Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Viking Blizzard

The importance of Adrian Peterson's big plays
In the first four Viking games, Adrian Peterson showed the ability to churn out solid runs and first downs. But because of the weaknesses in the Viking passing game, those consistently good runs often came on drives that stalled anyway. As a result, the Vikings had scored just one offensive touchdown in each if their first four games.

Against the Bears, Peterson busted out three long touchdown runs. The Vikings had their best offensive game of the season, racking up four offensive touchdowns and 34 points.

And that's just what this Viking team needs from Peterson. The passing game is currently inadequate to consistently maintain drives. But if Peterson can both run consistently picking up first downs, and break long plays to score himself, then the Viking offense is in business.

The Vikes have eight offensive touchdowns this season. Adrian Peterson has scored five of them--and three of those were plays of 60+ yards. Including special teams, Peterson has had five plays of 55 yards or more.

Running behind a very good run blocking offensive line, Peterson is capable of taking the Viking offense from the "really sucks" level to the "occasionally electric" level.

AP's emergence has brought with it a lot of national attention that the Vikings have lacked in recent years. Here's ESPN's Jeffri Chadiha with a feature on Peterson. Peterson alone can make the Vikings a TV draw, and if he keeps it up, Peterson can be the one to fill those Metrodome seats the rest of the season.

The Pioneer Press' Sean Jensen (a writer/reporter I like) says the "Minnesota Vikings might break out the passing game" against Dallas. The Star Tribune's Kevin Seifert (another writer/reporter I like) also writes about the Vikings' offense and passing game in "Vikings give opposition something to think about."

Patrick Reusse talks to Bryant McKinnie.

I Dislike Your Favorite Team and Daily Norseman also found Jim Souhan's latest Childress-bashing column annoying. I really wonder how Souhan pictures his intended audience. A bunch of unthinking schlubs laughing at his hideous jokes as they read the newspaper, agreeing with his baseless screeds? I don't think he's writing for an internet audience. I don't want to suggest that internet readers of his column are smarter than newspaper readers of his column (that's a generalization, and obviously false). But let's make a few generalizations about bloggers (and other internet commenters and readers). Since we are writing, we understand prose and are capable of evaluating what we read critically. Since we're on the internet, we're generally adept at researching on the internet, meaning we can easily verify facts and access statistics to defend our arguments (or shoot down yours). And finally, the internet is sort of the primary realm for rigorous statistical analysis of sports, and since we're used to well-supported and well-reasoned analysis, we respond to the pulp of columnists like Souhan pretty negatively. takes note of Troy Williamson's 60 yard touchdown catch. You know the expectations for the passing game have slipped since the 1998-2004 period, when a single 60 yard completion has us reeling in excitement.


  1. Anonymous5:36 PM

    Chester should have been in there on those long runs ... so APAD could be resting....

    I wonder if Chilli has a resting mat for APAD to lay down on when he is resting...


  2. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Tell the truth, FCN! guy; you wear your authentic Packers #4 jersey each Sunday, don't you?

  3. Anonymous6:10 PM

    Pacifist, that single 60 yard td pass, and a few more like it, is critical to keeping defenses at least remotely honest, and thus allowing for some more huge gains by Peterson. I almost guarantee that Roy Williams will be playing fifth linebacker on Sunday, effectively making the Dallas D a 3-5-3. Tavaris and Co. absolutely must be able to make them pay for doing so if the Vikings are to have a chance to win, and not just with screen passes and the occasional 15 yard completion. I'd say the Vikings needs at least two completed passes in excess of 30 yards downfield on Sunday in order to have a chance to prevail.

  4. Anonymous9:06 PM

    Consider the possiblity that APs long runs were due to the vikings lack of a deep passing game. A good offense forces the defense to defend the length of the field. The Vikes recent ineptitude has given opponents no reason to fear the deep ball. The result? 9 to 11 defenders "in the box" IF you can break the RB through the line, there's no defender deep to prevent a touchdown. The vikes blocked well, had some fairly nifty misdirection plays, and there was one safety to beat. Piece of cake for AP. The bears, due to injury, were playing a backup at deep safety. We'll never know how much that played into what could be APs career day. Although if he stays healthy, he should best it eventually. I've never seen such a dynamic player, and I've been watching since Foreman was our main man.

  5. I agree with shrimrod. His logic makes sense, and Madden 08 agrees. If you get 9 guys in the box you're gone if you get a couple good blocks.

    However, wasn't Charles Tillman the person Peterson kept burning? He's no back-up.