OK, I know that was bad…but I’m kinda giddy because the Vikings won-killing the skid-and I got to catch glimpses of the Packers losing last night. I deal with a lot of their fans on various sites, and I’m just sadistic enough to truly enjoy their meltdown…!
But, enough about their dumpster fire, we have a fresh victory to discuss!
The mid-Autumn of our discontent seems to have abated, for the moment at least…and our team accomplished a full-team victory against another very tough team trying to turn their season around.
QB- Sam was the Sam we’re coming to know and love (some of us, at least). The numbers from yesterday weren’t impressive (20 of 28, 169 yards, 1 TD), but he’s now 12/2 in terms of TDs to INTs, and this is despite him being willing to gamble on some throws. I’ve noticed him becoming a bit more conservative-likely due to his line’s issues-but he’s not making many mistakes and can make some great throws if given a chance. Arizona has a helluva good defense, so I think Sam had a solid game.
RBs/FB- In this case, the numbers get a bit deceptive. Our ground game still failed to put up much of anything (73 total yards, 44 from McKinnon), but we converted those 3rd-and-1 situations better, and the running gashed the Arizona defense enough that they couldn’t live in coverage the whole time. Props to Asiata for his TD run, and props to Line for a great block on CP’s return for his TD…!
WRs/TEs- Despite relatively few passing passing yards, some very good work from our receiving corps. Thielen had a brilliant TD and the most receiving yards (65), Diggs had the most receptions (6), and CP84 was right in the mix with 4 catches (one for 30 yards) plus some great ST work. While Rudolph and Ellison were kind of invisible (likely aiding the o-line much of the time), they contributed in small ways all game long.
O-Line- YOU’RE ALL…err…a bit better. Still not good, still miles from where I’d like them to be, but Sam only took a couple of sacks and had more time than I expected. Keep improving Thursday and I’ll be the first to give real kudos.
D-Line/LBs- They’re BACK. 4 sacks on Palmer (2 from Hunter), plenty of pressures/hits. and better overall play had Arizona fighting for scraps all game long. Loved the BRob sack, and it was good seeing our LBs creating some chaos again. One issue: why the **** was Kendricks covering Fitz, ever?!?!?
CBs/Safeties- Hitman Harry was our leading tackler and contributed a sack, Sandejo continues to get more involved and added a great deflection, Xavier Rhodes did an end-to-end pick 6 (and had another INT, besides)…but Waynes needs to quit being as handsy as a teenager on his first date. Arizona has talent in their passing game, and this bunch was held under 200 yards. Our defensive secondary remains pretty damned tough.
Special Teams- A lot to like. With the end of the Blair Walsh Project comes the beginning of the Forbath era…and while he has less leg and had one PAT blocked, he hit every thing else. Sherels had a great retuen, CP84 took one to the house, Locke had some boomers, and overall…a pretty damned good game for this crew.
Coaching- A better game by Zimmer and his crew, to be sure. The defense was creating havoc, the offense was getting things done, special teams had one of their best days in recent memory…all good.
Officiating- Is it so much to ask that we get scores that don’t require challenge flags? Seriously, penguins, get your poop in a group.
Conclusion- So much better to look back on a win, and something of a revenge game after the heartbreaker last season. The team has to get themselves back to work Thanksgiving morning, so let’s hope injuries are minor and that we can get some more revenge on Detroit’s Kitten club!