Monday, November 19, 2007

The Return of the Three Stars

Man, was it nice to get a win yesterday, what with all the negativity going into the game and the rumors that the team had quit on Childress. Not to mention the fact that it was a comfortable win that featured a number of quality individual performances, including:

  • Tarvaris Jackson, who turned in the first solid performance of his year, completing 17/22 passes, a career high 77.2 completion percentage. He also had a nice scramble up the middle that converted a 3 and 10 in the fourth quarter, the only time the Vikings converted a third down, and the first time since the ten minute mark of the fourth quarter against San Diego. This is both good for the Vikings' outlook this season and bad for their future outlook, unless Tarvaris starts turning in good performances, not just solid ones.

  • Erasmus James had his first sack of the season, and his first sack since Week 15 in 2005.

  • Brian Robison had his team leading fifth sack of the season and forced a fumble. That, my friends, is how you make a fourth round draft pick.

  • Robison would be tied with Ray Edwards in sacks, except Edwards wasn't credited with one of his two sacks when he forced Daunte into an intentionally grounding penalty in the end zone. Then again, I doubt Edwards is really complaining about scoring two points for the team.
Enough about those who played well, but not good enough to earn a star. Let's move onto the big time performers--the three stars:

3rd Star: Sidney Rice
There aren't many rules for the three stars, but when a wide receiver completes the longest pass of the season, and then comes back and completes another pass? Well, that's star worthy. Rice threw for 35% of the Vikings passing yards AND caught two passes for 18 yards. That's 44% of the Vikings passing yards that started with, or ended with, Sidney Rice. Not bad for a rookie. Not bad at all.

2nd Star: Pat Williams
The Raiders had 61 rushing yards on 27 carries for a 2.26 yards per carry average. That's awful. And that was almost all due to Pat Williams and his nine tackles. There really isn't a whole lot else to say about his dominance, except that I really enjoy his full body belly flop tackles. Man, that has to leave a mark on the running back.

1st Star: Chester Taylor
164 yards rushing, 202 total yards, three touchdowns and a 38 yard touchdown run that was Purple Jesus-esque (yes, I went there). If there was any question before today, I think Taylor's dominating performance put it to bed--the Vikings have the best backfield combination in the NFL and a combo that has almost singlehandedly won three games for the Purple.

[More thoughts on the game coming later today]

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