Sunday, December 31, 2006

And It's Over

Ugh. UGHHH. By breaking off a 59 yard touchdown run, Stephen Jackson knocked the Vikings rush defense out of the recordbooks, adding one final disappointment to a disappointing season. I didn't expect the team to win, or even necessarily to be competitive. I did not, however, expect the Vikings' rush defense to get dominated like it was. I mean, Jackson was the first running back to rush for 100 yards against the Vikings since Warrick Dunn did on October 5, 2005.

And when a defense can't stop the pass or the run, games get ugly fast. And this one did. The pass rush failed to record a sack, nor were they really ever close to Bulger. And with enough time to check his reads three or four times (as well as enough time to read the Sunday Edition of the paper, check out the chicks in the first row and put some serious thought into where he fits into the grand scheme of things) Bulger picked apart the Vikings' injury ravaged secondary. And were it not for the Rams receivers' problems with catching the ball, it would have been even worse.

There were some bright spots, thankfully. Tarvaris, when given time, played well (again, aside from his two interceptions). Childress showed he may not be as bad as people think, utilizing the Revolution's speed in the red zone by rolling him out. Two of the three touchdowns came on bootlegs, and when the defense had to account for the Revolutions' speed and arm, the Vikings were able to score touchdowns. They were more successful finishing drives with touchdowns today than they have been all season, punching it in all three times they reached the red zone, and it was due to Tarvaris' mobility.

Some final quick thoughts on the game:
  • Troy Williamson's spot on the inactive list today makes me think that he won't be back next year. Which means that if the Vikings let Napolean Harris walk, they will have managed to turn the most talented reciever in the NFL into nothing two years later. Which would be just awesome.
  • Cutting Marcus Robinson did allow the staff to get a look at Martin Nance today, and he looked pretty good. That being said, the Vikings need to bring in at least two good wide recievers to have a solid recieving core. I'll have more on the Vikings should go about finding quality recievers later in the week.
  • Childress needs to utilize Mewelde Moore better next year. As Moore showed once again, when he gets the ball in space, he can make something happen. Chester Taylor's a very good back, but he doesn't have Moore's explosiveness. If Childress utilizes them properly, the two of them can be a very dangerous combination.
  • The Vikings' season may be over, but the playoffs are just beginning. And with the start of the playoffs comes the start of the Ragnarok's first ever Playoff Pick Off! The contest is open to all who read the Ragnarok, and the winner will get to write a post about whatever they want. Picks (straight win/loss) will be due by Thursday at 6pm, and I'll be posting them every Friday so people can follow along. If you're interested drop me an email so I can get a handle on how many people will be doing it and get the contest set up.

1 comment:

Vegan Viking said...

Seeing Tarvaris scramble for a TD made me think of the benefits of a mobile QB in the red zone. I always thought it was Randy Moss's unique talents that made the Vikes a good red zone team for several years. But it's clear that Culpepper's mobility and versatility were a major factor, too. Jackson gives defenses something extra to think about in the red zone that somebody like Brad Johnson just can't.