Tuesday, September 01, 2009

That Looked Good

All in all, a solid preseason effort. The Vikings improved to 3-0 (right, it doesn't matter, but I remember the 1998 Vikings going 4-0 in the preseason, so I'm going to pretend it's a good sign), the starters scored 17 points in a half, a vintage Purple Jesus run out of the gates (and to the right side!) and the defense looked pretty solid against what is likely to be one of the best offenses in the NFL. A few more thoughts:
  • The Vikings have racked up 36 penalties for 251 yards so far in the preseason. Now, obviously not all of those were from the starters, but considering they were called for 8 penalties for 60 yards in the first half (one of which was an offsetting unnecessary roughness penalty on Ray Edwards) it's not a good sign. Then again, the Vikings were only 17th overall in penalty yards and 16th in penalties, so it might not be that big of a deal.
  • Am I excited about having a competent right tackle? You bet. Purple Jesus probably doesn't go 75 yards to start the game with Ryan Cook there. With Phil Loadholt opening up the cutback lane? 75 yards to the House. (Though, it probably doesn't hurt that Peterson hit 23 miles per hour to leave the Texans in his dust. And yes, that's a ridiculous speed, especially when you consider he didn't even look like he was trying.)
  • I wasn't particularly impressed by the Wildcat plays. Now, I understand the Vikings aren't going to debut the entire package in the 3rd preseason game, but is it really necessary to line up Harvin in the shotgun so he can either hand the ball off to Peterson for a relatively nondescript 5 yard gain or fake the hand off and run off tackle where his 40 year old quarterback is going to fling himself (sometimes illegally!) into defenders and get hurt?
  • On QB#4's block: In theory, I like the fact that he's willing to block for his teammates (IN THEORY--Communism works IN THEORY). In reality, however, I don't like the fact that our brittle, about to be 40 year old quarterback is throwing himself into defenders, especially considering that he was telling the press about his self diagnosed cracked ribs earlier today. And I especially don't like the fact that he's flinging himself into defenders knees. And no, QB#4, it's not ok because ""... [you]'ll be 40 years old in October and was weeding 13 days ago." Please never, ever, ever use the fact that you skipped training camp as an excuse again. That was your decision.
  • The Purple ran a lot of screens last night. I like the idea of Adrian Peterson in space with lead blockers, and Chester Taylor has clearly shown that he can make things happen after he catches a pass (Something, I think, Eugene Wilson can attest to). I also like the fact that Childress is showing the screens in the preseason. If the Purple can establish themselves as a team that runs the screen well, it's going to really help QB#4 and the offensive line out, by forcing opponents' pass rush to slow down in order to account for the screen.
  • And, I hate to admit it, but QB#4 played well yesterday, aside from the illegal crack back and taking a bad sack on 3rd and 2. The Texans defense isn't the Steelers' (or Ravens' or Vikings'), but it was good to know that the fact he skipped training camp hasn't held him back that much. He averaged 6.5 yards per attempt without Bernard Berrian (and including the fact that Percy Harvin should have caught Favre's throw in the corner of the end zone). That's a full half yard more than the Vikings' 5.97 yards per pass attempt last year and would have placed the Vikings 12th in the NFL instead of 18th. It was just one game, but I think we all know that the thing keeping the Vikings from being a legitimate Super Bowl contender has been their passing game. I'm not going to get excited just yet (and remember, QB#4 doesn't do the Vikings' any good if he collapses in the final weeks of the season), but it's a good sign.