Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trailing Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 36, Bears 10

ESPN Box Score

In the last three weeks, the Vikings have established themselves as a dominating team. They've shown that they have elite talent on offense, defense, and special teams, and that they will not blow a game against a far inferior team.

Offensively, they've averaged 486 yards over the last three games (they had 537 against the Bears).

Defensively, the Vikings have allowed 29 total points and 37 total first downs in the last three games (the Bears had 169 yards and 8 first downs today).

They've got the talent to crush bad teams. The offense is so versatile they've become virtually unstoppable, and the defense has become the dominating unit that they can be. I'm equally excited about both units, and the Vikes have been playing very well on special teams.

Brett Favre
392 yards and 3 touchdowns, so excellent at spreading the ball to the Vikes' vast array of pass catchers, and superb hitting the right guy on third down. His arm strength was on display today, as he was zipping the ball all around the field. His only equals in the game right now are Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees.

Percy Harvin
45 yards rushing, 101 yards receiving, and one touchdown catch. He made a spectacular deep catch when he took a vicious hit and hung onto the ball. Notice how good he is at catching the ball and then gaining extra yards: he catches the ball and immediately makes a move to run. When he's moving one way toward the ball (meaning the defenders covering him are moving in the same direction), he'll catch, immediately stop, and break back the other way. He's much quicker at stopping and changing directions than any defender covering him, so the move is usually effective--Harvin rarely goes down right where he catches it.

I think Harvin will be the x-factor in the playoffs.

Cedric Griffin
He made some good solo tackles today, stopping the runner at the point of contact. He also made a nice interception in the end zone (on a poorly thrown ball).

Jared Allen
Allen was simply pushing back the offensive tackle assigned to block him. He ended up with two late sacks, but before that his constant rush was closing the pocket, forcing Cutler to scramble and throw quickly, while forcing the Bears to play-call in order to not get destroyed by Allen. If you pay attention, you can see how much he can control a game from beginning to end. He is the most important player on the defense: his ability to rush the passer makes his fellow defensive linemen and the defensive backs behind him better.

The downside: penalties
A great team can overcome 10 penalties for 70 yards against a far inferior team. It will be harder to overcome that against another quality team.

The Vikes are 10-1. They're 6-0 at home, 4-1 on the road, and still undefeated against the NFC.


  1. Anonymous7:24 PM

    btw how nice was it to see Cedric Griffin learn some technique. last season his back would have been to the ball. very nice INT even if underthrown

  2. Anonymous7:53 PM

    Need more from AP to balance things. I cannot believe teams still put 7 or even 8 in the box. I guess it is pick your poison right now.

    Nice to see Favre when he is coached and not throwing all the interceptions that the Packers allowed him to throw. Tired of some people saying we win with "their" QB. If he was so valuable to them, why did they "go another direction"?

  3. Anonymous9:12 PM

    What a great year. Thump the Pack twice, the Lions twice and smoked the Bears like Salmon.

    The key to any successful year is dominating your division, first and then winning on the road.

    The Vikings have really taken care of business this season and are improving each week. Let's keep it rolling right on through the playoffs. Go Vikes!

  4. Anonymous12:40 PM

    this year's success can be measured by fans' reactions to two words, "Tarvaris Time."

    Last year, those words made us all cringe and gnash our teeth in frustration.

    This year, those words signify the Vikes are in such dominant control of the game that Chillie can actually unleash T-Jack without fear of screwing things up.