By VikeFans.com Member VikingOracle
I was really worried about this game. The Vikes spanked the Giants so hard last year I thought the Giants would remember it and bring extra rage. Also, the Giants are my brother-in-law’s favorite team which put additional pressure on the game. I needed to keep bragging rights or I would suffer a year of indignities from my brother-in-law and nephews. There was also the prime time jinx to bury once and for all. We needed a Monday nite victory. Now, having been able to enjoy a day’s worth of victory, here is what I am thinking about.
- Commentators: I have to say this was one of the least enjoyable game victories to listen to. These guys clearly had certain points and graphics they want to show to the audience and they let take control of the game. There were plenty of times when I wanted to see a replay or hear an explanation and they would just talked nonsense. Gruden is just a fool who should be able to add football knowledge but instead just wants to get to scripted bits. They also seemed incredible uninformed about the two teams.
- Bradford: This sounds like a broken record but every week I am more and more impressed with how Bradford plays the position of quarterback. I know he missed a couple of passes but I feel confident every time he drops back that he will make decisions. I know he is going to have a bad game sometime this season but I feel really good about Bradford. At least once a game I see a pass which was not only completed but completed in a manner that leads the wide receiver away from a hit and towards more yardage. I see passes in the red zone that give the wide receiver or tight end a chance to catch the ball even with very tight coverage. I will say there is one thing that *bothers* me about Bradford — with his helmet on, doesn’t he look like Ryan Reynolds?
- Offense: The amazing thing about starting 4-0 is that the Vikings have had to change their offensive philosophy, replace two offensive tackles now, replace their QB and star running back. The offensive identity of this team is still to be written. We are beginning to see an identity develop but it is still in its infancy. Bradford is learning what the individual wide receivers are good at doing. He is growing a chemistry with Rudolph. On top of it, we are seeing the offensive line develop chemistry. As I recall, I read an article about how it takes a few seasons for an oline to develop great chemistry and I don’t doubt that. But the Oline will get better and better as the year goes on (as long as the injury bug relents). I also like how Sirles played. At the beginning of training camp, who would have thought that (perhaps) our best tackle combination would be Clemmings/Sirles? Given the changes since the start of the season in the offensive lineups, there can be nothing but optimism. I am even looking forward to seeing Patterson usage.
- Kendricks: Not a great night for Kendricks, he just seemed not able to wrap up his tackles or a step slow to get in the right position.
- Young Talent: I think Anthony Barr epitomizes what the Vikings stand for — speed and willingness to play within the team concept. He could play on other teams and greatly inflate his stats. Rhodes had a great game. Waynes has become very solid. Floyd, Hunter, Kendricks have great futures. All of this talent are on rookie deals. People are going to start to get paid like Smith. Decisions will need to be made. I just want to enjoy this young talent on defense while they are able to continue to play together.
- Walsh: I have never played organized football though I love the game. I did play soccer at a high level and I know that you can have a free kick and drop it into a three foot area for a designed play. A lot goes into kicking any ball with accuracy. I have watched Walsh set up for a number of games and he is very consistent with how he lines up. The problem I see is his set up is always the same regardless of the placement of the ball. He goes straight back and then does to the left at a 90 degree angle. He should actually not go straight back (depending upon placement) but straight away from the center of the goal posts. I really think he is not setting up well. JMHO.
- PEE: Offensive Player Exceeding Expectations: I thought about Patterson but the clear winner is Sirles. Sirles could have won it last week but definitely gets it this week. Ponder this, do you think Boone’s improved play might be attributable to Sirles manning his position competently last week? Unfortunately, I don’t Smith has the same mental make-up as Boone and he probably doesn’t feel threatened at all. Defensive Player Exceeding Expectations: I am going with Waynes. I think he deserves this amazing award as he has swept away all talk of him being a bust. He may not start (yet) but he is a solid corner and depth at cornerback is so needed in today’s NFL.