.

The Ugly

  • 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.

The Inexplicable

  • 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?

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2016/10/2016-week-four-vikings-vs-giants/

Sep 25

2016 Week Three: Vikings vs Panthers

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.

Marcus Sherels now holds the Vikings’ Punt Return for a TD record at 4.

The Good

  • 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 plays but he plays pretty sloppy, too. He needs to act like a veteran.

Newman makes some good plays but he plays pretty sloppy, too. He needs to act like a veteran.

The Bad

  • 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 today, leaving the defense to score points.

Didn’t see this connection or the Bradford/Diggs connection until after half-time. The Vikings offense needs to get rolling much sooner.

The Ugly

  • 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.

Good-bye Blair. Get off my team. I was here before you and I’ll be here after you.

The Inexplicable

  • 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.

What’s your prediction for the season?

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2016/09/2016-week-three-vikings-vs-panthers/

Sep 18

2016 Week Two: Vikings vs Packers

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.

Stefon Diggs is a bright spot…. especially with Bradford at QB!

The Good

  • 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: is just terrible.

Matt Kalil: he’s just terrible. He was mowed down over and over and over tonight.

The Bad

  • 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.

The Packers’ offense was primarily comprised of MN penalties. It was pretty aggravating.

The Ugly

  • 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.

Trae Waynes is terrible…. except for that one interception in that key moment in the 4th quarter!

The Inexplicable

  • 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?

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2016/09/2016-week-two-vikings-vs-packers/

Sep 11

2016 Week One: Vikings vs Titans

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. Momentarily, I was glad they were back.

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!

The Good

  • 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.

    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.

I had this same expression on my face for much of today’s game.

The Bad

  • 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.

Good-bye Blair. Get off my team. I was here before you and I’ll be here after you.

The Ugly

  • 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.

The Inexplicable

  • 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.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2016/09/2016-week-one-vikings-vs-titans/

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