Sunday, December 14, 2008

Trailing Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 35, Cardinals 14

Much praise to:

Tarvaris Jackson.  It's not just that he threw 4 touchdown passes; it's that he threw two deep touchdown passes with touch and accuracy.  Throughout the day he was accurate and smart.  But it's the deep passes that are key: they're important plays to help the team gain yards, and they force defenders to account for the deep pass, opening up room for the running game.  If Jackson can continue to play like this, he should continue to be the quarterback for this football team.

Bernard Berrian.  He only made two plays, but an 82 yard punt return for a touchdown and a 41 yard TD reception (on 3rd and 15) were the key first quarter plays that put the Vikes out in front.

The Viking Defense.  The pass rushers were able to consistently rough up Kurt Warner.  But more than that, the secondary did a mostly superb job tackling today.  The Cards throw a lot of short passes, and Viking defenders regularly tackled the receiver before he could gain significant yards (the 50 yard touchdown was a notable exception).  It was a total defensive effort, but we should single out a few individual efforts:

Cedric Griffin made a lot of great plays today--tackles, deflections, an interception.  It might have been his best game of the season.

Chad Greenway was also making a lot of positive plays.

Jared Allen was just one of many Viking pass rushers that was regularly hurrying and hitting Kurt Warner.

Adrian Peterson. 165 yards rushing, he churned out positive yards regularly, and he busted out for long runs.  He's now firmly in control of the Viking single-season rushing record.

Bobby Wade. The 59 yard touchdown was notable, but Wade was often making good blocks on off-tackle runs.

Chester Taylor. 103 yards from scrimmage, he was again a big contributor to a Viking win.

Brad Childress.  Let's give him credit.  Today the Vikings dominated rushing the ball, but had effective passing plays.  They played aggressive and well.  On a lot of plays I would have thought they'd go conservative, they took shots.  He just clinched his first winning season as an NFL head coach.

The Vikings move to 9-5, and finish the season 4-4 on the road.  Today was exactly the game many of us hoped for at the beginning of the season: Tarvaris Jackson throwing rarely but effectively, Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor rushing for 200+ yards, the Viking pass rush dominating an opposing QB, and the Vikings winning by three touchdowns on the road against a winning team.  Just spectacular.  After an 0-2 and 1-3 start, the Vikes now sit at 9-5 with two remaining home games (against tough opponents).  Since the bye week, they're 6-1.  They won their last four games by 18, 20, 4, and 21 (three of those wins were on the road).  Suddenly this team looks good.

What an ecstatic feeling.  Skol!


  1. Vikings brought their A-game. Every one of them. If we play like this, we have a chance to do something in the playoffs.

    Another note: no team in the NFL looks particularly dominating by any means. They are all beatable. I love watching pre-game/post-game shows because each week they talk about who is the favorite to win it just so happens they talk about a different team every week. This league is up for grabs.

  2. I forgot about Wade until you mentioned him. My god, he was a run-blocking machine all day long.

  3. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Wade is one hell of a run blocker! Our WRs may be the best in the league, and they need to be too. Part of me is starting to wonder if TJ didnt just have a bad start because of no Sidney or BB and that lingering injury? Only one line drive thrown into a WRs feet today!!

  4. Jason, I am with you. Wade is one of my favorite players, he got some love from the guys in the booth for some of his efforts. Great day, and a great win! SKOL!

  5. Anonymous8:55 PM

    What a win!

    I can only hope Childress isn't so stubborn as to put Gus back in when healthy. I could see him saying something along the lines of "no player loses his starting job to injury" or some other nonsense. It is now abundantly clear we must live and die with Tarvaris until the end of the season.

  6. Anonymous12:30 AM

    I dont feel like childress even wants to put gus back in, tjack is childress' experiment and he is dying to prove himself right to our fan base. as long as tj keeps playing like this, chili is gonna keep looking like a genius until that big shiny head of his explodes.

  7. I've been impressed all season by how professional Jackson was about his demotion.

    He's talked about how being benched hurt him. Yet, I've haven't seen an ounce of attitude from the guy. He was always congratulating guys after good plays. You'd see him and Frerotte talking to one another on the sidelines after an offensive series going over strategy.

    And if you check out the You Tube clip of the 99-yard TD pass from Frerotte to Berrian, you'll notice Jackson going bonkers as Berrian streaks down the sideline. You'd almost think he had thrown the pass himself.

    Some young athletes would have taken the benching the wrong way and come out worse for it. Jackson did not and his professionalism is being rewarded.

  8. Check the headlines, Pat Williams is out 2-6 weeks with a broken shoulder. Atlanta game will be interesting, especially the run game.