Archive for October, 2010

anyone else just realize that Cullen Jenkins was out?

October 25, 2010

I sometimes put the game on mute when I’m watching and I missed all the introductory stuff before the game last night – so I’m not sure if I just missed it being mentioned or what. But I didn’t realize until this morning while checking the box score for tackles etc that Cullen Jenkins didn’t play. I then confirmed it via the internet. Wow. And he has a hamstring issue – which is almost always a major, nagging, ongoing concern. Ugh.

This fact makes the victory last night even more impressive to me. When Jenkins and Pickett are in there, that D-Line is much better against the run and even in the QB pressure area too. Wow.

Forgive my optimism but when Pickett, Jenkins and Chillar are back at full strength, I think this defense may end up being better than it was to start the year. Bishop will keep making plays, Hawk has been making some plays anyway (though remains a weaker link), and with Chillar back to his strong-coverage self and Brad Jones maybe making some progress too – and of course Matthews back – and Harris and Bigby adding depth – and our backups like CJ Wilson, Jarius Wynn, Frank Zombo, Charlie Peprah and our CBs having now gained valuable playing experience…OK, I’ll stop. But my point is that this defense could become tougher to deal with – especially after the bye week when guys have a chance to heal some.


Fantastic – great victory

October 25, 2010
  • 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).

Two big missed penalties there

October 24, 2010

Matthews was absolutely held – but on that quick play before the 2 minute warning, 2 of the Vikes’ players weren’t set. Should have been a procedure penalty.

Not liking this right now

October 24, 2010

When you’ve forced 3 turnovers, even scoring a TD on one of them, and are only up by 4, it’s not good. Favre is rattled no doubt, but he’s always had a short memory.

We need a strip fumble play now.

That Kuhn play is weak

October 24, 2010

Just come up with something different.

Way to find the spot by Jennings

October 24, 2010

He just sat and knew where to be – great veteran play.

What an unbelievable catch!

October 24, 2010

Unreal and game saving. Nick Collins just saved us big-time – he bailed out McCarthy’s poor decision making and he bailed out the officials too. If they call offensively holding or a facemask – two of the clear penalties against Matthews, then the Vikes have much further to go for a first down.

Still, focus on the present Andy. Absolutely fantastic pick by Collins. Fantastic.

That was a massive hold and facemask – WTF

October 24, 2010

Can’t believe they didn’t call that

Great example of McCarthy’s in-game decision problems

October 24, 2010

I don’t like this at all. If Minnesota were smart, they were just run the ball with AP and Harvin for the rest of the game and we have no chance. None. And McCarthy’s poor decision making just cost us at least a FG.

The officials blew that mark for Jennings

October 24, 2010

But the McCarthy didn’t follow that up with an appropriate challenge. Then he calls the exact same play as he did on the last 4th down call that was lucky to work. Terrible coaching right there. Terrible.