Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Monthly Archives: December 2012

There is no doubt that Adrian Peterson led the Vikings to victory on Sunday, but it was the rarely seen big plays out of the Vikings defense that turned this one into a runaway win for the purple and gold.

The Vikings four sacks of Sam Bradford (Greenway, Ballard, Henderson, and Robison) are nothing out of the norm for the modern day Vikings, but they seemed to have the desire and ability to put an inferior team away on a couple of occasions.  This is most noticeable because this is something we have seen very rarely this year.

Prior to Sunday, the Vikings had only 9 interceptions and Harrison Smith’s two touchdowns were the only ones returned for scores.  That is why it was so nice to see Alan Williams mixing in some different looks, blitzing a little more often than normal, and dropping Everson Griffen back into the coverage scheme that resulted in the Vikings third pick six of the season.

The interception, coupled with Chad Greenway’s opportunistic fumble recovery, gave the Vikings the keys to their first two touchdown victory since week five against the Titans.

Incredible performances out of Adrian Peterson, the Vikings defense, and their special teams unit meant that the pressure was largely off of quarterback Christian Ponder which is exactly how they are going to continue to stay competitive in their remaining two weeks.

Big plays from the defense turned this game from a nail biter into a blowout and that is something I think we need to see more of as this young team grows into a legitimate force.

At the beginning of this month I stated that the Vikings playoff hopes died on Lambeau Field in their week 13 loss and while I still think that will be the case, I have great hopes for the future based off of what this young defense has shown me this season.

It would appear, however, that this team might be once again looking at the quarterback position as their top offseason need in order to continue taking things to the next level.

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I was fairly confident that Minnesota was going to put their away game woes on hold for a week and beat St. Louis this weekend.  What never even crossed my mind, however, was a blowout in the Vikings favor.

The 36-22 score doesn’t do justice to just how well the Vikings manhandled the Rams on Sunday, but there are enough individual performances of note to point out that you know just from reading the stat lines which team was going to come out of this one victorious.

Giving the game ball out this week isn’t the easiest of tasks, as there are plenty of worthy candidates, but here are your candidates none-the-less.

ADRIAN PETERSON:  212 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries

MATT KALIL:  Chris Long’s incredibly quiet day says it all.

BLAIR WALSH:  100% field goal accuracy from 50, 38, 42, 53 and 51 plus 3 extra points.

CHAD GREENWAY:  13 tackles, 1 assist, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 sack.

EVERSON GRIFFEN:  1 tackle, 1 interception, 1 touchdown… and lots of QB pressure.

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A nice Brian Robison sack followed shortly by an impressive Marcus Sherels return set Christian Ponder up for the best drive he has had in quite some time.  Two runs, including a fourth down scramble, resulted in the young quarterback using his mobility to score the game’s first touchdown.

Then, with one Rams drive aside, it was all Vikings from there on out.  A Chad Greenway fumble recovery, an Everson Griffen pick six, an 82 yard touchdown run from Adrian Peterson, and a pair of big field goals from Blair Walsh has all but given the Vikings a win in just one half of football.

The second half is sure to feature plenty of Adrian Peterson as he continues his quest for immortality.  Enjoy!

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Happy Sunday morning, Vikings fans. No live chat today but we wanted to have an open thread to discuss the game real time. Adam and I will be around and will try to participate in the conversation.

Adam’s already made a bold prediction this morning. Check it out below:

My bold prediction? Peterson has 200+ yards and two touchdowns today. This man is on a mission. May not be as bold of a prediction, but honestly, I don’t think I could have come up with something more out there!

Here’s today’s inactives.

QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson
CB Brandon Burton
LB Audie Cole
OL Troy Kropog
OL Mark Asper
TE Allen Reisner
DE D’Aundre Reed

QB Austin Davis
DT Matt Conrath
T Joe Barksdale
OL Chris Williams
RB Terrance Ganaway
WR Steve Smith
TE Mike McNeill

Let’s go Vikes!

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Yup, it is getting to be that time of the year.  We are hoping it is many weeks from now before we, as Vikings fans, cast our gaze completely towards 2013 but I couldn’t hold off any longer.

As many of you know, my mock Drafts often times go against the grain and can cause some passionate fans to either disagree or (on rare occasions) agree with enthusiasm.  I ended up getting more picks correct than your average bear last year (you can view 2012’s right here) and never wavered from my Vikings pick of Matt Kalil.

This year, with the Vikings picking somewhere in the neighborhood of the late-teens and early-twenties makes things far more unpredictable, and my choice is likely to change a number of times between now and April.

Heck, we are still waiting to hear exactly which players will elect to enter 2013’s NFL Draft.

Right now, however, I picked Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson in an attempt to bolster a defensive middle that has fallen from the elite category over the last couple of years.

Richardson strikes me as the perfect complement to Everson Griffen, both being incredibly fast and athletic defensive lineman, providing the Vikings with an exciting youth movement along their defensive line.  We saw the Vikings struggle greatly with mobile quarterbacks in 2012 so Richardson’s sideline-to-sideline abilities would be a welcomed addition to the defensive tackle position.

At 6’ 4” and only 295 pounds, and plenty of college experience playing end, Richardson wouldn’t be the run stuffing nose that the Vikings really need Letroy Guion to become, but he would provide a very disruptive force in the middle of the line regardless.  After all, Kevin Williams isn’t getting any younger and the Vikings could decide he is no longer worth the large salary as soon as this coming offseason.

Richardson was suspended for one game this year for refusing to show up to one of his classes, and also refusing the punishment given to him for that, so teams will certainly want to explore this kid’s attitude and character to see if he is worthy of such an early pick.

Please, view the rest of my first 2013 Mock Draft by clicking right here.

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