Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review of wild Vikes-Steelers game in London


Pittsburgh and Minnesota both come in 0-3 records and percentages tell us it is less than 2 percent of these teams that are 0-3 make the playoffs. Yes, a must win is in order for the Vikings. A new quarterback, backups in the secondary, an offensive line that has struggled are just some of the issues that face the Vikings.  Can the team rebound and get back to winning football?

I was so impressed with the first play call of the game with a pass called. Is this a sign the caching staff has confidence in Cassel? A great throw to Jerome Simpson. Way to go Vikes!!

A play early in the first quarter was a sign of good things to come. The play I refer to is a bomb intended for Patterson that should have been picked off by the Steelers, Ike Taylor. The alert play by Patterson to makes a great defensive play kept the Vikes drive alive. The drive did end in a 54 yard field goal by Blair Walsh, who is now the NFL record holder with 12-12 in 50 yard attempts.

I was so impressed with the defensive line pressure in the first half. The amount of times the team got to Roethlisberger was awesome making him rush. Jared Allen had never had a sack of a Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback in his career until today. He more than made up for that by getting 3.

I would like to see the necks of the Vikings defensive lineman after the game because I am sure they all have markings on their necks as it seemed to be the Steelers tackles were constantly holding and having their arms up in the Viking neck areas. I thought it was obvious but evidently not because flags were not being thrown.

Adrian came through in a big way and I was sure impressed as the game went on how many tackles he broke including the 60 yard run. The Steelers in the past have been such a physical team and was hard to run on.  It was like Adrian wanted to put the team on his back and carry them to victory. He ends up with 2 TD’s and over 100 yards in this must win game. I will also add a shout out to Jerome Felton for his blocking as well.

The play of Matt Cassel was so pleasing. I know a couple of passes made me hold my breath in hopes of them not getting intercepted. I loved his arm strength and accuracy. I would like to see if he does continue to start and I hope he does that if he runs with the ball have better ball security.

Cassel threw for 200 yards, 2 touchdowns and NO INTERCEPTIONS in Sunday’s game. I read after the game players were speaking of Cassel’s command of the huddle. I know I should be cautious with it be only one game but this was as big of win as this team has needed in a long time.

The play of Jerome Simpson was awesome as well. The man goes over 100 yards for the first time since week 1. He also provided with a huge fumble recovery that kept the drive alive.

Greg Jennings play was outstanding. I know he did not have 10 catches but I refer to the 2 touchdowns he did have. I must admit on his long touchdown run after the catch I did not know he was that fast. He made it look so easy burning 5 Steelers defenders I counted. The second touchdown was just impressive as how he positioned his body in front of the defender to catch the touchdown.

The play of Chad Greenway was much needed. It was his 100th game in the NFL Sunday. It was the first time in his career he had an interception and a sack in one game.

I know fans will be unhappy with the secondary as I was. It is frustrating to watch Roethlisberger pick us apart. In a positive spin the playing time that Sendejo and Sherels got could be beneficial.

The game was full of much fun to talk about but a real concern was the play of Josh Robinson and how the Steelers ate him alive. I will be real interested to see if the team makes any moves in the bye week to try and shore up this area.

The way the game ended I was holding my breath that we did not have a 3rd week in a row collapse. The Steelers did a nice job in adjusting to their pass protection in the second half but when the Vikes needed it they got it. A sack of Roethlisberger by Everson Griffen and a fumble recovery by Kevin Wiliams with 8 seconds left sealed the deal.

There might be things to complain about but with this needed win I sit here with a smile on my face.  Yes, finally, a win. This is now the 5th win a row the week before the bye. The streak started in 2009 and now in 2013 it continues.

HOMEGAME TOUCHES

I would like to add a season ticket holder and not being at the home game I thought the Vikings organization did a great job of giving it a home game feeling.

The Gjallarhorn was brought and used to call the players to the field. I could hear in the back ground on the TV as well some of the songs the team plays at home.

THE BYE WEEK PREDICTION

A win is a win but now we will see the following:

-The call for Cassel to be the starter will be the talk in Minnesota.

- The defensive lapses will be the next issue

- Will the team bring in more secondary help?

WAY TO GO VIKINGS!!!!

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Can Cassel make the difference?



I intended for my next blog to be the review of the Vikes win over Pittsburgh but with the news early Friday morning I wanted to give my input.

It was January 5th, 2013 and I was on my way to Lambeau Field to see the Vikes-Packers playoff game. I took a shuttle from a bar in Appleton to Lambeau all fired up. I had no idea that Ponder was not starting until I got in the stadium when Packer fans were razzing us about the news. I thought it was a cruel joke they were playing on me. Then reality hit and I saw Joe Webb warming up.

This time it is a little over 2 days until games time and now we know there is no secret that would be revealed last minute.

All the anti-Ponder are in their glory while others I talked to say we have no choice. I sat in the stadium last week and heard booing like I have not heard since the chants of Fire Childress rang throughout the stadium.

I was excited when the team signed Cassel in the offseason just in case. There are so many questions and no one can answer them until the Sunday game is played.

There are so many holes in this ship and now add some injuries to the secondary. My hope is this; Cassel has a great first drive and gets the offense some confidence. My hope is a ripple effect that starts the self-esteem process. The offensive line has struggled so bad with pass protection and the run game is good but a lot of the yards gained I feel are from Peterson’s 2nd and 3rd efforts after getting hit.

I am real anxious to see this team play on neutral ground. I can’t help but feel this could be an advantage Cassel. If for some bad reason the Vikes come out flat I wonder how Vikings fans would react. The quarterback the fans want and he fails, then what?

I am sitting here feeling confident this announcement this early will play for the positive side for the team. I am not in London but will assume that Cassel will get the majority of work with the first team offense.

This team I feel with or without Ponder is so talented and is like a bottle of pop that is shook up and ready to explode. Is Cassel the man to lead the explosion? Is he the controller of the lid that is sealed?

I will add I am not surprised with the decision. My gut told me when the rib injury came out that Matt Cassel time is here and now.

I don’t feel we have anything to lose. The record 0-3 does not end a season but we do need to win now. The Vikes absolutely need the 7 home games as wins.

I found an article in regards to Josh Freeman wanting out of Tampa Bay. Do the Vikes have interest? If so, is the Ponder era over? There is no answer but just want you to think what you think the team should do.

1-If Cassel plays light out Sunday will he be the quarterback the rest of the way?

2-If Cassel struggles do the Vikes let Ponder finish out the year assuming he is healthy?

3-If Cassel succeeds Sunday do the Vikes look at trading for Josh Freeman and put a closure on Ponder?

There are so many questions in such an early time of the season. I just want wins.

The team is so close with 2 of the 3 losses happening in the last minute. The team is scoring 27 points a game which makes this even tougher to deal with. If the team was scoring 6-10 points a game that would be one thing but 27 points should be good enough for the W.

The team comes off a 10-6 record and a playoff game, then the signing of Greg Jennings and a great draft. I can’t believe I am sitting here typing about what has gone spiraling down quickly.
 

One positive coming into Sunday even before this announcement was made was the fact the Jerome Felton will be back on the field after serving his 3 game suspension. Adrian had his monster year with Felton aiding the way. Will we see a difference with Peterson with Felton leading the way? My hope is Felton comes out and plays inspired ball and takes out his frustration on Steelers defenders.

Friday the team announced that Chris Cook (groin) and Jamarca Sanford (hamstring) are out of the game.

Who will step up? Will Mistral Raymond play big in Sanford absence? Will Marcus Sherels come up big again in the secondary? Can AJ Jefferson rebound after horrific first half vs the Browns?

Today is Friday and the game is not until Sunday but after writing this I am ready for the game like it is in the next hour.

I can’t think of a time with more questions about the team. They know it, the fans know it. Which Vikes team will show up? The 2012 playoff team or a team that keeps wanting to give games away?

I say we see a different team, an inspired team, a desperate team, the team we love, our MINNESOTA VIKINGS get a win.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Facts, figures in helping you get ready for the Steelers game


It is time to move on from the tough Cleveland loss. It is harder for me sometimes when a home loss like that occurs as I sit in my seat feeling helpless and deflated afterwards. Life does go on and I am now getting ready for the biggest game of the season.

It is still early in the week and I feel like people are giving up so early. Yes it is frustrating but the season has a long ways to go. It can easily turn around or worst fear it could get ugly. I am hoping of course for a turn around. There are so many holes in this ship currently but my faith believes Frazier and staff can get it done. Will it be easy? Absolutely not but with time things could start going our way. It is now 2 weeks in a row losing in the last minute.

I was shocked at 2 articles I saw Tuesday night with one Brett Favre’s agent coming out and saying Brett is in the best shape of his life. The other article I saw was trading Adrian Peterson. It is only 3 games in people let’s not lose our heads.

The first game the team scores on the first play of the game then week 2 the team scores on opening kickoff. The Cleveland game the team takes the opening drive and punches it in. As tough as it is there have been positives.

The Vikes now host Pittsburgh Steelers in London, England playing in Wembley Stadium on Sunday. This is the 7th NFL game in the NFL International series. The Vikes played in the first game in 1983 when they played St. Louis in a preseason game.

Personal note: This will be my first home regular season game I have ever missed in 14 years.

Game time: noon

Channel 4 with the broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms

Las Vegas Odds: Pittsburgh by 2.5

VIKINGS-STEELERS SERIES HISTORY

This will be the 17th meeting with each team having won 8 games

Vikes are 5-2 at home and in Pittsburgh are 3-5 and one neutral ground the Vikes are 0-1 vs Pittsburgh. It was the Super Bowl loss in New Orleans

This will be the 4th time the teams have played in September with the Vikings holding a 2-1 advantage.

The Vikes are looking for their first win over Pittsburgh since 9/24/95 and are looking for their first win at home vs Pittsburgh since 9/21/86

A win over Pittsburgh would extend the Vikes to 5 wins in a row heading into the bye week. The streak started in 2009. It is the 2nd longest behind the New Orleans Saints.

A look at some of the comparison in numbers between Pittsburgh and Minnesota

Minnesota has scored 81 points while Pittsburgh has 42. That is an average of 27 to 14

Minnesota’s run game averaging 120.7 per game while Pittsburgh has 51.7

Each team has given up 10 sacks through the first 3 games

Since the 1970 merger Pittsburgh has the most home wins with 239 followed by Denver (229) Miami (224) then VIKES (222) tied with Dallas.

VIKES FACTS FROM 2013

Greg Jennings and Chad Greenway will both be playing in their 100th NFL game

Erin Henderson becomes the 2nd linebacker in Minnesota history to record 2 sacks and 1 interception in one game which he accomplished in the Cleveland game

Vikes kick return man; Cordarrelle Patterson is 2nd in the NFL with a 37.4 average on kickoff returns. He is now 2nd in team history with the 2nd fastest score when his 105 kickoff touchdown return took 13 seconds. In 2012 Percy Harvin took 12 seconds to return a kickoff vs Detroit.

Minnesota is tied for first in the NFL with 6 interceptions after having only 10 all of last season. The team also has 10 take aways which is good for 2nd

The Vikes are tied for 2nd fewest penalties with Carolina as both only have 12. Indianapolis is number 1 with only 8 penalties

THOUGHTS ON THE GAME

The Vikes are too talented of team to let this go on. There are so many questions swirling. Is Musgrave using his offensive players? Is Frazier the man to get the job done? Is Ponder the quarterback of the future?

The Vikes have some serious injury concerns in the secondary with Chris Cook, Jamarca Sanford, and the play of AJ Jefferson.

The Steelers offense is terrible and should give the Vikes several more opportunities to add to their league lead.

I believe the loss to Cleveland will open up some eyes showing each player that wears purple that if you don’t come to play hard you will lose.

A 0-4 would be devastating but yet the season would not be over. This story that broke on Wednesday with Ponder’s ribs I would think the physical Steelers defense would want to add more pain.

Mike Tomlin is a great coach and will have his Steelers ready. Both teams 0-3 so logically someone will have their first win. I will not pick a score but I will say Minnesota will get the win go into the bye week and get to work. I look for a knock down drag out street fight with a low scoring game maybe coming down to Bair Walsh winning the game.

Thanks for reading

GO VIKES!!!!!!

Purplestick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Game starts with hostility and ends with hostility



Sunday September 22nd and the home opener is finally here. The first 2 games tough road losses so let’s get home and start some home cooking with a win was my thought as I made my way up 35N towards Minneapolis.

The walk through all the purple clad fans on the way to the dome is a feeling like no other. I am reunited with my family of 64,000.

The game as it played out started hostile and ended hostile. The new policy with bag checks outside the gate really got some of the fans riled up. I had a lady sit next to me as she showed up a half hour late for the game as she got held up outside. She was so mad and she told me the fans outside were really upset.

The Vikes have the Gjlallahorn blown by a different person each home game. On Sunday was a great touch as the last home opener in Mall of America Field’s history had Hubert H “Buck” Humphrey IV who represented the Humphrey family blow the horn. The beginning of the dome back in the day was called Hubert Humphrey Dome. What a nice touch to involve the family in this historic day.

The Browns kickoff to start the game and what so the Vikes do, yes they take it and drive the ball all the way down and ends with a Peterson Touchdown. I thought wow what a way to start a game. Cleveland has not been given any chance to win this game. The way the game ended I guess Cleveland was not given this memo.

The Browns played like they had nothing to lose. It was unfortunate on the Browns first touchdown how wide open their receiver, Gordon got and just how easy he made it look. The Vikes were to destroy this team but this was not the way to start. I felt if the Vikes left the Browns with any hope this day will not be as easy as advertised.

The Vikes offensive play calling has been questioned, the defense has been questioned and now Sunday the Browns made the Vikes special teams look absolutely silly.

The fans in the stands get up as one on 3rd downs to cheer louder for our defense. The Browns took the air out of the stands as 4th and 1 and the Vikes waiting for the punt. A snap to the up man and there he goes almost 30 yards. I can’t remember the last time the Vikes looked that foolish.

I was upset about that but the game must go on. A nightmare reoccurs again as the Browns up 17-14 set up for a field goal to make it 20-14. I was alright with that knowing we can still take the lead with a touchdown. The unthinkable as Jordan Cameron somehow gets to the outside with no Vikes noticing and catches a touchdown from the field goal holder. You have got to be kidding. I was in the stands and did not see that guy either.

The Browns are for real Sunday and played with nothing to lose. I felt the Browns offensive and defensive lines played liked they wanted the game more. I did a lot of watching Joe Thomas vs Jared Allen and what a war. The Browns defensive line gave Peterson very little. I could not believe how physical the Browns played Sunday.

The Ponder situation in my mind is out of control. His running was awesome but his passing was brutal. The fact that did not help I felt is the offensive line got badly outplayed. Ponder was never made to feel comfortable. The fact when he did have time some of his passes were brutal. It was late in the game with the Vikes up 3 and with a chance to seal the deal. Ponder on 3rd and 3 had an open Jennings but badly overthrew his receiver.

I will add one thing about Jennings as my wife and I noticed Jennings go to the sidelines and get down in the middle of the offense and talk to them. He looked pretty animated. The next drive after his talking to the Vikes ended up scoring. I liked the leadership that Jennings took in that situation.

I am sure you heard the booing through your tv screens Sunday and if you did not I can assure you it was loud and constant. The team was booed off the field at halftime. It was a boo fest at Mall of America Field. If it wasn’t booing it was chanting Cassel, Cassel, Cassel.

It was a homer opener with so much on the line with a chance for win number 1 and it ended up with fans wanting to tear the dome down before it is scheduled for.

It was not my envisioned what so ever when I arrived Sunday. It is so tough to sit at a game and hear so much booing.

There is so much negativity from fans both hearing it at the dome and on the call in radio show on the way back home.

I will say I saw positive and was encouraged to see the effort Marcus Sherels put in. He played so well. Harrison Smith played a good game minus the touchdown that was given up to beat the Vikes. The effort by Erin Henderson with 2 sacks and an interception was nice to see. The kickoffs by Blair Walsh were huge one again.

I honestly can’t say anybody on offense stood out and if I did would give a nudge to Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings. The catch by Patterson with the ball thrown behind him and yet he hauled it in was amazing.

I feel I am a positive person but today was tough. It is hard to watch a 3rd string quarterback look so good and a Vikings special team get embarrassed twice.

There a lot of leaks in this ship. The Vikes now 0-3 with so many questions. A positive today that did not involve the game was seeing the Packers lose. I have to look for something. Ponder is in trouble and now the decision lies on Fraziers’ shoulders. Can we have a quarterback with issues keep leading the Vikes. No, 0-3 is not the end of the world but time is ticking with the urgency to win in London next Sunday.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fatcs, figures in helping you get ready for the Browns game

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYbpgd7uYKE

The Cleveland Browns always bring back a great feeling as the Vikes Hail Mary pass from Tommy Kramer to Ahmad Rashad that put the Vikes in the playoffs back at the old Met


The time starts now to get in the win column with absolutely no excuse why the team can’t win this game. The talk of the Bears loss is getting old and now time to focus on this week’s opponent. I can’t help but think the team has heard and seen enough to go to Mall of America Field and destroy the Browns. I do not want a 16-9 win I want it blowout city. I will get into more game thoughts later.

Game time: Noon on Channel 4

Broadcast team: Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots

Vegas odds: Vikes by 5.5. I am just wondering after Wednesday’s announcements of 3rd string Brian Hoyer starting at QB and then later on in the day the Browns trade running back Trent Richardson. This has got to lift the odds by at least 3.

Vikings players facts:

Wide receiver Jerome Simpson is 4th in the NFL with a 21 yard average per catch

Jared Allen leads all NFL defensive ends in starts with now 96 consecutive

Kevin Williams’s interception in last week’s Bears game now puts him at 5 for his career which is a new record by a Vikings defensive lineman. Williams is now tied with the 5 with former Bengals’ Dan Wilkinson in the NFL all time.

Kevin will be starting his 158th game for the Vikes which will surpass Alan Page and now Williams will be in 3rd behind Carl Eller (201) and Jim Marshall (270) Congrats Kevin!!

Jared Allen has failed to get a sack in his career against 4 teams (Cleveland, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Seattle.) In knowing this year’s schedule Jared will only have one team left in which he does not have a sack and that will be New Orleans. Cleveland will come off his list this weekend.

The Vikings only have 8 penalties in the first 2 games which is good for 2nd in the NFC.

VIKES-BROWNS HEAD TO HEAD

Minnesota leads the series 11-3 including a 7-1 record at home vs the Browns. The Vikes have beat Cleveland 4 straight times looking for 5 after Sunday.

The last time Minnesota opened up home in Week 3 was back in the 2009 season. Week 1 was in Cleveland that year and Minnesota won 34-20 behind 3 TD’s by Peterson.

BIG DAYS FOR CURRENT VIKINGS PLAYERS VS CLEVELAND

Matt Cassel as the Chiefs quarterback went 22-40 for 331 yards and 2 touchdowns

Adrian Peterson rushed for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2009

Kevin Williams has 2 tackles and a sack along with a recovered fumble in 2009

Jared Allen in 2006 with the Chiefs had 7 tackles.

KEY MATCHUPS TO WATCH FOR

Browns left offensive tackle, Joe Thomas vs Jared Allen.  Will Jared get his sack against Cleveland? I say an emphatic YES!!!

Vikes defense as a whole vs Wednesday announcement of 3rd string quarterback, Brian Hoyer. The defensive line has got to be licking their chops in hopes of a big day.

The Vikes secondary will get a good challenge with Davone Bess who came over from the Dolphins just this year. I read some good info on a Browns website that is very interesting with Bess.

Since 2009 Bes has 267 receptions which are good for 14th best in the NFL.  I also found that 130 of the 267 were 3rd down receptions which are good for 2nd most in the NFL. That calculates to 42 percent. I would say on 3rd and distance Mr. Bess had better have some attention.

Added note on the Browns roster: MarQueis Gray former Gopher quarterback is 3rd on the depth chart for tight ends on the Browns.

PREDICTION

You can laugh if you want but I am seeing a 38-3 game. A stomping of the Browns is much needed. A win by 16-10 is a win but this team needs to take out some serious frustrations by players and fans and give no mercy.

I also have been reading that the team realizes that Cordarelle Patterson needs to be on the field more. He will have a big day.

I felt Ponder looked a little better in the 2nd half minus the terrible interception taken back for 6. Ponder has a great opportunity to show fans at least for this week’s his upside.

Fantasy owners will love Peterson this weekend as well.

The dome will be rocking as it is the last home opener at Mall of America Field history. I am so excited to be a part of it. I plan on driving back home with a smile and will listen to KFAN call in show with fans excited.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 


 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review of disappointing loss to the Bears


Week 2 and same results as first touch by a Vikings player and they take it to the house for a touchdown. It is such an emotional rush watching and hoping the Vikes can take off from this. Can the game end after a first score? The Vikes would be 2-0 and all things would be good in the state and around the country.

Cordarrelle Patterson 105 yards and I am feeling good but then the kickoff to Devin Hester and I have lost the good feeling rather quickly. Hester’s big day could have been even bigger but thanks to the hustle of Josh Robinson Hester was kept from attacking more NFL records. Yes, the Bears ended up getting touchdowns anyways but it took a little longer. I compliment Robinson and not quitting on the play.

I loved the Vikes break they caught with 4th and 3 as Locke gets the punt off quickly catching the Bears with too many men on the field.

The Vikes I felt were getting beat badly stats wise early in the game yet only down 7 until Jared Allen comes through and strips Jay Cutler. The man on the spot Brian Robison makes a great pick up and goes 61 yards for the tying touchdown. Robison’s first td of his career and we are tied. It is feeling like the Lions game with this time the Bears making mistakes allowing the Vikes to stay in the game.

The next pattern I thought was strange was watching the Bears move the ball by way of the run and getting it all the way down deep. A strange play call after all the success of running is seeing Cutler throwing a low ball that gets tipped by Everson Griffen and Kevin Williams is Johnny on the spot. I am thinking oh boy another break for the Vikes. It is going to be our day.

Vikings have momentum and then the worst thing possible watching Ponder stare down Simpson and Bears defensive back, Jennings steps in front and there he goes for 6. What heartbreak after making the goal line stand.

The Vikes finally make a great drive except for one problem we do not get to see the play as FOX station has technical difficulties. I could not believe we get sent to halftime to see highlights around the league when our favorite team gets into the end zone. Ponder to Rudolph for 6. Where has that been?

I love the FOX pregame with Howie, Terry, Jimmy but the one guy I can’t stand and do not think his skits are funny at all is Rob Riggle. We have a terrible comedian and now technical difficulties where not only don’t we see the score we have no sound. What else can go wrong?

The ending drive by the Bears right before the half as the Cutler goes 0 for 3 in passing and the Bears settle for the field goal. Is this momentum for the Vikes going into half holding the Bears to 3?

Second half I loved the Blair Walsh kickoff towards the sidelines pinning Hester towards the corner.

The Vikes defense came out fired up early. Bears make Vikes look foolish on an end around in the first half. Veteran Jared Allen makes a great stop on the end around this time sending the Bears receiver for a loss.  Third down Brian Robison makes a great hit on Cutler causing an incomplete pass forcing the Bears to punt. I felt the emotional swing towards the men in Purple.

It is now Vikes ball and for the second week in a row a bad handoff to Peterson and once again a fumble. Can we keep the emotion even after a turnover?

The defense comes out again and has the defensive series of the year thus far I thought.

The Vikes are moving the ball nice in the 2nd half and come up with 3rd and 1. A handoff to Peterson and it is a first down. Yes, a handoff to the best running back in the NFL. I love the play call.

The series looked good all the way but only end up with a field goal out of it. I guess at least it is points and on the road I will take that.

The beginning of the 4th quarter, another takeaway as this time Harrison Smith makes a great interception denying the Bears points. Is this the momentum we can finally take and finish out the 4th quarter?

Ponder has been put under the gun as the media and fans alike have taken turns taking shots at him. I thought Ponder looked very good in the second half. The runs he made to keep the drives going was so impressive. He showed me some toughness.

The Vikes going for 4th and 1 I loved the call handing the ball once again to Peterson and once again he delivers.

The Vikes up 27-24 and the Bears are getting close to midfield. A handoff to Bears running back, Matt Forte who makes a good run but then the most unbelievable hustle shown by Vikings defensive tackle, Guion who chases down Forte and steals the ball literally. This has got to seal the victory I thought.

The Vikes drive down but then a mistake was made I believe as the Vikes seemed to settle for a field goal. The Vikes up 30-24 and now a Bears touchdown can beat them. I was hoping for some play calling with throws to the end zone.

A field goal is nice and is points on the board but my stomach did not feel good about the potential of the Bears stealing the game.

Cutler drops back with 10 seconds left and finds tight end, Bennett for the dagger in my heart. My worst fears became real as I sat in my chair in disbelief.

The defensive line played their butts off today. My defensive player of the game is Brian Robison but I need to put a plug in for safety, Harrison Smith. I love his game.

My offensive player of the game goes to Greg Jennings who made catches when it mattered.

I will add on special teams I liked the holding job Locke did for Walsh who had a good fantasy day. I also thought Locke looked better in punting the ball today.

A loss is tough to take especially against a division opponent and to lose by 1 makes it tough. The next game home vs Cleveland the Vikes have no other choice but now it is a must win.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Game info, key matchups and predictions for Week 2 in Chicago


Week 1 is over but the talk is still on going on Christian Ponder and can he get the job done. I have heard blame Musgrave’s poor play calling, the bad offensive line play, and the absence of Rudolph amongst some of the issues. Week 1 is over it is now time to hope as fans that the team took film work to heart and then play in Chicago better.

It is hard to believe to say this but week 2 is as huge of early game in the season as possible. A loss puts the team in a 0-2 hole but to complicate matters the Vikes would already have lost 2 tie breakers in the division.

I am going to stay on the high side and predict a win but before I go into that lets look at some game info and numbers involving these 2 teams.

Game time: Noon on Fox

Broadcasters-Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick and on the sideline will once again be Laura Okmin

Vegas point spread- Chicago by 6

Referee: Ed Hochuli

A LOOK BACK AT FUN FACTS FROM THE LIONS GAME

-Blair Walsh kicks another 50 plus field goal giving him 11 which ties Ryan Longwell’s team record of 11

-Jerome Simpson’s 140 yards is the most receiving yards by a Vikings receiver since Randy Mos had 150 in 2003. This is a shocking fact.

-Erin Henderson in his first start at Middle Linebacker recorded 14 tackles of which 11 were solo. It led the team. He also had his first interception in his career. What a way to start his 2013 season

BEARS VS VIKINGS HEAD TO HEAD SERIES

104 games played between these 2 black and blue teams. The Vikings lead the series in a close on 53-49-2. The Vikes are 21-28-2 in Chicago

The Vikings have not won in Chicago since 10/14/07

Leslie Frazier is 1-3 vs. Chicago

A win in Chicago would be Ponder’s first NFL road win

A win vs. Chicago on Sunday would be the first back to back win vs Chicago since 2008-2009 season.

BIG DAYS VS CHICAGO FOR VIKINGS PLAYERS

Jared Allen had 3.5 sacks in 2011 vs Chicago at home giving him the Vikings sack record surpassing Chris Doleman’s old record

Adrian Peterson in his 2007 rookie year had 224 yards rushing in Chicago

Greg Jennings had 8 catches for 130 yards with Green Bay as they beat the Bears in the NFC title game on 1/23/11

Harrison Smith returned an interception 56 yards for a touchdown last season on 12/09/12

KEY MATCHUPS TO WATCH FOR

Jared Allen vs. 7 yr NFL vet Jerod Bushrod

Vikings defensive interior taking on 13 yr vet Robert Garza.  Kevin Williams was back at practice on Tuesday so my hope of course is he will be there to plug the running holes.

Vikes linebackers vs screen plays from Jay Cutler to Matt Forte. I will assume the Bears will be salivating to have success like the Lions did with Reggie Bush

Vikes secondary vs Brandon Marshall. A second week in a row the team will see a big physical receiver.

Matt Kalil vs Julis Peppers

Ponder and receivers vs Bears secondary. The Bears are so good at creating turnovers. It will be huge to catch and hang on for dear life

Vikes special teams vs Devin Hester.

MY PREDICTION

I take the Purple 21-13. The whole key if the Vikings can get Jay Cutler to act like we all know he can. If things don’t go his way watch for the foot stomping and pouting.

The Vikes pass rush needs to be careful especially with the threat of a very good screen team in the Bears.

The win will not be easy as I spoke before 2007 was the last time the Vikes got a win in the windy city.

Ponder has a ton of pressure on his shoulders but I believe he will play better and help guide the team to a win.

Touchdowns by the Vikes will be 2 for Adrian and will break the 100 yard mark and Kyle Rudolph will appear and make a tough grab in the end zone for the teams third TD giving them the 21.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Review of the Lions game


Football is back and with that we can finally talk about games that matter whether a win or loss, it is something to discuss.

It is hard to believe we see a game in Detroit where Ponder throws for over 200 yards, Adrian scores 3 touchdowns, Jerome Simpson gets more receiving yards than Calvin Johnson and yet the Vikings lose.

I will add I really thought the receivers did a great job in helping Ponder with these stats. How about the miraculous catch by Simpson? Or the ball Greg Jennings caught that was thrown behind him.

This is a game where the Ponder bashers may take off even more. I hope not as it was only one game. I will say whether you are a Ponder fan or not that Christian leaves a lot talk about. It will not be boring in Minnesota this week in the media or by the fans.

The game itself was one of the strangest games I have ever seen. The first half alone has so much to talk about.

The first drive by Detroit made me concerned right out of the gate watching Detroit move the ball rather easily. I know it was the first drive so don’t get too worked up I told myself. The Lions made it look so easy so when it came to third and one deep in Vikings territory I had a bad feeling the Lions would be successful and then the unthinkable as Reggie Bush drops the ball leaving it 4th and 1.

David Akers comes on to try the field goal which I thought win Vikings defense holding the Lions to just a field goal. The snap, the hold and next a botched snap by the Lions holder, Martin and the Vikings hold to Detroit to 0 points. Is this a sign of good luck for the Vikings?

The Vikes take over and what happens next there goes Adrian Peterson as Paul Allen on the Vikes play by play on the radio shouts out, “and he’s loose.” Vikings up 7-0 in a drive this took 13 seconds. A little info on this feat as it was the longest play by a runner on the first play from scrimmage since the merger in 1970.

This game was full of gifts by both teams:

The Calvin Johnson catch for a touchdown only to get reviewed and overturned. What a break for the Vikings. We now have a botched field goal and now a touchdown called back. It is the end of the first quarter with the Vikings getting outplayed but what counts is the scoreboard not stats.

Second quarter the Lions still continue to beat themselves. Detroit goes for 4th and 1 and is successful so they thought. The bad news Lions get a holding called on tight end, Pettigrew and the Lions settle for a field goal. The Vikes still in the lead.

Ponder gets picked off and to my horror I see the Lions take it to the house for 6 so I thought. Lion’s defensive tackle, Suh costs the team a touchdown with the low block on Vikes center, John Sullivan. When I saw Sullivan on the ground and not getting up I was worried. I hope the NFL fines Suh for this one. If we lose Sullivan it would be a major loss.

The Lions driving again and our friend Lions tight end Pettigrew gives us a gift as he fumbles. This man is costing the Lions huge with the holding call on 4th and one and now a fumble.  The Lions are dominating stats but are trying their best to give the Vikes a win.

Lions quarterback Stafford has the ball tipped and a nice interception by Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson and the Vikes are in business.

The Lions continued to play foolish with a Vikings catch on the sideline and what do we see? A Lions defender, Delmas gets hit with a 15 yard taunting penalty. Thank you very much

The touchdown at the half by the Lions could really have been a major turning point. We see Lions running back, Bell goes up and over the pile to score? A great strip by the Vikes took a review to make sure it was a TD. A matter of centimeters from being Vikes ball but as it was Lions up at half with an unreal first half of unbelievable mistakes.

Lions run 45 plays while the Vikes run 19 and yet Minnesota is in the game?

Second half Vikes still have chances to win. Calvin Johnson could not score today if he wanted. Another catch for a TD only to see one foot go out leaving Johnson out of the scoring column once again.

Lions defensive, Ansah a split second early as he hits Ponder causing a fumble. Another break for the men in purple as it was called off sides, thank goodness.

A great catch made by Jerome Simpson and now we see Lions coach take his turn at a mistake. A challenge on a catch that was a no doubter now leaves Lions with one time out. Thank you, Coach Schwartz.

A Lions 3rd and 8 Vikes make a huge stop as we see Harrison Smith make a great tackle setting up a punt for the Lions. A great play but a bad job by the TV crew as Greenway gets credit and of course talked about. It is frustrating when the play by play callers screw that up.

The Vikes in the game even as ugly as it was. Dertoit was given 2 gifts by the Vikes defense on 3rd downs with one 15 yd personal foul penalty on Guion and later 3rd down Lions and Vikes secondary makes the mistake. We see 2 third down conversions because of penalties. Please don’t give gifts like the Lions do?

The biggest play of the game came with the Vikings down 27-24. The Vikes have the ball with a chance to to tie or go ahead. We see Ponder take snap from center and trip only to see the handoff muffed to AP. What if no fumble what would the Vikes have done on that series? Only speculation because now it does not matter the game is over.

Offensive player of the game: AP but I must also give a nod to Jerome Simpson

Defensive player of the game: Harrison Smith with his monster hit in the 2nd half

I cannot believe the amount of panic by Vikes fans. It is only the first game, Was it ugly? Yes at times but with all the mistakes film work should be interesting at Winter Park. I have faith week 2 will go better.

That’s all for now

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Predictions for the game plus key matchups to watch for in Sundays opener



Are you ready for some football? Can you believe the time has come? It is no longer weeks of anticipation now it is coming down to hours, minutes and seconds until kickoff.

Matchups to watch for:

Jared Allen vs 2nd year Left Tackle, Reily Reiff  (Lions 1st round draft choice in 2012 chosen at # 23)

Vikings linebackers vs. Lions 2 Tight ends (Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler) this will be a great start for Erin Henderson in show casing his coverage ability as Lions like the deep seem pass.

Vikings middle of the offensive line (Center –Sullivan and Guards, Fusco and Charlie Johnson) going against Lions Defensive Tackles, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley)

Lions QB Matthew Stafford vs. Vikings young secondary

Lion’s Wide receiver, Calvin Johnson vs. Chris Cook or Xavier Rhodes

2 rookie punters- Minnesota’s Jeff Locke drafted in the 5th round at # 155 and the Lions’ Sam Martin also drafted in the 5th round but at # 165. Which rookie punter will punt like a veteran?


Prediction:

Vikings 31 Lions 10

The Vikes will score 4 touchdowns. I predict Ponder will throw a TD to Kyle Rudolph for one score. AP will have 2 rushing TD’s along with 161 yards on the ground. The final TD comes by way of a special teams return. I believe Marcus Sherels will return one for a 2nd year in a row in Detroit or a kick return to start either the game or half by Cordarrelle Patterson.

The Lions ended at 4-12 in 2012. I believe they are way better than their record showed. This team will be a high scoring offensive team this year but Sunday they will only get 1 TD.

Lion’s receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is just too good to get shut out. I believe Stafford will find him for the lone TD of the game for the Lions.

Notes from around the league:

 78 undrafted rookie free agents made the 53 man roster of 32 teams. That is a little over 2 per team. What a feat to accomplish. Vikings, Zach Line is one of them. Congrats to Zach!

Other NFL news: Former Gopher quarterback, MarQueis Gray was cut from the 49ers but made the 53 man roster for the Cleveland Browns. I am hoping he is still on the Browns when they come to Minnesota for the home opener.

One fantasy note: I had my draft and was able to get Kyle Rudolph. I really feel he is due a big break out season.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Facts, figures and other info in helping you get ready for the Lions game

 

The time is getting nearer to kickoff and I am struggling in waiting for noon on Sunday. I have read up as much as I can and will continue. I would like to share some more numbers with you regarding the game in Detroit.

The game against Detroit will be Minnesota’s first opening day on the road vs. a divisional opponent since 2008. The Vikings playing in Detroit in Week 1 is only the 2nd time in franchise history that this has happened with 1971 being the other year.

The Vikes have played Detroit four times total in Week 1 in history with Minnesota have a 3-1 lead.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 68 wins 33 losses and 2 ties. Minnesota is 37-13-1 at home and in Detroit they are also on the winning side 31-20-1

Coach Frazier is 2-2 vs. Detroit. The Vikes ended last season on a 4 game winning streak to end the regular season so a win in Detroit would make it 5 in a row. The Vikings are also looking for their 30th opening day victory in team history. Minnesota swept the Lions in 2012 so a win Sunday would make 3 in a row.

Lions-Vikings connections:

Lions Wide Receiver Nate Burleson was a Vikings from 2003-2005

Lions Quarterback, Shaun Hill played for Minnesota from 2002-2006

Lions Offensive Coordinator, Scott Linehan was Minnesota’s O.C. from 2002-2004

Vikings player’s big totals vs Lions

Jared Allen in 11 games vs. Detroit has 39 tackles and 13.5 sacks. In 2011 Jared had 6 sacks in 2 games alone.

Chad Greenway in 12 games has 73 tackles

Adrian Peterson has 1165 yards rushing in his career vs. Detroit including the last time these teams met AP had 171 yards and a touchdown.

Looking at the roster

Oldest member: Kevin Williams (32 years old)

Youngest: Sharrif Floyd (22 years old)

Most Seasons with Minnesota: Kevin Williams (11)

College with the most Vikings- Notre Dame (5) (H.Smith, Rudolph, Carlson, Sullivan and Blanton)

Conference with most Vikings: Pac 12 (9)

Largest Vikings: Phil Loadholt (6’8” and 343 pounds)

Smallest Vikings: Marcus Sherels (5’10” and 175 pounds)

Vikings have 9 former 1st round picks on team:

Sharrif Floyd, Cordarrelle Patterson, Xavier Rhodes, Matt Kalil, Chad Greenway, Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder, Harrison Smith and Kevin Williams

Minnesota also has some very impressive stats from 2007-2012 and hope we can keep these up:

Rush yds per game in the NFL

1-Minnesota  13784 rush yds good for 143.6 per game

2-Carolina    13,101 rush yds good for 136.5 per game

3- NY Jets  12,423 rush yds good for 129.4

Highest Avg per carry

1-Minnesota 2855 carries 13784 yds good for a 4.8 per carry

2-Philadelphia 2523 caries 11782 yds good for a 4.7 per carry

3- Carolina 2815 caries 13101 yds good for a 4. 7 per carry

These numbers are very impressive and with AP shooting for the record if the Offensive line can block the way they did last year the sky is the limit for 28.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick