Sunday, November 23, 2008

Trailing Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 30, Jaguars 12

Box Score

I've been begging for it all year.  The Vikings have constantly found themselves in close games, and they evened those out to be .500.  To believe this team could turn things around, we needed to see the Vikings control a game, winning by 2+ touchdowns.  And now they did it.

(Of course, they did it right before Kevin Williams and Pat Williams may be suspended, which would really, really, really hurt the Vikings.  Really, really, really.  Truly.  Really and truly.  But we move on.).

Of course luck played a role.  When Jacksonville center Brad Meester snapped the ball directly to his own ass, the Vikings got the luck of the fumble and Napoleon Harris ran it in for a touchdown.  Then Cedric Griffin forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff (how often do you think the phrase "on the ensuing kickoff" gets used?  Google finds 123,000 hits), the Vikings had some effective runs (including a nice end-around to Bernard Berrian), and the Vikes were up 14-0 quite quickly.  For the rest of the half, the Viking offense struggled, and the Viking pass defense was getting exploiting for David Garrard.

But the Vikings outscored Jacksonville 13-2 in the second half.  Considering last week Tampa Bay outscored the Vikings 13-0 in the second half, we have to appreciate the Vikings' ability to come out in the second half successfully today.  It was the defense that most controlled the second half, but Gus Frerotte (who mostly stinks) and Chester Taylor were able to pick up some 3rd down conversions on the game-clinching touchdown drive.

So we got treated to garbage time.

I am surprised how frustrated I occasionally got during an 18 point road win for the Vikings (short passes to the likes of Tahi and Kleinsasser: pointless.  And I don't like creativity on 1st and goal at the 2: I like plowing it up the middle three times).  But after it is all over, it's an 18 point road win, the Vikings are 6-5, and they're still in good shape in the NFC North (though the parenthetical reminder is always about Pat Williams' and Kevin Williams' looming suspensions). 

The Vikings next host the Bears in Thunderdome next Sunday night.  It's obviously a big, big game.  But let today's worries be sufficient for today.  Today, the Vikings played a road game, outdoors, on natural grass, and won 30-12.  Let's feel good.


  1. I like how Pashos got called for so many holds. The ridiculous part about it is that he held defenders on at least 5 other occasions that were not called.

    If PFT's report about Peterson not being in the first two drives just because they wanted "to mix things up" then we have big issues in the fact that our coach is just a certified idiot.

  2. Just to say also. I am enjoying the win, but still was very frustrated watching the game with yet another horrible play calling game by the coaching staff on offense.

  3. Anonymous6:12 PM

    Not starting AP is like Phil Jackson starting Tim Legler over Jordan to "mix things up". The man is nuts. 1st and goal and we take a 10 yard loss. Could not cost us the game at that point, but he prides himself on running the ball! If the Williams are suspended, and I agree they will be, we are hurting. I saw today that Darren Sharper still plays for us, thought he retired.
    A win and on the road, but not a fun game to watch. 6-5 with the Bears coming to town. Need that win.

  4. Awful play calling on the offense. It's a good thing the Viking D is so good. I was getting frustrated with the third down four yard drops when the first down marker was seven yards away. I'm not even a Viking fan and it was frustrating.

  5. Anonymous7:10 PM

    So Peterson sat out two possessions because he missed a meeting. Is that common practice in the NFL? It makes sense for junior high football, but the NFL? I thought they just gave fines.

  6. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Griffin and AP were late the meeting. Griffin started, I believe?

  7. Anonymous7:40 PM

    No, McCauley started, but no one noticed because the first possession Napoleon Harris got the crazy TD!

  8. Anonymous8:44 PM

    Is it just me, or is the Jacksonville play-by-play man unbearable to listen to? He sounds like an auctioneer. Check out the NFL highlights if you haven't heard him yet...

  9. While we're complaining about announcers, how about getting a recently retired, completely inexperienced John Lynch to cover the VIking-Jaguar game. Isn't week 12 a little early for these experiments (I'm used to newly retired, inexperienced announcers week 17)? Is there nobody with experience in broadcasting and knowledge of football analysis that could cover the game?

    Not that I recall Lynch doing anything particularly terrible (though I recall often being annoyed)--I just don't recall him saying anything useful, insightful, creative, or meaningful.

  10. The best Lynch comment was, during the first Berrian run, he said something like:

    "Teams have really been shutting down Berrian the last few games, so the Vikings have to find a way to get the ball into the hands of their best pla--"

    And then he stopped, in mid-sentence, perhaps remembering that the Vikings' best player wears #28, not #87 :)

  11. Anonymous12:07 PM

    I didn't think the announcers were great, but they were unbiased. Something I don;t always see with Vikings games!

  12. I'll praise one play-call. When Frerotte went out for one play, a run play is obviously the most predictable play ever. So the Vikes fake a handoff to the running back and execute a successful end-around. I liked it.