Sunday, September 9, 2012

Trailing Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 26, Jaguars 23 (OT)

Vikings-Jaguars Box Score (ESPN)

In hindsight, as a fan are you sort of happier that it finished the way it did?

I know you don't want to see the opponent take the lead with 20 seconds left. I know you don't want the defense to cave once again in the fourth quarter. And if you have heart trouble, you didn't want any of that. But if the Vikings had stopped them, the Vikes would have a (very satisfying!) workmanlike home victory against a poor opponent.

Instead, we got a memorable game where we could jump around euphorically.

Instead, Christian Ponder was forced to make two critical throws to try and give the team a win--and he made those two throws. He ended up not just having an efficient, successful game (once the offense seemed to open up at the end of the second quarter), he got a clutch, come from behind win.

Instead, you now have total faith in a rookie kicker to reliably make any kick the team needs him to make.

Instead, the Vikings really had to show us something. A team that repeatedly blew leads and lost close games last year had to really work it to come up with a victory today.

Instead grown-up adult human beings got a chance to dance and scream and hoot.

Defense
The Vikes were credited with seven pass deflections in this game--and several of them were key plays that would have been completions if not for savvy and quick plays by defenders. Rookie Harrison Smith had one such deflection on third down in overtime.

Chad Greenway played an excellent game: 13 total tackles, two pass deflections, and a lot of forceful plays.

I also thought the Vikes had good performances from Josh Robinson (he stood out a few times), Letroy Guion (I feel like he was behind the line of scrimmage a good amount), and Brian Robison (though he was more forceful in the first half then seeemed to disappear).

Offense
OMG, AP! The Vikings would not have won today without a superb performance from man myth legend (and all-time franchise leading rusher) Adrian Peterson. With all the talk and speculation about his injury, I almost forgot how fun he is to watch.

The offense seemed tight early: very conservative. Once they actually opened up and were willing to wing it around a bit (and made a distinct effort to throw short to Percy Harvin, who is a wonder once he has the ball in his hands), they really did move the ball well. Christian Ponder was legitimately good today: mobile, accurate, making some tight throws and good decisions.

Week
The Vikings haven't been over .500 since the 2009 season. I don't care about quality of opponent or what's happening in the future: I'll be trailing clouds of heaven all week long.

Skol!

6 comments:

  1. AP is an animal and came back very well from injury. Will even get better. #12 is a pretty good player! He changed the game on offense.
    1-0 when they should be.

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  2. The Packers are 0-1 : ) Ponder finally showed some franchiseness!!! I hope it's not a fluke.

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  3. Interesting to see how the Vikings handle things next week on the road against the Colts. Andrew Luck looks very good. I didn't see him play at all against the Bears today, but he did throw 3 INTs. Still, from what I saw of him during the preseason he looks like he's on his way to many Pro Bowls. And he already is the kind of player who capitalize on Vikings mistakes in the secondary that Gabbert wasn't quite able to do. It will be a test. The good news is the Colts defense looks pretty bad, so the Vikings could put up some points.

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  4. I can only hope that the Viking coaches take a long look at *why* the offense looked so poor in the first quarter. My sense is that a big part of it has to do with tempo. Whatever it is, they need to stay away from offensive doldrums!

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    Replies
    1. Peder:

      Good to see you back. This is where PV now resides. Hope you keep coming back to check out the blog.

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