Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Facts and Figures in helping you get ready for the Bears game


The Minnesota Vikings will host the Chicago Bears on Sunday December 1st. The last time these two met was back on week 2 in Chicago and that game saw the Vikings lose with 10 seconds left in the game 31-30.

GAME INFO

Game time: noon on Fox

Announcers: Thomas Brennaman and Brian Billick and on the sideline will be Laura Okmin

Las Vegas Odds- Minnesota by 1   I was shocked to see that even though the game is in Minnesota and the Vikings are 2-8-1 that they are favored over a 6-5 Bears’ team.

Referee- Carl Cheffers  

BEARS-VIKINGS SERIES THROUGH THE YEARS

Minnesota leads series 53-50-2   Minnesota is 32-21 at home

Adrian Peterson info

Adrian is averaging 107.7 in the first 11 meeting against the Bears in his career. In week 12 in Lambeau   Peterson went for 146 so now it is the Bears turn to suffer when they try to tackle the 2012 MVP of the league.

Adrian scoring a touchdown last week in Green Bay gave him another season with 10 + touchdowns in the season. He now is the 3rd running back in NFL history to have at least 7 seasons with 10 touchdowns. LaDanian Tomlison is first with 9 seasons (2001-2009) then Emmith Smith with 8 (1990-92, 1994-96 and 1998-99)

Adrian rushing last week for over 100 yards is now the 4th time he broke the hundred yard mark. This ties him with the Eagle’s LeSean McCoy (4).

BEARS COACH MARC TRESTMAN INFO

Marc is a local product. He graduated from St. Louis Park High School then went to the University of Minnesota where he played quarterback. He transferred to Minnesota Morris his senior year. Trestman spent2 training camps with the Vikings after college. In 1985 Marc was running back coach on the Bud Grant staff. In 1990 Marc was quarterback coach with the Vikings as he worked with Rich Gannon.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS-CHICAGO BEARS STATS

Minnesota is averaging 24.2 points a game while Chicago is at 27.5 The Vikings defense is giving up an average of 31.5 per game while Chicago is giving up 28.1 This being said should figure to be a high scoring tilt at Mall of America Field.

The turnovers have always been a major part of the Bears. Minnesota has 8 interceptions while Chicago has 14. The turnover battle once again favors the Bears as Minnesota has created 14 while Chicago has 22. The turnover ratio goes advantage Bears with a plus 7 for Chicago and a -9 for Minnesota.

SUMMARY

Minnesota coming of the historical tie last week now faces a Bears team with no Jay Cutler at quarterback. I expect to see the best pass rush by the Vikings all season. It is a chance to some more damage to the NFC North. I expect to see a lot more Bears fans than usual. It is going to be a black and blue game and even though stats show it should be high scoring I feel like we will see a 17-9 type game.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 


 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Review of the Packers game- One for the history books


I was at the 2010 NFC Championship game in New Orleans when I got to see New Orleans get the only drive that ended up with a field goal sending them into the Super Bowl. I know you all may have seen it on TV but to be there in the Superdome watching Saints fans jumping up and down after winning is something you don’t ever forget.

The reason I bring that awful memory up is because the NFL made the rule change the next season allowing both teams to have a shot. Yes, a touchdown ends the game on the first drive and the game is over but if a field goal happens the other team has a chance to tie or win it.

It is just the Vikings luck to end up with the first tie since the new rule has been put in place. This game just typifies this unbelievable bad luck season this team and fans have suffered through.

It just adds to the confusion of what is good for this team. I am not thrilled by a tie but on the other side it could inflict pain in the Packers hope for a playoff spot.

The game itself was a game of a lot of good and on the flip side both defenses at times were horrendous.

POSTIVIES IN THE GAME

The draft class of 2012 had a big effect on the game. I look at Audie Cole getting his first start at middle linebacker and the numbers h put up. The first play of the game for the Vikes defense Cole gets the sack. He ends up with 13 tackles total and 11 of those were solo.

Rhett Ellison who I thought had a great rookie year last year has been kind of quiet thus far until Sunday when he caught his first NFL touchdown. The catch was no so special as the effort he made to get into the end zone.

Blair Walsh had another big day as he goes 4-4 and two extra points. His kickoffs were once again outstanding. The field goal in overtime he made just shows once again pressure does not get to him.

Christian Ponder may go down as one of the most questioned quarterbacks ever to wear the Purple jersey. I tell you for this day I was very impressed with what he accomplished in leading the Vikes on long drives. Yes, he got sacked 6 times and yes he threw a god awful ball that should have been easily intercepted. I have to give him props for the effort. This could be a never ending argument but I say this day he deserves more credit than bashing. Ponder’s stats 21-30 and 233 yards but more importantly no interceptions.

The running game combined of Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart was something I wish we could have seen all year. Yes, the Packers tackling was horrendous but still these 2 men did not go down on the first hit. I worry when the season ends that we may not see Gerhart back next year as he is a free agent. I will deal with that if and when that happens. These guys combined for almost 240 yards.

The Vikings had 2 huge drives of 69 and 85 with both possessions starting inside their own 5. This was so impressive although ending up in only field goals is still nice to get points on the board.

Cordarrelle Patterson in my mind had his best day as a pro. The return game he provides never gets old. The game he had as a receiver was huge ending up with 8 catches on the afternoon. I believe we finally have a coaching staff that believes in number 84.

I must add another big game for defensive end, Brian Robison. I love the hustle this guy brings game in a game out. I am so glad the team extended his contract because he is worth every cent this team paid him.

The Vikings defense came in giving up 32 points a game and then on Sunday kept it under the 32 and gave up 26. No it is still not good but for at least Sunday I will take it.

The Packers did not punt once in the game at Mall of America Field the last time these 2 met and then Sunday the Packers were forced to punt 7 times. Yes, I know Rodgers was not in control of the Packers offense but still it was nice to see the punter get some work.

 

NEGATIVES IN THE GAME

The tackling of Packers running back, Eddie Lacy was atrocious the first half. I could not believe my eyes watching 3-5 Vikings trying to get this guy down.

The fourth quarter met down allowing the Packers to come back and send it into overtime. You know when the Packers have a 4th and 6 and Flynn throws the ball up in hopes and you see a Packer receiver catch it and save Flynn’s butt that the team was in trouble.

The 3rd down in overtime and the Vikings get a sack only to find out there is defensive holding and the Packers get to keep the drive alive. It is just a matter of time to feel the possible disappointment we have had most of the season.

Refereeing should never be used for an excuse but in one case it is hard not bring It up. I bring up the non-called face mask on the Adrian Peterson run that ended up seeing Adrian cough it up. I could not believe the call was missed as AP’s head was turned sideways. The other call I had a tough time was the pass interference call on Marcus Sherels. I guess my thought was seeing the Packer receiver pushing to get the advantage. It is a game of human judgment but still these men are paid to make the calls.

OVERALL SUMMARY

The result of the game now leaves the Vikings with the 4th pick in the 2014 draft if the season ends. I guess as a Vikings fan I love to see any damage the Vikings can do to the hopes of the Packers playoff. I will take the tie and keep the Cheeseheads quiet for a little longer.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Previewing the border battle


The Minnesota Vikings (2-8) travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers (5-5).The last time Minnesota went there was for the playoffs. This time it is a battle of 2 teams that one for sure and maybe 2 may not get in the playoffs.

Game Time: noon on Fox

Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch with Erin Andrews on the sideline

Las Vegas Odds: Green Bay by 5. I listened to talk radio this week and the feeling in Vegas is when Aaron Rodgers is out the point spread is down 6-7 points per game.

VIKINGS-PACKERS SERIES

This will be the 107th meeting between these 2 franchises with Green Bay leading 56-49-1. The Vikings have not won in Green Bay since 11/01/09.

ADRIAN PETERSON INFO

This meeting will be AP’s 14th time facing the Packers. In the first 13 Peterson has averaged 115.5 yards which is the most by any one player in the league that faces the Packers defense.

This game will be Adrian’s 100th game in his career.  Peterson thus far in his career now qualifies to be third all-time in average yards per game. Jim Brown leads with 104.3 followed by Barry Sanders 99.8 and then Adrian comes in third with 98 per game. What great company he finds himself in and he is young yet.

BIG DAYS VS GREEN BAY

-Jared Allen had 4.5 sacks on 10/05/09 vs Green Bay

-Cordarrelle Patterson tied an NFL record with a 109 kickoff return for a TD the last time these teams met in Minnesota

-Adrian Peterson ran for 210 yards in week 13 in 2012

-Everson Griffen had 3 sacks vs the Packers on 12/30/12

- Blair Walsh kicked a 29 yard field goal in the last game of the 2012 regular season that help beat the Pack and send the Vikes to the playoffs

-Jarius Wright caught a 65 yard pass from Ponder on 12/30/12 which is the longest catch by Wright in his career.

VIKINGS MISCELLANEOUS INFO

This has been a tough year but one thing that stands out is the number of penalties that have been called on the Vikings.  Indianapolis is number one with only 41 called and Minnesota has been called 38 times.

Vikings safety, Andrew Sendejo has led the team the last 2 weeks in tackles. He had 17 vs Washington and then last week in Seattle he finished with 12.

VIKINGS-PACKERS STATS

There are a ton of stats so I wanted to look at just a few that caught my eye. Minnesota averages 24 points per game and Green Bay averages 25.8. In a year when Minnesota is 2-8 and see the team able to score just helps the frustration of what went wrong.

-Minnesota averages 318 yards per game while Green Bay is averaging 418.

-Each team has given up 23 sacks.

-Minnesota gives up 32 points per game while the Packers are giving up 23.9. This said it should be a high scoring game.

-Packers rookie running back, Eddie Lacy is 7th in the league with 696 yards.

Final thoughts on the game

Christian Ponder gets the call to start Sunday so we will see how he handles overcoming a terrible 2nd half last week in Seattle. It will be strange no to see Aaron Rodgers running the Packers offense so I will be interested to see how the Vikes defense does against the 3rd stringer. Adrian is dinged up but I still expect him to be out there. I wrote earlier in the week do we want the team to be a spoiler or lose the rest? I would like to see Minnesota beat Green Bay because it would be just one week where Vikings fans could have fun with the enemy.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Monday, November 18, 2013

Questions to think about


The way 2012 went I never thought I would be writing something like I am about in 2013. The 2012 team was in the playoff hunt and now 2013 the team is down on the bottom of the league in wins. This article will hopefully make you think of what you want for this team the rest of the way.

I know if the season ended today the Jacksonville Jaguars would have the number one pick and our favorite team would be number two.

I also just heard a stat that was so hard to swallow. The stat goes like this with the 2013 Vikings on pace to be the worst defensive team in Vikings history as far as giving up points goes. The team is giving up an average of 32 points while the 1984 team had given up 30 a game. If the season ended the 2013 team would be the record holder.

I will love this team until the day I die but still it is hard to avoid the facts as they are laid out. I want nothing but the best and it hurts to hear the negativity but I do understand as the frustration just keeps piling up by fans.

The remainder of the schedule has 5 of 6 teams at 500 or above. The team has home games against Chicago (6-4), Philadelphia (6-5) and Detroit (6-4) The road games left are in Green Bay (5-5), Baltimore (4-6) and Cincinnati (7-4)

The 2 questions I pose are one, do we want to play spoiler? Cincinnati, Detroit tied with Chicago, and Philadelphia are all in first place in their respective divisions. Detroit holds the tie breaker as they beat Chicago earlier in the year.

The other spoiler part is the Vikings have 1 game left against our own division. Would it be great to beat all 3 of our division foes? I have even heard throughout the year that if the Vikings would win only 2 games all year that they would be the Green Bay games.  The team lost at home to Green Bay so one more chance at the big rivals.

The schedule is tough and even Baltimore is still in the division hunt with a 4-6 record so this game will not be a give me either.

The second question posed is it worth losing the rest of the games to get a great pick. It is a risk because nobody knows for sures. The Mel Kuipers of the world are good but even they don’t know the for sures.

How many Heisman trophy winners have been flops in the NFL? How many number one picks have turned out not so good. Yes, the percentages that these top 5 picks are NFL ready can be high but there is always that chance.

I sit here struggling because of the passion I have for the team. I know next season there are 17 free agents to resign which we know cannot happen with the salary cap.

The next season will be at TCF Bank Stadium with a new start. I will be there cheering for my boys in purple each Sunday.

I just can’t help wonder where did it go so wrong. I feel it is the same players ad a few draft choices. It seemed everything we needed to happen last season did happen. The magic in 2013 was just never found.

Life is more than football but for the die hards like myself it is sometimes hard to remember it is just a game. We are fans who cheer for the team and can’t make the team win or lose. It is up to each of us to see just how faithful we can be.

I want you to imagine being a Jaguar fan as they watch their team seem to always be near the bottom.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review of the Seahawks game


I knew coming into the game that it would be an uphill battle playing a team that simply just does not lose at home. The game on paper according to Las Vegas was a mismatch yet the teams still need to play to see what happens.

I liked the way the game started with Cordarrelle Patterson taking the opening kick out of the end zone thinking he had a chance to go the distance, but a nice shoe string tackle stopped my hope.

The first drive by the Vikings was exactly what we did not need as Ponder gets stripped. I did like how the Vikings defense responded holding Seattle to a field goal.

I really thought one of the many back breakers in the game came early in the second quarter with the score tied at 10. Seattle had a 3rd and 10 and what happens? Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson throws the ball to Percy Harvin who made his magic happen somehow hauling in a tipped ball to himself resulting in 17 yards and a first down. The drive ends with a touchdown run by Lynch to make it 17-10. If only we could have stopped the third and 10 maybe the outcome of the game may have been a little different.

The first half we saw Seattle sack Ponder 3 times and saw the tough Seattle defense control Adrian very well but yet we were only down by 4 with 48 seconds left in the half.

The biggest back breaker came as the Vikes kicked off to Percy Harvin and there he goes 50 plus yards setting up Seattle for at least field goal range potentially. It would have been nice being down only 7 at the half if Seattle would have settled for the field goal. The worst thing possible that could have happened did happen as Russell Wilson throws a beautiful ball over Vikings defender, Xavier Rhodes’ finger tips to Seahawks receiver, Doug Baldwin.

I don’t know if you caught the TV guys refer to Baldwin as Jerry Rice’s replacement for Seattle. I’m sorry guys but the correct name is Sidney Rice. I liked Rice when he played for Minnesota but in no way would I ever compare Sidney to Jerry.

There were a few other positives in the first half. The continued strong play of John Carlson and the speed shown by Jarius Wright putting a double move on one of the best defensive backs in the league, Richard Sherman and then catching the touchdown pass. I also like the play of defensive tackle, Fred Evans who at times plugged up the middle enough where even the commentators pointed out his play.

It seemed after the devastating touchdown late in the first half that the Vikings lost whatever hope they had.

I had thought Ponder looked very good against Washington last week but at least for this Sunday he was awful throwing to 2 wide open Seahawk defenders in the second half.

I was glad for his sake that Frazier pulled the plug and let Matt Cassel finish up. I know Seattle had their backups in but still to see Toby Gerhart run hard was so nice to see. He ends up getting 2 more yards than Adrian did.

I feel so bad because I knew we were a double digit underdog and to see the performance in the second half really hurt. It was one game I was glad when the clock struck 0.

It might sound strange to hear as a fan but I will say I was so impressed with the Seattle team and everything about them.

The running by Marshawn Lynch is so impressive. How many times did we see 3-5 Viking defenders trying to take him down?

The defensive line is quick and has great ability to plug the holes. The secondary is the real deal.

The play of Russell Wilson is mind boggling. The play where he broke through the defensive line and shuttles the ball to Lynch for a TD will be a Sports Center top 10 highlight.

I love the energy that Seahawk’s Coach, Pete Caroll continually shows even being up 28.

I love my Vikings and know the season is pretty much in trouble. I am just hoping the last 6 games the team represents itself well.

I look at the NFC and can’t find a team that is as talented as the Seattle Seahawks. I am calling right now for a Seattle-Denver Super Bowl.

The next game up for the Vikings is in Lambeau Field. The injury to Aaron Rodgers is taking a huge toll on the team and their defense is even down. Can the Vikings steal one next week?

I can’t wait for the rematch

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Facts and fun info in helping get ready for the Seattle (Vikings) Seahawks


The Minnesota Vikings (2-7) coming off a much needed win now get to go to the loudest stadium in the NFL and face the Seattle Seahawks (9-1).

These 2 teams seem to take each other players lately so much that Seattle Seahawks could also be known as the Vikings part 2. They have Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Heath Farwell currently along with former Vikes offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell who now is Seattle’s guy to run the offense. Seattle in recent had Tarvaris Jackson and then earlier this year had Antoine Winfield before he was released.

These 2 teams have so many connections that it is more than just another Sunday game. Seattle’s record of 9-1 is not only good for first in the NFC West by two games over the 49ers they also have the best record in the NFC.

I looked up Las Vegas odds and figured Seattle would be favored but to my surprise was the amount as Seattle is favored by 13. This game has the biggest point spread of all games this weekend. My hope is the win last week will get the boys back on their game and give Seattle a game. I just don’t believe Minnesota will lose by 13.

Game info

Game time- 3:25 on Fox

Play by play callers- Chris Myers and Tim Ryan with Jennifer Hale on the sidelines

ALL TIME SERIES

Seattle leads all time series with a 7-5 mark. Minnesota is 3-2 at home vs Seattle and in Seattle 2-5. Minnesota lost last season in Seattle 30-20.

Minnesota has not won in Seattle since 10/22/06.

VIKINGS PLAYER INFO

Did you know that when Minnesota went to Seattle last year that Adrian had a first? He ran 74 yards which is the longest run in AP’s career without it being a touchdown run.

Did you know that Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Sherels lead the league in return yard average in their respective areas? Patterson leads the league with a 35.2 in kickoff returns. Marcus leads the league with a 16.3 punt return average.

Andrew Sendejo’s 16 tackles last week vs Washington tied him for most amongst other league secondary members.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS COACH PETE CARROLL INFO

Pete was the defensive line coach for Coaches Bud Grant and Jerry Burns from 1989-1989.

THOUGHTS IN THE END

 

This game will be as physical as we may see all year. The Seahawks are extremely strong at home and I believe they try to intimidate the Vikings with their style

As if there is not enough pressure on the Vikings they will get to face old teammate, Percy Harvin who was activated for this game. It should be quite the show between Vike’s Cordarrelle Patterson and Harvin.

I am disappointed that Sidney Rice is out for the year. I would love to see how he would have fared against the Vikings banged up secondary.

I guess my thought is if Seattle does go to the playoffs and they go to the Super Bowl I will pull for one guy and that is Heath Farwell. I loved his game when he was in Minnesota. He might just go down as one of the nicest guys to meet in Mankato.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will give the defense a headache. This Vikings team has got to play smart and disciplined or Wilson can and will run wildly. He is short in height so may be a little bit easier to keep their arms up and knock balls down.

We will get to see a game of two of the best running backs in the game. I believe Peterson and Marshawn Lynch are the two most physical running backs in the league. I know last week’s game vs Washington in the first half the tackling was atrocious. If this happens Lynch could be in for a monster game.

I believe one advantage for the Vikings will be this long time off between games. Players should be more rested. The 11 days off should be plenty of time for coaches to come up with a game plan that will lead to a monstrous upset.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Final thoughts on the tale of 2 halves


The 2nd win by the Vikings in 2013 is less than 24 hours old and  yes the win did occur but with that still comes things to think about as I have listened all day to people’s thoughts. I have also gone back and watched highlights and thus more thoughts came flowing.

I will start with Cordarrelle Patterson who may just be the 2nds most explosive player this club has. Thursday night’s game was a game we needed to see out of him. We know the kickoff return ability. The game Thursday was the most Patterson saw as a wide receiver and I felt he did a great job. The catch for a touchdown was a great job keeping his feet in bounds.

The play of Jarius Wright in the last 2 weeks has been a nice sight as he has 5 catches on the last 2 weeks. The sideline catch by Wright to keep the drive alive was a great sideline catch Thursday.

The fake punt tried by the Redskins would have worked to perfection if the punter had any decent of arm. I do not know if they would have scored on that play because Robert Blanton did a nice job of at least getting close to when the throw occurred. It is amazing to see this team almost fall for a second time this season to a fake. I am a big fan of special teams coordinator Mike Priefer and I believe he will get the troops head into the game for the future. The blunder in the Cleveland game was awful and for Thursday the Vikes may have got lucky. I do fear we will lose Priefer one day as he will become a head coach one day. I hope so for Mike but the selfish side of me hopes he stays with the purple.

The last minute of the game was so suspenseful. It was a carbon copy of 3 other games as the Redskins drove down for the potentially tying touchdown. The timeout called by the Vikings with 38 seconds left drew so many boos. I sat wondering why, even though a win did occur in the end. My hope was the timeout called was a result of the Bears game earlier in the season when no timeout was called to get the defensive players organized. The end result was a Cutler touchdown throw. I truly hope the coaching staff saw something they did not like Thursday. I sat in my seat in absolute shock in amongst the booing by the fans. I might be in the minority but I choose to have faith in Coach Frazier. I watch a ton of Vikings coverage and will say that after the Cowboys loss Coach Frazier looked so tired. I am so happy for the team for the win but even happier for Frazier.

The last play on 4th down watching Redskins quarterback RGIII drop back to pass and then throw a fade route in the corner had my heart pumping so hard I thought it would fall out of my body. Please let this team win one in the end I was saying to myself. I loved the play Marcus Sherels made to save the game.

It is the first win in the dome this regular season so it was a pleasure to see players smiling leaving the field. The one player that caught me off guard was Greg Jennings. I do not know if I have ever seen a player exit faster than Jennings. My wife and I watched as instead of going onto the field to talk to other players he ran up the tunnel. I am just hoping everything is ok. This team worked so hard for the win we just do not need any distractions to take away from this win.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 
 

A tale of two halves





The Vikings hosted the Washington Redskins on Thursday night football with another chance to show America the team is not as bad as a 1-7 record would indicate.

We got to the dome and one of my first observations was the amount of Redskins fans that made the trip. It was incredible to see that much red. My next observation was of all the Redskins fans I would say 90 percent of them had RG III jerseys on.

The next thrill was to go down early in pregame and get as close to the field as possible and take in the NFL Network pregame. The quality of players and Coach Mariucci on the set is priceless. The price became even higher as Cris Carter made an appearance on the set wearing his Hall of Fame jacket. He was one of my favorites so to see him one more time in person meant the world to me. I took a ton of pictures just to add to the memories.

Carter played a major role in the game. The pregame saw him blow the Gjallhorn signaling the Vikings were coming then ran to the Vikings ship and got on his motorcycle and helped lead the team onto the field. The place was going crazy watching this.

 The defensive players were introduced tonight with the first player being Xavier Rhodes carrying the American flag as he ran onto the field. The last player to be introduced was Jared Allen as he too carried the flag. The American theme was carried out very nicely by the organization.

The fans were involved with the National Anthem as each fan had a colored card in their seats that they were to hold up and look through the slot in their card. We looked around the stadium to a beautiful sight of red white and blue along with the word Thank you Military. What a night of awesomeness and to be a part of this was once again a memory never to be forgotten.

The game finally began and it did with a chorus of boos. The Redskins kicked off avoiding Patterson and that is where the booing began. The game had it fair share of booing. The first drive by the Vikings ended up with the interception thrown by Ponder led to a season high booing sound by the fans.

The Redskins moved the ball at will in the first half. It was so hard to sit in my seat and watch the Redskins run wide open in the middle making for some easy pass completions. I know I remember seeing on the scoreboard the Redskins were completing third downs at an 83 percent clip. It was so embarrassing to watch this. The tackling in the first half was as bad as I have ever seen and it led to several times of booing by the fans.

I still can’t believe as I am writing this how the Redskins scored 15 seconds before the half. I was and still am in shock how 2 Redskins players were standing all alone for maybe the easiest touchdown any team may ever score this season.

The Redskins kickoff to the Vikings and my hope was with 4 seconds left the team just throws the ball as far as possible. It did not happen and with that angry fans booed even more.

The first half was filled with booing but I will say on a positive note that after the Ponder interception he started playing much better. We will see what the second half will offer up.

The halftime fans saw Cris Cater get his Hall of Fame ring. I was so happy for Cris. It seemed each time I saw Carter including pregame his smile just seemed to be getting bigger.

The second half was incredible to watch as the team I love to death showed up in a big way. I was so proud of these guys. It was so fun to watch Kevin Williams get some much needed sacks. The second half was just simply fun to watch.

It is hard to believe the Redskins did not punt the entire first half and score on four possessions and the second half Washington get held to 3 points.

I thought the play of Ponder was as good as I have seen in many games. The run he made in which I thought he scored at first was amazing. The collision at the goal line showed me just how bad he wants to succeed. I know next season he may not be the man but to see a guy who has been through the ringer with fans and media showed me something. The injury came at the worst possible time for Ponder. His quarterback rating was over 100 and he was finally making some very good decisions and throw.

I was impressed with Ponder but some other guys I need to mention were John Carlson and J’Marcus Webb.

It was refreshing to see Carlson have the night he had including his first touchdown as a Vikings. I love the effort to stretch the ball across the goal line.

Webb filling in for Loadholt I thought did a wonderful job of helping keep the quarterbacks clean from hits.

I will add on the defense the Kevin Williams had a fabulous night but also the play of backup safety, Andrew Sendejo who had 16 tackles. This team has a ton of injuries so to see guys like Carlson, Webb and Sendejo come through was a nice sight.

This team has been through so many emotional losses this season so for Thursday night to get a win was huge.

The problem now becomes with fans who want to see a high draft pick in April every win hurts the team. I want a nice high pick too but am very happy to get a W especially at home and on National TV.

I will add in the end the fans played a major part in not such a good way. The amount of paper airplanes coming out of the upper deck was too many to count. The fans would cheer for planes that had a chance to land on the field. We had policemen along with security all second half trying to catch the culprits who threw them. Fans can be kicked out of the game if caught.

The other disappointment was talking to fans next to me and in front of me the price they paid for their tickets. I pay 40.00 per seat. The 7 guys in front of me paid 4.00 per ticket and the 2 guys next to me paid 8.00. My wife said and I can’t disagree is we could go to every game and buy cheaper tickets but sitting in different parts of the stadium. I guess I enjoy knowing I will sit in my same spot and cheer for the purple.

Thursday’s game had a wide variety of emotions but in the end my team came through with a win.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time to forget the past, bring on Washington


Thursday November 7th the Minnesota Vikings host the Washington Redskins at 7:30
NFL Network and local tv in Minnesota. The play by play team will be Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock.

The halftime entertainment for this game will be a great one for Vikings fans as we will see Cris Carter receive his Hall of Fame ring. This wiill be worth the price of admission alone.

This will be the 4th straight year these 2 have faced each other. Washington leads the overall series 12-10-0. Minnesota is 4-6 at home and 6-6 in Washington. The last game in Minnesota was in 2007 and that year saw the Redskins win 32-21. The series has seen 5 of the last 6 games in Washington.

A win by Minnesota and it will be the first since 10/18/98 that Minnesota will have beat Washington in Minnesota.

A win on Thursday also would be the first victory on Thursday night football since 11/30/00 for the Vikings.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS THE REDSKINS

-Toby Gerhart had a career day as he rushed for 109 yards on 12/24/11 in Washington.
-LeTroy Guoin recorded his first sack in his career on 11/28/10 vs Washington
-Mistral Raymond got his first interception of his career on 12/24/11. It his only interception thus far in his career.

WASHINGTON FUN FACTS

-Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan was the University of Minnesota offensive cooordinator in 1979.
-Washington won the only Super Bowl ever to be played in Minnesota back in 19991 as they beat the Buffalo Bills for the title.

VIKINGS FUN FACTS

-Minnesota is the only team in the NFL with 2 players in the top 6 in all purpose yards (Patterson 3rd with 956 and Adrian is 6th with 872 yards)
-Adrian Peterson is first in the NFL with 88.9 yards per game. He is also first with three 50 yard runs
-Minnesota is the only team in the NFL with 3 returs for touchdowns. They have 2 kickoff returns both by Patterson and a punt return by Sherels.

SUMMARY
Minnesota is 1-7 and with seemingly issues up and down the roster this team is still putting up numbers. They have been in 3 gut wrenching losses. It has been a year thus far to leave muco talk about. I may be crazy but this team is due a victory and I for one will be in the stands to watch our first win in America.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Effort strong yet team comes up short in Dallas


The Vikes come in to Dallas with a 1-6 record and face a team that lost on a last second touchdown to Detroit last week.  Some of the story lines coming into the game: Ponder was named starter, 3 of the starting secondary are out of the game, Adrian is playing in front of family and friends. Do the Vikings have a chance?

I thought the first half the Vikings did a great job in taking control of the clock, running the ball and even Ponder making some key plays. I also loved the no huddle offense early and was pleasantly surprised.

The halftime found Minnesota up and to my delight I could hear Cowboy fans booing. It is nice to know other teams feel the pain.

The Vikings pass rush was as good as I have seen in the last few weeks getting three sacks of Romo. Is America going to see a huge upset? The effort was there by the Purple. I was so proud of the way they played up to half. It seemed the team finally has a spark.

The call for going it on 4th and 1 I really liked even though a field goal probably should have been called for.

I thought the Vikes would roll Ponder out and either run it or play action. The handoff to Peterson had no chance but I still liked the chance with the team being 1-6 and nothing to lose.

The next surprise at halftime was listening to the halftime crew and hearing Jimmy Johnson compliment Ponder’s play. The play by play team of Buck and Aikman I thought Troy did a nice job of giving Vikings players credit when due in the first half.

The way the third quarter started out with the Cowboys scoring 2 touchdowns in 10 seconds in the first four minutes of the third quarter made me concerned that the players would start to think here we go again.

The team did not quit as the second half they did not quit. The two touchdowns the Vikings did score was great effort. The catch by Rudolph and the beating he took but yet forced his way in for 6 was awesome. It is a shame he got hurt on that play. The replay showing his ankle get rolled up looked terrible.

The 11 yard touchdown by Peterson could not have shown any more effort than he did. The assist by Chase Ford to get him will not be in the stats but as a fan I sure appreciated the effort. The shock which I will be in the majority was to see Blair Walsh push the ball wide right. I could not help but worry this will come back to haunt the team.

The way the game ended just does not shock me. This team just can’t get the break. This season has been full of heartbreak. I may be alone or even laughed at but I will say I was so proud of this team fighting until the end.

The positives-

-Christian Ponder used 9 different receivers on Sunday including finally getting Jarius Wright involved. I thought it was his best game of the year minus some key mistakes.

-The Vikings outgained the Cowboys in total yards along with advantage in time of possession.

- The determination by Adrian Peterson and getting 140 yards

- The interception by AJ Jefferson was unbelievable and so much needed.

- Marcus Sherels led the team in tackles with 8 tackles

- Chad Greenway breaking the 1000 tackle mark in his career with 4. He is only the 7th Vikings in their career to do so.

- I know the Vikes lost but the play of the secondary was better than I thought considering they were facing Tony Romo.  Marcus Sherels, Robert Blanton, Mistral Raymond, Andrew Senedjo I will assume most NFL fans have never heard of them.

- The hit by Mistral Raymond on the Cowboys receiving causing an incomplete pass should be a ESPN highlight this week. The flag thrown and then picked up was finally a break for the team.

The negatives

-The fumble by Ponder in the end zone and the Cowboys recovering in the end zone for a touchdown just typifies the season.

- Ponder at times looked good but when he looked bad it was magnified. The ball thrown short of Greg Jennings resulting in an interception along with the last Hail Mary pass of the game were both terrible. I have seen Ponder throw a very good deep ball in Mankato but this one just seemed flat and no good.

- 2 injury concerns- Kyle Rudolph (foot) and Phil Loadholt (concussion). This team is getting unhealthy very quickly and is concerning.

Thoughts in the end

I loved the effort and not getting blown out on the road. The postgame interviews saw players such as Jared Allen and Chad Greenway expressing frustrations and disappointment.

 It is so hard because if the team wins too many games the rest of the way the draft pick choice will drop into the teens. I want the team to win but yet I want a high draft choice. I know it sounds wishy washy but it is a tough subject. I will love this team until the day I die win or lose.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick