Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vikings-Seahawks info

The game last Thursday at home against Tampa Bay was very disappointing but it is time to move on quickly as the second half of the season begins this Sunday in Seattle.

Seattle has beat Green Bay and New England at home so this Sunday will not be easy. Let’s take a look at some info leading into this big NFC tilt.

The series has the Vikings only winning 5 of 11 including a 2-4 record in Seattle. The good news is the Vikings have won the last 2, and 3 out of the last 4. The Vikings in 2006 went to Seattle and beat the Seahawk 31-13. 2012 Vikings tight end, John Carlson was on Seattle team when the Vikings won out there in 2006.

The 2012 Vikings will face 3 familiar faces with special team’s ace, Heath Farwell, along with former wide out Sidney Rice. The Seattle offensive coordinator is Darrell Bevell.

Seattle’s kicker Steven Hauschka went to Mankato in 2008 for a try out only to lose out to Ryan Longewell.

Minnesota’s Chris Kluwe started with Seattle before heading to the Vikings in 2005.

In looking at some offensive numbers we find Percy Harvin is tied for first in the NFL with 60 receptions. The Pro Ballot is out as it is time to start voting. I am very excited to see how America views Harvin’s performance thus far.

A fact I did not realize is the Vikings are tied for first in the NFL with only 7 dropped passes as a team.

Adrian Peterson cannot have enough good words to describe him. He is the number one running back in the NFL with 775 rushing yards. Where would the Vikings be without him?

Blair Walsh continues to have strong numbers. He is tied in the league with 31 touchbacks. He also is tied for 3rd with 17 field goals made and also 4th in the league with 68 points.

In staying with the theme of special teams the top 2 return men in the NFL will be facing off Sunday. Percy Harvin leads the NFL with a 35.7 and Seahawk’s Leon Washington has a 29.8 average.

The Vikings special teams have done such a good job that the team is ranked second in the league starting at 25.3 yard line.

Seattle’s Head Coach Pete Carroll has Minnesota connections as he was the Vikings defensive back coach from 1985-1989.

Pete coached USC before taking the Seattle job. Three of the currents Vikings players played under Caroll at USC. They were Matt Kalil, Everson Griffen and Rhett Ellison.
Another connection with Carroll is former 1st round Vikings draft choice, Kenechi Udeze who was taken 20th in the first round in 2004. Udeze went to school at USC and too played for Carroll.

Kenechi was put on the injured reserve in 2008 after being diagnosed with leukemia. He was forced to retire in 2009.

Kenechi is helping coach Seattle as an intern with the Seahawks defensive line. I wish him all the health and happiness in the future. I met him several times when he was a member of the Purple and I can tell you that you may not find a nicer person.

It is getting closer to game time so my next blog will look at my thoughts on this tough upcoming battle.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Saturday, October 27, 2012

First half of the season positives

The first half of the season is in the books at 5-3 including a 4-1 mark at home. The team has lost 2 of the last 3 and also finds that many fans I have talked to question the play of quarterback Christian Ponder.

The person I am tends to stay up beat and focus on what I have seen in the first 8 games that is positive.

The 5 wins in 2012 have already surpassed the 3 wins of all last season. The 4 games won at home after going 1-7 at home in 2011.

The schedule as you know gets really cranked up after the bye with 2 against the Packers and Bears yet.

The 2012 draft class has really shown up to help. The play of Matt Kalil I believe has already shown improvement over last season. He has pretty much been left alone with very little help by a tight end.

Blair Walsh has really made a splash in the NFL as a rookie. The accuracy of his field goals along with his booming kickoffs has really helped the special teams unit. This young man has found himself in the Vikings record book with 3 games of over 50 yards. He has only missed one field goal thus far. The Vikings have found a keeper late in the draft coming in the 6th round.

Harrison Smith maybe the best safety we have had back there in several years. The physical play he comes with is a true joy to watch. The interception return for a touchdown against the Cardinals was quite a reward for all his hard work. He made a mistake in the Tennessee game in grabbing an official and promptly was ejected may just have come back as that much better of player.

The play of Josh Robinson, who came out of the 2012 combine with the fastest time at his position. The loss of Chris Cook after his injury on Thursday will give Robinson extra playing time and show the coaches just what he has. I am very comfortable with him on the field as he does not seem to shy away from covering big receivers and also is not afraid to take bigger players down.

The veterans I have nothing but praise and to start with Antoine Winfield. This man stands at 5’8” and might just be one of the NFL biggest hitters. The sideline interception he had against Arizona was beautiful.

Jared Allen after getting shut out of sacks in the first couple of games now has one in 6 straight. The bloody nose he suffered in the Tampa Bay game and the next play Allen gets a sack and the calf roping act was once again showing. In going to the game you can pick to watch what you want. I watch Jared quite a bit and I can guarantee one thing I do not see this man give less than 110 percent in any play. I just cannot believe how play after play how much energy this guy brings to the table.

The other defensive end, Brian Robison in the last 2 weeks has really done a great job of making himself shown. He gets 3 sacks against Arizona and in the Tampa Bay game he had 3 knock downs of Tampa Bay’s quarterback Josh Freeman throws. Each one of those was seemingly centimeters away from an interception and not a knock down. The thing about Robison is he seems to match Allen’s intensity and gives the Vikings two great speed rushers making the quarterback’s life hell.

Chad Greenway, Mr Hustle is somebody you never get sick of watching. All he does is either lead the team in tackles for the game or is 2nd or 3rd. What a great 1st round pick out the University of Iowa.

Chris Cook, I believe he was playing his best ball as a Viking until his injury. He was really starting to play physical and was drawing coverage assignments against some of the NFL bests such as Calvin Johnson (Lions), Lary Fitgerald Jr (Cardinals) and Vincent Jackson (Buccaneers). I was quite pleased watching him perform. I wish him a speedy return as there is a chance he could be back for the last game against the Packers and if the team makes the playoffs he could play as well.

Adrian Peterson is a beast. This is a miracle man performing in front of our eyes each NFL week. The man is 3rd in the NFL with rushing yards. He finally broke a long TD after each prior week seemingly a shoe string away from going the distance. His strength and speed can only be marveled at and to think he plays for our favorite team.

The play of Percy Harvin with his kickoff returns, running back, his catching ability and just plain MVP of the Vikings thus far. This man is electric with every time he touches the ball you have the feel he will take it the distance. The best thing of this is he too believes he can go the distance. The man is a human pinball and plays with a heart like no other.

In ending it is easy to find things to criticize in life but to find positives is a lot more fun. Just remember what the word FAN stands for. FOREVER AND NEVER ENDING.
The team is young and in the first 8 games has given us a lot to be happy about. The dome the other night showed the top 5 plays of the first half.

1)Harrison Smith interception return for a TD
2)Marcus Sherels punt return for a TD
3) Percy Harvin kickoff return
4) Blair Walsh field goal to send the game into OT against Jacksonville
5) Percy Harvin’s incredible TD against Tennessee

I cannot disagree with any of those

Please join me in being excited for the next 8 games

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Friday, October 26, 2012

Prime time disappointment

Thursday night was the 25th anniversary of Game 7 of the Twins-Cardinals World Series. It was the night Matt Blair would go in the Vikings Ring of Honor. The NFL season thus far on Thursday night’s has the home team only losing once. All this and the end result was seeing mass exit early in the 4th quarter as fans were making their way home after a disappointing performance.

It was history in Minnesota football as they hosted their first home game featured on the NFL Network. The atmosphere was just had a different feeling than normal. The crowd was the biggest of the year.

One of the best experiences of the night cane early as I went down to where the NFL Network panel of experts were on stage. It was awesome to see the cast live seeing ex- NFL stars and coach with Steve Mariucci, LaDanian Tomlinson, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders on stage.

The game itself started with the blowing of the Gjallarhorn by Matt Blair who also served as the honorary team captain for the coin toss. Who can ever forget Blair and how good he was at blocking kicks. He blocked 20 in his career. Will that feat ever be accomplished in our lifetime? He was certainly special and a great Vikings linebacker as well.

The opening kickoff by Tampa Bay’s Michael Koenen was booted out of the end zone and with that a chorus of boos rang throughout the Dome. The crowd I believe was anticipating Percy bringing down the roof with a huge return on national TV.

The first 3 drives by Minnesota totaled 6 yards with drives of 8, 5, and -7 yards in a total of 3 minutes and 43 seconds was so hard to watch and hearing boos get louder each failure. I was even hearing chants of Webb, Webb, Webb in the upper deck.

The touchdown pass from Ponder to Percy Harvin was a thing of beauty and leaves you wishing it could happen more often. The chants again rang out from the upper deck except this time the chant was MVP, MVP, MVP referring to Harvin and everything he has done for this team so far this year.

Halftime came and being down only 10 I really felt the team had a chance. If only the Vikings could come out and shut the Buccaneer’s first drive down and get the ball back. Wow, 1:30 into the second half and there goes Bucs running back Doug Martin with a 64 yard screen pass. Can you say emotional deflation?

This is 2 weeks a row a little back has really hurt the Vikings. Cardinal’s Stephen-Howling standing in at 5’7” and then Bucs Martin 5’9”. These 2 guys really gave the Vikings defense fits


Bucs leading 30-10 and kickoff specialist Michael Koenen had frustrated Harvin all night as I watched Percy try all night to keep the ball from going out of the end zone. Time after time he slammed the ball down frustrated with no returns. Then an oddity Koenen kicked one that Harvin could return and he gave the Vikings good field position. It seemed to spark the offense because not to long after there goes AP on a long touchdown run. This is the spark the team needed at the time.

On a bright note from the game Adrian rushed for over 100 yards giving him 30 in his career and now stands alone as number one in Vikings history for most 100 yard games. Congrats to AP

Other then the TD run the game really seemed like maybe a Bucs victory until late third quarter when the squirmish between Jared Allen and Bucs left tackle Donald Penn really got the crowd into the game. .It was as loud as I have heard in over 2 years. It was deafening and awesome to be in. The first sack of the game by Jared Allen I really thought that was it the game has swung. The Vikes were still down by 2 scores yet it seemed possible the emotional roller coaster has finally swung to the Vikings.

The offense takes over and before you know it is 3rd and 6 for the Vikes. I really thought the way the emotion is in the stadium it would be piece of cake. Then the unimaginable event Vikings center John Sullivan snap was low casing Ponder to chase and that was it forcing the team to punt. I will never know, but what if? What if the team had gotten the third down conversion? It is only an after thought now.

Fourth quarter I happen to notice with around 7 minutes plus left in the game, fans were filing out quickly as many blue seats were showing around the stadium. What heartache as I really thought Thursday would be much better and even felt a win was achievable.

Yes, Tampa Bay was 2-4 but that is one of the best 2-4 teams I have seen. They did everything they wanted and their defense had a heck of a game.

As we were leaving fans were given a Christian Ponder poster. I have not seen a scene like this since 1998 NFC Championship as I witnessed many car flags lying in the streets of Minneapolis back in ‘98. Thursday night to my disappointment I saw many ripped up Ponder posters lying in the streets.

This team is young and will now have 10 days to get ready for an extremely tough game in Seattle. The Seahawks have already beaten the Packers and Patriots at home. We will find out the character out our favorite team next Sunday.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Looking for a big Thursday night win

Another gigantic battle of two NFC teams is about to happen with Thursday October 25th the date and the place, Mall of America Field.

One of the big questions asked of me is will we be able to see the game if we do not have NFL Network? The answer is yes. You can find it on your local channel.
The facts and odds I have found in reading seems to be good for the Vikings. The stat since Thursday night games started in 2006 the home team has a 63.6 percent winning. In 2012 the home team is 5-1 so far. Yes, they are only stats but it is something to think about.

Congratulation goes out to Adrian Peterson for being named offensive player of the week with his performance last week against Arizona. A twist to this story was the Vikings played Arizona in 2011 and who was named Offensive player of the week? Yes, Adrian Peterson with his 3 td’s and over 100 yards. It is amazing in 2 seasons the 2 games against the Cardinals, named player of the week each time.

Arizona played with many 8-9 man fronts to try and stop Adrian so what does he do? He runs for 153 and 1 touchdown. Tampa Bay comes in with a very tough run defense. They are ranked number one allowing only 3.1 per carry. The determination of Peterson will once again be watched. The game is national TV so don’t you think Peterson will want to show America just how strong he is with his comeback?

Remember he is tied with Robert Smith with 29- 100 yard rushing games in his Vikings career. I believe Peterson will be the lone record holder after Thursday night with 30.
Blair Walsh has been unbelievable with his kickoffs and touchbacks but Tampa Bay comes in as the only team with a higher percentage of touchbacks. The home crowd will give the edge to Walsh.

Tampa Bay quarterback, Josh Freeman comes in extremely hot especially in his last two games. He has thrown for 748 yards, 6 touchdowns and only one interception. This young man is big and tough to get down. A stat to look at is he has only been sacked 9 times in 6 games.

A challenge issued to the Vikings defense to do what they can to get him out of his game. The X factor will be the crowd.

The Buccaneers offensive line is huge with the smallest man at 6’4” and weighs 308 while the largest man is 6’9”. They also have 3 linemen at 6’5”. This will be a great challenge.

The Vikings came at Arizona quarterback with pressure without the blitz needed and still got 7 sacks. I believe the blitz will be key with a line this big. The quickness the Vikings have on defense will be a great asset.

Vikings have done a great job in shutting down the opponents receivers and once again the team faces a major task. The man who I was hoping to see the Vikings sign in the off-season is a Buc and his name, Vincent Jackson.

His game last week with a touchdown and over 200 yards in receiving against the New Orleans Saints will give Vikings cornerback Chris Cook a great challenge.

The team did so well in shutting down Lions receiver, Calvin Johnson. I just really believe the Vikings secondary has a great working relationship with each other and helps each other. Jackson will go back after the game to Tampa Bay frustrated.

The stats favor the Vikings to win and my heart agrees as the record at home will go to 5-0 and 6-2 overall. The Vikings win 30-10.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What a turn around at home

My season tickets started in 1998 with the perfect regular season home record and then the unthinkable watching the NFC Title game against Atlanta. It might go down as one of the longest trips from Minneapolis to Owatonna in history for me.

That was 1998 and now it is 2012 with the first four games starting out 4-0. As a fan you always hope but there is never a guarantee in anything. The first half of the home schedule is in the books.

One thing as a fan going to the game you get to witness the person who blows the Gjallarhorn signaling the Vikings are coming.

The list thus far has had a nice variety. The first 2 preseason games we witnessed Jack Jablonski in Game 1 and former Vikings running back Ted Brown in Game 2.
The regular season opener had Larry Sponer, a major leader as a fan in the fight for the stadium. Josh Duhamel , actor and Vikings fans did the honor for the 49ers game. Former Timberwolves Coach Flip Saunders blew the horn for Tennessee and last week against Arizona, Juan Berenguer a member of the 25th anniversary of the Twins 87 World Series team led the charge.

One of my favorite parts of pregame when the Vikings come onto the field is when the starters are introduced. Coach Childress was big in having the PA say here are your Minnesota Vikings. I love Coach Frazier having each week having the offense or defense introduced. The opening week had the offense introduced as this was Adrian Peterson’s first week back. The noise when his name was called was unbelievable. Game 2 the defense was introduced and now it is back and forth with offense then defense and so forth. I really feel it gets the fans really into it.

The crowd rises as one of opening kickoffs and also stands as one when it is 3rd down for the opponent. The decibel level in this place is unbelievable. I have heard it louder in the past but this year is getting better each week. The wins keep coming and so will the crowd noise.

There have been plenty of blue seats empty at least where I sit so far. I looked up the attendance thus far and it is increasing. The first game against Jacksonville the crowd was listed at 56,607, the lowest of the four games. Arizona game listed as 61,068 which was the high so far. It is good to see the crowd is coming back slowly but surely. I can remember not too long ago the attendance would be announced with the number of consecutive sellouts would be announced as well.

Season tickets are so fun to have and to pay them off is a good feeling. I do not feel just because I pay X amount of dollars I would not come if they would keep losing. I am a fan win or lose. It does make it a lot nicer to drive home after a win and the team is on a nice streak. The chance to be in the loudest stadium in the NFL is a chance I hope you can get to sometime and experience the noise and everything that goes with a game day.

The Vikings are averaging winning by 11 points a game at home. These games really keep you on your toes with high hopes. In 2011 the season ticket was an experience never to forget. Yes, the team won one game all year at home. The games early last season that the Vikings were up by double figures at half and end up losing really made for a tough drive home.

The games thus far in recap mode starting with the home opener and who can forget Jacksonville thinking they won only to watch Minnesota have the small miracle. Ponder completes 2 passes they absolutely had to have. The day the NFL found out about Minnesota secret weapon, Blair Walsh.

San Francisco comes in as an early favorite to represent the NFC for the Super Bowl and the Vikings shocked the world.

Tennessee comes in with a bad record and the Vikings had a game where they were supposed to win. They not only won but it was a land slide where my hands the only time they had sweat was the opening kickoff. Finally, a Vikings convincing win leaving no doubt and shutting down an NFL premier running back, Chris Johnson.

Arizona comes to town tied with the Vikings and went home now a game of the Vikings. It would go down as one of the worst yardage by a quarterback. The play of Adrian Peterson and the defense came through making the difference to get the win. It has got to be our year especially when something like 58 yards passing and the team wins.

The schedule gets harder so if they can take care of home business the future is looking brighter. The last game of the year is a home game against Green Bay Packers. Would it be crazy if it came to that game to see who goes where?

Next up: Thoughts on the Buccaneers game

Thanks for reading
Purplestick




Monday, October 22, 2012

Vikings-Buccaneers info

The (5-2) Minnesota Vikings hosts the (2-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mall of America Field on Thursday Oct 25th, 2012. This game will go down in Vikings history as the 1st home NFL Network game.

This game will begin the second half of the home schedule after finishing 4-0 in the first half of the schedule.

The Vikings are 5-6 on Thursdays and 57-55 overall in primetime. The Vikings leads the series 31-21. The team is 18-8 at home vs Tampa Bay. The one troubling stat you just don’t’ usually see is the Vikings have not beat Tampa Bay at home since 2001. The Buccaneers have a 5 game winning streak in Minnesota. It was just last season when the Vikings had a big time lead over Tampa Bay only to watch the Bucs come back and win 24-20.

The halftime show will have Vikings fans in attendance watch former linebacker great, Matt Blair become the 20th Viking to be inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor.

The NFL Network will broadcast with play by play man, Brad Nessler at the controls along with analyst Mike Mayock. Nessler is a native of St. Charles, Minnesota and also graduated from Minnesota State University. He was the voice of the Vikings in the 1988-89 season.

The two teams come in with a win for Minnesota over Arizona and Tampa Bay comes in after suffering a shocking loss to New Orleans Saints after being up 21-7.

The teams coming into 2012 season based on the 2011 opponents records had the Vikings tied for 8th toughest schedule while the Buccaneers had the 27th toughest.

The teams are also about as closing as scoring average as possible. Minnesota is averaging 23.9 a game while Tampa Bay is at 24.7.

In reading up on the game I found some neat connections. Tampa Bay General Manager Mark Dominik was born in St.Cloud, Minnesota. Minnesota linebacker coach Fred Pagac played tight end for Tampa Bay in 1976.Former Minnesota Gophers quarterback,Adam Weber is Tampa's third string quarterback.

Blair Walsh is now leading the NFL with 27 touchbacks. Percy Harvin is second in the NFL with 53 receptions.

Adrian Peterson tied Robert Smith’s team record of 29- 100 yard games on Sunday against Arizona. Lets’ hope the NFL world gets to see Peterson become number one in franchise history with a 100 yard performance topping off a Vikings victory Thursday.
There are no words that can describe what Peterson has overcome thus far. In looking at the rushing stats of AP he is at 652 which is tied for second in the NFL and good for third overall in the NFL.

Jared Allen got a sack Sunday against Arizona making for the 5th consecutive game in which he has a sack. Don’t look now but Allen is now tied for 5th in the NFL and 8th overall in the NFL.

A win by the Vikings would give Coach Frazier his first victory over Tampa Bay in his career.

Next up: A review of the first 4 at home

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Strange day in the Dome

The game starts out with a bang or so we thought with Percy Harvin’s opening kickoff return for a touchdown. It was so loud in the dome; fans were going crazy and add in Harvin cranking the football against the wall in excitement after scoring all for not with the dreaded yellow hanky laying 90 yards behind the play. It is so neat to sit in the upper deck and watch holes opening for the players as one advantage of going to games.

The kickoffs of Blair Walsh have been so deep all year that to see the short kickoffs in the first half and by short I mean in the end zone but not out of the end zone was strange. Walsh has spoiled me so far.

The punts by Chris Kluwe were not the bombs he usually hits but they were sure effective as the Vikings special teams did a great job Sunday of containing 2011 Pro Bowl return man, Patrick Peterson. Kudos to Coach Priefer, and the Vikes special teams on a job well done in containing Patrick.

The Vikings have seven sacks Sunday, yet struggled to tackle especially running back Stephens-Howling. This little 5’7” little jitterbug was unbelievable. It was just another story of Sunday watching the Vikings defense hammer quarterback John Skelton time after time. The defense made the stops when they had to with example 4th and 1 quarterback Skelton takes a jolt from Sunday’s leading tackler, Antoine Winfield. The team did not tackle as well as usual but still team hustle was evident Sunday. I appreciate all the team did to get the win.

The play of Chris Cook and the rest of the team in shutting down All Pro Larry Fitzgerald Jr was very impressive. I kept an eye on Fitzgerald when I could and he just did not have the space to get open.

Harrison Smith’s pick six was so fun to watch as the place erupted. I watched him cut way back towards the sideline weave his way toward the end zone. I saw him get to the 5 yard line and I was just hoping he could finish. It was the first interception return for a touchdown by a rookie since 2003.

The left side of the offensive line did such a nice job of opening holes for Adrian Peterson. What a pleasure to see the miracle man come through on Sunday. The one play that indicated how good Sunday went for Peterson was he looked to have 5 yard gain and then through his pushing with the help of teammates gained 5 more for a 10 yard run.
The talk Sunday on the way home on the radio was the play of Christian Ponder. It was unbelievable to be at a game watching a quarterback throw for 58 yards including 2 interceptions and the team still wins.

It is so strange to watch a win but yet much to talk about as far as concerns on the play of Ponder. Jerome Simpson still has not had the impact I had hoped for thus far. He did draw a pass interference call which is helpful.

This young defense continues to make strides and the team speed continues to be evident. It was not the best tackling performance but the end result is a W.
The last strange event, but this one was good, was the weather. I thought it was very cool temperature wise in the dome and after the game coming outside into 70 degree weather. It was warmer outside then inside.

A crazy day of football is now in the books and Thursday back at it with Tampa Bay coming to town.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Looking to go 4-0 at home

The Minnesota Vikings fans once again get a chance to help their favorite team and make some noise in hopes of pushing the team to 5-2.

When entering the game the Vikings are asking fans if they would be so kind to bring food items and donate them to help their food drive for Second Harvest Heartland.

Each week I look at the referee of the game and look at his background. Sunday’s game gives us Terry McAulay, who started in the NFL as a side judge in 1998. He was promoted in 2001 to his current job of referee in 2001. He worked Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. He has also worked two conference championship games along with one divisional game and one wildcard.

The game itself has Las Vegas favoring the Vikings by 5.5 points. When I saw the schedule come out and I saw Arizona at home again I thought should be a W. I did a lot of reading on the Cardinals and after that I believe the game will cover the point spread but not much over.

The starter for Arizona was Kevin Kolb until he was injured last week and in came John Skelton. The story to start the 2012 season was Skelton was named the starter and then injured so now has come full circle. The Cardinals offensive line through six games has allowed 28 sacks which I hope keep Jared Allen and company up all night in excitement to pad their stats. I plan on seeing some calf roping action a few times out of Jared.

The running back situation for the Cardinals is interesting since Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams are out for the season. This leaves undrafted, William Powell as the man. A line that can’t protect and is having trouble opening holes should make for a good day for the Vikings front seven.

The concern I have is if Skelton has any time a couple of wide receivers named Larry Fitzgerald Jr and Michael Floyd will want to come back to their home state of Minnesota and play big.

I do feel comfortable about the Vikings defense but can still be a little concerned about these former Minnesota high school athletes.

The Arizona defense is something to read about. I went to the Cardinals web site and did some reading about the defensive coordinator. His name is Ray Horton and seven of his years in coaching was on the Pittsburgh Steelers staff. This explains some of this to me. I believe the Steelers year in and year out are a top defense so what a team to learn from. He even helped tutor Troy Polamalu.

He has the Cardinals playing hard and they are now 5th in the NFL allowing 15.8 points per game. They are 10th in allowing 329.3 yards per game and only allowing 216 through the air.

They have gone 14 straight games without allowing a 100 yard rusher. The backs they have faced this year is Lynch (Seahawks), McCoy (Eagles), Jackson (Rams), and combo Fred Jackson and Spiller (Bills), This is an impressive list thus far.
I believe the Vikings offensive line will be good enough to get the job done although may not be easy. The determination of Adrian Peterson hard running will be a plus as well. The man who gets hit after two yards and carries a handful of would be tacklers a few more yards will be fun to watch. I do feel he is so close each week to breaking one.

The front seven of Arizona is tough and one of the guys who the Vikings guards and center will need to keep at bay will be Darnell Dockett, This guy is 6’8” and weighs in at 300. I believe controlling him will go a long ways to be successful Sunday.

The Cardinals return game with Patrick Peterson will be fun to watch how the Vikings plan on controlling him. He was the 5th overall pick in the NFL draft in 2011 had an NFL record tying 4 returns last season. The production also put him in the Pro Bowl game as the return man. He is a starting defensive back also. He had 2 interceptions last season and in 2012 has 3 already.

The Cardinals defense is strong, the offense not sure of their identity yet. The Cardinals had their heart broke last week in an overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The Cardinals come in with a wounded wing let’s hope the Vikings leave the birds flightless and dragging their wings back to Arizona.

I believe a big win will be seen by the 63,000 plus fans in a low scoring with the Vikings winning 20-10.

Thanks for reading
Go Vikes!!!!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

2013 Home game in London

I had been reading speculation the Vikings would play a home game but it would not be at the dome. On Tuesday October 16th at the owners meeting the official announcement was made public.

The 2013 NFL season the Minnesota Vikings will be the home team when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday September 29th. The game will be played at 5:00 UK time which is noon (CST).

The Vikings will be part of NFL history next season as their game will be the first of 2 played at Wembley Stadium. On Sunday October 27th the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the San Francisco 49ers.

I have had season tickets 13 seasons and have only missed 1 home game and that was a preseason game. This will be my second miss. It is hard to know I will not be able to attend but on the positive side the bill for next season will be one less game. I always try to be positive about things in life.

The Vikings since their 1961 beginning have played 4 games across seas and all four were exhibition games. The Vikings are 4-0 which is a neat fact and would be even better if they could improve to 5-0.

The Vikings and Steelers both have fans that travel well so it will be neat to see on TV which team gets the bigger amount of fans.

This is one season we do not have to wait until the summer when the dates are announced. We know the teams the Vikings play early in the year, just not the dates. At least for just this one week in 2013 the Vikings we know when and who they play.

Overseas Game by Game

1983- London- Vikings 28 St. Louis Cardinals 10
1984- Goteburg, Sweden- Vikings 28 Chicago Bears 21
1993- Berlin- Vikings 20 Buffalo Bills 6
1994- Tokyo- Vikings 17 Kansas City Chiefs 9

Next up: Need to deal the Cards a loss

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Vikings-Cardinals Info

Arizona Cardinals won 5 of their last 6 games in 2011 while the Vikings won 3 for the whole season. 2012, a new start and a start these 2 are off to as they come in with a 4-2 record even after each losing last weekend.

These two should be in the same division the way they meet seemingly each year. The two have played each year since 2008.

The Vikings hold a 14-10 series lead including 8-4 at home. The last win in Minnesota by the Cardinals came back in 1977 when they were the St. Louis Cardinals.

Did you know Percy Harvin is ranked 1st in the NFL with 49 receptions? He is a Vikings record holder for the most catches by a Vikings receiver in the first 6 games of the season with the 49 catches.

The team not only has a good record but has players that are making names for themselves league wide. Christian Ponder still ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 68.6 percent completion rate.

Rookie kicking sensation is still at it. Blair Walsh is tied for tops in the NFL with 24 touchbacks. He is second in the NFL with 16 field goals made, and he is third in points with 60.

Jared Allen had a sack last week giving him 4 straight games in which he has a sack. He has 11 in a row in 2011 so watch out the hunt is on.

The Vikings defense although had a tough week against Robert Griffin III giving up the crushing 76 yard touchdown still rank 3rd in the NFL giving up only 3.05 yards on 1st down.

Adrian Peterson was named NFC offensive player of the week on 10/9/11 against the Arizona Cardinals. He had rushed for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns with all 3 in the first quarter.

Two of the Cardinals receivers have something awesome in common. Larry Fitzgerald Jr and Michael Floyd both played their high school football in Minnesota. Larry came out Holy Angels Academy (Minneapolis) while Michael played for Cretin- Derham Hall (St. Paul). They both were All State Performers at their respective high schools. Arizona is the opponent but it is still neat to watch to former Minnesotan’s compete.

The other Minnesota connection we look at Cardinals center Lyle Sendlein. Does the name Sendlein sound familiar? His dad, Robin was a Vikings linebacker from 1981-1985.

The game is early yet but has big implications for the rest of the season. Each win the Vikings can get against an NFC opponent is huge especially if tie breakers are needed. The game against the Redskins was a fail but time to move on and play a great game of Cards.

Next up: Big announcement for 2013 home schedule

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Winning streak is over

The way the game started out with the Vikings ending up with 3 field goals and going up 9-0 thanks to Blair Walsh is nice but still left me not feeling comfortable. A road team such as the Vikings having a chance to go for the knockout punch early and not getting it done is disappointing.

Blair Walsh continues to be productive even in his first outdoor game. The touchbacks just do not get old to watch. It is getting to the point so see if he can either kick it out of the end zone or through the uprights.

The play of Percy Harvin continues to impress. I thought Sunday the Redskins hits on him were by far and the worst I have seen all season. The fact he gets up sometimes limping and still comes back to the huddle. All I can say is Thank you to Percy for all his efforts he puts in.

I really thought even though the defense struggled to stop RGIII one defender who played awesome today was Antoine Winfield. His ability at his size to take down the bigger receivers is just simply put a pleasure to watch. One play specifically when Winfield was coming up field to make a tackle and absolutely knocked an upcoming blocker right on his butt.

The one thing I struggle with is not understanding why Kyle Rudolph is not used more in the red zone. The 2 point catch against Washington looked like a replay of the Tennessee game with Ponder throwing the ball up and letting this big boy go get it.

In getting back to the 1st quarter and settling for field goals had me hoping it did not come back to haunt the team. I had more of a worse feeling when Washington Redskins kicker Kai Forbath makes a 50 yard field goal. This is a guy who just signed with the Redskins on October 12th and then on his first attempt in a Redskins uniform comes through for them. This was my turning point for the game.

As a football fan you cannot help by being impressed with the number 2 pick overall in the 2012 draft, RGIII. The Vikings just did not have an answer to stop him. This is a man who is going to be a keeper for the Redskins for a long time.

I do not like to see the team lose I however do enjoy the team not quitting. The 4th quarter effort can really be used as a springboard offensively for next week when the Arizona Cardinals come to town. It is unfortunate the Redskins broke an 8 game home losing streak at home at the expense of the Vikings.

This film session this week for the Vikings will be a huge learning tool for this young team. 4-2 record is still respectable and a set back like Sunday hurts but it is time to move on. The amount of penalties on the road cannot be tolerated for a team that is trying to return to the playoffs.

This game has got to be an eye opener and I still feel with 2 home games coming up the team will be in good shape.

The NFL season has started out strange with teams that are expected to win and lose. Pittsburgh on Thursday loses to a Tennessee team the Vikings destroyed. Minnesota is 2 games away from matching what Las Vegas odds said they would win so the expectations nationally is not high but the Vikings fans are seeing a young team develop and we believe each game can be won or we would not be a fan.

I have talked to enough people who either are gun shy about believing or just don’t want to believe and saying the team will disappoint us anyway as they always do. A loss like this does not help my case to get people to believe. I will never give up my passion on this team and feel confident the next 2 home games will show people this team means business.

It is a tough Sunday, but life goes on. Win or lose we can only watch and hope for a win. Today was not our day but next week Arizona rolls is and the Vikes will get back on their winning ways.

Continue to believe in this young team

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Friday, October 12, 2012

Feeling good about a W in Washington

This game has so much riding on it and it is still early. The importance of building self-confidence is huge by getting a second road win and more importantly against an NFC team if in the event a tie breaker needed.

Las Vegas does have Washington favored by 2.5 points.

The referee for the game will be Tony Corrente. He got the job of being a ref in 1998 after he had been a back judge to start his career in 1995. Tony was the ref in the 2001 NFC Championship game in which the Vikings lost to the New York Giants 41-0. The other fact about Tony is he is a high school Social Studies teacher in the off season.

The Vikings defense as we know has been the talk of the national media. Ron Jaworski was on Mike and Mike this week and had nothing but praise for the defense. I have waited so long to hear such nice things said about this young u and coming hustling defense.

Washington’s offense has some statsthat should open the Vikings ears. The Redskins are last in 3rd down efficiency. They are 14-60 working out to a 23.3 completion rate. The other interesting fact I found in regards to the third down is the Redskins are 0-9 on 3rd and 2 or 3 to go.

The Redskins offense is run heavy with big numbers in fact they are in the top 10 in 5 categories. They are 7th in attempts, 4th in rushing yards and yards per game. They are 3rd with a 5.1 every time they carry the ball. They are 3rd with 8 rushing touchdowns. The other fascinating number is Washington is 2nd with 29 runs of at least 10 yards.

These numbers are exciting for me to see just how the Vikings defense does. The Vikings have not allowed a rushing touchdown to an opposing running back. They have allowed 1 rushing touchdown and that was to Detroit’s quarterback, Matthew Stafford.
The other exciting stat for me is the Vikings are number two in the league in only giving up 3.2 yards per carry and 6th in the NFL in only giving up 78 yards per game.
The Vikings have faced five pocket passing quarterback in Gabbert (Jaguars), Luck (Colts) Smith (49ers), Stafford (Lions) and last week Hasselback (Titans). This week the Vikings will face a true test in the man known as RGIII. He is averaging 5.7 yards per rush and is also has the highest completion rate with 69.1 percent. I really believe Jared Allen and Brian Robinson are going to really have to be careful in not to let this man get outside. I believe these men already know it and be disciplined and stay in their lanes.

The Vikings have shut down power houses like Frank Gore, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew and even Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson.

The way the defense has played as a team I see no worry as not to be able to stop the number 2 overall draft in Robert Griffin III.

The Redskins are averaging scoring 28 points a game and the Vikings defense is yielding only 16 points a game. The Redskins are giving up 30 points a game. I am such a believer in the Vikings and their defensive effort thus far. The credit to Alan Williams, defensive coordinator and what he has done thus far should be co MVP candidate along with Percy Harvin. The rotating of the defensive line seems to be really working as the players are able to finish the game string like they started.
I remember back to Training camp when the change was made to have the afternoon practice in pads and how hot it was. Coach Frazier had mentioned he wanted to get the players in better conditioned and so far the plan has worked to perfection. I applaud Coach for sticking to his plan.

Reminder Blair Walsh will kick outdoors for the first time this season. He has had great success in touchbacks but when not the team is giving up some big returns at some bad times. The Redskins have a very speedy return man in Brandon Banks so we will need to keep an eye on how the Vikings contain him.

The 49ers game I predicted the Vikes would win 24-20 and they won 24-13. The Tennessee game I called for a Vikings victory 31-10 and the game wound up 30-7. The Monday game last Monday with New York Jets and Houston I had to pick a total point of the game for a tie breaker. I picked 41 and the game ended with a total of 40. I will now say based on the stats the Vikings will win 30-16 moving the record to 5-1.

Coach Frazier has beat Washington Coach Mike Shanahan once already in 2012 in the College Senior Bowl. These were the 2 coaches of the squads. Frazier’s team won 23-13. The 2 victories as Vikings coach over Washington and now the college experience gives me much to be optimistic about.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Getting ready for the Washington Redskins

It is hard to believe the Vikings face the Washington Redskins for the 3rd season in a row. The job Coach Frazier has done I love. The season of 2010 with all the turmoil including Coach Brad Childress being fired and the insertion of Frazier, and then of all things get a win on the road in Washington. What a way to start a coaching career to get Coach Frazier his first win. I will never forget that day. 2011 the Vikings win 3 games all year and one of them once again in Washington. Sunday can Coach Frazier go 3 for 3? Let’s look at some of the did you knows coming into this important NFC battle.
The all-time series has Washington in the lead with an 11-10-0. The Vikings are 6-5 at Washington including winning the last 3.

The release of Ryan Longwell in the offseason caught fans off guard especially when the team decided to go with a draft choice to do the kicking chores.

The decision thus far has paid big dividends. Blair Walsh already owns a record for 3 games in a row with a kick of over 50 yards. The next stat that jumps out and that is 2011 the Vikings had 19 touchbacks for the year. The fact 5 games into the season Walsh already has 17 with games against the Lions and Titans having 5 each of those games.

This game will be interesting involving Walsh because it will be the first game he will kick outdoors. Three home games and the 2 on the road in domes in Indianapolis and Detroit has been the start of his brilliant career.

Special Teams Coach Mike Priefer has got to be living on cloud 9. The return game with Percy Harvin’s 38.3 return average leads the NFL. Marcus Sherels’s 14.9 average punt return puts him 4th. The play of special teams is paying dividends as the Vikings are 2nd in the NFL starting with the ball at the 27.1 yard line.

Did you know Christian Ponder has the 2nd best completion rate amongst all NFL quarterbacks with a 69 percent? The only one higher is non-other than the Redskins own Robert Griffin III with a 69.1 rate.

Did you know the Vikings have scored each time they have been in the red zone? They have scored 6 touchdowns and 9 field goals. This stat has the Vikings leading the league in red zone scoring efficiency.

Did you know the Vikings are tied for third with 9 drives of over 5 minutes? The offense also has rushed 7 times for 20 yards or more which is tied for 2nd in the NFL. One of the rushes was a 23 yard touchdown by Ponder for a touchdown against the 49ers. It is just not Adrian, he has support this year.

The play of Percy Harvin will never get old to talk about. The stats he is ringing up so far is incredible. MVP of the league, could it be? He ranks 1st in the NFL with 242 yards after the catch and for now seem to be impossible to tackle.

A fact I did not realize was Percy Harvin has been in a Vikings uniform 52 games and has at least one catch in all 52 including playoff games.

The defense is playing out of their minds and is the talk of many fans. A fact to be proud of is the Vikings are 1 of 3 teams to not allow a rush over 20 yards. The other 2 are the New England Patriots and Houston Texans leaving Minnesota as the only NFC team to accomplish this. The longest run against the Purple has been 15 yards. I think of the running backs this team has faced early with Maurice Jones-Drew, Frank Gore and Chris Johnson and none of them have much to show for.

Two familiar names the Vikings will see this week will be Cedric Griffin and Madieu Williams.

2011, the place, Washington, Adrian Peterson goes down with the season ending surgery. How does Adrian respond in the return to the scene where it happened? Is it motivation to show the Redskins fans how he has healed? Only time will tell as game time approaches 3:25 on Sunday October 14 Vikes-Redskins. Are you ready for some football?

In the offseason Las Vegas had the Vikings to win 6. Two wins away to make Vegas odds makers look pretty foolish.

Go Vikes

Next up: Looking at both sides of the ball against Washington

Thanks for reading
Purplestick




Sunday, October 7, 2012

The wins keep coming

The walk to the dome seemed to have a different beat to it Sunday. The energy on the plaza seemed to be extra. It is such a different feeling walking through and listening to fans excited for a game when the team is winning. Words cannot describe the emotion, it is just something to be a part of and take in.

I do enjoy seeing the scalpers in action. The funniest sight to me is when a guy has a sign around his neck that says “Need tickets,” when he is already holding 3 tickets in his hands.

The national anthem was sung by Matt Kalil’s sister, Danielle. She did one of the best jobs I have heard.

The team is off to a great start especially at home but something weird and that is all 3 home games there are 30-40 empty seats around us. The 3 rows in front of us are 20-30 empty seats and in my row there are at least 8 empty seats. In looking around our section seems to be the barest. We are in 215 with a good view. It is hard to understand but we are still having a blast watching the Vikes play so well.

The biggest ovation early came without the Vikings even making a play. The stadium announcer gets on the PA and says we have an out of town scoreboard update which went as follows the Packers 27 and the Colts 30. The crowd went wild.

One of the refreshing thoughts from today was the not only a victory but that the offense contributed with the 3 touchdowns.

The only negative from Sunday’s game was the unfortunate decision made by safety Harrison Smith. I listened to an interview of Harrison Smith done by Greg Coleman on KFAN radio on the way home and Smith sounded like he understood the mistake and is willing to take his punishment. In making matters worse was Commissioner Roger Goodell was in attendance at the game and got to witness the incident first hand.

The positives were many and I will start with kicker Blair Walsh. It sounds like a broken record but the kickoffs Sunday were awesome to watch. Titans kick returner Darius Reynaud lines up every kick around the end line and all he could do was helplessly watch the ball go by. It does not get old watching Walsh’s magic.

The defensive line continues to dominate not so much with sacks but the pressure constantly on quarterback Matt Hasselback. I was concerned with the experienced Hasselback quick rhythm passing but thanks to a team effort of pressure it just did not happen.

The crowd was big Sunday standing as one on every 3rd down attempt by Tennessee. The noise fans create never gets old. You can just feel it in your heart. The screaming, clapping, yelling all is huge.

The Vikings defensive team speed was evident as for the third home game the team shut down a big time running back. Sunday, Chris Johnson was the latest victim of a theme of the year and it is called team tackling. Last week Johnson runs for 141 and Sunday he had 117 less coming up with 24 for his effort. In being at the game you can see everything watching safeties running up and joining in the tackles.

Toby Gerhart after suffering a miserable game against the 49ers really had some powerful runs Sunday. I like the coaching staff giving Toby more chances and so far so good.

The passing game is a long way from being great but the efforts are getting better by the receivers. Devin Aromashodu and Michael Jenkins both had very nicely timed catches. The stats are very average but these 2 players both had catches when their number was called.

Throw in a beautiful catch in double coverage by tight end Kyle Rudolph for a touchdown and it was a day sending 63,000 happy Purple fans home.

It is funny because the game Sunday I came in my usual nervousness hoping for a win, but as the game went on I really never got the nervous feeling.

The call in show on KFAN is so much more fun to listen on the way home as the team continues to win.

How many games have the Vikings come into and they were expected to dominate and in the end they either lose or barely squeak out a victory? Sunday’s victory was a sweet domination.

This 2012 season has really started out special and Vikings fans that have patiently waited are being rewarded early on.

Go Vikes
Thanks for reading

Purplestick




Last minute thoughts on Gameday

In the first few weeks of the season with the debacle with the replacement refs I have a new appreciation for who is running the game. I decided each week to see who will be in charge. Sundays ‘referee for the Tennessee-Vikings game is one of my favorites. His name is Jeff Triplette, and he started out as a field judge and became a ref in 1999 so he has plenty of experience.

Jeff is a retired Army Reserve colonel. He was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in the Persian Gulf War while serving in the North Carolina Army National Guard.

In other news:

I was excited when I read about the architect who will be building the Vikings new stadium. His name is Mark Williams, 49 who grew up in Marshalltown located in central Iowa. In growing up with his family they would make the 4 hour trip once and sometimes more to go to the old Met and then the present home, the Metrodome.
I cannot think of a better person to get the job done knowing the passion Vikings fans have for their team. He has seen firsthand the passion.

Vikings fans have a lot to be excited about. A 3-1 start and now find out a longtime fan will be key in designing the new home.

Go Vikes

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Friday, October 5, 2012

Looking to stay undefeated at home

A great start to the season watching the team we love break an 11 game NFC North Division losing streak, equaling win total from last year already, and winning 2 games at home after only 1 all last season. What are the hopes for Sunday?

The foot to the petal cannot stop. Confidence is good, but please Vikings do not be overconfident with the way this wacky season has started. The parody in the league that was hoped for by many I believe is becoming a reality.

The work the team has put into has been rewarded but as we know each Sunday will get tougher. A home game of all things would not be a good time to be lackadaisical and hope to get a win.

The way the defense has come out in the first 4 games is something to be proud of as a fan. The special teams unit is performing with the return game looking strong and coverage units making plays. The offense is learning together; add in a healthier Adrian Peterson and the future is looking bright for our purple crazed fans.

If you look at the two teams stats thus far you would think the Vikings are a clear cut favorite to win Sunday. The Vikings are 5.5 point favorites by Vegas lines.
Minnesota’s offense has got to be licking their chops in looking at what Tennessee has given up thus far in the first 4 weeks of the season. The Titans have given up an average of 38.5 point per game which is number one in the NFL. The Vikings offense to date is averaging 23 per game. After last week with fans upset the team could not score an offensive touchdown yet still won the game. Perhaps this is the medicine the doctor ordered.

Jerome Simpson showed glimpses last week of what he can bring. I envision one long bomb to Simpson and the place I call my 2nd home with 63,000 sisters and brothers screaming their purple lungs out will have that place going wild. Fans are ready after a frustrating last 2 seasons and not much winning. The team has a deep threat once again.

The protection has been so much better so far and the decision making by Christian Ponder has made remarkable improvements from last season. The dink and dunk passing, add in some Adrian Peterson power and now the deep ball can happen. The Vikings offense for so long has been seemingly predictable. Last Sunday Fans saw a change at the end of the game when Ponder threw a deep sideline pattern and Simpson went up and got it. I feel previous years the team may have run 1st and 2nd down forced into 3rd and long and get stopped. 2012 is here and with that comes a much appreciated change in philosophy.

The only disappointment honestly is not having John Carlson having more of an impact. It is early but sure would like to see combo of Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson. The size of these 2 along with their hands has got to get Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave excited.

I see nothing but success Sunday as the Titans will have to pick their poison. Teams have been able in the past to put 8 in the box and try to focus on Peterson. In 2012, a deep threat (Simpson), 2 viable tight ends (Rudolph and Carlson), a wide receiver who is Mr. Versatility, (Harvin) and a quarterback who not only is surprisingly fast and this season is making better decisions will give Tennessee’s defensive coordinator a lot to think about. The emergence of a healthier Adrian Peterson is the topping of this purple cake. It has been a while that a fan can think like this.

The defensive side of the ball is getting praise in the media which is rare especially after the last 2 seasons. The team speed with all the youth is so encouraging for the fans. The fact that Tennessee offense is averaging 20 points per game while the Vikings have averaged in the 2 homes games up 18 points per game. The final score should be Vikings 38 Titans 20 according to the stats.

Defensively the Vikings will face one of the best running backs in the NFL with the Titans, Chris Johnson. His performance of 141 last week cannot happen again and I believe it will not.

The Vikings only 2 home games they have faced 2 of the premier backs in the NFL. Week 1 they saw Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew who rushed for 77 yards. Week 3, 49ers’ Frank Gore was held to 63 yards. Two power house backs and they were put in check. The hustle and team tackling was the ingredient to the blue print to the Vikings defensive success.

The one concern I have is with the Tennessee quarterback who will have veteran, Matt Hasselback. The Vikings pass rush could be at an advantage because of his age. He is 37 years old so if the team can force him to run, advantage Vikings. Matt has been in the league 14 years with 8 of those passing over 3000 yards. He has not played this long without be smarter than his opponents. His veteran leadership could be advantage Titans. I really feel the Vikings home crowd will play in causing the Titans offensively line to struggle with snap counts.

The special teams by both teams might be the difference with Titans kicker Rob Bironas who has an outstanding leg along with our own record setting Blair Walsh.

You cannot mention special teams without mentioning Percy Harvin, September special teams player of the month. As you may or may not know it is the first time in Vikings history a Vikings return man has won this honor.

The Titans have special team’s players of the month in Darius Reynuad. The Vikings coverage unit has been outstanding thus far and will need to stay up. Coach Mike Priefer has the guys playing well so expect nothing less but touchbacks and team tackling

I love the Vikings chances Sunday in getting their 3 home win of the year. The stats say 38-20 Vikes. I will go Vikings 31-10.

Go Vikes!!!!

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tennessee Titans are coming to town

The Vikings-Tennessee game has been moved to 3:25 which seemed to surprise fans who thought the game was at the normal noon. Don’t forget it is televised by CBS.

In looking at some information I found this is the Vikings 13th time in team history they have started 3-1. The streak is at 4 times in a row starting with the 1988 season in which the Vikings have made the playoffs starting with this record. The 2004 season is the last time in fact they started 5-1 and the coach was Mike Tice. The season has a long ways to go but I do find this stat rather interesting.

The Titans are coming to town Sunday and the Vikings hold a 7-4 lead in the series. I like the fact that Minnesota is 6-1 at home against Tennessee.

Some history on the series going back to December 26, 1998 the Vikings played at the Tennessee Oilers. This was the last game in the Oilers era before becoming the Titans. The Vikings won that game 26-16 and in doing so the Vikings broke the NFL scoring record which has since been broke again. The receivers back then rookie Randy Moss, Cris Carter and Jake Reed. Who can forget that year even though it did not end the way I hoped.

The game on Sunday should be a fantasy owners dream with whoever has Titans running back, Chris Johnson and of course All Day, Adrian Peterson. They are both coming off 100 yard rushing performances in the week before. The defensive lines will both have their hands full trying to stop these 2 superior athletes. I am confident in the Vikings defense they will shut Johnson down.

The Minnesota defense is 1 of 5 teams in the NFL not to allow a run of 20 plus yards. It is a dream to watch the Vikings defense swarm again. The team speed is so impressive.

One are of the game that will be fun to watch will be both special teams. Percy Harvin, who leads the NFL with a 38.3 yard average, gets more exciting to watch each week. You just have the feel every time he touches the ball he will take it to the house.

Tennessee return man, Darius Reynaud if you remember not to along ago was a member of the Purple squad we all love.

One common fact on both of these return men is they both share the longest kick return for a touchdown going 105 this season. The men also share another fact and that is both had their kick returns against the Detroit Lions in back to back Sunday games.

In terms of special teams the last time a team in the NFL had a 95 plus yard kickoff return and a 75 plus yard punt return in the same game you need to go back to December 17,1977 when the Detroit Lions played the Minnesota Vikings. The strange twist on this is the Vikings won that game 30-21.

Marcus Sherels now stands alone in the Vikings history book. He is the only player in team history that has a kickoff and a punt return for a touchdown, and recorded a sack which he got in 2011. No other Vikings player can lay claim to that stat. Way to go Marcus, a local man out of Rochester John Marshall High School, the U of M and now a Viking.

The Tennessee Titans have 2 former Vikings on their roster. Guards Steve Hutchinson and Chris DeGeare were part of the 2011 Vikings. DeGeare was in Vikings camp this year before getting cut and signing with Tennessee.

Sunday Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Matt Hasselback’s dad Don played for tight end for the Vikings in 1984.

In closing it is hard to believe our own quarterback Christian Ponder is the only quarterback in the NFL who has yet to throw an interception. The way last year went and with many people I talked to had doubts Ponder was legit. His stats simply do not lie.

I am such a huge fan, yet this week was tough after a win. I was shocked to hear how much negativity about the offense. I heard people say, they cannot even score an offensive touchdown. My thought on this is, it is a team sport isn’t it? Three phases working to get the job done. Three wins already after three all last year. I would have thought I would have talked to happier people. I know how I feel and that is all that matters. I am a believer in Coach Frazier and his staff along with the youthful 2012 Minnesota Vikings.

Two people amongst many who I would like to give a ton of credit to and this is Rick Spielman and Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams for the start to this season.

Next up: Looking for A BIG WIN against the Titans

Thanks for reading
Purplestick