Thursday, July 30, 2015

Monthly Archives: November 2012

A number of excellent individual performances came about during Sunday’s upset over the Lions.  Who will you award the VT game ball to?

Christian Ponder:  24 of 32 for 221 yards and two touchdowns, plus 7 runs for 15 yards.

Adrian Peterson:  27 rushes for 171 yards and a touchdown, plus 3 catches for 5 yards.

Kyle Rudolph:  7 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.

Jarius Wright:  3 catches for 65 yards and a touchdown, plus 1 rush for 3 yards.

Blair Walsh:  Broke Vikings franchise record for touchbacks in a season, and made 4 of 4 field goal attempts.

Antoine Winfield:  9 tackles and a recovered fumble.

Chad Greenway:  5 tackles and an interception.

The Fourth quarter started off with a bang.  On a third and six, Christian Ponder threw a nice pass to Kyle Rudolph who got some blocking from Michael Jenkins on a walk-in touchdown.  Then, with a 12 points lead, Leslie Frazier called for a two point conversion which was successful when Adrian Peterson pounded it up the gut.

A stupid late hate from Mistral Raymond gave the Lions a fresh set of downs after the defense seemed to be on top of the Lions offensive plans.  Then, Mikel Leshoure gashed the defense across midfield which was followed by a decent catch from Calvin Johnson.

On the very next play, Johnson made another leaping catch inside the five and then another stupid penalty struck as Jasper Brinkley delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on Johnson.  That play was followed up by an all-too-easy catch on by Titus Young on a slant in front of A.J. Jefferson.

A pair of positive runs from Peterson was then followed by a tough non-call on a pass to Kyle Rudolph and the Vikings were set to punt, which Stephen Logan returned for 27 yards, and may have gone for a touchdown if not for a Chris Kluwe touchdown.

Chad Greenway led the defense, aided by an important holding call, in holding the Lions offense to a three and out and they were denied the chance to even kick a field goal.

The Vikings drive started out great with a pitch to Adrian Peterson that went for long yardage, but then a delay of game penalty set them back.  The very next play, however, Peterson took the ball to the right side and went 61 yards, high stepping for the score.  This is Peterson’s fourth 100+ yard rushing game in a row.

The Lions, of course, started out by gunning towards Calvin Johnson.  Jamarca Sanford, however, punched the ball out of Johnson’s clutch and Antoine Winfield recovered it.

Then came even more yards from Peterson, on a cutback to the left, that went for a big gain on first down, getting the Vikings into field goal range.  More Peterson, a Lions penalty, and then more Peterson set up an easy field goal for Blair Walsh who was able to extend the Vikings lead to 17 points.

The Vikings then went into a bend don’t break defense allowing Stafford to dink and dunk his way down the field, with Erin Henderson coming up with some nice plays on a few occasions. Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson, both rookies, had some good defensive plays on the series as well.

At the two minute warning, the Lions just entered into the red zone on a Calvin Johnson completion, but the Metrodome knew that even the Vikings couldn’t blow this one.  On the first play following the two minute warning, Calvin Johnson caught a short pass and was able to push for a touchdown that cut the Vikings lead to 10.

A pooch kick, successfully recovered by Marcus Sherels, pretty much signaled the end of the end for the Lions.  A couple of short runs from Peterson drained the Lions of their remaining timeouts and then a quarterback bootleg to the left ended in a personal foul, after Ponder made the rare choice to slide feet first, gave the Vikings a first down and the Lions a nail in their coffin.

Ponder was then able to kneel down and take the victory, which was much needed for the Vikings who now get to head into the bye week with a 6-4 record (2-0 against NFC North teams) and some positive things to build off of.

The Vikings started the second half with a spunky return from Marcus Sherels and some good energy out of Christian Ponder, but a number of penalties ended up stalling the drive and they had to punt.

The good news was, however, that Jared Allen and his defense was able to take advantage of the Lions being pinned deep and the Lions went three-and-out, punting from their own end zone.

The Vikings started out in Lions territory and Bill Musgrave proceeded to call a very good series of plays, including a reverse to Jarius Wright, that was highlighted by a long gainer to Devin Aromashadu to set the Vikings up inside the ten.

In the red zone, Ponder tripped on his drop back and then a no-gain passing play set up a third and goal from the ten.  The throw made on third down was to Toby Gerhart about six yards shy of the end zone and he was unable to punch it in.  The Vikings again had to settle for a Blair Walsh field goal.

The Lions then came out gunning, with two passes in a row going to Calvin Johnson, and both were caught.  One was for 51 yards and the Vikings defense immediately found themselves defending their own goalline.  After first down featured a botched snap, Stafford floated a beautiful pass over the head of Harrison Smith and into the hands of Brandon Pettigrew for a touchdown.

The Vikings then came out gunning with Christian Ponder spreading the ball around to Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph and even John Carlson.  The third quarter ended with the Vikings holding a six point lead and knocking on the door.

The second quarter started with the Vikings defense giving up yardage on both the ground and through the air, pinning them back against the end zone.  In the red zone, however, the defense toughened up and a Kevin Williams coverage sack brought it to an end with a field goal being the only damage done.

The Vikings offense then had a nice, methodical drive down the field that featured big runs from both Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder.  A dropped pass by Stephen Burton inside the ten doomed the Vikings chances of a touchdown, and they had to settle for a short field goal.

A solid defensive effort was capped off by great coverage by Jasper Brinkley and the Vikings got the ball back with 2:28 left in the half.  A three and out, however, gave the ball back to the Lions at the two minute warning after some very questionable clock management.

A very impressive defensive stand, including a third down sack by Everson Griffen, actually gave the Vikings the ball back with 1:30 left in the half and two timeouts.  The Vikings then went three and out.

So, with both offenses unable to do anything with their chances at the end of the first half, the Vikings lead by a score of 13-3.

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I can’t wait to hear the post-game explanations from the Vikings coaching staff as to why it has taken so long to get Jarius Wright activated.  Is it a bad thing to have two Percy Harvins?

The Vikings special teams and defense did a nice job holding off the high octane offense of the Lions, and when the Vikings got the ball it was Jarius Wright making a name for himself right from the get-go.

A 54 yard bomb to Wright set the Vikings up and it was he that ended up getting the touchdown catch.

On the next drive, it didn’t take long for Chad Greenway to nab an interception on nice coverage on a pass intended for tight end Brandon Pettigew.  The Vikings offense struggled on the next drive, but was able to set up a Blair Walsh field goal.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who many wanted the Vikings to draft instead of Ponder two years ago, has been giving the Vikings offensive line fits.

In the first quarter, the Vikings scored on two of their three possessions while the defense has yet to allow the Lions into their half of the field.  With a  10-0 lead, however, the Lions are at mid-field looking to get those chains moving.

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