Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC
Hardest hitting safety in the NFL

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2016 Minnesota Vikings- This is the Year


The 2015-2016 season came to a tough end losing to Seattle at home in the playoffs which was tough to take however I saw signs of encouragement during the year that really has me hyped for the upcoming season.

The defense really showed true signs that the future will be fun to watch and the offense with Adrian running hard and Teddy coming gives me so much hope that this team finally has turned the corner.

The offseason started with me not really feeling the team would make a big splash knowing the team is being built through the draft and I applaud that.

The free agent signings of veterans, Alex Boone and Andre Smith was a great surprise and also showed me that the team along with so much youth can afford to plug vital veterans in and that they did. The offensive line is going to be a great battle to watch in Mankato.

The signing of veteran safety, Michael Griffin was also a pleasant surprise. It seems the only lock back there that is a lock is Harrison Smith and after that it’s fair game. I love bringing in the veteran presence in Griffin.

The next excitement for me and all other fans is knowing not only that the new stadium is opening in July but that we also know who is coming and when they will be in town to face the purple. I have paid for our PSL’s and also paid off the season tickets. It will be my 18th season as a season ticket holder and proud to say I have only ever missed 2 games in this stretch.

The home opener, are you kidding the Green Bay Packers? If the NFL is not the best sport in America it is hard to beat. The border battle in Prime Time in the new stadium. I can’t even imagine how crazy it will be in there even before the game is played. It will be a day in Minnesota history to always remember.

The next excitement that just finished up was the 7 round draft in Chicago and I for one could not be happier as a Vikings fan. Yes, I know everyone can argue why the team took various players. I look at it as more competition at Mini Camps and then in Mankato for Training Camp.

I am sky high on the first 2 picks seeing Wide Receiver, Lequon Treadwell coming to us at pick 23. I love the 2nd round pick, Mackensie Alexander out of Clemson. The argument is he had 0 interceptions in college but everything I have read and seen he comes across as a confident shut down corner. I can only imagine Xavier Rhodes as one side and either Trae Waynes or Alexander. I am also a fan of Terrance Newman but do know his age and how much longer can he play so the 2 youngsters need to step it up and fight Newman for the position.

The pick I am most intrigued even more than the first round is our 6th rounder, Moritz Boehringer out of Germany. What a story is this young man? I can’t wait to see him on the field.

I wanted to look at the schedule and plug some of the draft choices the Vikings will see starting in Week 1:

Week # 1- at Tennessee who took OT Jake Conklin out of Michigan State. This team also has drafted the last 2 Heisman Trophy winners in Marcus Mariota and now this last weekend out of Alabama running back, Derrick Henry.

Week # 2- Home in Prime time vs the dreaded Green Bay Packers who took DT out of UCLA, Kenny Clark who will face our big and hungry offensive line and the new adds.

Week #3- at Carolina Panthers, last year’s Super Bowl rep from the NFC drafted Vernon Butler, DT out of Louisiana Tech.

Week # 4- Home vs New York Giants in Prime Time and they drafted out of Ohio State defensive back, Eli Apple who will go against our youngsters, Stefon Diggs and Treadwell just to name a couple.

Week # 5- Home vs Houston Texans and JJ Watt along with new free agent quarterback, 6’8” tall in Brock Osweiler and they drafted Wide Receiver, Will Fuller. This will be the first game of the season we will see 2 of the receivers drafted against each other with Fuller vs Treadwell.

Game # 6- at Philadelphia and number 2 pick overall Qauarterback, Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State.

Game # 7- at Chicago who drafted linebacker, Leonard Floyd out of the University of Georgia.

Game # 8- Home vs Detroit Lions who took OT out of Ohio State, Taylor Decker who will get to face the ferocious pass rush of the Purple.

Game # 9- at Washington who took WR out of TCU, Josh Doctson. It seemed in so many mock drafts had Josh going to the Vikings. It should be a great game to watch for this story line alone the two rookie wide outs.

Game # 10- Home vs Arizona and they drafted DE Robert Nkemdiche who will meet the new Vikings offensive line and will get welcomed to the NFL

Game # 11- Detroit- Thanksgiving Day-  Do I need to say more?

Game # 12- Home vs Dallas in Prime Time and they drafted out of Ohio State running back. Ezekiel Elliott. The comparisons of Aikman, Irvin and Emmitt vs Romo, Elliott and Dez Bryant have to stop and it will in Minneapolis in Prime Time.

Game # 13- at Jacksonville who drafted Defensive Back out of Florida State, Jalen Ramsey. I don’t know who he will face for Minnesota receivers but I for one would like to see Treadwell vs Ramsey.

Game # 14- Home vs Indianapolis who took out of Alabama center, Ryan Kelly.

Game  # 15- at Green Bay   I will say after the Vikings won the division last year at Lambeau that this game will be great. My hope is the Vikes will have the division wrapped up so this will just be another Border Battle.

Game # 16- Home vs Chicago   What a way to end the regular season before the playoffs start for the Vikings!!!

I am so excited for this season with so many reasons. I donor want to rush my life away but I will say when Training Camp and the season come I will be fully ready.

Thanks for reading

Go Vikes

Purplestick

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2015 Vikings, a season that continues on


The Minnesota Vikings came in to the 2015 season with high expectations from fans and even some of the media were actually talking good about the purple.

The draft was held and on paper appeared in my eyes to be a solid draft and continuing the last few years of getting guys that made the 53 man squad.

The preseason started off with a bang beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame game and then winning 3 more before losing the finale to Tennessee. Yes, the Vikes were 4-1 but they suffered a major loss when they lost starting right tackle, Phil Loadholt for the season. Oh no, my thoughts was who will take Loadholt’s spot?

The Vikings who had been struggling in the last couple of years were finally thought of high enough to play in the first game on National TV as they traveled to San Francisco. The Vikings were even a favorite and on the road. It was looking so good with so many 49ers retired; a brand new head coach and really 49ers I don’t believe were thought to be all that good.

The games do need to be played and to the horror to me and so many Vikings fans were in shock watching the 49ers look like world beaters as they seemed to do whatever they wanted to. I went to bed jut sick with my hopes on the season and to see the Vikes embarrassed on TV was tough.

It seemed that loss really woke up the Vikings for the season as they win the next 2 both at home. The season summary sees a heart breaking loss to the Broncos followed by wins 5 in a row before getting beat handily by the Packers which was a 3:30 national TV game. This game was even flexed and on to 3:30 national tv and once again disappointment.

I know the team goes to Atlanta after the Packer game and what do the Vikings do? They win on the road so once again I am feeling good knowing the next week we are back home to play Seattle who had no Marshawn Lynch. I thought a home game we should be able to take but I was wrong as I sat in my seats at TCF and watched the purple get destroyed by Seattle.

Oh no we now go to Arizona for a national tv game knowing the first 2 we were humiliated. The pregame guests were all picking Arizona by double digits. Please don’t get destroyed on TV again I prayed. Coach Zimmer had the boys ready to compete and compete they did. They played the heavily favored Cardinals tough and it came down to the controversial play with Teddy not throwing the ball away and instead get strip sacked when the team was in field goal range to at least send it into overtime. It was indeed a tough loss even though it was a game that was supposed to be one sided.

The team has 8 wins in their pocket eclipsing last year’s total of 7 and games left with 2 home and 1 on the road.

Minnesota wins the next 2 at home by a combined score of 87-34 beating Chicago and New York Giants and yes the season may have taken even a better turn as the Giants game had been flexed to prime time in which the Vikings had been 1-15 in national TV Games. It was so cold that night but the real heat was put on by the Vikes defense as they harassed Eli Manning all night. Destruction on national TV was a game never to forget.

The season comes down to this in which the NFL had to love as the 10-5 Minnesota Vikings traveled to take on the 10-5 Green Bay Packers. The winner takes the division and earns the number3 seed and a home game. Which Vikings team will show up?

The Vikes take a commanding 20-3 lead and yet I was not comfortable until the game clock said 0:00. The Packers did make a tremendous comeback in fact coming down to the final Hail Mary pass into the end zone.

I stood up in my chair with my heart pounding out of my body and I kept saying to myself. Please knock it down and you are division champs.

The defense makes the play and I get to see the team I cheer for my whole life go running onto the field. The dowsing of Gatorade on Coach Zimmer was the moment of the season.

The Minnesota Vikings are your 2015-2-16 NFC North Division Champs. That saying both seeing and saying it is incredible and what a rush.

The Seattle Seahawks now come to town and not many are giving the Vikes a prayer but I feel until the game cock say 0:00 I won’t stop believing.

The season had so many players step up in the regular season beginning with rookie wide out,Stefon Diggs. He is inactive the first 3 games of the season and finally inserted into the lineup and what does he do the rest of the season? He catches 52 balls for 720 yards and 4 TD’s.

Blair Walsh stated our shaky and so much talk in the media will the Vikes keep or cut? He ends up going 34-39 on field goals including 6 of 50 yards or longer including a 54 yarder. Blair kicked 33-37 PAT’s good for 135 points.

How about Eric Kendricks, 2nd round draft out of UCLA? His year was so good he ended up being the first rookie to lead the Vikings in tackles since 1961.

Linval Joseph I believe would have been pro bowl bound if he had not been injured. The man was a beast in the middle.

Who can forget Harrison’s Smith season including an interception return for a TD which broke the Vikes all-time record for interceptions returns for touchdowns.

Rookies, Danielle Hunter who wears # 99 had 4.5 sacks in college total gets 6 in his first year alone with the Vikings.

Teddy Bridgewater’s 2nd great December in a row really helped propel the offense and his pass completion percent and passer rating were unbelievable.

Adrian Peterson is out all but 1 game last season comes back to win the NFL rushing title and gets his 8th season of touchdowns in is career.

There were so many players who stepped up and just because I didn’t write about them specifically does not mean they didn’t have a good year. It is truly a team sport.

The offensive line say what you want about them seemed to get the job when it really counted. Offensive line coach, Jeff Davidson might be his best job yet.

Mike Zimmer in my eyes even though it may not happen should be the NFL Coach of the year with all the accomplishments including a division title and going 5-1 in the NFC North. He has my vote!!!!

The season opening loss to the 49ers and yet the Vikes go onto make the playoffs while the 49ers season turned so sour they fired their coach in only his first season in charge.

The Vikes go 6-2 at home and a whopping 5 wins on the road which is incredible.  Add in the Vikes winning for the first time since 2007 in Chicago. This season had so many things that normally go wrong go right.

The season continues Sunday January 10th in what is expected to be a top 10 coldest ever playoff game in the NFL.

I will be there and I predict the upset as I say the Vikes win 20-10.

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Vikings crank up the defense leading to a big road win in Detroit


The Minnesota Vikings traveled to Detroit to take on the Lions and looking for a rare road win while Detroit comes in with their first win last week in the home OT win over the Bears.

The way the game started out in the first half watching the Lions march easily down the field and put up 2 touchdowns made me anxious and somewhat concerned. The Minnesota Vikings come in giving up a league low 16 points a game and the Lions already had 17 was this a sign it might not be the Vikings game?

Teddy is so fun to watch yet at times can be a little frustrating. I have so much mixed emotion of what I am seeing. Teddy completes 25 of 35 for 316 yards and that is awesome yet takes some bad sacks at times. Yes, he is young and will learn so with that I can be optimistic. He has through the early weeks taken some big times hits and I do worry that one time he may not get up.

The offensive line makes me want to close my eyes at times watching them get out physicaled seemingly much of the time but I also know just how inexperienced these guys are so do I have a right to be concerned? I think so yet it is a good learning year for TJ Clemmings and Brandon Fusco with one a rookie and the other playing a position new to him. I will leave my faith in Coach Davidson that he will get these guys playing better in the future.

My other thought with the O-Line comes with Adrian Peterson. Is he dancing too much because there is no hole? As strong as he is I would love to see him lower his head and just hit the line. It seemed Jerick McKinnon had a few good runs on Sunday.

The offense seemed to be able to move the ball better 2nd quarter and beyond but seemed to stall too much. Blair Walsh who has been a talker early season had maybe the game of his career as far as need. Yes, he missed an extra point but in the first half connected on a 53 yarder and at half hit a 51 yarder to leave the Vikings only down 2 at half.

The Vikings get the ball back 2ndf half and with the first drive ends with an incredible Stefon Diggs 36 yard reception from Teddy. If this is not a ESPN top 10 play from Sunday I will be shocked.

This game was so strange watching the Lions score 17 points fairly early in the game and the rest of the game get 2 on a Vikings safety.

The Vikings score 22 straight until the last 2 by the Lions. The TV screen showed a stat going up to the last Lions drive that stalled at the goal line on 4th down that the Lions only had 5 total yards.

The Mike Zimmer lead defense put on a blitz clinic leaving Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford repeatedly lying on the ground after a hit. The Vikings sack him 7 times which ties a record of a team that has sacked Stafford in one game.

The look of disgust each play was enjoyable and so much needed by the Vikings. The team struggles to win on the road but Sunday a team showed up that was determined to get that illusive road win.

I am so proud to be a Vikings fan each week but today just felt extra special. Was it a perfect game? No, but it was a team win!!!!

If I was a fan who could give game balls out I would give them to:

1) Stefon Diggs with his 6 catches for 108 yards and his first NFL touchdown which will be a top 10 play on ESPN

2) Mike Zimmer for the defensive call that caused so much destruction of the Lions offense

3) Blair Walsh 5-5 on field goals including 2 over 50 and yes I know he did miss an extra point.

4) Teddy Bridgewater who finished 25-35 316 yards 2 touchdowns and NO Interceptions

This is a great Sunday watching the Vikings getting a rare road win and in the NFC North even. The Packers (6-0) are on a bye week so a loss today would have really hurt the Vikings. It should be a fun flight back from Detroit for the team and now must get ready for another NFC North road trip as the team travels to Soldier Field to take on the Bears.

On a sad note the death of Timberwolves part owner, GM and coach Flip Saunders at age 60  on Sunday should be a sign to all of us to just enjoy what we have today because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring us. RIP Flip Saunders

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rookies shine as Vikes hold on to stay undefeated at home


Purplestick

The Vikings hosted the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday October 18th on a day that turned out absolutely beautiful with blue skies and temps in the low 60.’s. What a beautiful day on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

The Vikings are coming off a bye and the Chiefs come in after a last second loss to the Chicago Bears and in that game the Chiefs lost running back, Jamaal Charles, who I believe is a top 5 running back in the league.

The pregame had a great Minnesota sports flavor with Maya Moore along the Minnesota Lynx team having the honor of blowing the Gjlarhorn. Maya blew it with the rest of the team around her.

The coin toss was conducted and Sunday’s honorary captain was Minnesota all-time great, Jim Marshall.

THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST HALF

Minnesota absolutely dominated every sense of the game especially in stats. Teddy was already at over 170 yards passing but Adrian was shut down very well by an aggressive attacking Chiefs defense.

The Vikes defense held the Chiefs to less than 70 yards of total offense so the Vikes passing game going strong and the Chiefs going nowhere left me not feeling as confidant as I had hoped.

It seemed the Vikes would make big plays to get down the field but then bog down and end up with either a field goal or eventually punting,

The kicking of Blair Walsh on Sunday was a much needed boost. It is such a strange atmosphere in the stadium when Blair gets ready to kick. I hear so much out fans, don’t screw it up or please don’t miss it again. The kick is up and it seems the crowd gets so quiet as all eyes are on the ball making sure it goes through the uprights.

The offensive line seemed to really struggle in the run blocking on Sunday but the pass protection seemed a little better as the sack numbers allowed were down from the Broncos game. The other part of this is the athleticism of Teddy was a big part of the sack number being down as well.

In my opinion one of the biggest plays of the first half involved the non-call of what I felt was a sure safety as the result of holding in the end zone by the Chiefs. As it turned out the ref said the holding was outside the goal line which I still don’t believe as I am writing this Sunday night. It is what it is and the game rolled on.

Half has come with the Vikings dominating yet only up 13-0. The thought of 2 plays by the Chiefs and we could be down real quickly.

The halftime had more Minnesota theme with the University of Minnesota marching band performing at half. The second part of halftime was the introduction of several former Viking players who participated in all 4 Super Bowl games. What a treat to see the heroes of the past even though the Vikings lost all 4 games.

THOUGHTS ON THE SECOND HALF

The Vikes made plays at times but not consistent enough leaving Kansas City in the game. The game sees Kansas City come to 4th and less than a yard and Quarterback Alex Smith takes the handoff and pitches back to the running back and bam he is stopped short. It was a great win for the Vikings defense on that play. I will never understand NFL teams when it’s that short why not give the ball to an up back or qb sneak.

I know late in the 4th quarter the Chiefs were driving again but thanks to the hustle of the Vikes defense a fumble was caused by Danielle Hunter and recovered by Brian Robison. Thank you, Vikings.

GAME BALLS HANDED OUT

If I was a coach today I would hand 3 game balls out with 1 going to 2015 5th round rookie, Stefan Diggs who made his first NFL start and what does he do? He makes 7 catches for 129 yards with 3 of the 7 catches on 3rd down good for a first down.

The other 2 game balls I would give to rookie linebacker, Eric Kendricks who got the start at middle linebacker lead the team in tackles and was all over the field.

The other game ball would go to Danielle Hunter who started in place for Everson Griffen, Hunter got credit for a half sacks and was also responsible for forcing the fumble with the Chiefs driving late in the 4th quarter.

OVERALL SUMMARY

The Vikings won the game they needed. Was it pretty? Absolutely not but it is a win. There is definitely much to improve on. The home winning streak now goes to 6 which include 3 from last year. The Packers won again going to 6-0 so the Vikings really have no margin for error.

NEXT UP:

Sunday October 25th at the Detroit Lions

Thanks for reading

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tough loss yet so proud of the no quit Vikings


The Minnesota Vikings came into Denver after winning 2 in a row at home after getting embarrassed on Monday night football in San Francisco in Week 1. Denver comes into the game undefeated and boasting the number 1 defense.

A road game on national TV and the Vikings are playing in the high altitude and comes in as a touchdown underdog. The defense is facing a future Hall of Fame quarterback so how would a Mike Zimmer team fare?

The way the first drive went by Denver was concerning but the bend but not break settled down and hold the Broncos to a Field Goal. Win goes to the Vikings defense!!!

The Vikings put a decent drive together but stalls and puts into the hands of struggling Blair Walsh’ foot and the kick was up and there it goes wide left. Oh no, can the Broncos cash in on a possible momentum changer?

The answer was a resounding yes, as Broncos running back, Hillman takes the ball wide left and there he goes 72 yards for a touchdown. Oh boy that’s all we need as the announcers had been talking how much the Broncos running game had been struggling. The Broncos up 10-0 at home, so how would the young Vikings react to a 10 point deficit?

The pounding Teddy Bridgewater took over and over I really had more respect than I already had. The Broncos defense at times absolutely made the Vikings makeshift Offensive Line look silly.

The first half even though the Vikes were down 10 I could not help be impressed by the Vikings defensive effort. Yes, Manning had his share of completions but the young defense came to play.

Vikings linebacker, Anthony Barr made the play of the half for the defense for an absolutely beautiful interception which the offense got 3 out of and we have a game.

Denver gets a field goal to go back up 10 but the no quit Vikings come back on a much needed drive with veteran receiver, Mike Wallace coming through with a big catch and then the touchdown. We have a game at halftime as we are only down 3.

The second half had Denver drive the length of the field  and the Vikings made a huge stop down on the goal line setting up 4th and short. Does Denver go for 3 or do they risk it and try for 6 knowing if they fall short the Vikings would really have the momentum?

Denver Coach Kubiak rolls the dice successfully as Manning finds a wide open tight end for an easy 6. Denver goes up by 10 again. Can Minnesota keep coming back?

Fourth quarter begins with the Vikes down by 10 so can this team find the energy to make a game of it? The team answers first with a much needed field goal to cut it to 7. We have a game and then the Vikings drive again with just over 10 minutes left in the game and Minnesota is in Denver territory faced with a 4th and short.

Do we go for it or play the field position game? The Vikings offense got a huge spark as Adrian takes the handoff deep in the eye and behind two huge blocks from center, Joe Berger and left guard; Brandon Fusco Peterson hits the huge whole and is gone for 6. We have a tie game at 20.

Denver does what a good playoff contending team does and drives the ball but ends up only with 3 leaving the game in doubt.

I will say Xavier Rhodes had a tough guy to defend all game in Damarius Thomas and Rhodes had a few flags thrown against him but on this drive Rhodes made a touchdown saving knockdown.

I love this team for many reason sand one of them is plays like this. Rhodes had a tough game but he never stopped competing and it paid off.

Yes Denver did get a field goal but it could easily have been a touchdown. The Vikings had a chance to drive and were driving but the way the drive ended typified the day for the Vikings offensive line all day as the Broncos defense got to Teddy and stripped him.

In years past I would have been totally bummed out way more than I was today. The Broncos defense created havoc all day for the Vikings offensive line which honestly I kind of expected.

I have so much respect for Teddy as he took a pounding all day but was resilient and gave the Vikings a chance to win on the road.

I have so many players I loved to watch on Sunday. How about the play of rookie wide receiver, Stefan Diggs along with Adam Thielen who made his first NFL start? The 2 combined for 12 catches with each hauling in 6. Diggs had 6 for 87 yards and Thielen had 6 catches for 70 yards.

Veteran receiver, Mike Wallace had 8 catches for 83 yards including a touchdown. Mike seemed to really make the clutch catches when the team needed him.

The offensive line took a beating but I did see one block from tight end, Rhett Ellison crushed Broncos Linebacker, Von Miller. I do not know if I have ever seen anyone destroy Miller like that by any NFL team.

One player that may have gone unnoticed was punter; Jeff Locke who I thought really had a very nice punting performance.

The defense I can’t give the defense enough credit which may sound strange after a loss. I absolutely love the game played by 3 in particular and they were Safety, Harrison Smith along with Linebacker, Anthony Barr and defensive tackle, Linval Joseph.

Every fan has thoughts after a tough loss but today’s game I will stay positive. The team never quit and the defense picked off Manning twice along with holding him just under 220 yards at home. How many teams can say that?

I love my team and now a bye week followed by a home game with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to TCF Bank Stadium.

Go Vikings

Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading

Purplestick

Todd Walkingstick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vikings take the charge out of San Diego


The Minnesota Vikings played host to the San Diego Chargers on one of maybe nicest weather days I have taken in at TCF Bank Stadium in the second season at this stadium.

The pregame was so awesome with all-time great and Hall of Fame quarterback, Fran Tarkenton blowing the Gjlarhorn signaling the Vikings are coming. The opening coin toss also involved Vikings legend, Mick Tingelhoff as the Vikings honorary captain. What a great touch involving 2 legendary and Hall of Famers in Tarkenton and Tingelhoff.

The first half was boring compared to the second half and I really thought the Vikings would go into half up 10-0 until the unfortunate third and 18 conversion by the Chargers and from there we see Chargers quarterback, Phillip Rivers connect with Keenan Allen for a touchdown which really quieted the crowd almost in shock considering the Chargers really never showed much life in the first half.

It is the game of football with no for sures. The ensuing kickoff goes to the Vikings with a little over a minute and the Vikings decide to play in conservative ending the first half which really drew out the boo birds. I was of the mind I could not believe the team did not go for points either.

One positive in the first half was kicker, Blair Walsh who connected on a much needed field goal for the team and himself. I was disappointed after the Vikings strip quarterback Rivers deep inn Charger territory and having a chance to get 7 out of it. I really was disappointed when Bridgewater threw what I thought was a catchable ball to Vikings tight end, Kyle Rudolph only to see him drop it. The drive did end in 3 so at least it was points.

Walsh’s kickoffs were as strong as I have seen so far this year as well. The Vikings are up 10-7 at half with the Chargers getting the ball to start the second half so hang on.

The biggest 3 plays of the second half occurred in the first drive by San Diego which I really thought changed the momentum of the game big time.

First Vikes defensive tackle, Tom Johnson sacks Rivers setting up a 4th down deep in Chargers territory then the ensuing punt is taken by Marcus Sherels who had a great return into Chargers side of the ball. The third and maybe the dagger in the Chargers heart was when Teddy handed the ball to Adrian Peterson who we see take it 43 yards for 6. Wow, just like that it is 17-7.

I thought the defense played the best half of the season in the second half of the game. The defensive unit for the second week in a row shut down the opponents run game this time holding Chargers running back, Melvin Gordon to 51 yards.

The interception by Chad Greenway on a tip ball and taking it 91 yards back for 6 sealing the deal might be one of the coolest returns I have ever seen. The wall of 10 defenders that was set up was incredible with no sight of any Chargers at all. I wanted him to score so badly but it did seem like it took forever.

The game was incredible to be at and see so many positives. I really liked the efforts by 2 rookies in particular and they were Trae Waynes who had to replace the injured Xavier Rhodes and I also loved the play of Linebacker, Eric Kendricks who lead the team in tackles.

I loved the play of Anthony Barr along with Mr. Hustle Everson Griffen. It was such a great team effort by the defense and so much appreciated.

On the offensive side of the ball I really loved the amount of players that were involved today such as Adam Thielen and Cordarelle Patterson and yes I know Charles Johnson was hurt but it was still nice to see these 2 contribute positively.

The game by Adrian was amazing to watch and after last week’s fumble problem it was so nice to not see it happen in such an important game in helping the Vikes to get to 2-1 and not 1-2.

The weather was amazing, the team was amazing and in summary it was a great day to be at the Bank and take in a game where we are seeing Minnesota start to look like the team that so many predicted would be a much improved team.

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

 

 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Vikings, weather and fans all come out Sunday was winners


The Minnesota Vikings (0-1) played host to the Detroit Lions (0-1) Sunday September 20th at noon. The winner goes 1-1 and even better would be 1-0 in the NFC North. The Vikings were embarrassed on Monday night football against the 49ers while Detroit blew a huge lead last week on the road in San Diego.

The question is which team will come out meaner and hungrier after a tough week 1? The pregame was a great start to a hopeful winning Sunday as former Purple People Eater, Alan Page blew the Gjlarhorn to sound the Vikings were coming.

We also had a military theme as four parachuters  came down on TCF Bank Stadium field with the last one ended up sliding into the Detroit Lions sideline which could have been a major catastrophe but thankfully no one was hurt.

Minnesota’s offense and defense took a beat down Monday night so I was anxious to see the first Minnesota drive and see just how they would respond.

The first drive ends up 11 plays and a touchdown for the exclamation point on a touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Rudolph. I had just told my wife that I predict a pass to Rudolph and there it was. Finally Kyle is used in the red zone and it made the sellout crowd come to their feet.

The defense was up next and just as I hoped the defense came through and Lions are forced to punt. These 2 drives were all I needed to see to get the feeling this just might be our day.

Three plays that really stood out to me that would make a big difference in again a hopeful win were 1) The Bridgewater roll out and put the ball perfectly to Jarius Wright along the sidelines was huge and allowed the drive to continue.

The 2nd was Bridgewaters’ handoff to Adrian who in turn flips it back to Jarius Wright who I thought was going for 6 but it didn’t but still a great chunk of yardage gained.

The third was what I thought the Lions had Teddy for a sack and the next thing we see is an unbelievable risky shuffle to Peterson and there goes Adrian for 40 yards. I know Adrian can be fast but it seemed like he ran out of gas towards the end but still an unbelievable play on both Teddy and Adrian.

Adrian had 70 yards in the first quarter alone was another great sign of things to change in Week 2 at home.

I absolutely loved the defensive effort on the run stopping all day. You look at Monday the team gave up over 230 yards rushing and on Sunday the team allowed 38 yards total lead by Quarterback, Matthew Stafford. You know it’s a great defensive effort when the quarterback is running for his life.

The defensive line really stepped up being led by the ends, Brian Robison and Everson Griffen who I thought had monster games. The interior guys, Shariff Floyd and Linval Joseph played their butts off as well.

I felt Xaxier Rhodes played a great game as well back in the secondary going much of the game vs Calvin Johnson. I don’t believe you can stop him but slowdown was exactly what they did to Johnson. He got his catches and 83 yards but no yards after the catch were monstrous.

Andrew Sendejo 2 weeks in a row was Johnny on the spot with the blocked field goal last Monday and on Sunday he picks up the fumble and comes close to taking it back.

There were so many guys that stepped up Sunday as I add Terrance Newman who made a breakup pass of what I thought was a for sure touchdown to Golden Tate in the first half.

Marcus Sherels who never stops surprising me had a heck of a game in the punt return game. The one he got to the Vikings sideline and somehow stayed in bounds for a few extra yards.

The game Adrian had running the ball was so nice to see but the concern like any other Vikings fan had Sunday was putting the ball way to many times on the turf.

The kicking of Blair Walsh is still concerning going 2-2 in field goal attempts but missed an extra point. I had a fan yell out as Blair was coming on “please don’t send him out he gives me stress when Walsh was about to come in for a field goal attempt.

Overall, the weather was beautiful the crowd was into the game and in the end the team looked way better and as the result gets the much needed win. Yes, I know it’s far from perfect but the positives were way easier to see today

As we were leaving the gates Sunday with people in such a good mood Jimmy John’s was there to hand out what seemed to be thousands of mini subs. It was a unexpected treat and was appreciated by my wife and myself.

There are 14 games and plenty of football left but this Sunday it is one where we can smile and go to bed a lot easier than Monday night tough loss.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick