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My quick take of yesterday’s victory over the Washington Redskins.

LESLIE’S BIG DAY

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The image of the day was quarterback Brett Favre shoving the game ball into coach Leslie Frazier‘s hands immediately after his team had sealed the victory.

His first game as a head coach earned him a win. A Pretty Good Day.

With no substantial changes in schemes or personnel, the real question of the day was whether or not the team that had quit on it’s coach a week earlier would respond to it’s new one.

It did.

ON THE ROAD
The importance of snapping a nine-game road losing streak cannot be understated. Road losing records are one of those weird anomalies for which it is tough to put a finger on the cause but removing the mental aspect of an expectation of a difficult game helps a great deal.

TOBY’S BIG CHANCE
I’ve liked the idea of Toby Gerhart since the Vikings drafted him and I’ve liked what I’ve seen since. But I really liked what I saw yesterday.

It’s nice to know (plug in the obligatory “He’s no Adrian Peterson” here) that we can still bring it in the run game if Peterson is on the sidelines.

The best thing about Gerhart’s performance was that we didn’t skip a beat after Adrian left the game. Gerhart had 76 yards on 22 carries, a touchdown and ground through the Washington defense for first downs.

Gerhart did his best Adrian Peterson impression on his touchdown run, keeping his legs churning as he pushed the pile into the end zone.

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

RUN BLOCKING
Gerhart can thank the offensive line for his breakout performance because they did a hell of a job, considering they were playing without Anthony Herrera, who might be the team’s top offensive lineman this year.

POWERHOUSE PETERSON
It looked for all the world that Adrian Peterson was on his way to one of the best games of his career.

After a little more than a quarter of play, Peterson had accumulated 70 yards (36 yards on six carries and 34 on a screen pass) and a touchdown on his way to cracking the 1,000 yard rushing mark for his fourth consecutive year.

With the way the line was blocking, imagine what Peterson would’ve done had he not hurt his ankle.

THE BEVELL/FAVRE OFFENSE
So opening up the offense means a stronger run game?

It would appear that way but the focus on the run helped to open up the pass, too. It seemed like we saw a lot more play-action passes than Childress‘ Kick Ass Offense, letting Brett Favre roll out more on those plays, and it appeared there was a concerted effort to get Visanth(e) Shiancoe the ball.

SILENT SIDNEY
For the second week after returning from hip surgery, Sidney Rice was a virtual nonfactor, catching one pass for 20 yards.

CLEAN EXECUTION
The Vikings committed only three penalties and did not turn the ball over to Washington.

The offensive line gave up two sacks but one was a coverage sack that, if you want to quibble, Brett Favre probably could’ve thrown away rather than take the sack, but the, no interceptions, right?

MOST ENTERTAINING RUN OF THE DAY
C’mon. You know what I’m talking about:

Brett Favre takes it ten yards for the first down to seal the win.

Favre’s reaction, the reaction of his teammates, the giggles on the sideline were more entertaining than the run itself.

DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS
That, to me, was the most impressive thing on the defensive side of the ball: Making adjustments to the Skins opening touchdown drive immediately after that drive rather than waiting till halftime to figure it out.

Here’s the question: Is that on Frazier or Childress?

4
The number of sacks the Vikings defense recorded yesterday.

SOME PERSPECTIVE
It was the Washington Redskins we just beat. They did have like a bazillion players hurt.

PUG-ITCH
That’s how you pronounce your new defensive coordinator’s name. You’d never have figured that out from Fred Pagac, would you?

You’re welcome.

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