Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thoughts on QB #4's Debut (and the Vikings)

I watched the NFL Network replay of the first half of the DEBUT OF QB #4 (I've decided, for my own sanity, to only refer to him as QB #4, kind of like how NCAA video games work, or how NBA video games never had Michael Jordan, but always had #23 on the Bulls). I do have to say, it got me excited for the season. And not because QB #4 looked like a guy whose first NFL workout (and practice) was on Tuesday. Luckily, he has lots of time before the season starts (Oh wait). A few other thoughts:

  • The pass rush looked dominant today. Which is especially amazing because neither Pat Williams or Jared Allen suited up. Fred Evans had a couple of plays where he just pushed the Chiefs center into Cassel, and Robison and Edwards both did a good job on the edge. Defensive line depth is a huge part of a successful defense, and it looks like the Vikings are deep in the front four. Sweet.
  • E.J. Henderson looks like the stud I remember and Chad Greenway matched him play for play. They paired up to force a field goal in the first quarter with two great plays in the first quarter. On 1st Down, the Chiefs handed off to Larry Johnson going off tackle. E.J. shed a block in the middle of the field and closed (and when I say "closed", I mean he he beat LJ to the spot he was going) to meet Johnson at the line of scrimmage for no gain. After a 9 yard gain on a pass play, Greenway slipped through the line (and I rewound the play three times and still didn't see the line in the hole he got through) and stuffed LJ for no gain on 3rd and 1, forcing the Chiefs to kick a field goal. Let's see here. Stud defensive linemen. Quality depth behind the studs. And Stud Linebackers? The Vikings are going to be fun to watch on defensive this year.
  • Percy Harvin looks like he's going to be dangerous. I'm not sure if he's going to be, but he really looks like he can be. Harvin is Purple Jesus fast. And he had a nice catch with two Chiefs draped all over him for QB #4's only completion. If Harvin turns out to be as dangerous as he looks, the offense could be one of the best in the NFL, assuming the quarterback play is up to par.
  • Tarvaris Jackson had good stats, but most of them came after the Chiefs' first teamers came out. He threw off his back foot under pressure, made a horrible decision to throw a pass 4 yards past the line of scrimmage despite having lots of room to run and generally looked a lot like the Tarvaris Jackson from last year--good enough to allow the Vikings to win games, but not in the playoffs.
  • Naufahu Tahi is awful. He can't block (he missed a block on the Chief that tackled Peterson on 4th and 1 on the Vikings' first drive), he can't run routes (it was as much his fault as QB #4's that the Vikings' first pass play was an incompletion) and even if he does catch the ball, he's not going to get any yards after the catch. I can't believe the Vikings can't find a better fullback then him, because he's not an NFL caliber player.