Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lions game review- A great way to close MOA Field


Sunday December 29th will go down as a day I will never forget. The Vikings and the Lions both out of the playoff race and no AP or Calvin Johnson so how will these teams perform?

The game, the fans were everything a guy like me wanted to see. A game with no meaning other than players playing out the season was very entertaining.

Cordarrelle Patterson is showing Minnesota Vikings fans just why they traded to get back up in the first round. It seems every time he touches the ball I just expect a touchdown. You have to be happy for a guy like this who got very little playing time to start the season and now look at who he finished.

I give praise to Marcus Sherels, who in my mind just might be the best punt returner or 2nd to Devin Hester. I saw him catch that punt and thought if he could hit the crease I saw from the upper deck he would be gone. It was dang close but what an effort and what speed. He needs to be on the 2014 roster for sure.

The play of Matt Asiata on Sunday needs kudos. A guy who is third string and filling in for the top two and what does he do? He goes for 115 yards against a very physical team in the Detroit Lions.

The play of the defense on Sunday needs to be praised. They have been ripped by media and fans for the majority of the season and then Sunday only give up 13. Yes, I know no Calvin Johnson but I will praise the effort anyways. The touchdown by Reggie Bush was the only embarrassment I felt on Sunday. The defensive line had great pressure on Matthew Stafford all day lead by Jared Allen.

The game ending kneel down by Cassel was a great way to close the dome history. The team held a closing ceremony 9 minutes after the game.  The team had Matt Birk, Robert Smith, Adrian Peterson and Vikings great head coach, Bud Grant all speak. The speeches came to an end then fireworks went off in both end zones and then the dome lights went out. The party is officially over!!!

32 years of awesome wins and heartbreaking losses is over. I went and watched people get blown out of the dome as they excited for my final memory.

It is time to move on to TCF Bank Stadium. A day like today with the temps at or below 0 make me wonder just how fun will it be to be freezing. My next thought it is the Vikings so I don’t care how cold because I will be watching the team I love.

Have a safe and Happy New Year

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Game info and numbers in helping you get ready for the Lions


The 2013 season started out with week 1 in Detroit and now in Week 17 on Sunday December 29th the Vikes will play host to the Lions to conclude the season. It will also end Mall of America Field history. The game will be the Vikings 250th regular season game plus 10 playoff home games making a grand total of 260 played in the dome. The Vikes are 167-92 at home.

Game info

Game time: noon on Fox

TV announcers: Gus Johnson and Charles Davis with Charissa Thompson on the sidelines

Las Vegas odds: Minnesota by 3.5

Pregame

Vikings will honor Matt Birk in pregame as well as Matt will be an honorary captain for the coin toss.

Former Vikings Great Coach, Bud Grant will blow the Gjallarhorn

VIKINGS-LIONS ALL TIME SERIES

Minnesota leads 68-34-2 all time. Minnesota is 37-13-1 at home overall between the Old Met and Mall of America Field. They are 23-7 against the Lions at the dome including winning 14 of the last 15 at home.

This will be the 6th time in the series where the 2 teams faced each other to conclude the season. The Vikings have a 3-2 edge.

The Vikings are 3-3 at home this season so a win would give the Vikings a 22nd season of winning home football since 1982.

CORDARRELLE PATTERSON INFO

Patterson needs 4 yards to break the all-time rookie record held by Buster Rhymes. Patterson is also averaging 33.6 yards per return which is the 2nd highest average since the 1970 merger of the AFL and NFL. Is that impressive or what?

OVERALL

It’s been a frustrating season to say the least but let’s make this week something we will never forget. A win in the last game at Mall of America Field would be what the doctor ordered. We can worry about 2014 after that. I just want to leave the dome with a smile. A win would be 4 in a row at home after losing the first 3. I feel good about this Sunday and know my favorite team will play their butts off and give the fans something to remember.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Memories at Mall of America Field


 
Sunday December 29th, 2013 is coming fast and with that thought it is become more and more emotional for me as I get ready to say goodbye knowing I have had so many memories in this great building.

The stadium opened April 3, 1982. I was not in attendance for that but do have a few Twins memories to pass on.

TWINS MEMORIES

I did see every American League team except two which were the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

I also remember sitting out in lower level field where there was plexus glass that extended the fence for home runs. I can remember sitting out there and seeing the ball hit the plexus glass and taking crazy bounces.

1-May 4, 1984 I was in attendance at the Twins-A’s baseball game and got to witness one of the more bizarre baseball happenings. A’s slugger, Dave Kingman hit a ball so high I remember my friend and I trying to find the ball in the ceiling for no avail. The ball went into the hole in the roof and never came down. The ruling was a ground rule double for Kingman.

2-I attended the home run derby in 1985 in which I paid a donation fee of 2.00 and sat in the upper deck behind home plate. Pirate’s slugger, Dave Parker won the event with 6 followed by Twins, Tom Brunansky and 4 other players tying for 2nd with 4 home runs. I still have my all-star pin from that event.

3-The year 2009 I was at the dome 7 straight weekends

8/21 Vikes-Chiefs   8/25 Twins-Orioles   8/29  Twins vs Rangers  9/04 Vikes-Cowboys  9/11 Twins vs A’s   9-17 Twins vs Tigers   9/27 Vikes-49ers  10/04 Twins-Royals  10/05 Vikes-Packers and 10/06 Twins vs Tigers

The 10/04 vs the Royals was supposed to be the last game ever at the dome but with a win the Twins forced a game 163 with the Tigers, Game # 163, which I attended as well. I got a certificate at the Royals game stating it was the last game at the dome for baseball.

The Vikings 9/27 game with the 49ers was the Brett Favre to Greg Lewis connection that shocked the world.

The 10/05 Vikes-Packers game was the Monday night game where Brett Favre played for the purple and beat the Packers in a game in which I believe the dome had never been so loud. It was a record set by Favre that I don’t know will ever be broke again. The victory over Green Bay meant Favre had beaten all 32 teams.

VIKINGS MEMORIES

I have been a Vikings season ticket holder for 13 seasons. I did attend a few games through 5 seasons before I got my season tickets.

I have attended 15 Vikings-Packers games in which the Vikes went 7-8 in those games.

1-January 17,1999, yes I was at the Vikings-Falcons NFC title game where I was standing there chanting Super Bowl, Super Bowl… watching Gary Anderson line up for the clincher. I will never forget watching the ref wave his arms with a no good motion. The shock and then watching Falcons’ coach Dan Reeves and the Falcons doing the dirty bird on the dome stage.

2-Sun Nov 30,2000 Vikes-Lions game  Cris Carter catches 4 yard touchdown vs the Lions which was Cris’s 1000th career catch.

3-Sun Sep 30, 2007- Vikings-Packers game   Brett Favre throws his NFL record 421st touchdown to Greg Jennings. I do not like the Packers but must admit I stood up and clapped for Favre knowing it was NFL history.

4-Sun Nov. 7, 2007- The Vikes- Chargers games where Adrian ran for 296 yards and watched another NFL record fall as Charger’s Cromartie take a missed Vikings field goal and run it back 109 yards right at halftime.

5-Mon Nov 30, 2008- Vikings quarterback, Gus Frerotte launches a bomb from the 1 to Bernard Berrian for a 99 yard touchdown.

6-2009- 2011 I did a blog for my local paper from a fan perspective. I was not paid rather my payment was a media pass to sit in the press box and then conduct player interviews. I did this 2 times a season since I was still a season ticket holder. It was the dream you cannot make up.

7- Wed April 13, 2011 I took a tour of the dome after the roof collapsed. I like my head shook the whole time in disbelief. I remember standing in the press box and looking out the roof and seeing the Minneapolis skyscrapers. The tour was 4.00 and at the end I received a 3x3 square of the dome roof as a keepsake. It was a day never to forget. I saw water all over the field and plywood on the floor wondering if the dome would ever be the same.

8-Sun Jan 1, 2012- Vikes- Bears game  Jared Allen gets 3 sacks which help him into the Vikings sack record by posing Chris Doleman’s 21. Allen is now 2nd in NFL history behind Michael Strahan.

9-Sun Jan 1, 2012- Vikes-Bears game    The game had ended and I watched Jim Kleinsasser run off the field for the very last time as he retired after 13 seasons all with the Purple.

I have attended 139 Vikings game through my dome life years. I have witnessed 99 wins. I know when the Vikings beat Detroit on Sunday it will be the 100th victory I will have seen. That would be a sweet mark for me to always remember.

I have seen every NFL team at least once with the Houston Texans being the last team I had not seen. The first team I ever saw was in 1996 with the Vikings playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

I have saved every game ticket writing on the back of each one the score of the game. It is so fun to look back through the years at the tickets and I also have a game program from each game as well.

I for one will miss the dome but must admit I am excited for the future. I thank the Hubert H. Humphrey dome later known as the Mall of America Field for all the memories I will never forget. I have seen my share of losses but never for once thought it was a waist of my money. I am a fan until the day I die, win or lose.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 


 

 

 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bengals game in review: Turnovers and mental mistakes prove costly


I was shocked earlier in the week when I read the Bengals put in for an extension to get more time to sell the game out vs the Vikings. The Bengals have a chance to clinch a playoff spot and potentially lock up their division all in one day. This might be one of the stranger storylines in the NFL to me after watching how the Bengals easily destroyed my beloved purple team.

The opening kickoff was a true surprise as the Bengals actually were brave enough to kick to Cordarrelle Patterson. The potential rookie candidate of the year almost made them pay. I thought what a great way to start a game on the road with a great return and great field position.

The swing of emotions did not take long as Cincinnati strips Cassel and run it all the way back to the 4. It seems this sums up the Vikings season. We have so much hope and within seconds it is all gone. As a fan I did appreciate the hustle by Toby Gerhart to run the defender down. Yes, the Bengals scored 2 plays later but still to see a player not give up was appreciated.

The swing of emotion for Vikings fans early as the team goes down 7-0 on the road come back to make a great play. We find Matt Cassel rolling out right and find a wide open Jarius Wright for a touchdown. I loved the play but even a nicer touch as we see Wright go to the crowd and give the ball to a Vikings fan in the front row.

The play of Fred Evans Sunday was unbelievable. I can understand a little being offsides but to have 3 in one day is unexplainable and 2 of those in the same drive.

The announcer’s team of Dick Stockton and Ronde Barber had just as bad of a day as Evans. I could not believe how many mistakes especially Stockton made calling out players. In the game early we see Audie Cole go down yet Stockton tells fans on TV that Everson Griffen is down. Oops !!! We see Vikings punter, Jeff Locke lined up to punt and Stockton calls out a different players name other than Locke. Oops. The Bengals line up in the Wildcat offense with Mohamed Sanu (#12) lined up as quarterback with Dalton out wide. Stockton announces Dalton gets the ball. Oops, wrong player again. In the 2nd half Bengals offensive lineman, Andre Smith is down in agony while we have Stockton call out it was Andrew Whitworth. Oops, Stockton misses again. I don’t know what was worse today with Stockton’s guesses or the Vikings offensive 3rd down efficiency.

The Vikings got beat down pretty easily on Sunday but I can’t help but be frustrated by another blown call by the refs. I refer to Jerome Simpson in double coverage getting clearly pushed down by the Bengals defender. It hurts even worse when I hear TV announce, former defensive back, Ronde Barber even make a comment that it should have been interference. This play would not have helped the Vikes win yet it would be nice to get some help once in a while.

The halftime might have been the best part of the day today. I absolutely loved the little bit that was shown with tiny monkeys riding on the back of dogs and herding sheep. If that did not make you laugh I do not know what would.

I am a fan who who would rather see if the Vikes were to loose I would rather see a game like today. Those losses with less than a minute left are so hard to take. A game like today was over early. It was just a matter of the final.

The player of the day today without a doubt was Cordarrelle Patterson. The return ability he offers makes me totally forget Percy who? The smile on his face is so nice to see. The touchdown run out of the backfield for 35 yards was awesome. He too made a great gesture like Wright as Patterson went to the stands and gave the ball to a Vikings fan in the front row. I am so excited to know we are going to have him in purple for a few years.

The game plan today was simple by Cincinnati as far as the passing game went. It goes like this, when Chris Cook is in there we will throw it at him. Cook gave up 2 touchdowns today and there were not real pretty in his coverage effort. It is truly frustrating to watch a guy get burned over and over.

One more example of the season not meant to be is like this: The Vikings have a 4th and 3 and Cassel completes the ball to Jennings for a first down. One problem and that was Cincinnati had called timeout before the ball was snapped. The next try the Vikes fail and it is first down Cincinnati going the other way.

The 2013 road part of the schedule ended Sunday with the loss to Cincinnati leaving Minnesota with a 0-7-1 record. This is the 3rd time in team history where the Vikes did not win one road game.

I have never seen a season like this with so much hope and so many games that were within reach of a win. I love this team to death but will be ready to go to the dome next Sunday and watch the team close the book on the season.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Facts and figures in helping you get ready for the last road game of 2013


The Minnesota Vikings (4-9-1) travel to Cincinnati (9-5) and take on the 1st place AFC North Bengals Sunday December 22nd. The Vikings are 0-6-1 on the road while the Bengals are a perfect 6-0 at home so far this season.
Game Info
Game time: Noon on Fox
Announcers: Dick Stockton and Ronde Barber
Referee- Terry McAuley
Las Vegas Odds: Cincinnati by 7.5
VIKINGS-BENGALS ALL TIME SERIES
Minnesota leads series 6-5 but is an all-time 1-5 in Cincinnati. The last time these 2 teams met was in 2009 in Minnesota with the Vikings winning 30-10.
MINNESOTA VS CINCINNATI DEFENSE
Minnesota is coming off a game scoring 48 points vs the Eagles last week at Mall of America Field. The 48 points is the most the Vikings have scored at home since 1998 when the team put up 50 on Jacksonville.
The Bengals have the 6th rated defense in points allowed giving up only 19.6 per game. The Bengals are also 6th overall in yards given up per game with 318.3. They are 5th vs the run and 7th vs the pass.
MATT CASSEL INFO
Did you know that in the last 3 weeks that Matt Cassel has thrown for the 3rd most yards behind Peyton Manning and Tom Brady?
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS HAVE A CHANCE
Brian Robison and Jared Allen come into Sunday’s game with 9 sacks each. The Vikings have not had multiple players with double digit sacks since 2003 when Lance Johnstone had 10 and Kevin Williams added 10.5
 
DATES OF HISTORY IN THE VIKINGS ORGANIZATION
December 20, 1981- Vikings played last game in Metropolitan Stadium as they hosted the Kansas City Chiefs. The Vikings lost that game 10-6.
January 28, 1985- The old Met was demolished
Sunday December 29th- The Vikings will play the last game ever at Mall of America Field when they host the Detroit Lions.
2014 VIKINGS SCHEDULE
Home- Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, New England, New York Jets, Carolina and Atlanta
Away- Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Miami, Buffalo and St.Louis
HOME SCHEDULE THOUGHTS
The first year at TCF Bank Stadium and look at the list of the quarterbacks that the Vikings defense will face: Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, RG II, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and Matt Ryan. I would add Jay Cutler but we don’t know if the Bears will bring him back. As a Vikings fan I must say to see 7 of the best quarterbacks come to Minnesota will be a true treat.
2014 NFL DRAFT
The win last week over Philadelphia and with all the other team wins and losses I can give one fact. The Minnesota Vikings are assured a top 14 pick in the 2014 draft and if could change higher of course depending on what happens in the last 2 weeks of the season.
Thanks for reading
Purplestick
 
 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eagles game in review- Offense sparkles


The Vikings hosted the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at noon. The Vikes are out of the playoffs while the Eagles are fighting for the NFC East title. The question is who will want the game worse?

The pregame started with one of the best renditions of the National Anthem I Have ever heard. The singer was former Vikings defensive lineman, Esera Tuaola. I don’t believe I have heard fans talk right after just how good it was.

The Gjlarhorn was blown by former Vikings quarterback, Daunte Culpepper. It was so neat to see him once again in the dome. I did think it was unusual that he did not have his old jersey on. He instead was dressed sharp in a suit and tie.

The defensive players were introduced on Sunday. It is hard to believe it has come down to the secondary starters as Marcus Sherels and Shaun Prater as the cornerbacks and Andrew Sendejo and Jamarca Sanford were the safeties. I know the Eagles are a high power offense so I could only hope this make shift secondary could play big,

No Adrian or Toby Gerhart so Matt Asiata gets the call to start in the backfield. I loved the effort Matt gave with 30 carries for 51 yards. The yardage was not great but when it counted Matt took advantage and scored his first 3 touchdowns of his career.

The play of Matt Cassel cannot go without saying I thought he played a brilliant game on Sunday. Yes, he had an interception but other than that he was right on target. The connection he had with Greg Jennings was so fun to watch. I found out after the game that the 11 catches Greg had was a career high.

The Philadelphia Eagles had gone 9 games in a row without giving up over 21 points. What do the Vikings do? They lay 48 on this potential playoff team.

I loved the tackling effort on Eagles running back, LeSean McCoy. He ended up with 38 yards on the ground.

Eagles quarterback, Nock Foles had a ton of pressure put on him by two Vikes in particular and they were Brian Robison and Jared Allen. These 2 had 2 sacks each on Sunday. Foles had over 400 yards but most of them I believe came as the result of them trying to keep with the Vikings scoring machine. I watched the young Vikings secondary keep everything in front of them. Eagle’s receiver, DeSean Jackson was the soreness in the Vikings side as he made some of the Vikings tacklers look rather silly.

I would like to mention the halftime show which was the All- Metrodome team being introduced. There are 27 players who made the list. There were six not in attendance and they were Robert Smith, Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Percy Harvin, Antoine Winfield and Coach Dennis Green. It was one ovation after another except for 2. The boo birds came out when Harvin and Coach Green’s name were called out. It was still a true thrill to see the guys from the past and with each I have a ton of memories.

This Vikings team has the terrible record which is a fact. The frustrating thing about that is the offense is continually putting up big numbers on the scoreboard. It is just another strange fact about the 2013 season.

The Vikings had lost the first 3 in a row at home this season and now have won the last 3 including Sundays win over the Eagles.

I sit in my seat knowing the stadium is coming to an end. It is truly sad as I have so many memories through the years. The Lions game will be an emotional day for me. Yes, I am excited for the new stadium but I can still have thoughts running through my head of just how much I will miss the stadium. I guess new memories are waiting around the corner for me.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick
 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fun Facts and info to help you get ready for the Eagles game


The season of mystery is slowly coming to an end. In my mind it has been one of the most memorable ever in Vikings history. I don’t believe anybody is short on words on this team whether positive or negative.

This Sunday December 15th the Purple (3-9-1) host the Philadelphia Eagles (8-5) in the 2nd to last home game ever to be played at Mall of America Field. It is hard to believe that 2 weeks after this game will be the last game ever on December 29th.

Game info

Game time: noon on Fox

Announcers: Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston with Tony Siragusa on the sidelines.

Las Vegas Odds: Philadelphia by 4.5

Referee: Walt Anderson who has been a ref since 1996

VIKINGS-EAGLES SERIES

Series is tied at 12 games each

Minnesota won the first 7 games ever played vs the Eagles

Minnesota is 6-4 at home and 6-8 in Philadelphia - One note on the home record and that is Minnesota is 2-3 at Mall of America Field.  If the Vikings beat Philadelphia on Sunday it will be the first home win since 9/28/97

Cordarrelle Patterson info

Patterson is 2nd in the NFL in all-purpose yards. He is also the only rookie in the top 14 in the league on this list.

1)-LeSean McCoy 1744 yards

2)-Cordarrelle Patterson 1629 yards

3)-Jamaal Charles 1622 yards

Once again these numbers lead me to believe Patterson will be the 2013 rookie of the Year. Yes, I have heard the argument that Patterson was not used early in the season on offense. Teams are afraid to kick to Patterson and his 141 yards in receiving last week’s just gives me a gut feeling we are watching the 2013 Rookie of the year in action.

The Eagles are quite the story in the league as a new coach out of the college ranks has taken over. Michael Vick is not running the offense rather a young qb named Nick Foles who has taken the NFL by storm. The running game with all-purpose yard leader LeSean McCoy is ripping up the league. This is as dangerous team as there is in the NFL. The Eagles love to push the tempo so it will be interesting to see how conditioned the Vikes defense will be.

The Vikings record is a terrible reflection on the team. The amount of last second defeats you often wonder with a couple of different results the Vikings would be fighting for the division. It is a terrible division and I feel 8-8 will win the NFC North.

My vote goes to the Lions to win this division.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick
 

Vikes announce all Metrodome team


The Minnesota Vikings announced the All Metrodome team on Thursday December 12th.The players will be introduced at the halftime of this Sunday's Vikings-Eagles game. Daunte Culpepper will blow the Gjalarhorn in pregame to welcome the Vikings. Yes it has been an unreal year but still this Sunday will be well worth seeing some of the greatest Vikings to ever wear purple. I will be there in attendance to see this fantastic opportunity.

Here is the list of players that made the list:


                   
OFFENSE
  • Daunte Culpepper QB 1999-05
  • Adrian Peterson RB 2007-13
  • Robert Smith RB 1993-00
  • Anthony Carter WR 1985-93
  • Cris Carter WR 1990-01
  • Randy Moss WR 1998-04,'10
  • Steve Jordan TE 1982-94
  • Tim Irwin T 1981-93
  • Gary Zimmerman T 1986-92
  • Steve Hutchinson G 2006-11
  • Randall McDaniel G 1988-99
  • Matt Birk C 1998-08

DEFENSE
  • Jared Allen DE 2008-13
  • Chris Doleman DE 1985-93,'99
  • John Randle DT 1990-00
  • Kevin Williams DT 2003-13
  • Chad Greenway LB 2006-13
  • Ed McDaniel LB 1992-01
  • Scott Studwell LB 1977-90
  • Carl Lee CB 1983-93
  • Antoine Winfield CB 2004-12
  • Robert Griffith S 1994-01
  • Joey Browner S 1983-91

SPECIAL TEAMS
  • Percy Harvin RS 2009-12
  • Chris Kluwe P 2005-12
  • Ryan Longwell K 2006-11
  • Chris Walsh ST 1994-02

HEAD COACH   
         Dennis Green

Thanks for reading
Purplestick                  

 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Review of the Ravens game- The ending, one word- UNBELIEVABLE


I know there are many fans that are hoping 2014 will bring a high draft pick to the team but I just want to see this team win even if it does cost a few spots in the draft.

This goes down as another game in the 2013 season where I am left with my head shaking on all the what ifs. It is a season that no one could have ever guessed would happen the way things are.

I thought an early key to the game came on the fumble by Toby Gerhart? I still don’t believe it was a fumble and definitely saw a knee down. We also know the announcers said the same which makes it even harder to stomach. What on earth was Morelli looking at? The game should have been 6-0 at half in favor of the Vikings.

The first quarter saw Vikings linebacker, Chad Greenway make a nice interception and a great hustle sack by Brian Robison. The sack dance by Robison, is there a better sack celebration than what Brian does? I love when he sets the hook and reals it in.

I can’t help but feel when I was watching the game the memories flash back of the Monday night Bears-Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium coming back in my mind.

The first half only being down by a point I really thought this was a winnable game. The Ravens offense was not putting up numbers against the last ranked defense in the NFL.

The 3rd and 4th quarter stops on 4th down by the Vikings defense really made me feel that maybe we will get that first win on the road.

The Vikings intercept Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco 3 times and yet the Vikings still end up losing. It is the most unbelievable thing to watch from the couch. It is a lost season yet when we see the team need to make one stop and they will win and can’t it is hard not to get upset. I am a Vikings fan until the day I die win or lose. I just want the best for the team.

This is 2 weeks in a row where I thought the Vikings won, and then they did not, then they did and now Sunday December 7th they lost. One word comes to mind and that is UNBELIEVABLE.

The look on Coach Frazier’s face at the end I can’t help but feel for him. I am sure I am in the minority in saying this.

A loss did occur but I would like to examine some of the positives with guys trying to make a difference.

I start out with the enemy today. I thought the performance by Ravens’ punter Sam Koch was very impressive. It is snowing, the ball is slippery and yet he hits a 53 and 69 yard punt during the game.

Now for the good guys I still start out with the special teams unit of long snapper, Cullen Loeffler, holder, Jeff Locke and kicker, Blair Walsh. The 2 field goals were well done. The effort by Locke to get the pot cleared out so he could hold the ball properly for a successful kick,

Adrian getting hurt was unfortunate but I loved Toby Gerhart’s effort in taking advantage of his playing time. The touchdown run in the 4th was awesome. The ability he showed to get hit and yet maintain his balance and score I could not be happier for Toby.

The play of Xavier Rhodes once again shows me reason why I should be excited for 2014 knowing he will be the number one corner. The injury Rhodes suffered was not a good time especially the way he has been playing

New middle linebacker, Audie Cole has played his butt off. He once again on Sunday led the team in tackles. The last 3 weeks he has had 33 tackles. Cole’s 2013 story is one of the better ones. He gets cut recently, the resigned and now in charge of the defense. It is story for all players league wide never to give up because you never know what is in store for the future.

Safety, Andrew Sendejo has taken advantage of Harrison Smith’s absence. Sunday Sendejo made a great break on the ball that ended with a diving interception.

Coach Frazier has been through the ringer whether self-induced or not. Sunday he made his first challenge of the season. I guess the long season we have suffered through I did not realize that fact. It was a great challenge as the Ravens did not get the first down.

Offensive Coordinator, Bill Musgrave has been through the ringer as well. The play call for a draw to Gerhart in the 4th was one of beauty.

Jerome Simpson too has been a story of late with the off field situations. I loved his touchdown grab in the back of the end zone. His first touchdown of the year was one of beauty.

Cordarelle Patterson- Are there enough words to describe what he brings? His ability to catch the ball is not surprising but what is something to marvel at is his punishing running method. I do not know if I have seen a game out of him where he destroyed players. The one run where Raven’s kicker, Tucker was demolished.

Tight End, John Carlson came through big on Sunday. I think back to early in the game where Jerome Simpson caught the ball and got stripped. John Carlson was Johnny on the spot diving and sliding and getting the ball back for the Vikings. I was less than thrilled when the Ravens defender late in the game through Carlson down on his head on the sidelines. I really thought a flag should have been thrown. John was then out of the game and being checked for a concussion.

These losses are tough but as you can see I believe it is not from a lack of effort by individuals. I also look at the play Marcus Sherels had as he drew coverage on a Ravens receiver after Rhodes went out with his injury. The alertness y Sherels on the coverage and seeing a ball tipped and comes down with it for an interception.

A loss like this used to crush me but in 2013 the season just is not meant to be. I will follow and support the team the last 3 games and then I will get ready for the 2014 campaign.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fun Facts and Stats in helping you get ready for the Ravens


The Vikings win over the Bears last Sunday is still one my mind with all the drama in the overtime. Yes, the last year of Mall of America Field with the Bears game going down in my mind as one you just can’t forget. The game also marked the first time since 1995 that the Vikings have had back to back overtime games.

I must move on I know so here it goes. The Vikings (3-8-1) travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens (6-6). This game will once again be a chance to hurt another team’s playoff hopes.

Game time: Noon on Fox

Broadcast team: Chris Myers and Tim Ryan with Jennifer Hale on the sidelines

Las Vegas Odds: Baltimore by 7- Minnesota has the 3rd largest point spread against them in Week 14 this weekend. Denver is favored by 12 over Tennessee and New England is 11.5 point favorite over Cleveland.

Vikings have history in Baltimore

Minnesota’s 1st playoff game ever was in Baltimore at Memorial Stadium. The year was 1968 in the Western Conference Championship vs the Colts on 12/22/68. It was Bud Grant’s 2nd year as the Vikings coach. Minnesota lost 24-14.

RAVENS-VIKINGS ALL TIME SERIES

This will be the 5th meeting between these 2 teams in their history. Baltimore is the 2nd least amount of games the Vikings have played against. Houston is 1st with the Vikings only facing the Texans 4 times.

Minnesota is 1-0 at home and 1-2in Baltimore

1998 in Baltimore   Vikes win 38-23/  2001 in Baltimore Vikes lose 19-3/ 2005 in Baltimore  Vikes lose 30-23 and last meeting in 2009 in Minnesota the Vikes won 33-31

A win over Baltimore on Sunday would give the Vikings a 6 game winning streak in the month of December.

VIKINGS-RAVENS COMPARISONS

Minnesota is scoring 24.1 per game while Baltimore is 20.8 per game.

Minnesota’s defense is giving up 30.5 while Baltimore is giving up 19.6.

 VIKINGS NOTES

It’s been indeed a tough year but yet there are good things coming out of the season. The wins are down but yet some of the stats are going in the positive direction.

Here is a crazy stat: The Vikings are ranked 1st in the NFL over the last 3 weeks in 3rd down holding opponents to a 23.7 percent success rate. Teams have only converted 9of 38 tries.

1st-Minnesota 23.7 (9/38)

2nd-Cleveland 27.3 (12/44)

3rd-Carolina 27.8 (10/36)

VIKINGS RECEVING

The last time a Minnesota receiver had over 200 yards receiving was Sidney Rice back on 10/18/09. He had 201 yards against the Baltimore Ravens. Is it possible again to see maybe Patterson go for the 200?
 

 

CORDARRELLE PATTERSON INFO

Patterson became the only Viking rookie player in history to score 3 different ways in one season. The game last week he had a rushing touchdown. This gets added to a receiving touchdown and kickoff return from earlier in the season. If this guy doesn’t get votes for rookie of the year something is wrong with the system.

Patterson also now has 1088 yards in kickoff returns which are the most in the NFL. This number now ranks him 3rd all-time amongst Vikings rookies. He needs 258 yards to break the record of 1345 which is held by Buster Rhymes (1985).

ADRIAN PETERSON INFO

The performance AP put in last Sunday now has him at 1208 yards for the year. This is number one in the NFL and it is more rushing yards than 10 NFL teams have total.

Adrian rushed the ball 35 times in the game vs the Bears last Sunday is the most Peterson has ever carried in his career and is also a team record.

The 211 yards also gives Peterson 5 games this season over 100 yards and it his 5th 200 game of his career. Here is something scary to think about. Peterson now is tied with Tiki Barber (Giants) with the 5- 200 yards games in their career. O.J. Simpson is 1st in the NFL records with 6 games of 200 yards. I guess my logic would tell me that Adrian will smash this record by the time he is done playing,

Congrats also to Adrian for going over the 10,000 yards in his rushing career.

XAVIER RHODES INFO

Rhodes the last few weeks has really showed fans why the Vikes thought so highly of him and made him a 1st round pick.

Xavier now has 16 pass defensed for the season which ranks him 2nd amongst Vikings rookies all time. Orlando Thomas holds the record of 19 in 1995. I will look for Rhodes to break this record soon.

SUMMARY

The season was slanting towards the Vikings with a top 3 pick in the 2014 draft now has changed course. The Vikings will pick 6th if the season ended today. The team in my mind is playing a lot better with a win over Washington then tying the Packers and now beating the Bears. I am seeing players that do not want to tank the season. As a fan I appreciate the effort and not quitting. I would assume it may be easy to do. I know there are 18 free agents looking for money next season. Matt Cassel has been named the starter Sunday and I support that. It does seem like Greg Jennings becomes more of a factor. Adrian the last 2 weeks is running beast like. I look for a Vikings win Sunday. The defense is playing a little better and yes I know there is a lot of improvement needed but I am seeing glimpses of hope.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review of the Bears game- Thriller ends in OT

WALSH GAME WINNING KICK IN OT
 

The day began as I started out making my way up 35 going north to the game. My initial thought was I in Minnesota because for the first 30 miles or so I either saw cars with Illinois or Iowa plates going buy me.

I got to the stadium and did not fare much better as I got to my seat and discovered Bears fans in front, behind and next to me. I must say as the game went on these were some of the best fans I have encountered from the opposition.

The Vikings offense was announced Sunday and when it came for Ponder to get announced the booing rang out throughout Mall of America Field.

The booing soon continued as Chicago kicked off but not as I had hoped. Bears kicker, Robbie Gould kept the ball away from Minnesota’s newest weapon, Cordarelle Patterson. This did not please the fans as they showed their displeasure by booing the Bears. I guess I do not blame teams from kicking to the number one return man in the league. My other thought was, what does this do to a kick coverage team confidence when the coach calls for short kicks?

The first 3 drives by the Vikings resulting in 3 different sacks of Ponder certainly did not help his cause in keeping the boo birds quiet.

I must add with all the criticism of Bill Musgrave’s play calling I thought the best play of the year was called in the 2nd quarter when Cordarrelle Patterson lined up as the running back and Toby Gerhart was put out wide. The play resulted in a touchdown from Patterson who exhibited his speed and strength.

I will also add I do not know if I have ever been to a Vikings game where the players coming on and off the field seemed real disorganized. I would watch Safety, Robert Blanton and linebacker, Marvin Mitchell come on, come off and come on again each taking turns. It seemed like mas chaos. It seemed the offense had the same watching receivers struggling to know if they should be on the field or not. It was a strange sight and one that I have not seen with the amount it did happen. I am not the coach and maybe it was designed that way but as a fan seemed out of character.

The first 3 quarters had a few nice plays by both sides but generally other than that it seemed boring with no one wanting to score.

The fourth quarter and overtime I got my money’s worth, I thought the play of the game came with less than two minutes left in the game with the Vikes on their own 8 and it is 4th down. If the Vikes don’t make it the Bears take over and will win. The drop back by Cassel and finding Jerome Simpson for 20 yards was unbelievable. Is this going to be Minnesota’s day finally? The Vikes end up getting a field goal late in the fourth quarter by Blair Walsh. I figured overtime for sure after this.

The next surprise to me was after seeing Bears return man, Devin Hester being bottled up or fair catching for the majority of the game now take this kick and go 57 yards. I thought for sure he was gone until I see Vikes kicker, Walsh make the play of his early career by forcing Hester out of bounds.

The overtime was as exhausting as I have ever seen. Fans from both teams saw Blair Walsh kick the game winning field goal so we all thought. The Vikings fans were jumping up and down while the Bears fans were sunken in their chairs in disappointment. The next thing we see a yellow flag and the Vikings were called for a face mask taking away the field goal.  Bear fans were back on their feet in hopes of maybe stealing a win.

The Bears drive to field goal range. I still question Bears coach, Trestman for calling for a 47 yard field goal so early in downs. I thought they should have tried passing at least once but instead the Bears line up for the game winner. My seats are even with the goal post he was kicking at so I had to wait to see what the umpires did with their arms. I saw the motion of no good along with a huge crowd noise as he missed it.

I see Bears fans sit again in disbelief and then the Vikings fans get another shot. The play of Adrian Peterson on Sunday was as good as I have ever seen at home. He took the last drive and put the team on his back. The team puts Blair Walsh out for another shot and this time he did not disappoint. The VIKES WIN!!!!!

PLAYERS THAT IMPRESSED SUNDAY

QB- Matt Cassel led the team back from a 10 point deficit. He also had the completion on 4th down.

WR’s- Greg Jennings showed Sunday what he is capable of when used. Jerome Simpson seemed to make the catch when needed. Jarius Wright has been playing better as of late and then Sunday made the grab on the sideline while falling.

RB- Adrian Peterson- 35 carries for 211 yards and breaking the 10,000 yardage plateau. The 35 carries is a personal high and the 211 yards all I can say is I was there to see it happen.

LB- Audie Cole who has taken over the middle linebacker spot has really looked sharp and on Sunday he was consistently around the ball.

DB- Xavier Rhoes is really emerging and on Sunday played Brandon Marshall very tough as Marshall did not have many receptions.

DE- Brian Robison and Jared Allen I thought had a very good day in keeping pressure on Bears quarterback, McCown.

K- Blair Walsh making the game winning kick, along with his game saving tackle.

MY SURPRISE OF THE DAY

The amount of fair catches made by all world Devin Hester. I even talked to Bears fans by me who were shocked in what they were seeing.

BEARS FANS- I had Bears fans shake my hands in congratulating us on the Vikings win. These fans were super nice to talk to and discuss our dislike for the Packers team.

SUMMARY

The subject that will not go away is if the Vikings win our draft choice drops. I was at the game and it is hard not to cheer for the Purple. You can see the excitement on the sidelines by the players. Fans may not want the wins but the player’s sure do. It is beating a fellow division team and bragging rights for the fans at least for this day. I am emotionally drained yet so happy the result in the end was a win.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick