Scary and plenty to be concerned about – but we came away with a big victory today. Huge.
Very interesting defensive philosophy down the stretch against Moss. We had Bishop defending him on the line and underneath and Tramon above/deep. Not sure what the thinking was there except maybe Tramon could handle the ball-in-the-air piece of the pass and Bishop could destroy Moss if he came down with it.
The Vikings are a good team. With the weapons they have, I have a difficult time believing they will crumble – though my hope is that being in a hole at 2-4 will prove to be just a tad too much. With 4 losses, they really can’t lose any more than 2, maybe 3 games if they want to control their own destiny.
I liked that the team was playing with passion tonight. Guys were fired up.
Nick Collins’ pick was unreal. That was a great athlete making a play over a tremendous athlete – diving over Harvin like that. Huge play.
Matthews was held and facemasked (new past tense word) a lot tonight. I think he was growing more and more frustrated until he finally complained about it – then they called it finally on the next play.
McCarthy was clearly fired up and I’m guessing he delivered some pretty inspiring words to the guys.
McCarthy and the offense finally had a nice period of extended rhythm going in the first half – only to kind of crap out in the second half…again.
McCarthy blew it by not challenging the Jennings’ first down. Unless we had a weird angle from the TV replays, it looked like they mis-marked that by 2-2.5 yards. No exaggeration. Ridiculous spot by the official but more ridiculous that McCarthy didn’t challenge it there. (And, by the way, ridiculous too if Al Michaels is right about there being a limit on challenges even if you are right. If you don’t get them wrong, you should be able to challenge all night).
McCarthy’s consecutive Kuhn calls were both so bad – especially to do it again just a few plays later like he did. But let me break down just why these calls were SO bad. The second Nance comes into the game, the Vikings know he won’t get the ball. If they have any doubt, McCarthy brings Nance out of the backfield in motion – on both plays eliminating him from the entire play – no question about it. Why even have him on the field? That leaves either a sneak or a Kuhn short-hand-off thing (or, what I would have done – an easy TD to Jennings in one on one coverage…). So, all the Vikings’ defenders knew there was about a 99% chance Kuhn or Rodgers would run the ball. And because Rodgers and Kuhn were standing 2 feet apart, the Vikes simply crowded that part of the line. No matter how strong an o-line is, you can’t out-push numbers and the Vikes had numbers each time. Kuhn made a nice no-give-up move to get the first first down but that was fortunate as Collinsworth said. But Kuhn was totally stuffed on the second. Bad play-calling there and it darn near cost us the game.
Rodgers and his WRs were off. Though I’ve been somewhat critical of Rodgers this year because he’s just not playing that great – today, I’d pin at least a couple of those miscommunication problems on the WRs. There were two instances where the Vikings’ CB or safety came to the line to blitz – and on both plays the WR should have recognized it and done a shorter route. Yes, you can go deep there too sometimes if you’re in one-on-one, but in neither case did the WR appear to have one-on-one coverage. I’ll bet Rodgers lets them hear about it this week.
Concerned about Driver’s health. He couldn’t do anything out there tonight.
I like Jennings getting the ball more. We’re a good team when he gets the ball because he knows what he’s doing out there.
James Jones continues to have the strangest, ambling way about him whenever he catches a ball – but tonight, on one catch at least, it looked like he turned on the jets and really ran. He’s faster than I thought he was.
Favre made some terrible throws tonight. He made a couple beauties too (like the 3rd and 1 pass to Harvin – gorgeous pass) – but his turnovers are so costly to that team. He now has 14 turnovers in 6 games. That’s terrible. Rodgers’ 9 picks in 7 games are concerning for us, but 14 turnovers is a real problem. (Favre and Cutler both have 14).
Percy Harvin is tremendous. Man, I can’t believe more teams didn’t go after that guy in the draft. He was a no-brainer draft pick. You simply CAN’T be that good in college and then suck in the pros. You just can’t be. (We’re also finally seeing this truth play out with Darren McFadden – holy crap was he good today).
Desmond Bishop may have missed some run gaps tonight and maybe missed another assignment or two – but he adds so much to the defense. The obvious pick-six stands out, but he also had some big hits on AP and other Vikings. He hits people with authority and over the course of a game, that can take it’s toll on those folks. He also does those sometimes stupid-seeming things where he hangs onto the guy’s leg when the guy is trying to get back up. You know what? I don’t mind that. It’s annoying yes, but it’s also a way of saying that ‘even though you just had a 12 yard run again, AP, I’m going to annoy you’. He has a nastiness that some of our other guys just don’t seem to have. He’s a good player and it’s nice to see him contribute like he did tonight.
Brandon Chillar couldn’t help a ton tonight it didn’t seem. Not sure if the injury was bothering him or if it was more just that he wasn’t in playing shape – but he wasn’t overly effective.
Brad Jones continues to do very little each week it seems – but his pressure on Favre forced the pick thrown to Hawk – so for that play alone, I tip my hat (not wearing a hat actually, and I’m way too young to use that expression).
Clifton was tremendous. I’ve criticized him heavily the last couple years because I really do think his level of play has declined. But he was fantastic tonight.
Also, did anyone hear Ray Edwards’ name tonight? I didn’t. Usually Allen wreaks havoc and Edwards gets some garbage sacks too because of the concerns about Allen. Bulaga had a very nice game against Edwards. And, dare I say it again – I think Bulaga in there for Tausch may give our running game a big boost.
Did something seem really strange tonight? I mean really strange? Zero sacks. yes, the Vikes had zero sacks.
I’m quite concerned about our run defense. Pickett’s absence is so obvious. CJ Wilson actually managed to make a few really nice plays – but mostly downfield tackles and one huge pressure (that forced the pick-six for Bishop).
The Vikes either weren’t too comfortable with Moss’ knowledge of their game plan or they had lots of respect for Tramon. Tramon has been playing well and played well again tonight. But I think Minnesota may have missed some opportunities throwing to Moss due to his huge height advantage over Tramon.
Brandon Jackson was good tonight and the o-line was quite good with its run blocking. It’s almost as if they really missed doing that part of their jobs and remembered collectively that they can be good at it. On a few of those runs by Jackson, the O-Line succeeded clearly in staggering the D-Line and even the LBs so they could wall-up and just stop Jackson. And Jackson, for the most part, did a nice job of picking holes and going through. (Though again, he clearly needs to work on this as there were a few runs where he seemed to take the wrong hole – in time.)
I know this will generate responses – but I honestly believe that we would have had a tougher time winning that game had Tarvaris Jackson been in there. Here’s why. Defensively, we got used at the line of scrimmage tonight. We lost lots of battles on the line and we couldn’t get Peterson down (or Harvin when he ran…and even Gerhardt). If Tarvaris could have scrambled some and run some, it could have made things extra difficult for us. And though he may have misfired on half of his passes, he probably wouldn’t have thrown 3 picks.
BJ Raji plays hard. He didn’t seem to do a whole lot tonight, but I remember one play late in the game when Favre was buying time running to the sidelines, Raji dragged himself all the way over there going all out. He had to be exhausted, but he kept playing hard.
When Pickett is in there, I think our defense becomes so much better so quickly. One thing that really affects this defense when Pickett is out, is the fact that LBs, safeties and CBs are then called upon to stop more runs – which can make trying to defend the pass as well more difficult.
Sometimes wins like this, despite our errors and the things we should have done differently, can really propel a team. I hope our momentum takes us right past the nasty Jets and their idiot head coach.
If Favre would have completed a last second pass to Moss, I might have puked (and not a drunk puke…a sober puke).
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All in all, I have to say there is hope. We really need to get healthy at D line, and well, our pass rushing needs to improve. Do I see it improving, no, unfortunately.
But other than that, there is hope. The offense is finally clicking somewhat. We still got plenty of work to do, but were finally getting the gears moving. In post game interview, Rodgers said they were playing soft man I believe, and the reads he made were different from what the Wrs made. Miscommunication, and I’m sure that will be fixed up.
I thought at the beginning of the year when the schedule released a late bye may really be a huge advantage. It’s going to help health wise and continue to get this team back into rhythm. Hopefully Harris, Bigby, and possibly Starks can really help this team.
We got 2 big games coming up. They’re going to be big tests. Jets off a bye, and with LT running so well, were gonna need to come up big.
Like I said, there is hope. Still got some issues, so time will tell how things end up. I hope Rodgers starts carrying this team and gets us through the rough patches.
I’m too excited to comment too much on the game….just want to enjoy it!!!
Watching the post-game pressors….Chilly just threw Favre under the bus. Wow. He said you just can’t throw a pick-6 and you have play within the system. Vikings have to probably for 8-2 or maybe 7-3 to make the playoffs. That’s going to be tough. Favre’s ankle looked pretty bad. Sterger issue still bubbling. That screeching sound you hear from the North might the wheels coming of the Vikings bus.
Tough game next week. Jets in NY after their bye week. Ouch…
I totally agree with you about Tavaris vs. Brett. Our guys were ready for him. Much more so than last year, and of course, I really do think he’s distracted, out of shape and hurt. Tavaris would have been a curve ball.
Alright Pack…way to show up in what was a really big game for us. At the half I was very nervous (as I was all game) that the offense wouldn’t come out in the third, but the D did a great job with 2 picks and one for 6. Wish MM would call a complete game.
Also 2nd week in a row where a perfectly called screen went for big yardage. Almost cost us big time this week too. Didn’t look like bad D…just a good call at the right time in the 4th.
We need this to provide a boost now. In a year wwhen any team can win in any week, there’s no reason we can’t go beat the Jets next week. Berars are going backwards and are not a good team. Despite the fact that we should be up a few games, I don’t mind 4-3 at this point, given the rest of the comp in the NFC North.
I’m just happy that we won – particularly that we finally won a close game that came down to the wire. We showed life on offense, had better play-calling (the 2 Kuhn calls aside), and the O-line kept Rodgers on his feet – all major improvements over the last few weeks. We also ran the ball pretty well. I loved the shot down the field on the punt fake – it should have been an easy TD.
Our defense wasn’t perfect, but they came up with some huge plays and ultimately won the game for us after being on the field for a long time in the 2nd half. The coaches clearly succeeded in getting them pumped to play this week.
I actually agree with you that Jackson may have been harder to defend after Favre re-injured his ankle and lost all mobility, but nobody is more dangerous on a game-ending drive than Favre.
I’m proud of how we played. It was a big division win for us. Hopefully it provides the spark we need to get through our next 2 games before a much needed bye week.
I thought the offensive game play was excellent. The use of the draw play with Jackson really slowed down the Vikings pass rush. You could see on every play the Viking DE’s were hesitating on the draw or the fake draw play action. That half-second of hesitation makez a big difference in pass protection. Throw in some effective screen plays to the Lee and Jackson and the Vikings pass rush was more concerned about their other responsibilities rather then just speed rushing to the QB. Excellent game plan and executed well by the players except on that errant screen pass to Allen.
Rodgers and his receivers appeared to be on a different page on many plays. Driver is often the recipient of those back shoulder and those hot routes. I think Rodgers really missed him last night. The Vikings did a great job of disguising and timing blitzes but Jordy and Jones need to a better job or recognizing it and adjusting the route.
TT has some big decisions to be make. Williams and Bishop need to get contract extensions. The bye week is late this year and if you wait that long these guys are more likely to make a decision to risk injury and play out the year rather then take the contract extension mid-season.
its weird- i feel like i do when we lose- maybe its something else but the offense was so hit and miss – though we did beat one of the best teams in the league (no matter what their record) as many have said -a win is a win in the NFL.
I expected the Vikings offense to look the way they did, but I did NOT expect the Packers to put up 21 points, with a couple of opportunities to put up more.
Most everyone has echoed what was best about the game so I wont be long-winded, but the defensive takeaways and presence of a running game (because it eliminated sacks due to hesitation) were the the two biggest keys. Awesome win.
Last, this definitely was a monkey on the Packers back, whether they admit it or not. Huge win.
The Vikes were smart to go to Harvin. Once they even put him in the backfield so they could hand it off to him. We need to learn that lesson regarding Jennings. Get him the ball and let him make things happen.
Total agreement on MM’s short yardage predictability. I’d like them to roll AR to his right and let him pass or run in that situation