Archive for the ‘Adrian Peterson’ Category
Cordarrelle Patterson, aka CP to his coaches and teammates, apparently is off to a fast start with the Vikings. This is the part that stood out for me:
Two days into his first NFL training camp, Patterson has impressed the staff with his ability to retain information and execute pro plays despite his only having one year of Division I college experience.
“It wasn’t like starting from zero like we thought it might be,” said Frazier. “That encourages all of us. Now take that with a grain of salt. We’ve got a lot more football to go, but we like what we see so far.”
This isn’t to say CP is Percy Harvin’s equal. That’d be foolish considering the impact Harvin made while inspired. Apparently, there are some striking similarities between Harvin and CP. Both are dynamic from multiple formations and positions. Both are fast. What’s most impressive about CP is that he’s apparently a fast learner.
When Harvin was drafted, then-Vikings coach Brad Childress threw the playbook at Harvin. Coaches were impressed with Harvin’s ability to learn multiple positions quickly. Based on Brian Murphy’s Pi-Press article, it sounds like CP is a fast study, too.
That isn’t the label he had heading into the draft. If I had a $10 bill for each newspaper article or TV segment that characterized CP as “raw”, I’d be rich.
Harvin was traded to Seattle for Seattle’s first round and seventh round picks in last April’s draft and Seattle’s third rounder in next year’s draft. The Vikings turned Seattle’s first rounder into FSU cornerback Xavier Rhodes, a 6’2″ athlete with a 4.4 time in the forty. Meanwhile, Seattle put Harvin on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. If Harvin’s hip needs surjery, his season is likely over.
Most experts, including ESPN’s Bill Polian, Mark Schlereth and Tedy Bruschi, said the Vikings got the better of the trade long-term, with Seattle winning in the short-term. If Harvin doesn’t play this year, the Vikings will likely win the trade outright.
But I digress.
CP has some unique abilities:
Frazier said Patterson will get every chance to secure the kickoff return job. Unlike Percy Harvin, whose electrifying returns and the pounding he took on kickoffs sometimes kept him on the sideline during offensive possessions, Patterson’s size (6 feet 2, 220 pounds) should allow him to work double shifts.
CP is the type of dynamic playmaker that frightens defensive coordinators. His running skills are elite level. In fact, Polian said he didn’t consider CP a wideout, that he thought of CP as a running back. Watching some of his highlight videos, I’d wholeheartedly agree with Polian’s run-after-the-catch opinion. Being 6’2″ and 220 pounds and able to run a 4.4 forty is something that must be accounted for by defenses, too.
If CP learns the Vikings playbook quickly, as Brian Murphy’s article suggests, the Vikings offense could be frightening. The Vikings offensive line is solid, with Matt Kalil anchoring the unit. GM Greg Spielman added Greg Jennings and CP to a depleted receiving corps. Kyle Rudolph was last winter’s Pro Bowl MVP. And of course, the offense is built around Adrian Peterson, the seemingly bionic running back. If Christian Ponder continues to improve, the Vikings will challenge the Packers for the NFC North championship.
More on that in another post.
Tags: Minnesota Vikings, Cordarelle Patterson, Athleticism, Greg Jennings, Xavier Rhodes, Matt Kalil, Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph, MVP, Christian Ponder, Seattle Seahawks, Percy Harvin, Injured Reserve, NFL Draft, Bill Polian, Mark Schlereth
The 2012 NFL draft is only a day old so I’m only able to give the Vikings a grade based on their picks today. But, oh, what a grade it is.
An hour prior to the official start of the draft, ESPN’s Chris Mortenson and Adam Shefter announced that the Vikings had traded the third overall pick to the Browns for the 4th overall pick, plus Cleveland’s 118th, 139th & 211th picks.
In short, Spielman convinced the Browns to give him the additional ammunition that hey’ll need to expedite the Vikings’ rebuilding job. It didn’t take long to lear that that was a major thing.
With the fourth pick he’d aquired from Cleveland, Spielman got the player he’d wanted all along in USC LT Matt Kalil. After a flurry of trades, the Vikings combined the 35th pick (the third pick in the 2nd round) with the 98th pick (third pick in the 4th round) to trade back into the first round to take Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith with the 29th pick they’d acquired from Baltimore.
Friday night, the Vikings will start the night with the 66th pick, which is the third pick in the third round. Saturday, the Vikings will have a fistful of fourth-rounders, 2 fifth-rounders, a sixth-rounder and 2 seventh-rounders.
It’s possible the Vikings can package the 66th pick with some third day picks and get back into the 2nd round. That might not be necessary, though, because the talent that dropped into the 2nd round was pretty substantial.
It isn’t that the players that dropped fit the Vikings priorities. It’s that some teams made surprising picks that pushed other talented players into the 2nd day of the draft.
It’s likely that the Vikings will focus on getting a cornerback & a wideout before adding depth with the rest of the draft.
Elsewhere in the NFC North, Chicago drafted OLB Shea McClellin of Boise State, Detroit picking Iowa OT Riley Rieff and Green Bay picking USC DE Nick Perry.
It isn’t difficult to make a legitimate case that each of the NFC North teams improved themselves with their picks.
Elsewhere in the draft, the Rams got a solid DT in Michael Brockers after trading out of the sixth pick. Though he’ll help their defense, Jeff Fischer has to be disappointed. They’d hoped that they’d draft Oklahoma State wideout Justin Blackmon with sixth pick.
When Jacksonville swapped picks with Tampa, they picked Blackmon. That led to the Rams trading back to the 14th pick in a trade with the Cowboys. The Rams hoped they’d still get Michael Floyd with the 14th pick. Instead, the Cardinals used their 13th overall pick to take Floyd to pair him with Larry Fitzgerald.
St. Louis should’ve just picked Floyd with the sixth pick, which analysts would’ve said was a little bit of a reach. Still, they would’ve gotten a prime weapon for QB Sam Bradford. Instead, they got a defensive tackle and extra picks that they’ll use to take lesser talents.
Right now, I’d give the Vikings, the Patriots and Cincinnati the highest grades from the first day. The Patriots significantly upgraded their defense with passrushing DE Chandler Jones and ILB Dont’a Hightower. Cincinnati upgraded their secondary by picking Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick with the 17th pick. Then they upgraded their offensive line by picking OG Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin.
Of the teams with just 1 pick in the first round, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Buffalo really helped themselves alot.
Green Bay got the passrusher they need to take pressure off Clay Matthews when they drafted Nick Perry of USC. Pittsburgh helped themselves immensely in picking Stanford OG David DeCastro. DeCastro is a mauler in the Steelers’ tradition. Buffalo has had a fantastic offseason, first getting DEs Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in free angency, then adding CB Stephon Gilmore of South Carolina with the 10th pick.
Buffalo’s defense took a giant step forward, both in terms of upgrading their defensive line and their secondary.
NFL draftniks like me can’t wait for the full-day coverage of the NFL Entry Draft. That’s especially true for Vikings fans this year. Following a dismal season, the Vikings need a great draft, filling alot of holes at alot of different positions.
After releasing Bryant McKinnie last year, the hole at left tackle is as big a hole as they’ve got. When the Vikings defeated Washington in the next-to-last week of the season, I thought they totally blew it. Had they lost, they would’ve started with the 2nd pick, which would’ve turned into Washington’s first rounders this year, next year and the year after that. Plus Washington’s second rounder this year.
For those keeping score at home, that means the Vikings would’ve had the 6th overall pick, the 35th overall pick and the 38th overall pick this year. That isn’t great news from the standpoint that the Vikings certainly wouldn’t have gotten USC OT Matt Kalil with the 6th overall pick.
This is what Todd McShay recently said about Kalil:
The Vikings just missed out on being able to cash in with the second overall pick, but with Baylor QB Robert Griffin III likely to be the pick there, Minnesota is in a position to finally begin shoring up its offensive line with an elite prospect. Kalil is one of the top left tackles I have evaluated coming out of college, with a skill set equal to Joe Thomas and a mean streak to go with it.
Joe Thomas is an elite LT. Being compared favorably with Thomas speaks volumes. The part about Kalil having “a mean streak to go with it” must make Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder and Toby Gerhart smile from ear-to-ear.
Scott Wright at Draftcountdown.com has equally complimentary things to say about Kalil:
USC OT Matt Kalil is the reason that his former teammate Tyron Smith, who was the #10 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, was relegated to playing the right side in college. Kalil, whose brother Ryan plays for the Carolina Panthers and is one of the leagues premier centers, isn’t a finished product but he possesses the physical tools and intangibles to develop into an elite blindside protector.
Having an elite blindside left tackle to protect the QB and open holes for Adrian Peterson would be a positive step forward for the Vikings. In the second round, Wright predicts that the Vikings will pick Zack Brown, an athletic outside linebacker from North Carolina.
If the Vikings get an elite LT with the third overall pick and an athletic outside linebacker in the second round, they will have started filling alot of the holes they’ve got.
As the countdown clock edges toward zeros, check back with DraftCountdown. Scott Wright is one of the most diligent mock draft people in the business. That’s proved by his record and his willingness to be one of the few people who’ll mock the first three rounds.
Other than the guy with Jimmy Johnson hair, Mike Mayock and Pat Kirwan, I can’t think of another guy whose mock drafts I’d trust more than Scott’s.
For years, the face of NLF ineptitude was the Detroit Lions. With the Lions looking to be on a longterm, dramatic upswing, the new face of NFL franchise ineptitude is the Minnesota Vikings.
Going into Saturday’s game with the Redskins, the Vikings had a realistic shot at getting the top overall pick in the draft. This year, the NFL Entry Draft is subtitled “the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes” because Stanford’s Andrew Luck is considered the best QB prospect to come out of college since Peyton Manning. Some scouts say he’s the best QB prospect to come out of college since John Elway.
Either way, the Vikings would’ve held the rights to the jewel of the draft had they lost out & the Colts won their last game.
Instead, the Vikings screwed up a miserable season by a) defeating the Washington Redskins and b) watching Adrian Peterson, the dominant running back in the NFL, suffer a nasty knee injury.
Initial reports are that AP tore his ACL and that there’s damage to the MCL, too. There’s a distinct possibility that AP won’t regain his dominant form again. It’s more likely, though, that he’ll return to 100% sometime in 2014.
As a result of Saturday’s victory against Washington, there’s a strong possibility that the Vikings will miss out on QB Luck, LT Matt Kalil, WR Justin Blackmon & CB Morris Claiborne.
That means that the Vikings will have lost out on the 4 top-of-the-blue-chip bluechippers in this draft. What’s worst is that each of these players would’ve filled the void at a major position of need at a playmaking position.
That’s on top of playing Peterson in a meaningless game. That’s after thinking about losing a transcendant player like AP in a meaningless game.
Peterson had missed 3 straight games with a high ankle sprain, at minimum a painful injury that left him at less than 80%. What was the wisdom of playing AP in a meaningless game like Washington? Now AP’s career is at a crossroads.
This Vikings fan just hopes they’ll lose to ‘Da Bears this Sunday. At least, then, they’ll still get the third overall pick. At that point, they’d likely have their choice between Matt Kalil and Justin Blackmon.
At that point, too, they’d likely have alot of offers for their pick. When they get those offers, they should let it be known that they’re perfectly content picking a dominant player who’ll be a differencemaker for a decade. They should also let it be known that it’ll take three-fourth’s of a king’s ransom to trade for their pick.
If the Vikings get the third pick, they’d be in a position of relative strength. If they hadn’t won Saturday, they would’ve guaranteed themselves the high draft pick they could parlay into a dominant player or into a trade that would’ve turned this franchise around.
The Minnesota Vikings: the NFL’s new name for franchise ineptitude.
It isn’t a secret that Sid Hartman doesn’t have a clue. This column, however, proves that he’s willing to play the strawman card without hesitation. Here’s what I’m talking about:
The drafting of Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder in the first round was a big surprise to several draft analysts, so the Vikings weren’t given a high draft grade by some of the so-called experts, most of whom look silly when some of the draftees they make fun of turn into stars.
Rob Rang is CBSSports.com’s is their draft analyst. Here’s his grade for the Vikings and Christian Ponder:
Minnesota Vikings: B+
Full disclosure: I am higher on Christian Ponder than most, so if you’re thinking I’m going to knock them significantly for their perceived “reach” of him at No. 12, you’re wrong. I will certainly admit that the No. 12 overall pick higher is higher than a quarterback coming off two arm surgeries should go, but the Vikings needed a passer who could play right away and Ponder is, in my opinion, the most pro-ready passer in this draft. If, and it’s a big if, he can stay healthy, he’ll prove worthy of this pick. Arm-strength, intelligence and mobility are not questions, in my mind. The Vikings found solid talent throughout the rest of the draft, as well. The selection of Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph was a surprise considering the emergence of Visanthe Shiancoe. Versatile defensive lineman Christian Ballard (4th round), competitive cornerback Brandon Burton (5th) and developmental center Brandon Fusco (6th) highlighted a busy Day Three for the Vikings.
It doesn’t sound like Rang ripped the Vikings too hard, does it?
Here’s ESPN’s Todd McShay’s take on Ponder:
What he brings: Ponder has had problems staying healthy and there are concerns about his durability going forward, but he has had the opportunity to show his toughness and there is a lot to like about his willingness to play through pain. He doesn’t have the strongest arm and will have some trouble driving the ball downfield, but he does an excellent job of anticipating and delivering the ball in stride on short-to-intermediate routes. He is also light on his feet and can buy time within the pocket.
Video analysis: Todd McShay
How he fits: One of the big questions regarding the Vikings was whether they would go the veteran QB route or bite the bullet and start over with a rookie, and we still don’t know the answer, despite this pick. Right now, with Tarvaris Jackson and Brett Favre gone and Joe Webb unproven this is an offense that simply can’t line up at QB. Is Ponder the immediate answer? Will the Vikings still go out and try to get a veteran to bridge the gap? Bill Musgrave is the new coordinator and he will run a West Coast offense that emphasizes the run with Adrian Peterson and his philosophy will emphasize rollouts, bootlegs, half reads and play-action, all things Ponder can do well.
Here’s McShay’s take on Kyle Rudolph:
What he brings: Rudolph has an excellent combination of size and athleticism to become an every-down tight end in the NFL. His strength is catching passes. Rudolph has the speed and route-running ability to separate and he shows above-average ball skills to bring in balls outside his frame. He is an effective run blocker but could get better in that area. Durability issues kept him out of the first round.
How he fits: This is a pure value pick because on paper it is not a glaring need for the Vikings. Backup Jimmy Kleinsasser is primarily a blocker and Visanthe Shiancoe is an excellent pass catcher but his production dropped last year to two touchdowns in 2010. Rudolph is the most versatile TE coming into the draft and would have gone much higher, if not for injury. In an offense that loves to use the TE in the passing game it becomes even more important to give rookie QB Christian Ponder another target. Watch the Vikings use a lot more two tight end sets this year, much like the Patriots.
Finally, CBS Senior NFL Draft expert had this to say about Christian Ponder:
I love this pick. I think he will be the best in this class. Smart. Tough. Sees the field. Great move, Vikings.
PS- Prisco gave the Vikings an A for this pick. He also gave the Vikings a B+ for drafting Rudolph.
In other words, the “the so-called experts, most of whom look silly when some of the draftees they make fun of turn into stars” are mostly a figment of Sid’s imagination. The national media, for the most part, gave the Vikings solid grades. The lone exception that I found was SI’s Peter King.
It’s time for Mr. Hartman to hang up his electric typewriter. It’s time for smarter, more energetic people to start writing Sid’s beat.
Until this afternoon, I’ve stayed silent about the NFL labor strife but it’s time to end that silence. First, let’s get these things straight:
1) I don’t like either the NFLPA or the NFL owners as a group. There are a number of great owners and some honorable union members but, as a group, they don’t impress me.
2) David Doty should be removed from the case because he’s proven that he isn’t a neutral arbiter. He’s a players judge at a time when an impartial judge is needed. Better yet, it’d be better if this thing just stayed out of the judicial system.
There are some principles that I think shouldn’t be negotiated, starting with the 18 game schedule. Because of the speed of the game, the size of the athletes, etc., 18 games is like begging for a league where linemen, fullbacks, special teamers and linebackers would have a career of 3-4 years.
The reason this shouldn’t be part of the negotiations is because this isn’t just a league issue. It’s a safety burden on society issue.
How many players would be a burden on society because of their chronic ailments, their issues with concussions and other things that would rob them of their youth and their career?
Make no mistake about this: Changing the season from 16 to 18 games will increase the number of concussions suffered. As a result, that will create greater stress on the nation’s neurological system resources.
The NFL is attempting to buy off the players by saying that the longer schedule will give more players an opportunity. As a fan, I couldn’t care less about giving more players an opportunity. I don’t watch the NFL to see second-stringers make a play or two. I watch to see the spectacular plays from Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald.
If the NFL goes to an 18 game schedule, the quality of their product will shrink with time. No thanks.
Get this resolved. The owners & the NFLPA are making out like bandits already. If they leave the basic structure intact, they’ll continue making out like bandits.
Is it that difficult to figure out? Let’s hope not.
Now with the Vikings all but mathematically eliminated, the Beast is back and healthy. His name is Sidney Rice and he made some catches Sunday that prove beyond all doubt that he’s healthy and that he’s a beast.
His first catch, for 46 yards down the right sideline, was a tricky catch that he made look easy. His second catch, for a 31-yard TD that was first ruled incomplete, was a catch that only he, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson could’ve made, much less kept his feet inbounds while wrestling the ball away from two well-positioned defenders.
Sunday removed all doubts 1) that he’s back healthy and 2) that, when he’s healthy, he’s a total beast. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the elite WRs, in a class by himself just barely beneath Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
Prior to yesterday’s game, there were rumors that the Vikings might not offer Rice a bigtime contract. Now, in my opinion, there’s no chance he won’t get a nice contract extension for at least 5 years.
The Vikings’ other offensive beast, Adrian Peterson, played a strong game, too. After leaving the Redskins game early, he was listed as questionable. Yesterday, he was anything but questionable, running through defenders like they weren’t there.
This season is all but over but the good news for Vikings fans is that the Vikings have more than a few pieces to build around.
All week long, everything I heard about the Vikings-Cowboys’ matchup focused on the Cowboys’ pass rush of DeMarcus Ware & Anthony Weaver. Most of the NFL punditry forecast a Vikings loss. Tony Romo, it was said, had lifted the 600-pound gorilla off his back with the win over Philadelphia.
The Cowboys moved the ball their first 2 possession, only to miss a 48-yard FG & to lose a Romo fumble.
Meanwhile, the Vikings’ pass rush has been great, pressuring Romo into 3 fumbles, 2 which the Vikings recovered. The Vikings quarterback play has been solid to great & Sidney Rice has caught 2 TDs, the first a 47-yarder, the second from 16 yards out.
As a result, the Vikings hold a 17-3 halftime lead. The worst bad news for Dallas is that Flozell Adams is out with a calf injury. The almost as bad news, potentially, is that the Vikings get the 2nd half kickoff.
There’s still a falf to go but the Cowboys need a gamechanging play soon or their season will be over. Check back for more updates.
UPDATE: The NFC championship game matchup is set, with Brett Favre leading the Vikings into Louisian’s Superdome. The Vikings’ defense played well all game, setting the tone early, then finishing it up by holding the Cowboys to 3 points on the day.
They’ll need that type of defensive performance next Sunday in the Superdome. If they get it, the Vikings will play in Miami. If they don’t get that performance, their season will be over.
Alot might hinge on Ray Edwards’ knee injury. Edwards injured his knee late in the third quarter, attempted a brief comeback, then took himself out of the game after his knee buckled again.
To their credit, the Vikings backup defensive line stepped up and Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier made 2 nice adjustments. First, he moved Brian Robison out of the rush DT & into Edwards’ DE spot, then plugging DT Jimmy Kennedy into Robison’s spot.
Simply put, the Vikings’ d-line didn’t give Tony Romo time to set up or look downfield today. The Vikings’ linebackers played a solid, though not dominant, game. The secondary tackled well while staying close to the receivers all game.
They’ll need to play this well next week if they hope to slow down the Saints’ offense.
Two things that I thought didn’t get mentioned enough was how the Vikings’ D-Line played with a chip on their shoulder all day & how the Vikings O-Line, especially tackles Bryant McKinnie & rookie Phil Loadholt, played solidly. They didn’t open alot of holes for Adrian Peterson but they kept Spencer & Ware out of Brett Favre’s face.
As a result of those things, Romo turned the ball over 4 times, Favre threw 4 TD passes & Sidney Rice’s great season continued with 6 catches, 141 yards & 3 of Favre’s 4 TDs.
Technorati: Offense, Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Phil Loadholt, Bryant McKinnie, Defense, Jared Allen, Ray Edwards, Minnesota Vikings, Anthony Weaver, Demarcus Ware, Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Vikings fans can breath easier tonight following the Vikings dominant performace this afternoon in the MOA Metrodome. Brett Favre had the offense hitting on all eight cylinders. Sidney Rice terrorized the Giants’ depleted secondary. The Vikings’ defense throttled the Giants’ offense, limiting them to 181 yards of total offense.
Last week, the Vikings played poorly in the first half against Da Bears before scoring 30 points in the second half before losing in OT. With the offense clicking in the first half, OT just wasn’t a worry this week.
Favre led a balanced attack, throwing for 271 yards in the first half. Sidney Rice caught a pair of second quarter TDs, the first from 4 yards out, the second on a spectacular catch on a fade route. I’ve had the privilege to watch Randy Moss, Cris Carter and Larry Fitzgerald play. I’ve watched them make some spectacular catches that only they could make. The adjustment that Rice made on the fade TD was as spectacular a catch as you’ll ever see. If you don’t believe me, watch for yourself:
Against most wideouts, the Giants’ defender would’ve intercepted that pass. Against Sidney Rice, he’s simply another victim. Randy Moss was the best I’d ever seen on adjusting to the ball when it’s in the air but I’m thinking that Sidney might be better at it than Moss was. Tony Siragusa’s “Unbelieveable” says everything that needs to be said, though Darryl Johnston’s “Every once in a while, you’re gonna run into a player who just makes a great play” is right on the money too.
The Vikings defense wasn’t dominant. They just quietly shut the Giants’ offense down, holding Eli Manning to 141 yards passing while picking up 3 sacks, one each from Jared Allen, Ray Edwards and Brian Robison. Allen’s sack had dominant written all over it. First, be beat his man around the corner for the sack. Then he stripped the ball from Manning before recovering the ball and returning it a couple yards before getting tackled.
When the Cowboys shut out the Iggles, the Vikings won the second seed in the NFC and a first round bye. Next week’s wild card round will feature ‘repeat’ wild card games, with the Packers returning to Arizona to play the Cardinals and Philadelphia returning to Jerry Jones’s palace for their third meeting of the year.
I’ve said that Brett Favre’s been playing the best football of his fabled career since joining the Vikings this August. The MVP talk started in earnest after the Vikings defeated the Packers at Lambeau. Since then, Favre’s thrown for 949 yards, completing 74 passes in 103 attempts for 8 TDs.
By the way, the Vikings have won those games handily. That figures since they’ve won most of their games handily this season.
The story of today’s game was that 5 receivers caught 5 passes or more today, with Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian and Chester Taylor catching 6 each and Visanthe Shiancoe catching 5 passes.
Meanwhile, the running game was productive but inconsistent. Adrian Peterson fumbled twice, losing it once. Still, Adrian ran for a score while accumulating 85 yards rushing. Harvin had 2 carries for 45 yards, including a 35 yard attempt. Chester Taylor carried the ball 4 times for 33 yards.
Defensively, the Vikings dominated, holding Chicago to a paltry 169 yards offensively while picking of 2 of Cutler’s passes and sacking him 4 times. Simply put, Jared Allen abused Orlando Pace until Pace left with a groin injuury.
Prior to today, I didn’t think Favre had a shot at winning the MVP but I’m thinking he’s got a serious shot now. Tonight, Tony Dungy said that he’d vote for Favre. During the game, Troy Aikman made it clear that Favre’s 24 TD-to-3 INT ratio and his going the entire month of November without throwing a pick stood out for him.
The other story of this game is that the Vikings defense is VERY SOLID, especially considering the fact that Antoine Winfield missed his 6th straight game. Granted, Chicago is a mess offensively, gaining only 2 yards the entire second half. Still, the linebackers played well enough, the secondary taking away what are rumored to be Chicago’s wide receivers and the defensive line setting the tone as they have all season.
Minnesota’s front four of Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Pat Williams and Ray Edwards is putting alot of pressure on QBs. That foursome has prevented offenses from establishing a rhythm most of the season. The biggest weakspot I’ve seen is in the secondary’s tackling. In fact, that’s the only weakness I see them having defensively. Jimmy Kennedy and Brian Robison have been productive D-Line backups. It’s nice seeing Asher Allen getting meaningful reps, too.
It’s too early to start thinking that the Vikings are Miami bound but it isn’t too early to think that this team has a chance of doing something special. Likewise, it isn’t too early to start saying what Vikings fans understand: they wouldn’t have this type of record without No. 4 orchestrating the offense.