Sunday, September 13, 2009

Trailing Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 34, Browns 20

Vikings-Browns Box Score (ESPN)

Sure, we sweated out the first half. Then in the second half, the Vikings did what they should do: completely stop a bad Browns offense, dominate a bad Browns defense by running, complete some important passes in key situations, and outscore their road opponent 24-7.

There's work to do: the pass protection was sketchy at best, the punt coverage unit gave up another touchdown, and I think the offense will need more successful downfield pass completions against stronger opponents.

But let's think about what we're seeing. The Minnesota Vikings went on the road, won a game by 14 points, and it's simply what we expected them to do.

Percy Harvin
I haven't read them, but my wife tells me in the Twilight series when Stephanie Meyer wants to emphasize drama, she separates each word in the sentence out with periods.

Percy. Harvin. Oh. My. God.

three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown, two rushes for 22 yards, and three kick returns for 99 yards. He had at least one kick return that set the offense up at midfield. Both his rushes went for 11 yards and a first down. He had a first down reception on 2nd and 18 and he caught a touchdown. His impact is obvious: he makes plays that help the team score points.

He made another play that really impressed me. On one Adrian Peterson run, it was Harvin's job to do a little fake-decoy thing, and after the handoff he was jogging it. He was behind Peterson in the backfield. When he saw Peterson still running downfield, Harvin sprinted downfield past Peterson, getting in front of him to try contribute as a blocker. This is a rookie WR. He's special. This is going to be fun.

and Adrian Peterson
198 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. He's such a good football player. The combined talent of Peterson and Harvin is going to be far too much for a lot of opponents this year.

Why you want Brett Favre
In the second half, Favre converted a first down on 2nd and 18 by zipping a pass downfield. He made it look routine, easy. I remember Favre destroying us with such plays over the years. I don't remember many Viking quarterbacks making these types of plays in recent years.

It's great if the Vikings can win with Brett Favre throwing under 25 passes. It's also great if those pass attempts lead to key, drive-sustaining, point-scoring completions.

Wide Receivers
I thought the team offense showed some creativity, which is nice. Favre clearly likes Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, and they can make plays, but Bernard Berrian needs to have an impact: he may not be an elite WR, but he's too good to have zero reception games. He shouldn't be this inconsistent.

The pass rush was very good: the Vikes did sack Brady Quinn, and often pressured him into some bad throws and some scrambles (Quinn did successfully evade the pass rush a few times: he's athletic). I was also glad to see E.J. Henderson running around making tackles again: it warms my heart. It is sort of hard to assess the defense here though: the Browns offense just doesn't look very good.

Special Teams
I thought on the whole, the coverage was pretty good, with Viking special teamers containing returners and making good tackles. But it takes one bad play against one good returner to give up seven points.

Enjoy your week everybody. The Vikings won: you'll be trailing clouds of heaven everywhere you go.

Comments are open: share your thoughts.


  1. Dead right on all your comments. Man, that starting second half drive by the Vikes was CRUCIAL, and it looked easy. I've been waiting for disciplined, dominating drive for years from this team, and that drive typified it. It set the stage for the rest of the game. I also sensed a real attitude by the team in general to win. It seemed palpable. Is that a Favre effect? Very well could be. Just keep it coming Vikes. Keep it coming.

  2. Anonymous9:59 PM

    I agree for the most part. One thing, however, is that I believe Berrian's play was a product of not being completely healthy.


  3. Anonymous11:13 PM

    Chilly calls an onside kick to start the game?
    I would say this even if we recovered the kick. Chilly - you are an idiot.

  4. Anonymous8:06 AM

    Tom Jackson, ESPN: "If the Vikings cannot pass better than that, they cannot win games". If the other team cannot stop the rush, we don'thave to pass. (Nor does any team) I would think if a team puts 8 in the box, Old Man Favre should be able to find some gaps.
    It will help when Berrian is healthy.