Finding a positive word to write after the Vikings were embarrassed by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday is a daunting task, even for an optimist like me.
My mother taught me; if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.
Well, I can’t just leave this blog blank, can I? No, I need to find a ray of light in this dark Vikings’ cellar I am stuck in. It’s a deep, damp hole for sure, but I do see a glimmer of light shining down on the Vikings’ 6-foot-6 TE, Kyle Rudolph.
Rudolph had 9 catches for 97 yards and a TD on Sunday. He was also just inches away from getting both feet down in the end zone just before halftime. With 22 seconds left in the second quarter, Cassel and Rudolph nearly connected for what would have been a nice score and a game changing moment on 3rd and 1 from the 4 yard line. Unfortunatly, the Vikings had to settle for a field goal to cap-off a 15 play drive that started at the Vikings 20. The Vikings trailed at halftime 14-3.
With 12 minutes to go in the game and the Vikings faced with a 4th and 1 on their own 17, Rudolph made a nice 8 yard catch to keep the drive alive. On the very next play, Cassel targeted Rudolph again for 9 more yards. However, 2 plays later Cassel over threw Greg Jennings which resulted in an interception.
The Vikings only touchdown of the game came with just over a minute left to play. Cassel connected with Rudolph in the flat on a short dump off. He broke a couple tackles and picked up a great block from Joe Webb to scamper 23 yards for the score. Sure, it was too little too late… but it was nice to see Rudolph and Webb battling to the very end.
Kyle Rudolph and Jerome Simpson are both on pace to have their best year as a pro. Rudolph has 21 reception on the year for 200 yards and 2 scores, while Simpson leads the team with 23 reception for 372 yards.
In a year that seems like a complete loss… it is good to know that the pass catchers are still working hard and fighting for every snap they can get.