It’s natural to be negative coming off a tough loss like that in Green Bay where we had opportunities slip through our grasp numerous times. And there are some things for the negatives out there to harp on, but let’s take a look at a few positives from Sunday night’s game…
– Fans. The Vikings faithful were well-represented at Lambeau Field on Sunday night and I appreciated seeing that. Those Vikings fans in attendance nearly saw an improbable upset and come-from-behind victory that would’ve been the highlight of their season. Going into Lambeau Field and winning is a great feeling and the Vikings almost did it again this year. There were tons of Vikings fans there that would’ve enjoyed it.
– Adrian Peterson. Another reason the loss is so tough to take is that Peterson had such a good game, both running the football catching it. Green Bay couldn’t stop him and when all was said and done Peterson had 131 yards and 1 TD on 28 carries along with 41 receiving yards on 2 receptions, including a huge 15-yard reception with under a minute to go in the game. Peterson was breaking tackles, running away from defenders and slicing up Green Bay’s defense. Also the offensive line was run blocking well to open up holes for Peterson. The Vikings ground game is in good shape as we head to New England next week.
– Percy Harvin. What a monster for the Vikings, both on offense and special teams. Harvin lines up in the slot, in the backfield, out wide, he motions, he shifts, he’s a dangerous kickoff returner. On Sunday night Harvin had 41 rushing yards (and a 17-yard TD) on 3 carries, he had 65 receiving yards on 5 receptions and he had 81 kickoff return yards on 3 tries. And he nearly had a dramatic game-winning grab in the back of the endzone that would’ve haunted Green Bay for years. As good as it is to see Harvin carve up defenses, it’s just as good to see the Vikings coaching staff’s ability to properly utilize him.
– Antoine Winfield. He’ll go a bit unnoticed because he didn’t have any splash plays, but he was terrific against Green Bay. Winfield played a lot in the slot and that means he played a lot against WR Donald Driver, and Driver was held without a catch. He’s one of Green Bay’s most reliable offensive weapons and he’s had a catch in over 100 straight games, but Winfield took him out of the equation.
– Offensive line. I thought Vikings QB Brett Favre had good protection for most of the night. In combination with RBs and TEs, the Vikings offensive line did a good job of picking up Green Bay’s blitzes and they did an excellent job of run blocking for Peterson and Toby Gerhart. This part of the Vikings has taken on some criticism as of late and against Green Bay they were solid. I can’t help but think that part of it is because of C John Sullivan’s return to the lineup.
– Toby Gerhart. It’s been a bit of a slow start for Gerhart since he arrived here last spring, but that’s the best I’ve seen Gerhart look. He did a great job with blitz pickup and pass protection and he had a nice burst with the ball in his hands. Gerhart had 24 yards on 5 carries and he also had a 6-yard reception. More important than those numbers, though, is that Gerhart looked quick and comfortable with the ball. I like what I saw from him and I look forward to watching him continue to develop.
– Creating turnovers. The Vikings defense has been very good in 2010, but the one criticism they’ve taken on has to do with creating turnovers. But against Green Bay they forced 1 fumble and also intercepted QB Aaron Rodgers twice. The Vikings play great “bend-but-don’t-break” defense, which is great, but a key to that style of defense is ultimately coming up with turnovers after stretching out the opponent’s drive. That’s what they were able to do against Green Bay and it’s something they’ll need to continue to do going forward.
– Chad Greenway. He led all defenders in the game with 12 tackles and he also forced a fumble. Three of Greenway’s 12 tackles came for a loss, too. He’s been all over the field this year and last night was no exception. Going a step further, Greenway has come off of 2 serious knee injuries, which is exactly what CB Cedric Griffin is doing right now. Griffin needs to look no further than his very own teammate for inspiration in his rehab.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, John Sullivan, Percy Harvin, Toby Gerhart
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 140 Comments »