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Packers Game Re-Cap

I know I am a bit late on this, but wanted to make sure I let you all know that the Vikings did win on Sunday.

Just playin’. 

The truth is that Mrs. Warwas and I moved to a new seaside mansion trailer with a view.  Thus, I was without internet for a short span.  But now I am back at it (after Mrs. Warwas checked on the latest romance between the stars of Twilight: Nice Moon or whatever the hell it is) and want to give some general thoughts about the Packers game.

We Won

No matter what analysis anyone has at this point, myself included, the fact is that the Vikings won and deserve great praise for their efforts.  Sweeping the Packers has never been an easy task and never will be, but going up by 2.5 games (3.5 if you factor in that we own the tiebreaker) on our greatest foes is a huge deal.  The victory pretty much knocked the Pack out of contention for the division title, barring a complete second half breakdown of course. 

So, tip your hats to the efforts of our Purple Players.  They deserve it.

It All Starts With Number Four

Perhaps nobody was more critical of the Brett Favre acquisition than I was.  So far, Favre has proven me to be incredibly wrong, and I am loving every minute of it.  While I still question the wisdom of hinging an entire season on a forty year old arm, I hope Favre continues to play how he has been.

Favre was named the NFC offensive player of the week and deservedly so.  Favre went 17 of 28 for 244 yards and 4 touchdowns.  No interceptions either.  Sheer brilliance. 

I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a Favre game as much as I did this one, and most of that had to do with knowing how Packers fans were feeling… hopeless… betrayed… sad… pure awesomeness.

Offensive Line Picking Up Steam

I noticed that our offensive line really shined on Sunday.  Sure, there was that one miscue from center John Sullivan that ended as turnover and perhaps a regrettable effort on that 4th down try, but for the most part the line play was solid.

The pass protection was near perfect against the Packers for the second time this year.  Favre was not sacked, and seemed to have enough time on nearly every play.  While the run blocking wasn’t a dominating portion of the game, it was solid enough to get the job done.

Jeff Dugan Can Play

I like the way Jeff Dugan plays.  Watch the highlight reels and see how often he is hustling to make a block or wide open as a check down option.  Dugan did a nice job filling in for Fahu Tahi and he is one guy I am sure glad the Vikings have kept around.

Sky Is Limit For Pass Catchers

All of the sudden the Vikings offensive strength seems to be their pass catchers.  Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, and Visanthe Shiancoe all had solid outings and seem to really be confident this year.

It will be interesting to see how this group performs in Favre’s absence, but something tells me that this season they’ve gained the confidence needed to really bring our passing production to the next level in the second half of this season.

Adrian Quiet But Still The Best

It is hard to define Adrian Peterson’s season thus far.  It’s not a slump as he’s producing quietly great numbers.  It’s not a lack of touchdowns as he’s found the end zone already only one less time than he did all last season.

I’m not sure what is going on, but he has not taken over games like we’ve seen him do his first couple of seasons.  I’m curious to see how this season plays out for good old number 28. 

I have a feeling the best is yet to come.

Chester Taylor Is A Sudden Liability

Chester let another short pass bounce off his hands, reminding me off the Steelers game.  This one fell harmlessly to the ground, but it was very similar.  That, combined with his poor rushing average could spell the end for the running back.

He’s a free agent after this season, and the Vikings may be willing to just let him walk if he doesn’t pick up his game significantly in the second half.

The Sick One Dominates On Returns

Percy was very close to breaking off a touchdown on three separate kick returns.  Harvins full-speed-ahead approach to returning kicks is a treat for Vikings fans.  We haven’t seen such an exciting return man in purple for a long, long time… if ever.

Brian Robison might give him a run for his money though.

D-Line Lives Up To Expectations

The defensive line has absolutely killed the Packers this year.  This game was no exception.  They held Ryan Grant to a measly 30 yards on ten attempts.  Rodgers was sacked a total of six times for a loss of 29 yards.

Some people may say that Jared Allen’s stats are inflated because of how he’s abused the Packers “Baby Swiss” line this year.  I say kudos to him.  If we want him to be especially effective against anybody, it’s the Packers.

Linebackers Need To Tighten Up

I am having mixed feelings about our linebacker group this season.  Greenway is capable of making a big play every game, but just as capable of missing an easy tackle.  E.J. Henderson had a rare missed tackle this game, but has yet to provide that extra spark to the defense that was expected when he returned from injury.  I was beginning to think that the Vikings needed to think about finding a linebacker with more range than Ben Leber after this season, but he is playing incredibly solid football.

Hopefully this group can tighten things up a bit and have an improved second half to the season.

Winfield Is Missed Greatly

Antoine Winfield should be back shortly after the bye week.  That will be great, because our other cornerbacks are nothing special.  Cedric Griffin is solid but can get burned at least two or three times a game, however he rarely misses a tackle.  Karl Paymah, Benny Sapp, and Asher Allen on the other hand have shown in two of the last three games that they can not be counted on for consistency.

Bad angles, poor tackling, and suspect coverage abilities all showed up against the Packers and this is something these guys need to get fixed quickly if they plan on sticking around in the NFL.

I was especially disappointed in Asher Allen, who had a promising debut against the Steelers.  Against the Packers, however, the third round rookie was absolutely wretched as he missed multiple tackles because of just plain silly looking efforts.

Safeties Are The Biggest Concern

It appeared that Leslie Frazier tried some new schemes in this game.  He kept the safeties a little closer to the middle of the field, and blitzed an outside linebacker or nickel cornerback quite often.

That still didn’t work.

Now instead of getting beat through a deep middle seam, the safeties couldn’t cover the sidelines where Greg Jennings and Donald Driver had a field day.  Not to mention some guy named Havner (Is that the guy from No Country For Old Men?) caught two touchdowns even though he’s shaped roughly like a Mr. Potato Head.

Just watching Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams try to make plays on Sunday suggested that they lack range that allows them to get from sideline to sideline quickly enough to make a play.  Combine that with poor ball skills and a knack for taking bad angles and boom, you have a suspect pass defense.

 

Overall, however, the Vikings are a blast to watch this year.  I’ll be back soon with more content to curb your bye week hunger.


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3 Responses to “Packers Game Re-Cap”

  1. G.P. says:

    Oh Warwas, so quick to voice your disappointment in Allen. Let’s look at the bigger picture. It’s not like the kid has four years of NFL experience under his belt or spent a few seasons sitting behind Champ Bailey cornerback extraordinaire and still hasn’t managed to start more than five games in his entire career. Nor, does he constantly get spanked in the foot race. Or perhaps get juked on plays because he’s slow and sometimes confused. Now that is silly and cause for concern. The fact of the matter is the Allen is young and finding his footing. The lack of experience does not detract from his potential to be a great cornerback. Lest we not forget that last week Double A had a forced fumble, three tackles and a sack. The kid has proven that he has talent and ability. What I saw Sunday was someone who wasn’t always successful in his attempts to make plays. I’ll give you that. However, I attribute this to excitement and youth. Homie still, managed to slam on a dude or two or three. I believe he contributed three tackles this time around. Now if he ever plays for four years, doesn’t learn a thing from a very talented and skilled cornerback around him, gets beat like he stole something a lot of the time, and can’t seem to learn that you must actually complete tackles in order to benefit the team. I’ll say he looks a little silly. Luckily, the position of cornerback clown is currently filled by someone else on the team.

  2. Adam Warwas says:

    G.P., I know every time I type the name “Asher” on my keyboard that I’ll be hearing from you soon enough… and that’s a good thing.

    Don’t mistake my disappointment as a total loss of faith. I was more disappointed because you’ve managed to hype this kid up to me so much that I find myself giddy with anticipation of what he can do… seriously (I worry that came off in a mocking tone, but it isn’t meant that way).

    I agree that Allen has more excuses than do Sapp or Paymah… but excuses run out eventually. He needs to become a consistent playmaker in order to earn more chances to prove himself. A third round pick gets the benefit of the doubt for about two or three years before he starts looking for work at a shopping mall. I’m really pulling for Allen to prove himself, even with half of his rookie year gone by with not much to hang his hat on besides one or two plays.

    With ‘Toine and Griffin locked onto the roster and Paymah and Sapp free agents this offseason, I’d love to see Allen develop into “that guy” before he loses his job because the Vikings decide to draft or sign another corner.

    You’ve gotten to me, G.P., and I really am rooting hard for the kid. Which is why his performance was all the more disappointing. Here’s hoping for a big rebound.

  3. G.P. says:

    I have no doubt, emphasis on the no part that Allen will become “That Guy”. Leslie Frasier seems to be a smart dude. Perhaps he recognizes that good things have the potential to become great things when given the proper time and cultivation. I know of a few CB’s that have spent their entire careers being relatively lack luster players with slow footwork and mediocre skills. They would make good rent-a-cops. I agree with Boynton’s incomplete grade and the brief explanation provided. We’ve yet to see what the kid is fully capable of. Everyone loves a finished product. Funny, but when I’ve built something myself or pieced something together little by little I tend to find it more valuable. Simply because I know exactly what it took to get it right. Allen is not a finished product. He does however posses a solid foundation and that’s where it all begins. At least he has a few plays to hang his hat on. That’s more than I can say for Paymah “The Painful” and Sapp “The Sand Trap.” One is painful to watch and the other is slowly but surely sinking. Give the kid a season he’s currently earning his stripes.

    Trust me on this one you’ll have reason to get giddy sooner than later.

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