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Vikings/Titans Thoughts

With the Vikings losing their first pre-season game to the Titans 14-3, there were some good and bad things to take from it.


The Good

Starting Quarterback Donovan McNabb had a decent first outing for the Vikings going 6-11 for 40 yards. McNabb converted a few 3rd downs, was calm and smooth inside the pocket and also showed mobility when the pocket collapsed.

Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder had a positive first game. The newbie was 8-13 for 89 yards. Ponder also showed some mobility and looked comfortable throwing on the run. He converted his first pass to rookie TE Kyle Rudolph for 10 yards. He also had the nights longest reception hitting Juaquin Iglesias for 26 yards.

Running-back Lorenzo Booker fumbled the ball in the 2nd quarter but other than that looked good. He rattled off a 20 yard run in the 3rd quarter and finished with 9 carries for 47 yards with a 5.2 YPC. Booker also added 3 receptions for 32 yards, making his case to be the 3rd down running back.

Weak side linebacker Erin Henderson was active all over the field. He finished with 10 tackles, 7 of them solo tackles, and 2 tackles for loss. I was impressed with Henderson and liked what I seen out of the young new starter.

Rookie DT Christian Ballard registered the Vikings only sack when he bulldozed his way through the Titans line and sacking Jake Locker, welcoming him to the NFL.

Jaymar Johnson made his case of why he should be the starting punt returner when he returned a punt for 40 yards to the Titans 24 yard line.


The Bad

2 turnovers hurt the Vikings and led to points

Joe Webb had a rough time going 4-8 for 45 yards, an interception and a 27.6 passer rating. Webb showed once again that he can escape the pocket and pick up yards with his feet but he did little to show he’s improved in the passing game.

The Vikings were in striking distance twice and Christian Ponder failed to convert 2 different 4th down attempts.

Vikings offensive line wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either.

Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin were held out of this game and the rest of Vikings secondary was terrible. Especially CB Chris Cook who was caught looking at a fumbled snap by Jake Locker who picked it back up and through a 45 yard touchdown which the receiver had Cook by a few steps. Cook also was getting handled in the run game by the Titans receivers and took a stiff arm by a Titans running-back.It was a rough night for the 2nd year corner-back. Asher Allen missed a tackle and was burned for a 20 yard gain within first 4 plays of the game.

Tackling was terrible, especially by the corner-back.

Vikings offense as a whole is still a work in progress so none of the receivers really got a chance to stand out. Devin Aromashodu had a chance at some hard catches but couldn’t come down with any of them.


Other Notes:

Joe Webb was the 2nd string quarterback this week and next week versus Seattle, Christian Ponder will be the 2nd string quarterback.

Jamarcus Sanford got the start at strong safety even though Tyrell Johnson was penciled in as the starter on the depth chart released early this week. My guess is Johnson will get the nod next week as the starter.

Bill Musgrave states starters will get a little more time next week probably somewhere between 15-18 snaps or so.

DE De’Andre Reed left in 3rd quarter with leg cramps.


Players who sat out:

Kevin Williams, Jared Allen, and Antoine Winfield  were held out of the game.

Cedric Griffin (Knee)

Visanthe Shiancoe (Hamstring)

Mistral Raymond (Hamstring)

Kenny Onatolu (Foot)

Stephen Burton (Hamstring)

Anthony Herrera(Triceps)

Tristan Davis(Stomach)



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35 Responses to “Vikings/Titans Thoughts”

  1. phil says:

    the secondary was embarassing

  2. Zag says:

    Our secondary was terrible, as was the offensive line, but that’s to be expected.

    I was shocked at how bad our defensive line looked. They were getting blown off the ball on run plays.

    • Randy Perrin says:

      Remember Allen and Williams were both out and they make everyone around them better. I thought Everson Griffen played very well and he stood out above the rest on the line.

  3. phil says:

    chris cook..what a bust

  4. starrc10 says:


  5. CalVkg says:

    we might suck for a couple of years. the upside might be winning 2 or 3 games per year in our division, maybe even making the playoffs if we’re lucky

    we’ve got to rebuild this team and it starts with the lineman. without a good O-line, having AD is like putting headers on a lawn mower engine

  6. Vikadan11 says:

    I’m not worried about the score or how the anyone played ~ With only two week to work on a new offense and who knows why kind of changes were made on the defe3nsive side now that control freak Chilly is out of the way ~ The guys out on the field were trying to win roster spots so I’m not worried about mess~ups ~ Players like Cook looking into the backfield on the fumble by Locker could have happen to anyone in the first preseason game ~ I have seen Winfield do the very same thing in a Bears as he got beat by Berrian for a long TD ~ So all is not lost IMHO ~ This was and should have been a game to look at some of the young guys ~ IMHO thats what it was ~ Yes I always want to see a win but this was a game with a new OC who has had 2 weeks to get his players to understand what he wants from them ~ It might game 5 or 6 before the offense starts making a good showing ~ Or maybe not ~ Maybe they are playing well by week one ~ Who truly knows ~ ?

  7. bigjohnny84 says:

    I’ll cut the defense a little slack here, 4 starters sat with 3 of them being probowlers. Like Vikadan said the offense needs more time and as much as I hate to say it, I thought McNabb looked fairly good.

  8. CalVkg says:

    this game doesn’t mean squat. there’s over 30 guys on each of these teams that are gonna be cut, and they’re getting a look during the pre-season

  9. SupaScout says:

    The Vikings cannot continue to ignore the offensive line. No matter if it was the starters or the third string they were manhandled. The QB never had a true pocket to stand in, either having to roll out to buy time or scramble and run the ball themselves. Half of the runs the RB was first hit at or behind the line of scrimmage.
    I know it’s only the first preseason game but it will be a long year if they don’t do something to shore this up.

  10. LeCount80 says:

    And the panic sets in, lol.

  11. Stonginator says:

    I have to agree with SupaScout . . . If our line was not so atrocious last year, Favre may still be playing.
    If it was better the year before, we would have a Super Bowl win . . .

    I was hoping that it was just all the injuries to the line last year, but this game did NOTHING to prove this thought wrong . . . so yes . . the proverbial PANIC is wanting to set in.

    I do realize that it is only the first PRE season game, but I was hoping to see some IMPROVEMENT in this par of their game.

  12. c.carterhof says:

    Its the 1st game of a pre-season coming off a 5 month lock out. Way too early.
    I would be more worried if they had looked great.

  13. Purple Charlie says:

    Allot of changes( New Offense ) as said, Guys not in there (injury or other ) CC is right Way too early yet… McNabb did look fairly good as Johnny quoted.

    I think O-line will be ok once it has time to jell also…

  14. Stonginator says:

    That was kind of my point here about the o line.
    They have had 2 1/2 years to ” Jell “.
    I really am an avid Vikings fan, have been my whole live. But the o-line is really horrible and needs addressed.

    Can you imagine what All Day could do behind a good line ? ? ?

    He gets hit in the backfield on 75 % of the plays that he gets the ball handed to him, and then we have the nerve to complain because he
    fumbles the ball . . . PLEASE!

    I hope that Fusco can learn fast, because neither of the centers we have can stay healthy for a whole year.

    I do hope you guys are right, and I am just worried too early . . .

    But I just don’t think that is the case.

    • Purple Charlie says:

      I agree with ya on A.D.getting mugged in the backfield allot !
      I hope Charlie Johnson catches on, he does need time to jell.

      Sullivan isn’t the answer at Center, Fusco has a Mean streak to him, I like that, But he is raw, As you said, I hope he learns fast also…

    • Purple Charlie says:

      I mean’t Strong ! lol…

    • LeCount80 says:

      Your panic is just too over the top. Sullivan(6th rd pick BTW)and Loadholt have only been starting for two years. Loadholt as a straight rookie. Johnson and DeGeare have never been starters for the Vikings.
      Throw into the mix that its a whole new system, and I say they have had NO time to Jell as a unit.

      This line didnt play very well last year, but its, well, it isnt the same line anymore.

      I feel your pain, I do, throwing out bogus AD stats (75%) (ONE fumble in 2010) doesnt work with me.

      Its not near as bad as you think.

      • Stonginator says:

        LeCount 80

        I will agree with you a little that it is not the same personnel
        on the line. DeGreare 2nd year, and this being Loadholt’ 3rd year now.
        The 75% was a slight exaggeration, if you saw how many times he was hit in the backfield 2 years ago when we STILL almost made it to the S. Bowl.
        Last year, yes he had only 1 fumble, and that was a huge improvement.
        I was not discrediting him at all.
        My point was it was amazing that he didn’t fumble more with the way he was hit all the time.
        This should add up to our O-line STILL sucking and being one of the worst lines agin this year. UNFORTUNATELY!!!

  15. Skol12 says:

    After seeing the game, I think Les Frazier is talking to Bud Grant, see if we can borrow some of his kids linemen and corners from Eden Prairie Highschool.

  16. krugjr says:

    cook looked like the CB spielman had to take cuz he screwed up that end of rd 1 trade………..thought the days of watching our CBs and S follow someone into the end zone were coming to an end…..not yet!

    • bigjohnny84 says:

      I still can’t believe they did basically nothing to improve the secondary except cut Madieu and taking a stab at a couple late rounders. I feel your pain krugs.

      • Randy Perrin says:

        Until the Vikings get Greenway and Peterson under new contracts, theres not much they can do with the secondary because they dont have much cap room.

  17. phil says:

    i think we shouldnt have drafted ponder and took someone like pouncey or prince amukamara to help those needs, at least with an oline and better defense peterson could be the whole offense. next years draft is much deeper with quarterbacks

  18. Man of the Norse says:

    Asher Allen got destroyed: No surprise. Chris Cook looked like a rookie: He pretty much still is. Brandon Burton: Watch this kid. Winfield 2.0, anyone? However, that is VERY far from encouraging. If Ced can’t recover, we might have to pray that Winfield play the whole CB position by himself. Safeties looked decent for the first time in…. a while. Jamarca Sanford was everywhere and makeing plays. Abdullah looked pretty good with limited snaps. I actually might have some faith in our starting safeties (as long as Sanford gets the other spot)going into the season. All in all, a little mixed on the secondary. That and the oline (I was lovin’ Love and Fusco) are our biggest concerns. It’s not too early to tell that.

    • Skol12 says:

      I think you could also add QB and WR. I know we have ponder for the future but McNabb didnt look as good as people are saying, he looked like a bottom ten quarterback. We also struggled mightily last year at the WR position when Sid was out, now hes out for good and we have done what to improve our WR corps? Nothing. JJ may be able to play a decent role but we will struggle in every aspect of the game besides running and stopping the run…. Same as the past 5 years(excluding 2009-10)

  19. krugjr says:

    yeah, a lot of us were hoping to build a kick-ass-defense….and we go QB and TE, rd 1 & 2,,,,spielman and his BPA……..REALLY?

    I suppose it’s a tad early to be thinking about next year’s ddraft….

    • Man of the Norse says:

      Look at it this way: Amukarama and Fairley(two highly rated defensive players both available at 12) are both injured and won’t start off the season and can barely participate now. Unless we actually made a smart move and got an olineman (tackle or center)our first round pick was almost garunteed to not make an instant impact. The Rudolph pick wasn’t too bad. I wouldn’t mind seeing him and that Riesner kid take over as the top 2 TEs in a few years.

  20. bostongopher says:

    Wasn’t Bud Grant the last Viking coach to realize you build a superbowl team with a strong defense?

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