Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

9 weeks down with so many storylines

The 2014 season was going to be the year I truly felt would be something special. The team hires defensive minded coach, Mike Zimmer and add offensive coordinator guru, Norv Turner which I thought was a great start.

Training Camp went by with no major injuries and preseason sees the team goes undefeated so my hopes are really getting revved up.

It seemed in a short matter of time the Adrian Peterson saga go down along with season ending injuries to Matt Cassel and Brandon Fusco and lose Kyle Rudolph for an extended period of time. You have got to be kidding me?

The first 5 weeks the team sees 4 of the top quarterbacks in the league with: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers. I thought if we could go 2-3 in the first 5 after last season 2-3 would be a huge success.

It did happen and without Adrian Peterson and Matt Cassel. The team is 2-3 and came home for a big home game vs Detroit. A chance to get to .500, a home game which is a division opponent makes it even bigger. The team is beat up badly by the Lions. A loss where the home fans repeatedly booed. I was discouraged but as always get back on the horse and look forward to the next week.

Enough with the schedule as we swing to players who have stepped up. I start with the guys replacing AP and that is rookie, Jerick McKinnon and veteran Matt Asiata.  These 2 have become a two headed monster with McKinnon ringing up the yardage and Asiata scoring the touchdowns.

The defense each week is showing promise slowly but surely. In the offseason the Vikes let Jared Allen leave by way of free agency and instead resigned Everson Griffen to an extension. The signing has paid off big with Griffen already close to double digit sacks for the year.

The defensive after week 9 is number one on the NFL with 30 sacks. It is not just one guy it is a collective group effort spreading the sacks amongst them.

The hero thus far is one I did not seeing happen and that is Anthony Barr. I will painfully admit when he was drafted I did not understand why he went so high. I have no problem admitting I was wrong because this beast is playing towards defensive rookie of the year and if he continues has a shot at a Pro Bowl honor.

Cordarelle Patterson’s play confuses me the most the first 9 weeks. His week one rushing for over 100 yards and his kick returns gave me so much hope he will have a huge year. The time since has found him being questioned by the coaches his ability to get open and his efforts have been questioned.

The Vikings future is now with Teddy Bridgewater and what we are seeing is a young 21 year old developing into the hope for the future. Yes, there are needs to improve for him but also plenty to be excited about.

I love the job Coach Zimmer has done. A game lost in the literal final seconds and now win two in a row is showing me this team does not want a repeat of last season.

The home games thus far have been very nice weather wise as we sit in the sun side and so far 4 home games we have had sun. I do miss the dome for the noise factor. The majority of the games just are not loud. I do look forward to the Packers coming November 23rd which I believe will be the best test if the stadium can get ear blowing loud.

Thanks for reading thus far and I hope you enjoy the rest of them. I look forward to serving you with thoughts on the Purple.


Todd Walkingstick

Sunday, November 2, 2014

No quit Vikes win agian

On Sunday the Vikings (3-5) hosted the Washington Redskins (3-5) with so much on the line. The two teams are coming off wins on the road and now with a win Sunday will at least keep the playoff hopes alive.

The way Sunday morning started out with a Redskins team bus getting in an accident as one team bus rear ended the other on the way to the stadium. I add thankfully no one was seriously hurt.

The other big pregame event was the protest being conducted outside the TCF Bank Stadium. My wife and I were walking to the stadium and saw two helicopters straight overhead. We walked down as my curiosity got the best of me and wanted to see the protest. It seemed to be packed. I know I read after the game that there were over 3000 protestors.

It was quite a morning with 2 big events and the kickoff has not even happened yet. Sunday was NFL alumni weekend which as on display in the pregame.

Former Gopher and Vikings player, Tyrone Carter blew the Gjllarhorn to signal the Vikings were coming. The National Anthem was sung by Esera Tuaolo who played for the Vikes from 1992-1996. I have heard him before and can assure you it is beautiful to listen to. The honorary captain for the coin toss was Carl Eller.

I really thought the crowd with player introduction and even much of the first half was very quiet. I do miss the dome for the ear blowing noise at times.

I really liked the first play of the game play call even though it was not successful. I love the deep ball and for a split second I thought Greg Jennings may have a chance.

I had another deep ball down in front of me where I saw Cordarrelle Patterson running free in what I thought was a for sure touchdown. It seemed Patterson quit on the route. I did hear after the game the sun was a factor. I would have liked to see a better effort.

I get frustrated with special teams this year because it seems like 90 percent of punt returns the Vikes are called for blocking from behind. Once again Sunday I see it again. The other frustration comes with 3rd down for the Redskins and 5.5 yards for a first down. I see a Vikings defensive player encroach and there goes a free 5 yards.

I feel at 3-5 the Vikes are on the slimmer side of making the playoffs but perhaps the play that saved the day was Captain Munnerlyn intercepting an RGIII pass with less than a minute left in the half. The Vikes end up scoring a TD before half sending the team off the field in front of some happy fans and now are back in the game being down 10-7.

I am starting to feel when the Vikes get the ball late in the game and put it in Teddy Bridgewater’s hand the team has a chance and on Sunday Teddy did his thing calmly leading the team to the go ahead touchdown. I loved the call going for two putting the game at 29-26.

The Redskins get the ball back and it is time to hold your breath. I saw RGIII drop back on 3rd and 20 I get up yelling,” Get him, Get him and I thought the defense did but all of a sudden there RGIII goes running for 16. You have got to be kidding, I thought to myself. It sets up 4th down with the game on the line. The entire stadium is standing and I see RGIII get loose again and see a receiver open. It is so loud in the stadium and what do we see next, we see the incompletion. Game over and fans are going bonkers. The fans filing out were chanting, TEDDY, TEDDY,TEDDY

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick