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That Won’t Do

First, I want to answer a couple of questions you may have. 

First, following the National Anthem players from each team walked onto the field and gave each other a “one finger salute.”  The gesture was meant to illustrate how every player, regardless of team, is united as a member of the NFLPA in the looming labor battle.

Second, you may have noticed that the Vikings were wearing their home uniforms while the Saints were in white.  The home team gets to choose which uniforms they want to wear, and while they normally wear the dark ones, the Saints elected to wear white for this game.

With that stuff out of the way, here is some of my initial reaction to the Vikings 14 – 9 loss to Saints.

The Pass Offense

Brett Favre looked like a 40 year old guy that hasn’t had enough time to get on the same page with his pass catchers.  He went 15 of 27 for 171 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. 

Visanthe Shiancoe was playing like a guy that wants to be paid like a top-5 tight end, which indeed is exactly what he wants.  Shiancoe led the team with four catches, 76 yards, and a touchdown Thursday night. 

The second leading pass catcher was Adrian Peterson who had three grabs for 14 yards.  Running back Albert Young was the only other Vikings player to have multiple catches, notching two grabs for 11 yards (one 13 yarder, and one that went for a loss).

So, it should be pointed out that all of the Vikings wide outs had only one catch a piece.

The passing offense was by far the most worrisome part of this team, particularly since the offensive line was actually able to give Favre some fairly consistent protection.

The Run Offense

Adrian Peterson had 57 yards on 13 carries (4.4 yard average) in the first of the game, and was running with a scary intensity.  It felt like he was close to bringing one to the house, but more importantly, the effectiveness of the run was able to counter the Saints quick-to-score offense by controlling the clock and resting the defense.  On one drive, the Vikings offense had the ball for nine minutes and 25 seconds.

For unexplainable reasons, the running game was almost completely abandoned in the second half, despite a relatively close score.  In the second half, Peterson only ran the ball six times, gaining 30 yards (5 yard average).

Albert Young was unimpressive on the ground as he ran three times for two yards.

The Run Defense

After only running the ball three times in the first half, the Saints unleashed Pierre Thomas in the second half of the game and he proved to be quite efficient.  He ended the game with 71 yards on 19 carries (3.7 yard average) and a one yard touchdown.

It became painfully obvious that the WilliamsWall was getting simply beat by the Saints talented interior line, and the offense having three and done drives never gave the duo a chance to catch their breath.  Chad Greenway (nine tackles) and EJ Henderson (eight tackles) were able to keep the Saints running attack from breaking any huge plays, but the overall effort did not look like the defensive line we ave grown used to seeing.

The Pass Defense

The first thought that comes to my mind: “It just looked different.”

Asher Allen and Lito Sheppard are relatively new contributors for the Vikings secondary, and Husain Abdullah came out of nowhere to win the starting strong safety spot.  (FYI: Childress said at his presser after the game, with no question, that Abdullah is this team’s starting strong safety even when Sanford gets 100% healthy.)

It wasn’t always pretty, but I have to admit that the Vikings secondary held their own pretty well provided that they were playing a very potent offense and didn’t receive much help from the pass rush.

The starting defensive line was completely owned by that O-Line all night long, and that proves to be true when you see that Jayme Mitchell was the only Vikings to get a sack tonight.

There are things to work on here, but there are positives here as well.  Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin will eventually be healthy and able to contribute, which can only help.

Overall

In the end, this game is one of 16, and the Vikings have a long road ahead of them with plenty of tough teams.  More efficiency in the passing game and intensity on defense will go a long ways towards beating our next opponent, the Miami Dolphins.


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16 Responses to “That Won’t Do”

  1. VikingsUK says:

    Part of me wants to put this down to the hangover from last season, but it strikes me that no-one really wanted to put last year behind them that badly. The run game stopped when we were on a roll, and we switched over to Favre who was clearly on the wrong page. Disappointing result, but like you said, the season is 15 more games and we can win them all. We just have to make sure we don’t play like we did last night. Skol!

  2. Ole says:

    Nine points is not gonna win many games in the NFL

  3. starrc10 says:

    Both teams laid an egg. That was a boring game. I think both teams still have a lot to improve on.

  4. SKee says:

    I guess one positive to take out of it all is that in a very hostile environment with all that emotion, our defense played well enough to make this game winnable. I can only hope our O gets it together. If so, we will be alright.

  5. Brent says:

    You need to remember that the score should have been 24 to 9
    Two makeable fieldgoals and a dropped td in the endzone.

  6. Zag says:

    Farve has to shake the rust off. Maybe he could have done that by, what’s it called… COMING TO TRAINING CAMP.

    The O-line didn’t do well, but not as bad as I expected. I hope McKinnie is able to come back soon.

    I think that when Cook and Griffin come back our pass defense will be, dare I say, good. Sheppard played much better than I expected.

    Linebackers, as always, were solid. The D-line needs to play up to expectations. But I’ll give it to the saints O-line for being studs.

    And finally, reason number 413 to assassinate Childress- Peterson absolutely NEEDS to get 25+ touches a game. Period.

  7. Viking John says:

    Inconsistent is how I see it.
    Give AP the ball. Leave him in the game.
    Some more work needed, but it is early.
    Go Vikes

  8. Fran the Man says:

    I think Childo finally got the message that he has to start making half time adjustments.
    And I think we all saw the reason why we DO NOT want him making his own halftime adjustments.
    Do you guys know AD didn’t touch the ball in the 4th qtr?
    I thought for sure he was dinged.
    Childress is STILL our biggest liability.

    Our D-line will be ok. We played a REAL good O-line tonight. Wished we would have spelled Pat W. more, as he needed it.

    I hope it’s rust I’m seeing on Favre but I don’t think so. I think I’m seeing “OLD”

    Other than Lito playing surprisingly well, our pass D looks just as bad as last year. Good as EJ is on the run, he sucks bad in pass protection.

    I don’t know guys, I know it’s the first game and we played in a very hostile environment against a real pumped up team, but I’m worried that we aren’t near the team we were last season.

  9. CO Vike Fan says:

    Favre looked old, arm strength didn’t look close to what we’re used to seeing. Looked like TJack missing receivers 8 yards downfield. With that said, pin this one on coaching. D played good enough to win, O had a good game plan that they abandoned, and you saw the difference in the coaching staffs from 1st half to 2nd half. They made adjustments, while we couldn’t figure out how to pass against cover 2?

  10. RunicRooter says:

    I’m so tired of seeing Childress get outcoached. The halftime adjustments did more harm than good – took Peterson out of the game – kept calling throws to the outside receivers when it obviously wasn’t working, calling pass plays to unproven receivers on third and short with the best running back in football twiddling his thumbs – just stooopid.

  11. CalVkg says:

    coulda, woulda, shoulda…if the queen had balls, she woulda been the king

    where was the attitude? AD was the only one who had it. we gave the taints the wrong ‘one finger salute’ before the game. we got a spark and won the second quarter and didn’t build on it, instead we went flat. again, that game was ours for the taking, they weren’t that good

    the body language, the facial expressions of favre and childress afterwards in the presser looked weak, almost like they felt guilty, that they didn’t give it their best shot. just felt like they weren’t prepared and didn’t do their jobs, let everybody down

    now we see how this team reacts and if we can get to 2-1 for Sept. next month is gonna be a biatch, 4 good teams and three away. our best scenario could be that we peak at the end of the season, make the playoffs and carry it through to a title

  12. Fran the Man says:

    Someone just mentioned a major trade coming up that was just talked about on KFAN radio.
    Anyone hear anything?

    http://vikingsmessageboard.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21833

  13. Brian says:

    I am not saying that Camarillo is going to be a saviour but how come he did not even play in the first half.

  14. hookem says:

    typical Childress offense

    Use Peterson to get the lead then stop using him when you need to eat up clock and air it out.

    Also they were so predictable on offense, any Viking fan could have called what they were gonna do before the play.

    When will Childress realize that this year our season needs to be in Petersons hands instead of Favres

  15. purplereign#57 says:

    The pass D sucks, just like last year. We are doomed if it doesn’t pick up a couple notches.

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