Sunday, December 28, 2008

First Half Live Blog

First Quarter Thoughts
  • If Maurice Hicks is able to return a kickoff 37 yards on you, it says something about your kickoff coverage. In this case, it says your kickoff coverage is the worst in the NFL.
  • Leslie Frazier is going to be a head coach soon. His blitz calls almost always seem to get pressure on the quarterback. And while Dick Stockton is giving the credit for Ben Leber's sack to the Vikings' secondary bumping the Giants receivers, there really wasn't that much jamming on the line. That sack was due to Jared Allen beating his man, forcing Eli to step up into Ben Leber's grasp.
  • So Brad Childress decided against showing the Chicago-Houston score. It's probably the right call, since knowing the score isn't going to help the Vikings' performance and it might just hurt it. Also, it's 7-0 Bears now, and I'm sure that's the kind of info that might take the air out of the Dome. Luckily the crowd isn't being told (limiting the group reactions).
  • And that, right there, is why Tarvaris Jackson is the right choice to play quarterback. Gus Frerotte doesn't get out of the pocket there, let alone get the corner and find Bobby Wade for the first down. And Tarvaris' decision to find Wade on 3rd and 3, rather than tuck and run, was the kind of decision he wasn't making prior to his benching.
  • Ummm....what exactly just happened in da Bears-Texans game? Steve Slaton's down, but then he fumbles? What? C'mon Fox! You can't just do a game break, show an inexplicably bad call, imply it's a bad call, and then not explain why the Texans didn't challenge it! And now it's 10-0 Chicago. What the heck is going on in Houston?
  • And now Fox is going out of its way to jinx the Vikings. Thanks for that discourse on why Adrian Peterson fumbles, right as he fumbles for the first time. And it's another example of why Peterson fumbles--it's because he never believes he's down--he was in the middle of a spin move as that ball came loose. Thankfully Jim Kleinsasser killed a Giant or two in the pile and recovered the ball.
Second Quarter Thoughts
  • Ryan Longwell's field goal puts the Vikings up 3-0. It's a start and it helps show that this Vikings team can play with anyone (and matches up well with the Giants). Really, the only success the Giants are having moving the ball right now is on the ground, where Derrick Ward has 18 yards on only 3 carries, mostly up the middle, otherwise known as the area usually occupied by Pat Williams. True, the Giants would have Brandon Jacobs, but he's no match for the immovable object that is Pat Williams.
  • First off, let me just say I like that play call. Rather than slam Peterson into the Giants two quality defensive tackles, Childress sent him off tackle, away from the majority of a defense that was stacked in the middle. And right as I was starting to worry that Peterson was going to have one of those frustrating 50 yard games that marked the end of last season, he makes the perfect cut, hits the whole at full speed and was gone. 67 yards later, the Vikings have a 10-0 lead.
  • I'm almost one hundred percent sure that the Vikings' coverage unit is going to cost them a game in the playoffs (or perhaps this one--Cedric Griffin's recovery after getting sucked into the middle of the field was the only thing that kept Ahmed Bradshaw out of the end zone). Nothing like feeling pure terror after the Vikings' score.
  • At least Giants' fans have to feel the same way. Nothing like watching Maurice Hicks rip off another long kick off return.
  • The Texans score! Three things--Andre Johnson is very, very good, da Bears' secondary really isn't and Dick Stockton is still living in the 1950s, telling us that the only way fans at the game could find out about the Texans' score is if they had a transistor radio. Or, you know, a cell phone, a Blackberry, an iPhone or any of a host of mobile communications devices.
  • For the first time all day, the Vikings stopped Derrick Ward. Of course, it came at the expense of Ray Edwards, who made a nice play, bouncing off Madison Hedgecock and into Ward for the stop. At least Edwards managed to leave the field on his own.
  • Don't look know, but the Texans are leading da Bears 14-10 going into the half. Andre Johnson is carving up Chicago's secondary, with 7 catches for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns. I'd also be willing to bet that I'm not the only Vikings fan/fantasy football player who can't decide if they should be mad at him for not doing this last week when they were in their fantasy championship or really happy that he's almost single handedly beating da Bears.
  • I liked Childress' decision to try and score there. You have to trust Tarvaris Jackson if you're going to win (and it gets him experience running a two minute drill). And he almost rewarded that trust (if not for a stupid penalty on Sidney Rice). What I didn't like was the play call on 4th and 1. No one believes that you trust Tarvaris Jackson enough to run a short pass play on 4th and 1. So the Giants knew it was going to be a draw. If you're going to run, run.

2 comments:

NFC NORTH CHAMPS said...

good, i hope leslie frazier becomes a head coach... somewhere else- hes not as good as people think- the only reason the defense is good at all is because of individual talent in the front 7- the zone coverage they run sucks dick and ius the reason our secondary cant make big plays and gets torched all day-

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