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TAKE TWO

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Some thoughts after having had a chance to review the tape of the Vikings eNORMous victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday…

NOT SO BAD
Yesterday, I said the Vikings will need the mentality they took into the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game if they continue to play as they did for the first three quarters against the Cardinals.

I take that back.

The Vikings actually played a pretty strong game throughout. What made it appear so bad was the timing of the mistakes they did make…

  • Giving up the lead on a kickoff return for a touchdown immediately after a beautifully-executed swing pass for a touchdown to Adrian Peterson. Deflating.
  • Giving up back-to-back touchdowns to end the first half and to begin the second half. Deflating.

…and the failure to take advantage of the opportunities they had:

  • Chad Greenway‘s inability to hold onto a gift interception deep in Cardinals’ territory.
  • Brad Childress‘ failure to get his offense quickly on the field to prevent a review of the play.
  • Failure to shut the Cards down on third-and-19.
  • Settling for a field goal rather than converting on third-and-one on Arizona’s three yard line.
  • With Brett Favre as your quarterback, taking a knee with 24 seconds remaining in the half, i.e. not trying.
  • Turning over the ball on an interception (thanks, McKinnie) on second-and-two at the Cardinals’ two yard line.

The one really bad drive the Vikings gave up was the one that culminated in Andre Roberts‘ ugly touchdown where Husain Abdullah over-pursued Roberts and Chris Cook took a horrible angle, resulting in two whiffs.

That touchdown, however, could’ve been prevented if the Vikings kept the Cardinals from converting on third-and-19 at the beginning of the drive.

6
It was nice to finally get a bunch of sacks and the timing of them was perfect…for at least four of the six.

But let’s clarify these six sacks: One and a half were gifts. Ray Edwards getting credited with a sack for pushing Derek Anderson out of bounds on the Cardinals first series; that sack had a pretty bow around it.

And Jared Allen, as awesome as he was when it counted, got credit for a half sack on a Madieu Williams blitz, where Allen was tipped over onto Derek Anderson. So because Allen sat on Anderson after the fact, he gets a half sack?

I’m sure Allen will take it. He’s got a lot of catching up to do if he wants to hit 14.5 sacks again this season.

WIDE RECEIVER SCREEN
Ever notice how the wide receiver screen usually works so beautifully when Percy Harvin catches the ball but not nearly as well when another receiver does so?

Let’s stipulate first the Harvin is a pretty remarkable athlete who has both the moves to make people miss and the burst to just speed by them.

But Sunday, when that play was throw to Bernard Berrian or Greg Lewis, both receivers tried to put a move on defenders when they probably would’ve been better served just running straight upfield.

Sorry to break it to you, guys, but no one’s falling for those moves. I know how it feels: No one falls for my moves either.

EXPLICATING THE KERRY RHODES INT
So what exactly happened on the Kerry Rhodes interception-turned-touchback?

Greg Lewis, the intended receiver, was knocked off course by a defender on his way to a short out-route. Brett Favre was expecting him to be in one place but because Lewis was jammed, he was deeper in his route than Favre expected him to be. As a result, Favre threw it to where he expected Lewis to be but Kerry Rhodes was already in front of Lewis for an easy pick.

As Rhodes raced down the sideline, Toby Gerhart managed to position himself on the sideline, forcing Rhodes inside. That gave the pursuing Greg Lewis a couple of chances to swipe at the ball, which he did, to no avail.

Enter Our Hero, Greg Camarillo, who sprinted from the opposite side of the field to make the final, successful, attempt at a strip of the ball. Camarillo’s strip was fortuitously timed, as it came just as Rhodes was pulling his ball-carrying arm away from his body.

That’s pretty inexcusable, considering Rhodes had to have felt Lewis swatting at him all the way down the field.

That, my friends, is an example of creating your own luck and the Vikings have seen precious little of that this season.

TOBY GERHART
He forces Rhodes back into the field to create the opportunity for Camarillo to save the day. He has a nice run where he follows his blocks. And then he goes and trips on the seven yard line on a perfectly thrown swing pass from Brett Favre.

Toby.

Had he maintained his balance, all that separated Gerhart from the end zone was a puny safety and if I’ve got that situation, I’m taking Toby Gerhart to crush that safety every time.

That is, of course, unless there’s a yard line in the way.

WHEN WINFIELD’S CAREER IS OVER
Can we sign him as a defensive backs coach?

Antoine Winfield knows how to tackle better than anyone on this team, maybe anyone in the league.

Madieu, are you paying attention?

SLOW MO CHAD
Watching Chad Greenway‘s f u m b l i n g,  b u m b l i n g failure to intercept Derek Anderson is UHHHHHG-ly.

Where some players, I’m thinking Adrian Peterson, slow motion highlights their grace and the poetry of their motion; other players, not so much.

Get that boy some gloves with tacification, at least!

HEATH FARWELL
Oh. My. God. What a play! Special Teams Sooop-ah-stahhhh, or what??

MEMO TO LONGWELL
TO: Ryan Longwell
FROM:  Chris Kluwe
DATE:  November 8, 2010
SUBJECT: Tackling

Ryan, I could probably teach you a few things…like how not to fall down. At the very least, I’ve got a great World Of Warcraft spell you might want to try next time.

Love, @ChrisWarcraft

POTTYMOUTH
Did anyone else hear the emphatic off-camera “F**k!” late in the third quarter?

FASHION STATEMENTS
Apparently, it was the defensive line who insisted on wearing the purple pants on Sunday; as a way to indicate a fresh start, a new season.

We should get some indication of how superstitious this team is if the Vikings are sporting the purple pants against the Packers. But that type of behavior is usually reserved for baseball.

A store clerk once told me: “You’re so lucky you can wear yellow.” It took me by surprise; I didn’t know yellow was such a discriminating color.

Yellow apparently agrees with the ever-fashion-conscious Bernard Berrian because he was wearing those blazing yellow shoes, loud and proud.

I hope that’s the end of them, though, because they were awfully distracting: I kept thinking an official had thrown a flag whenever they caught my eye…which they often did.

Come to think of it, considering how several Vikings players gave up before the whistle was blown on Percy Harvin‘s kick return fumble, it might be a detriment to the team if they react as I did to Berrian’s shoes and think they are a flag.

VIKINGS VICTORY HIGHLIGHTS
Watch the video highlights of the Vikings victory over the Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings Chat.

1 Comment

  1. […] The second-best thing about Gerharts performance was that he did not fumble nor did he trip over a yard line. […]

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