Sunday, November 02, 2008

Trailing Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 28, Texans 21

Box Score

A brief Methodist-style post for now.

Joys
Bernard Berrian: through eight games Berrian has 621 yards--how many Viking fans were optimistic enough to think that would happen?  He's a real deep threat.  His 55 yard catch off play-action on the first play of the game showed the Texans they had to account for him, and his 49 yard touchdown catch later in the game gave the Vikes a two touchdown lead.  His presence is meaningful for this team.  

Concerns
Pass Coverage against TEs and RBs is bad.  The Vikings really feel the loss of E.J. Henderson in this area.  Today Owen Daniels had 11 catches for 133 yards and Steve Slaton had 8 catches for 56 yards.  The Vikings contained Andre Johnson, but they got shredded by TEs and RBs in the pass game.  They're going to have to do something different in coverage.

Please, share your joys and concerns about the Vikings after their win against the Texans brings them to 4-4.

11 comments:

  1. PV:

    As I made clear in my post of the game, I thought Childress' offensive strategy after the Vikings went up 21-7 was highly questionable.

    Seemed to me he decided to sit on the lead and stopped trying to throw the ball beyond five yards. Anytime you're playing a team where Jacques Reeves is one of its starting corners (he was beaten early and often in the first half) you should be throwing his way a lot.

    Childress didn't allow his team to deliver the knockout blow (prime example – the playcalling in the Vikings final drive of the first half with 2:37 left). The result: another close win that should have been much easier.

    Your thoughts?

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  2. dc, I thought the same thing. When Chili has a lead, he suddenly goes ultra conservative on the play calling. The other point of question I had was when the Vikes had a 4th down on the 37, rather than sending Longwell out for a 54 yard attempt, Kluwe was sent out to coffin corner a punt. My view is that if you have the opportunity to put points on the board, you take it.

    I liked that AD got stronger as the game went on and that the penalties were down. Even my boy, Ryan Cook, didn't get his usual false start and holding calls. That, and the special teams coverage units having their best game of the season is some reason for hope.

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  3. Anonymous6:42 PM

    PV should have sat with the nephews. They got the greatest running back in Vikings history to sign their jerseys.
    4gotmorethanuknow

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  4. Not that I disagree, but I wouldn't make that assessment on this game alone. Not counting the kneeldown, the Vikings only had four second-half possessions because the Texans kept sustaining drives. When I look at the play-by-play, maybe they weren't aggressive enough, but there's not too much evidence of it. Their second half drives:

    1. Ended on an incompletion on 3rd down. Maybe they could have been more aggressive on the drive, but then maybe they would have been with a slightly different scenario.

    2. After a sack on 2nd down, the Vikes threw a short pass to Chester Taylor: here you could criticize lack of aggressiveness.

    3. A couple really great runs put the Vikes in good position, and they did get the 25 yard TD to Shiancoe.

    4. They were mostly trying to kill the clock with the lead, but they did try to pass for the first down on a 3rd down rather than run it out.

    On one drive they scored a TD, on another drive the more pressing intent was killing clock. So there were really only two second-half drives in which you could criticize conservative play-calling. I wouldn't do that, since on those short failed series, there may have been plans to try some deeper routes (that the defense stifled with coverage to prevent a deep pass, or that they stifled with a pass rush, or that Frerotte simply made a shorter, quicker read on).

    But of course, we're not talking about this game alone. Given a larger context of Childress' coaching, it is perfectly reasonable to believe he tightened it up with the lead. But that's based on the wider context, not this game alone.

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  5. Anonymous9:01 AM

    As a Chilly detractor i will give him and Bevell some credit. They ran some nice plays. The opening bomb off the play fake was nice. Liked how they lulled the Titans to sleep with Shiancoe and than used him in a great spot. Also liked the aggressiveness with pass plays in the red zone with the TD to Rice. They need to do more of that.

    Big big game next week. I am not sure what we will do without the Willams boys for four weeks if they do indeed get suspended.

    Off topic: Kinda fun to watch the Cowboys try to win with Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger. Good luck !! :)

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  6. Peter9:13 AM

    If Childress had called more agressively and the Vikings had lost, the criticism would flow freely. No one would be saying "well, they lost, but at least they didn't try to just sit on the lead".

    Next week is big. 4-4 Packers come to town to see who can stick with the Bears. Green Bay could recover from a loss more easily than the Vikes, who need that game badly.

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  7. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Even with EJ healthy, marking the TEs and RBs over the middle has been a weakness for the team.

    Of course, their linebacker corps on the whole is really not all that fast, particularly for a "cover-2" team (I don't really consider them one). That being said, you can't have everything. This defense is predicated more on bulk than speed, so the positive is you have a staunch run defense, but on the flip side, they often find themselves a step behind the receivers over the middle.

    Offensively, that play action/throw it deep worked pretty well a couple times, no? Let's see it some more.

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  8. Anonymous9:47 AM

    Wow, what a cheap shot Allen put on Schaub, he should be ashamed of himself.

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  9. Peter9:55 AM

    I don't see it that way at all, anon. Those injuries are part of the game.

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  10. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Come on, he dove at his legs after Schaub had released the ball.

    What else would you call that?

    -Anon

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  11. Peter9:06 AM

    I can see an argument for either case. What I see is Allen trying to get to the quarterback, and falling (because his cut to beat the left tackle was so severe)forward while reaching for Schaub's legs toward the end of his throwing motion. If that had been a pump fake, and if Kevin Williams hadn't made it to Schaub in time to shove him backwards just after his throw, it would've been a heralded move and another sack for Allen. As it was, Schaub came up limping. It's unfortunate, but sometimes it happens through no fault of the defense.

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