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My thoughts upon further review after having had a chance to look at the tape.

NOT AS BAD

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As frustrating as this loss was, the Vikings didn’t play as badly as it felt they did while watching the game live.

If Percy Harvin catches the ball rather than deflecting it up in the air for the Dolphins to pick, there’s a good chance he scores on that play. If we protect better when pinned down deep, we don’t give up a fumble for a Dolphins’ touchdown. If we take 3 instead of going for a first down, it’s a closer game.

Our run game was pretty damn good on Sunday against a Dolphins team that is pretty good. That’s something to build on, especially the one-two punch of Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart.

Despite plenty of issues in the passing game, we saw improvement over last week. Harvin and Brett Favre appeared more in sync and the Favre-to-Shank connection is working something fierce.

The problem remains, though, that if you shut down Harvin and Visanth(e) Shiancoe, we’re not gonna beat you with Bernard Berrian and Greg Lewis and when, by the way, are we going to see Mr. Greg Camarillo show up?

And but for the opening drive and some gashing runs, the defense kicked butt. Particularly when they got the ball right back twice after our offense had turned it over to the Dolphins.

BACK IN THE DAY
Favre wouldn’tve underthrown that long ball to Bernard Berrian who, while we’re on the subject, did not try and get the ball or break up the interception and even decided that complaining to the officials was a better course of action than tackling the guy who intercepted the ball.

BETWEEN THE LINES
It’s too bad this isn’t accompanied by audio or video because there is much that can get lost in translation to print, but definitely read between the lines of the Q & A the Strib‘s Chip Scoggins did with Bernard Berrian on Monday.

Berrian sounds a bit petulant.

I DON’T RUN THE TEAM
Speaking of petulance: That was Sidney Rice‘s reaction to the Vikings courting of Vincent Jackson, according to PiPressJeremy Fowler.

186
Those were the yards from scrimmage Adrian Peterson gained Sunday, not the 189 my rushed fingers typed in yesterday’s newsletter.

I really can add.

While we’re on the subject, though, Adrian looked even awesomer after having had a chance to review the tape.

He was making some amazing cutbacks, making dudes miss all over the place, he’s definitely got his burst back, and how bout the balance he demonstrated on the play in which he was tripped behind the line but still managed to rip off a nice run?

He’s still showing some lack of patience though, as he did on a play in which he outran his lead blocker, John Sullivan, for a short gain (which might have gone for a longer gain had he waited for his block).

Did I even see him set a nice block in pass protection? I did.

HELD HIS OWN
Speaking of John Sullivan. The dude held his own against Paul Soliai, the 355 pound nose tackle the Dolphins put on the 301 pound Sullivan.

A TAD TOO HARSH
Maybe I was a bit too tough on Phil Loadholt yesterday. Make no mistake, Loadholt was pretty brutal in pass protect; he had no answer for Cameron Wake. But on the fumble in the end zone, the primary responsibility for outside rusher was Visanth(e) Shiancoe‘s and Shank barely touched the guy.

It looked like Loadholt was responsible for picking up any blitzing linebacker while also helping Shiancoe and he was late to recognize that Shankopotomous needed help.

As awful as Loadholt is against speed rushers, he was pretty damn good as a run blocker. During one play, he sealed off two defenders to spring Adrian for a huge gain.

BEAST
Aside from getting beat badly with a swim move by nose tackle Randy Starks, Anthony Herrera was a beast. He was blowing people up in the run game.

POLITE FOR TAHI?
Whaddya think? A straight up trade, Lousaka Polite for Nafahu Tahi??

I hope Tahi pays particularly close attention to the tape of what the Dolphins offense did because damn!, THAT is how you play fullback.

Miami’s fullback had an awesome day. By contrast, we got more of the same from Tahi: Whiffs and missed assignments.

And WTF on trusting Tahi on fourth an inches?!? The dude could not drive the pile for the life of him and got the conversion only because the offensive line got enough push to allow his forward momentum to get him a good spot.

Imagine what our running game might be with a decent fullback?

TWICE
…now, a Vikings’ opponent has effortlessly marched right down the field on their opening drive to score before the defense clamped down.

DOMINATED
Jared Allen twice failed to contain the runner on the opening drive, resulting in nice chunks of yards for the Dolphins. One one play, he was peeking in at the offensive line and it looked like he wasn’t even aware of the ball carrier until the Dolphin was well past Allen. Jake Long pretty much shut Allen down all game long.

The one sack Allen was credited with, the one-armed tackle of Chad Henne with Long all over him, as athletic as it was, wouldn’tve been possible were it not for the pressure Ray Edwards brought that forced Henne to run.

On the other hand, Allen does seem to step up when you need him most, like his shoestring trip late in the game that disrupted Chad Henne‘s pass enough to allow time for Lito Sheppard to break up the pass.

4th
The salary cap sits at $143.4, according to Pro Football Talk, 4th highest in the league.

JOIN THE CLUB, VONTAE
First time since Gus Frerotte that I’ve seen a player injure himself as a result of celebrating.

LOWLIGHTS
If you want to relive the pain that was the last game: [WATCH.]

Masochist.

PURPLE PLANET
Instead of the Vikings going green, the team will apparently turn the planet purple with a week full of energy efficiency/sustainability initiatives. [READ.]

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