By VikeFans.com Member VikingOracle
First, a little background, I grew up in New Hampshire (which has no geographic affinity for Massachusetts (Taxachussetts) or Boston) and the Vikings became “my team” simply because I watched them beat the Cleveland Browns in the first game I can remember (imagine my life if Cleveland had beaten the Vikings). So, I don’t have the animosity towards the Packers as many of you do. Though, I must say, having the camera focus on Clay Matthews playing with his hair every couple of plays does irritate me greatly. That being said, here are my thoughts this week.
> Bradford: I almost feel like I don’t need to print anything about Bradford because the truth is self-evident. His two touchdown throws were things of beauty and I feel (though I am a big fan of Teddy) that the last Viking QB who would have tried and succeeded making such throws was Favre. Bradford has a fearlessness that Teddy has not grown into yet. I am certain the Bears, Packers and Lions are now all cursing Rick giving up that first round pick. Which leads me to my second thought….
> Turner: Did the trade for Sam Bradford save or prolong Norv Turner’s career? The recent coaching hires (to me) indicated that Norv was being edged into retirement. Zim brought on coaches that seemed philosophically a better fit with Teddy’s talents. But Bradford clearly have some of the skills that fit perfectly into a Norv offensive plan. Which brings me to my next thought….
> Opposing Teams Defensive Prep: One of the things that is really cool to me is the fact that opposing teams have had and will have for a good portion of the year, a difficult time game planning. First, you had the Shaun Hill/Sam Bradford question. Thenteams had to figure out how Sam Bradford would execute a Norv Turner offense. And now you have the AD/ McKinnon question — hwo will the offense change with a radical change at running back? Moreover, the playbook will continue to evolve during the season. I am actually excited to see more of McKinnon (though hope AD is fine). If I see AD run one more wheel route, I will die. AD does one thing and one thing excellently but his blocking is very suspect and he is simply a poor receiver. Given a good start and a maturing offense, I am feeling very good right now except for….
> Oline: I am hoping the OLine matures through the season to become serviceable. Right now they must be in the bottom three in the league. Couple of individual thoughts. Kalil: One thing I give credit for Kalil is his ability to play though injured. He plays through his injuries as compared to Floyd. But he is not the future. Fusco: I can’t tell you how disappointed I am at Fusco. Two years ago he looked like an emerging pro bowler. Last year, with a change of position and bicep injury recovery, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. This year, he is getting both overpowered and out-quicked. Smith — stopgap player- nothing more. I do hope the OLine begins to jell a bit. I can’t believe I am hoping Mike Harris mystery illness is cured and he come back to replace Fusco.
> Diggs: I can’t move of the offense without recognizing Diggs — he is just a pleasure to watch. Right now I am trying to figure out the last great route runner on the Vikings — part of me is saying Sammy White or Anthony Carter.
> Trae Waynes: Up and down (obviously) but he reminds me of Rhodes when Zimmer first got his hands on him. Overly grabby, not great with the ball in the air. It really did seem to me like a Rhodes throwback game.
> Linebackers: It is funny, I think of linebackers as having a great game when they show up a lot. But I can only recall a few outstanding plays by the linebackers yesterday. PFF rated them highly though which really supports Zim’s view that fulfilling your assignments is the most important job on defense. The linebackers covered well, filled their lanes, etc. and it made the defense work really well.
> Lions: I feel sorry for the Lions playing the Packers next week. I am guessing Rodgers throws for 350 because of the criticism he is currently getting.
> Vikings PEE (Players Exceeding Expectation) — this is my new bit where I pick the o and d players who exceeded my expectations. O is easy — Bradford — I really have not paid attention to his career except his various injuries but he is a very good quarterback who can make all the throws. D Pee: Shamar Stephen — he stepped in and the Packers didn’t seem to exploit him.
By VikeFans.com Member VikingOracle