Vikings Improve Record By Rolling Past The Titans

The bad news?  The Chicago Bears won again.

The good news?  Everything else that happened on Sunday.

That’s right, folks.  Your Minnesota Vikings are now a 4-1 football team that absolutely dominated the Tennessee Titans in every facet of the game.  They won by a score of 30-7.  They had seven more first downs than the Titans.  They had 123 more rushing yards and 43 more passing yards.  Plus, they won the time-of-possession battle by six minutes.

It was just an all around good day for the Vikings (including that glorious loss Green Bay suffered!) and here are some main points of interest following the team’s latest victory.

Harrison Smith’s Ejection

Harrison Smith had already made an impact early in Sunday’s matchup by recovering a Chris Johnson fumble and on a couple of nice hits.  What will be most remembered, however, is the look on his face when he realized he was being booted from the game when he decided to get too physical with an official following an Antoine Winfield interception.

“I really dont know,” Harrison said of his status for next week.  “I hope to be out there. But I made a stupid decision and I have to accept the consequences.”

“Stupid by me,” Smith admitted to Tom Pelissero.  “I should never put the officials in a position like that. I should never touch them. I know that. I’ve lost my head before, but I’ve never had an incident with an official. I completely apologize for that.”

Smith deserves credited for owning his mistake, and it is easier to forgive provided the outcome of this game, but we all will hope this event never repeats itself.  His intensity needs to be contained between the whistles on a weekly basis.  I’d like to say this was just a rookie mistake, but those rules are the same in college and high school and even earlier.

I would be shocked if Smith gets any sort of suspension, but he can certainly be expected to be nailed with a fine upwards of $20,000.

Ponder Makes Some Progress

Christian Ponder sandwiched some very poor decisions with a great start to this game and a strong finish.  He ended up completing 25 of 35 passes for 258 yards and two scores.  He also tacked on a trio of good looking runs for 31 yards.

His first two interceptions of the year came on back-to-back pass attempts, one at the end of the first half and one to begin the second half.  The first resulted in a missed opportunity to add points and the second could have shifted momentum greatly had the Vikings defense not been so dominant today.

Ponder hit eight different pass catchers today, though, and looked mostly comfortable in the pocket, confident, and like he is making strides in the right direction.

Harvin Continues Incredible 2012 Campaign

Last week, Harvin willed his team to a victory by making the most of his special teams opportunities against the Lions, and this week he didn’t get to return a single kickoff.

Instead, he ran the ball twice for eight yards and a score, and hauled in eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown.

I am becoming more and more convinced that no single player, especially non-quarterback, is as important to his football team as Percy Harvin is to the Vikings right now.  His ten yard touchdown catch and run is something I could watch over and over and over and over.

Walsh Leads Impressive Rookie Class

Six rookies registered stats in the box score today, but perhaps none is quite as important than Blair Walsh’s three field goals in as many attempts.  Not to mention his five kickoffs for touchbacks, neutralizing the return unit of the Titans.

Rookie cornerback Josh Robinson led the defense with six solo tackles and held up well considering how much the Titans tried to pick on him today.

Rick Spielman and his staff deserve credit for this rookie class coming in and helping in ways, both big and small, to get the Vikings to where they are now.