Sunday, November 24, 2013

Not Sure What To Do On The Ledge: Vikings 26, Packers 26

Vikings-Packers Box Score (Yahoo!)

A tie is always worse for the better team, of course. The Vikings are going nowhere this season, and the Packers are still contending for the playoffs: they needed the win more. But does a tie give the worst of both possibilities? The Vikings made it tougher on themselves to get the #1 pick (isn't somebody going to go 2-14, with the Vikes going, at worst, 2-13-1?), and the Packers are still contending for the NFC North (they're just a half-game back from Detroit and Chicago, and why don't we call a half-game a jamboree? The Packers are a jamboree out from the division lead).

Who played well? Xavier Rhodes, who had four pass deflections, some solid tackles, and generally played with good awareness and reaction, had his best game of his career. The offensive line didn't hold up well in pass protection, but was pretty dominant in run blocking (232 rush yards is a lot, even in five quarters). For whatever reason the holes seemed cleaner and the runs more direct with Toby Gerhart running the ball. The defensive line was effective at knocking down passes and harrying the passer. Christian Ponder made some good throws (and some dreadful plays), Jerome Simpson had some really nice catches.

For Viking fans, watching the broadcast of games at Green Bay is a lot like watching a game with a Packer fan. The announcers can't stop the mandatory fellatio of Lambeau Field, and by the end the announcers seem to be openly rooting for the Packers, shrieking with gleeful joy at the big plays. By the way, it's possible it was cold today, but I'm not certain.

Shrug, Vikings, let's tie this game. Have a nice week, folks.


  1. Ponder played well enough to start next week, which is terrible for our future. 3rd and 9 and we run a draw, deep in our territory. AND we get the first down, which is AP. But it says so much about our offense. Fun to see the Peckers play with a marginal QB. Now they know what we have gone thru. Just hope this tie does not screw up our draft position.

    1. Kissing your fat ugly sister.

      That's Ponder, play just well enough for Leslie Frazier to continue to have faith in you. Still Patterson should have caught that ball and they never should have gotten that 4th and 1. We totally blew that game. That 3rd and 9 draw says it all.


    2. ETR:

      What ball are you referring to? The one in the end zone in OT or the deep ball that he dropped mid-way through the 4th quarter. The one in the end zone was tipped and wasn't as easy a catch as it could have been (and it could have also been intercepted.) The deep ball was a worse mistake. That should have been a dagger but he kind of went after it awkwardly. When he didn't catch that one I thought to myself - "I hope that doesn't cost us." It did.

    3. Totally agree about the end zone catch, the tip made it almost impossible. But that bomb would have been a dagger, game over. Actually a perfect deep throw by Ponder, maybe Patterson was as shocked as I was that it was a good ball.

  2. I tweeted after the game was over that this was the worst possible result. The Vikes either have to win so we can have some joy of hurting the Packers playoff chances or they have to lose and keep pace with the Jags, Texans and Falcons.

    And I don't know if there's ever an argument for not playing Adrian Peterson in a game in the red zone if he's healthy, but I think I would have stuck with Gerhart on that first OT drive.

    The Packers finally stopped him for 1 yard on his last carry at the 13, but you can't have negative yardage there and Peterson often gets stopped for negative yards on runs. So on the next play after Gerhart's run, AP gets the ball and loses 5 yards. Now Ponder is facing 3rd and 14 and you know he's not converting that one. Like PV said, it just seemed like the holes were bigger for Gerhart and dare I say it, he looked like he had a better burst than Peterson today. I would have spread them out a bit and run Gerhart again on 2nd and 9. I bet he wouldn't have lost 5 yards. Oh well.

  3. The running game was dominant. That was some hard running by Peterson and Gerhart. You're right the holes did seem bigger for Toby and he smashed through them in impressive fashion. But I don't know if I ever would rather have him in there than Peterson. I am in favor of giving him more playing time to keep Peterson fresh, he needs to get a few more carries. I can see in that OT situation how you may have just rode Gerhart but I can't ever criticize putting Peterson in.

    1. ETR:

      Part of the problem with Gerhart's lack of carries is that the Vikings defense hasn't stopped anybody this year and have a habit of giving up a lot of grinding, clock-killing drives, get behind and then aren't on the field enough to spread the carries out nor can they afford to run as much. But they could probably find a way to get him 7-8 carries per game and leave Peterson with 18-20. Even in the game yesterday, they only turned to Gerhart because Peterson got nicked up a bit and when he was rolling they seemed to say, 'Whoa, maybe we better play this guy a bit more.'

    2. Very true about the defense and time of possession, good point. Offense is at fault too with so many 3 and outs. Hard to give him more carries when we never have the ball.

  4. Chris Burke at posted a mock draft today and projected Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr to Minnesota at #4. Hmmm.

    There's still a lot of time, but I'm beginning to get a little nervous about this draft. Teddy Bridgewater looks like he might hold his spot as the top QB, but guys like Todd McShay say he grades similarly to someone like Ryan Tannehill, as opposed to some of the elite prospects we've seen lately. I mean, I'd take a Ryan Tannehill, but would I advocate enduring a 2-win season for him? Um....

    Jadeveon Clowney is the lone high-end defensive prospect, but might have motor issues.

    All the top QBs are underclassmen, which means there's a possibility they won't enter (which happens a fair amount, actually); and if they do, what of the high bust rate for underclassmen QBs?

    If there's one group that looks solid, it might be offensive tackle. And if I could pick one position the Vikings would least prefer to target, it'd probably be OT. (Not that Kalil and Loadholt have had their best seasons, but given their age and pedigrees, I just don't think they're priority #1.)

    And on and on....Things will play themselves out, certainly, but I'm not convinced the team will have an easy decision to make.\


    1. Jianfu:

      Somebody else also posted a mock last week with the Vikings taking Carr, who is - wait for it - David Carr's little brother. Not that David's bustness is hereditary, but ...

      Anyway, I watched Manziel and another QB prospect, Zach Mettenberger play against each other Saturday and came away non-plussed by both. Lots of fun to be had talking draft over the next several months.