Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Skol!!!

No matter if the Vikings aren't making it to the playoffs, it is really, really fun to watch your favorite team go on the road to play against a playoff team and beat them smoothly. That was the most fun watching the Vikings I've had all season. The Vikes showed they do have the talent, that they do have a core of players to keep together, that they have something to build on.

Great credit goes to the entire defense for this effort. Michael Vick is incredible: if I was choosing a QB for my team, I'd quibble between the Manning/Brady/Brees triumvirate, but few QBs right now are more terrifying to go against than Vick. He is a game plan destroyer with his elusiveness. But the Viking coaching staff put together an aggressive game plan: they played a team with tremendous speed and big play ability, and they didn't play afraid. They blitzed a lot. The defensive line got good penetration, and the front seven made an admirable effort chasing down and trying to contain Vick. The secondary, despite several dropped interceptions, played an outstanding game: the DBs stuck with their receivers well, they deflected passes, they tackled well.

Antoine Winfield blessed us with another Antoine Winfield special: sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, touchdown return all on one beautiful play that turned the game right before halftime.

Joe Webb gave us something to hope for, playing a game with poise, intelligence, mobility, and accuracy. Kudos to the coaching staff for both giving him plays that allowed him to be successful, and for not sitting on their hands avoiding using him at all.

Adrian Peterson quite frequently looked like the best player on the field, and Percy Harvin played better than any other WR tonight.

Leslie Frazier made his best audition to keep the Viking head coaching job. The road win against Washington and the blowout win against the Bills was very good. But after two blowout losses, after weather forced them into a Monday Night "home" game in Detroit, then a Monday night home game at TCF Stadium, and then a Tuesday Night game at NFC powerhouse Philadelphia, after the team was down to its third QB, a rookie sixth round pick, this team could have easily given up. But the team did not: this team has played hard for Frazier, and tonight they had a great game plan that they utilized almost to perfection.

That was joyous. I can't recall ever watching the Vikings beat the Eagles (I probably have watched it, but it's been a long time, and I don't remember it). I've seen the Vikings lose to the Eagles at home, in the playoffs, and live (once all of those things at once). Today they did it. It was a well-played game, featuring great effort, great game planning, and great performances from some great players. Football is still fun.

Skol, everybody.

14 comments:

  1. I sure did enjoy the game tonight as well pv. I just cannot believe the way the defense kept constant pressure on Vick the ENTIRE game. It sure has been a long season in 2010.After the way the team played against the Eagles tonight.
    With this game it seems there may be some hope in 2011, but that is a WAYS a away.

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  2. Anonymous11:36 PM

    Loved it too ! I was jumping around the house. Been awhile since the Vikes made me do that,

    Webb tonight with his smile and athleticsm reminded me of Daunte (good Daunte)

    Skol

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  3. Choo choo!

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  4. Anonymous1:31 AM

    Last week I said the Vikings were wasting time playing Webb at QB; I stand corrected. The difference was night and day between how he looked last week compared to this week. If I didn't know better, I would not have guessed he's a rookie with the way he played tonight. At no point did he implode and make a big mistake. In fact, he made what was, in my opinion, the biggest play of the game; a 16 yard strike to Harvin on 3rd and 12 to keep the final TD drive going. If he doesn't make that conversion, Minnesota punts only up three. Great throw that could not have been done any better by Brady, Manning or anybody else.

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, that Philadelphia was never able to take advantage of the Vikings' secondary. I expected to see DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin running free all night; instead Jackson was basically shut down and Maclin was held relatively under wraps. Frank Walker, of all people, was making plays on the ball and Asher Allen at least didn't get burned for a big play.

    Brett Favre killed this team this season. No one wants to say it but I will; his constant stream of turnovers compromised this defense, and you see tonight what we can do defensively when we don't have to defend a short field all the time after a quick change of possession. The secondary needs to be improved, but we still have the horses in the front seven to play, and Antoine Winfield will forever be an asset because of his sure tackling and feel for the game. No other corner on this roster could have blitzed as effectively as Winfield did tonight; anyone else would have taken bad angles to the QB and overrun Vick, but Winfield understands how to play and can wrap up when given the opportunity.

    Leslie Frazier outcoached Andy Reid tonight about as badly as anyone can. Reid's offensive gameplan was pathetic, not featuring nearly enough LeSean McCoy, and the Eagles took way too long to adjust to Winfield's constant blitzing, resulting in the game-altering defensive TD where Winfield came unblocked. It was obvious from the first possession what was going on, and yet even towards the end of the first half Winfield is still coming free. Frazier, on the other hand, did not play scared on defense and let his guys get after Vick, never letting Vick get comfortable. And offensively Minnesota did not get ultra-conservative, but rather they let Joe Webb play and didn't hide him. On that crucial 3rd and 12 conversion, there's a 50/50 chance that Childress or numerous other coaches in this league would have run a draw and punted, but the Vikings let Webb throw for it.

    Andy Reid's game management continues to be awe-inspiring in its incompetence. There's no question where Childress learned it from after watching Reid manage a close game. 4th and 18 from the 50 with 4:30 remaining down by 10, and he elects to punt. Those 30 yards of field position were really crucial when the Eagles next touched the ball with 1:06 remaining and no timeouts still down 10. I know 4th and 18 is tough to convert, but you cannot voluntarily give up the ball down two possessions with only 4:30 remaining.

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  5. Anonymous1:33 AM

    I don't recall the Vikings blitzing so much in recent history. Sure worked like a charm.

    Sweet victory! Chilly couldn't beat philly no matter who he had at QB. Frazier beats philly, on the road no less, with a rookie making his first start. Gotta love that.

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  6. Anonymous8:49 AM

    Vick is an athlete, but not the QB your idols are. His accuracy showed tonight, with some pressure. He MISSED several receivers.
    Mighty Joe Webb looked good. May be the answer?

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  7. Anonymous9:51 AM

    Re: Favre killed the team. While Favre was QB, Chilly was still the coach! The team had no SPIRIT. To me, that is the biggest difference Frasier has brought to the Vikings; they WANT to win again. I think that is the most important quality a coach can have - inspiring desire in his players. On that basis I would suggest keeping Leslie Frazier. And Webb - he is not a veteran with off-the-wall skills yet, but he appears to have the poise and that "it"factor that winning QB's have. Time will tell, but he's an obvious upgrade over T-Joke.

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  8. Anonymous12:26 PM

    It was a great game! Did anyone catch why when the eagles went for that 54 yeard feild goal, we didn't have a viking down by the goal line to catch it if it came up short & try for the run back. I could swear we got beat by that play a few years back.

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  9. Anon 1:31 a.m.:

    Who are you referring to when you write "Brett Favre killed this team this season. No one wants to say it, but I will ..." Football media like Troy Aikman, Joe Buck and Cris Collingworth?

    Outside of some Favre fans, I've read plenty of comments from Viking followers on blogs who felt Favre has been terrible all season except for a quarter here and there.

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  10. Joe Webb only had one good game, of course, but the comparison to Tarvaris Jackson's rookie starts at the end of 2006 is phenomenal (granted, Jackson came in with nobody nearly like Peterson or Harvin to help him out). And considering the other 2011 QB options are Nothing and Nothing, there is some hope to be had in Webb. I'm not saying the Vikes shouldn't try get a veteran QB for next year, but the proverbial cupboard is not entirely bare.

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  11. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Please gawd NO! Do NOT bring in McNabb. I am sick of this constant cycle of washed up old veterans running the Vikings show. Pick a youngster and train him to do the job, so we can have some consistency for a decade, for once.
    ~ Heet.

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  12. When I say the Vikes might want to bring in a veteran QB, I don't mean "end of their career stopgap options" of the sort Childress regularly found (he inherited Brad Johnson--of course he also inherited Daunte Culpepper and stuck himself with Johnson--but brought in Kelly Holcomb, Gus Frerotte, and Brett Favre). I mean bringing in a QB who has been in the league for some years, but is still somewhere near, say, the middle of his career, who has some experience but also appears to have several years left and appears to have some potential to build on (and of course it will be somebody with baggage, because you don't find sure thing QBs 30 or under in free agency very often).

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  13. Gerrard11:50 PM

    nice blog bro

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