Vikings Lose Preseason Opener To Titans

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 13, 2011 – 9:49 pm

The Vikings dropped a 14-3 decision to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday Night at LP Field in Nashville. The game represented each club’s preseason opener and each club surely came away knowing there is still plenty of work to be done before the regular season begins on September 11.

Both teams gave their starters the quick hook, so as to minimize their exposure to injury. That combined with the fact that offenses are even more behind pace than usual because of the lockout – which cancelled all offseason work – didn’t give fans a good look at what their club will look like in 2011.

Both the Vikings and Titans are featuring new, veteran starting QBs and both guys didn’t see much action. For the Vikings, Donovan McNabb went 6 of 11 for 40 yards with no TDs or INTs. He actually looked fairly sharp, converting a couple of 1st downs and using his athleticism to evade the pass rush a couple of times. One 1st-down completion was to WR Percy Harvin, a connection Vikings fans are itching to see more of once the season begins.

Matt Hasselbeck is the Titans new passer and he wasn’t any more sensational in his debut performance. Hasselbeck was 5 of 6 on the night for 55 yards with no TDs or INTs. Actually, the Titans relied on their running game for the most part in the first half. RB Jamie Harper had 8 carries for 27 yards and even found the endzone once.

Both of Tennessee’s TDs came in the 2nd quarter. Rookie QB Jake Locker entered the game once Hasselbeck left and he connected with Yamon Figurs for a 45-yard scoring toss on what turned out to be a near-botched play. Locker fumbled the snap, chased the ball down, picked it up and connected with Figurs, who had run behind the Vikings secondary when CB Chris Cook hesitated at the sight of the fumble. Tennessee’s second TD came on Harper’s two-yard run just moments later.

The Vikings finally got on the board in the 3rd quarter when Ryan Longwell was true on a 37-yard FG that capped an 11-play, 59-yard drive led by Joe Webb. Speaking of Webb, he came in once Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier decided to pull McNabb. Webb, who was quick to pull the ball down and vacate the pocket, was 4 of 8 for 45 yards with no TDs and 1 INT. But he did look good when running with the ball and he finished the night with 33 rushing yards on 5 carries.

Ponder was the third Vikings QB to enter and he flashed plenty of potential. While he wasn’t able to lead the offense to any points, the Vikings did go for it twice on 4th down when they were in FG range. Also, Ponder had two completions of 10 yards – including his first throw of the night, which was to fellow rookie Kyle Rudolph – and he also had another 16-yard completion. It was encouraging to see Ponder running around and making plays, especially with some of the plays coming downfield.

Defensively, it was new starting outside LB Erin Henderson who led the way. He had 10 tackles, which was far and away the team high. His older brother, E.J. Henderson, was tied with three others for second on the team in tackles with 3. E.J. Henderson also had a forced fumble.

There’s much more to go over from Saturday night’s game, including: a solid performance overall by the Vikings special teams group, RB Lorenzo Booker showing up in the box score, Jaymar Johnson taking a step forward and a couple of rookies showing up to make plays.

We’ll cover all of that and more right here on the over the next 24 hours, so stay tuned.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 101 Comments »

101 Responses to “Vikings Lose Preseason Opener To Titans”

  1. By Mike Wobschall on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    I’m going to put a pre-emptive comment on here to settle everyone down. I know the team lost 14-3 and the offense looked sluggish. Also, the defense gave up yardage at times early in the first half, which I’m sure is going to make a lot of you worried and frustrated. But remember, preseason game #1 is literally a glorified training camp practice. What I saw tonight is no different than what I see in Mankato at training camp when we have live portions of practice where the offense goes against the defense. Whether you win a preseason game 41-40 or lose a preseason game 40-0, it’s nothing to write home about and you have to consider it just one small piece to a giant puzzle. If this was Week 1 against the Chargers, it would be time to worry. But it’s the first preseason game after an offseason that had no OTAs, no minicamps and no offseason program. Offenses are still trying to meld, defenses are very vanilla and there is no game planning by the coaching staff.

    Instead of hearing people get negative and already call the season a failure, I want to know which players stood out – good and bad. I want to hear from you which QB looked the best. What can Joe Webb do to improve? What can Ponder do to look better? What did you guys think of individual performances? Who might have helped their cause tonight?

  2. By Shawn on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobschall … the Titans had the same excuses as we had no OTAs and blah blah blah

    BUT THEY WON !!!!

    now in the next post I will drop the negative and make suggestions as you ask

  3. By bob on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    shawn ur an idiot

  4. By Huy Nguyen on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Brandon Burton actually impressed me

  5. By Shawn on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobschall … heres my breakdown of tonights LOSS

    QB-McNabb looked ok but couldnt score

    QB-Webb / Ponder … Webb showed his athleticism again and NEEDS to be on the field in situations and packages / Ponder looked better than Webb in a QB sense and Im excited to see more of him … but he was facing MUCH LESSER talent

    RB-looks like a team strength but we already knew that … nothing suprised me here , and Booker had a nice game

    WR-hmm inconsistant … I was suprised Berrian caught a pass but not suprised he dropped one

    OL- ABSOLUTELY AWFULL … WE NEED A CENTER AND LT DESPERATELY, Love looked to do the best job but against MUCH LESSER talent …. I didnt notice Loadholt and Degeare much so maybe they played solidly …. BUT WE ARE VERY WEAK HERE

    I could rant about the lack of push and the constant pressure on our QBs all night but I wont

    TE- I saw some nice plays from the TE group missing Shiancoe

    DL- since Allen and Williams didnt play its hard to evaluate but besides the one play Ballard made they looked weak and were getting pushed all over the field ….

    Do our OL and DL lift weights? They just appear weak getting no push

    LBs- another team strength Erin Henderson played very well

    DBs- sigh much like the last 5 years they looked awfull, seems every QB we face looks All Pro and HoF bound when they play us … FANS HAVE BEEN DEMANDING A SAFETY FOR 3 YEARS …. it seems our front office places NO thought into safeties, they have been awfull since Sharper left

    Asher Allen … I DONT GET IT and I CANT SEE ” IT ” he gives up so many completions

    Chris Cook burned again

    My overall grade for this game FFF triple F …. EMBARRAS’SING

    3 points …. PFFFT

  6. By tru-speed on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    If Cord Parks plays that good all the time! pull chris cook!

  7. By adolfo gaya on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    hi mike
    i didnt like the game today for 1 reason
    our secondary still suck….Cook cant cover and cant tackle he needs to improve as well as asher allen….mistral raymond was better at practice….we need to put the pieces in place cuz withou Pat and Ray Edwards and Lebber gone….our defense will be a mess…..we need to put the best pieces in place, asher allen didnt work last year, so why putting him to play

  8. By Patrick on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Shawn … the point is winning means little to nothing for this type of game. Wobschall is right. I think come week 1 of the regular season this game will not have reflected at all how the team will play on a consistent basis.

    I will say that the offensive line was questionable throughout but that was to be expected. Ponder looked great at times. He seemed very composed and confident at times with the exception of the quick three step drops in the pocket, which needed some fine-tuning.

  9. By Shawn on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

  10. By rye on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    “no OTAs, no minicamps and no offseason program.”

    Many of the better teams around the league didn’t use those excuses and were executing just fine.

    If the Vikes are going to be a winner, maybe it’s time to stop making excuses.

    Still early, they can still turn things around, but I hope the coaching staff doesn’t sound like you.

    Just look at the Saints and the Patriots. They didn’t have any “OTA’s” either.

    Vikings need to get BETTER fast if they are going to be a contender this year.

  11. By suphxier on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Basically the Vikes 1st team scored zero points. The Titans 1st team scored zero points. It was a tie. So that’s covered.

    Now to the important pieces. If McNabb should get hurt, I would feel most comfortable with Ponder. Webb left the pocket too early. Ponder seems like with time he’ll get it. I believe he’ll be the #2 by week’s end.

  12. By suphxier on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Oh, and Shawn, relax, get a cat or something.

  13. By rye on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder did look good when he wasn’t running for his life. I think he will be a good qb in the future.

  14. By Garrett on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Exactly We don’t look good and it’s the offseason’s fault….take responsibility. We didn’t make any good moves for the team and now the management is retreating with their tails between their legs. This can’t be our excuse all one else had minicamps and whatever and a team is STILL gonna win a superbowl this year..get it together vikes. McNabb will be gone by the fourth game….Ponder is our future not some one year “vet” that NO ONE else wanted…why did we….I sure didn’t

  15. By Sprax on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry Shawn you’re an idiot and a lot of teams executed ‘better’ in terms of executing a preseason. Pretty much every team had a fault. Steelers weren’t hitting because they were not used to it. Bears were rusty on offense. Chiefs were as sluggish and they were in the playoffs last year. Also Titans weren’t too great either, Hasselbeck looked no different.

    Preseason is just that, preseason. And in a year where new players via FA couldn’t even practice till about the last ten days, and everybody else the last fourteen days, teams that have more new acquisitions are going to suffer more than teams that don’t. Packers? They already have chemistry, the majority of them know each other, also don’t have a new or anything honest. Steelers? About the same thing.

    Ravens? New players here and there and it showed. Calm down people.

  16. By sean on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    I think ponder could’ve kept his eyes downfield a little better but he showed surprising quickness and great composure

  17. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Mike W., I’m still waiting for your opinion on the new kickoff rule. The “pre-emptive” measures that you employ are simply not what Viking fans want to hear. Start naming names, our secondary is brutal.

  18. By Laura on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    I honestly don’t know how any of you can call your selves viking fans, if all you can do is point out the negative, best go on the titans fan page.

    That said…

    I think the vikings did well with who played. Maybe they didn’t score much, but a lot of those guys out there on the field aren’t starters, they are competing for back positions and such. Like Webb and Ponder are. This game got their feet wet and showed the coaches where these guys need to improve. We’ve got 3 more preason games, I believe we will improve.

    I do agree though that I think I would be more comfortable with Ponder as our 2nd QB, but I believe Webb and Ponder both did a great job.

    We are lacking though in the WR position, and they didn’t play Harvin much, so really there were no great receivers on the again, compared to those playing on the TN offense vs the offense we had on the field, I think they did the best they could.

    I think this season we could expect to see a lot of mistakes and such on the field due to lack of OTA’s and Mini Camps.

    However, I think we’ll see more healthier players, due to the extended vacation they had as well, longer time to heal all injuries, as last year there were a LOT of injuries in the league.

    So now that they are training in Winter Park, and have more closed practices, I believe we’ll see an improvement next week.

  19. By sean on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    @Laura i completely agree all people do on these blogs is point out the negative

  20. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Laura, I’ve been a Viking fan since 1968. I have travelled to Viking games throughout the Northeast and Midwest. Every game that I go to is an expensive road game. Can I not express my opinion on what I believe is an (ongoing) team weakness?

  21. By Mike B on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    This is a preseason game and doesn’t count for anything. With that said we still should have found a way to win. The offensive line didn’t gel on 1st,2nd or 3rd string. All 3 QBs were rushed tonight. I would say McNabb and Ponder handled this much better than Webb. Webb was too quick to pull the ball in and use his ability to run. If he would have looked around he could have passed and gained way more yards. He did make a rookie mistake throwing when a reciever was triple covered. Defensive Line and LB looked pretty solid against the run although did not stuff the run as we did before with the Williams Wall. Secondary was weak Locker was able to pass well against our secondary. I don’t think our current line up of players are up to the task in the backfield or depth is week. Jaymar Johnson may have won starting job with is great run during a punt. There were receivers getting open, but QB were rushed so not sure what to say about them. Coaches have a lot to do specifically OL and Defensive Secondary. Special teams looked good. Longwell is as steady as ever.

  22. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Mike B., I agree with most of your reasoning, but there are about 50 guys on the Vikings who would argue that the game counts for something….their job.

  23. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Viking fan here. Ponder is better than McNabb at this moment based on his athletic ability, his footwork, and more of all his accuracy. McNabb was 6/11 55% his career is 58% and he is at the tail end of his career. He did not play at all like the future hall of famer he is much more like the 6th round pick he was traded for. He lost his starting job by Rex and by Vick… was traded for a 6th round pick…. is that saying anything to you about what people think of him? To me it’s speaking loud and clear.

    AND BTW THAT’S NOT THE REAL MIKE WOBSCHALL COMMENT. You’re not there to ask us what the Vikings need to improve on but he’s there to tell us what’s going on. He doesn’t write like that. No game planning? The coach himself said that they took 4 days to game plan and study the Titans…. It’s everything to write home about…you want your units to play solid, physical, aggressive, and the ultimate goal win every game and show depth in a preseason game….. you take every little snap and you break it down to evaluate each player because there was not enough offseason to do so. We did not play like a well rounded team. First preseason or not.

  24. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Well right now there are probably around 90 guys on that team. Nova but good point. And isn’t the goal of every game is to WIN?!?

  25. By Cesar on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    embarrasing! asher allen chris cook are terrible what do u see in them?
    @Shawn your completely right you shouldve done the blog!

  26. By Cesar on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    and i hate how joe webb got in before ponder, ponder wouldve probably scored with the offense joe had….Joe webb is either scramble or incompletion or INT i dont see him being over ponder

  27. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Why think well every thing is fine and be completely ok with a loss? Keep saying that and if they start off to a bad season keep saying well everything is fine. I have a right to be negative if I spend my hard owned cash into this organization. I have every right to critique the performance of our team. EVERY RIGHT. I am a concerned Viking fan and everyone is ok with the way our units played? 3 points against an entire Titan team? Come on guys pick it up!

  28. By Cesar on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    and our weak DB’s made the “inaccurate” Locker look like Tom Brady

  29. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Be careful boys, we aren’t supposed to criticize.

  30. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Vikings 3 points. Bengals 3 points. 49ers 3 points.
    All three teams had their starting quarterbacks play. All three teams where awful last year.

  31. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Tavaris Jackson…….0 pts.

  32. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    3:30 a.m. here, goodnight, let us just beat Dallas!!!!!!1

  33. By Parody on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    There seems to be a lot of negativity in here, so I’ll stick to the positives that I saw tonight.

    Donovan McNabb looked solid for his first game with a new team. He was making accurate throws that could be caught by no one but the targeted receiver. Give hima little more time in the pocket and he will start to really impress the NFL.

    Booker looks like he’ll be a solid choice as the #3 RB. He was used often and was able to gain positive yards almost every time. Teach the kid to hang onto the ball when he gets hit and we won’t have a thing to worry about.

    Webb was showing good reason to use him in WIldcat plays, even if his decision making made a good argument for him to be the #3 QB.

    Jaymaar Johnson made a solid impression as a punt returner. I’ve been hopeful that he’d work his way into the starting rotation since midway through his first season, so I’m happy to see that his skillset is helping to give the offense good field position. Hopefully he can develop into a quality receiver as well, because quite frankly, I am still not seeing starting quality from Berrian.
    Okay, one negative comment, but I really think it needed to be said.

  34. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Give him more time this week, better running game next week, wide outs need to catch the ball in 2 weeks…. find an excuse for the dude just like you did for him when he was in Washington.

  35. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    A couple days ago everyone here thought ithis could be a great season for the Vikings. To deny that they are in trouble at the moment is crazy.

  36. By Donovan McNabb on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I thught I pwayed pretty gud. The guys catcha the futball and run. But I do less than 4 yads per throw. i trwad tat all that matter. Isa gave it my all. I don’t know bout the fans but Isa good player. I help out. I do wat the coacha tella me to do. be happy we may win one game this year isa hope.

  37. By SoCalVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    The opener against Vincent Jackson/San Diego Chargers could be ugly to watch against our secondary….

  38. By Chris on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Hicohornet please get over yourself. Adrian Peterson played one series and was barely out there. It’s a new offensive system. Are you really that ignorant, that spiteful that you’d dismiss everything this team could be? McNabb looked fine, I watched and I saw nothing wrong. Anyone who says Ponder is better or ready knows nothing about football

    Not to mention, a lot of the defensive starters were out. Did you remember what happened in Pre-season last year? Probably not..because it doesn’t matter as much. An NFL game is 4 quarters…I like what I saw so far and hope to see more progress. For a new offense they showed potential

  39. By Remember Met Stadium on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    lol, wow. All the comments blasting the “no OTAs” excuse. Every other team in the league didnt have OTAs either.

    That is correct, no other team did. But let me ask you this: How many other teams had a complete change over in their offensive coaching staff?

    Now STFU and go lay by your dish. They did fine for having only 2 weeks to work on stuff.

  40. By TrueFan182 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Settle down people….it’s preseason….alot of new players…it will take time for them to mesh together and learn new plays and schemes…good teams lost and bad teams won…it just means there backups are better..we didnt even play all our starters and pulled the ones that played early on….first game is like a month away…wait to start complaining if we do bad in that first game….alot will change between now and then,,,chill out and support your team!!!!!! Be a real fan!!!!!!

  41. By CA Norwegian on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    We can be patient. Mike is censoring this speech. But if our QBs are patient, they will get sacked, injuried or both. DMcN deserves more time than this. On a positive note, someone mentioned the kicking rule. We depended on some returns in the past from Percy… most of thiose points will be gone. But we will not need a long kickoff speicialist on the roster. Fewer kickers and fewer injuries are the good thing to this rule change. Enemic offenses who cannot block and score will be the looosers on the rule change. Donovan was endorsing the line in the interview. At least we will Play T-jack soon.

  42. By Digger on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    To all the possitive people out there, I give you a thumbs up! To the always negative ones, mainly Shawn and Gerrett, go some place else with negative minds and opinions. If anyone out there holds any kind of stock in the pre season and who wins and who loses, you need to get a life. Pre season is training camp against other people. Game one is starters for a series, then the other 70-80 guys play. Its not fair to judge 2’s and 3′ s and 4’s when they are going against others the same level. Game 2 is starters maybe the 1st quarter, then repeat of the rest from game one. Game 3 is usually starters for the 1st half then repeat of games one and 2. Game 4 starters don’t play! Even game one of the regular season is no time to panick. And Shawn, like the guy said earlier about getting a cat? Don’t do it, you will probably nit pick at the cat as well. Just go find another team to be negative about!

  43. By purplefizz on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    wow people need to calm down. its only preseason. i was a little disappointed with the secondary, chris cook and asher allen to be specific. cook had a lot of missed tackles and both of them got beat fairly often. i hope they hit the films and books harder. because they are still young, there’s still hope that they can become fairly decent dbacks. im exicted to see how they do next week.

  44. By Digger on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    To defend cook, for those of you who don’t understand football, when Locker fumbled the snap, cook reacted, which is normal, therefore the receiver got behind him. The play had nothing to do with his ability. you see it all the time. A possible botched play turned good. Duh!

  45. By purplefizz on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @hicohornet, LOL wow do you need a tissue? yes you are entitled to your own negative opinion but is whining and crying going to do anything but make you look like a fool? dont think so, keep you sorry ass attitude to yourself cause none of us want to hear or see that kind of b.s.

  46. By Digger on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    You tell him purplefizz! I hate negative people! SKOL Viks and I will keep watching the website and camp updates and continue to follow individuals and team progress!

  47. By animal26 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I thought it was a good outing, even though the offense only got 3 points. The only 2 things I would like to see is for the Offensive line to have a fire lit under them an put the opposing defensive linemen on their butts. Also, for the Secondary to play better, because their play out there, to simply put it was a joke. There is still a few more weeks to go, before the regular season, so hopefully this team will gel and improve to looking more like a competitive team that we know can contend for the Division title and the superbowl. SKOL!

  48. By Digger on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Hicohornet, WOW you have some issues. Every team played their starting QB’s. And if you are going to judge Mcnabb on one season in WASH, you need a life! If you hate the Viks and the players that much, go some place else and be negative! you possitive peeps, keep it up!

  49. By jv3rnon on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I knew it, didnt catch the game but my fellow vikings fans felt that our team is a progess. We weren’t agressive enough in FAs. Should have jumped on Olin Kreutz to play center, Bushrod for tackle,Braylon Edwards,Atari Bigby,Antwan Odom. Its so many players that were there and just want to rely on the our sorry players to get the job done. Its looks like a long year for our DBs besides Winfield and maybe Griffin.

  50. By Digger on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    We are starting to see what I was saying at the end of last year. Webb is a great talent, but not a starting franchise QB. In time, Ponder will pass him. Webb is best suited for the wildcat type formations, running back type stuff and WR. He is a stud in those areas and I love the fact that they have packages for him to do those things. Ponder will be our franchise QB.

  51. By Remember Met Stadium on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I expect the Vikings to be 4-12 this year. Anything more than that is gravy. I dont expect a lot from a brand new coaching staff in their first year. Like it or not, I at least consider this a rebuilding year. We have a very good cadre. If they can get the O line to start functioning as a unit and get Ponder a little action this year, I think we can expect very good things next year and a playoff run the year after.

    I like everything I see in Frazier. I cant think of 1 thing other than expecting BB to actually do his job for once, that the man has done or said that hasnt been right on the money. Never liked Chilly. Said they should have canned him and kept Tomlin and my feelings for him never changed. I havent felt this good about a Vikings coach since Bud, and that includes Burnsie. I think we have the best coach in the league right now. Every move he (and the guys in the office) have made has been excellent. I have faith that the ship is headed in the right direction.

    People need to be patient and wait for the ship to set sail though. Right now they are still loading the boat. Give it a couple of years.

  52. By Don on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I never liked asher allen..and i never like are safety’s..yes its going to be a llllloooonnnggg season for them

  53. By kane2976 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I was very Impressed by Brandon Burton and Erin Henderson, two very good and hard tacklers. Why are you all panicking? We didn’t have Jared Allen, Anthony Herrera, Antoine Winfield, Visanthe Shiancoe, Of course our team didn’t look great without them.

  54. By martin on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    last year the d line hardly had any pressure on the opposition qb in the majority of the games…beyond a couple of games at the end of the year allen was easily handled when he faced any quality ol…with so limited pressure our secondary has very llittle chance.. our ol was terrible in qb protection and in opening up running space for our rb…if these two issues continue it will be a very long season

  55. By OLD SCHOOL on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply


    Like I have said all along… Secondary… O-Line……..McChoke at QB..and 3 other teams in our own Division that are better than us..( 1-5 ) in our own Division this year!


    5-11 FOR 2011!

  56. By knight123 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Anybody tape the game? In the first quarter watch EJ. hit a hole or gap in the offensive line then look at the running back and he will be keying on EJ. EJ right running back left, they ran all over us. EJ was flying tonight but he only ended
    up with three tackles. His brother is a fast Dude he had ten tackles.
    I saw some hands on receivers tonight, only one dropped pass, and on that one the defender was all over him and I didn’t get a good look at it.
    Does Web have Happy Feet? At Seatle I hope to see the 1st string offense
    intact and on the field for some plays, I want see some two Tightend schemes.

  57. By OLD SCHOOL on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    OHHHH, and no real deep threat at Wide-out, now that Sid’s gone…..because Berian isn’t it!

    We have no real threat to keep the D honest!

  58. By OLD SCHOOL on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Last thing, can we get some Secondary players that don’t look as if they are playing 15 yards off the wide-outs!!!


    POSITIVE…..I think Ponder looks real good….real mobile!

    Start Ponder and get him in there…..starting McNabe is a waste of time and he is only here to put A#$%$ in the stands of fans that have no football I.Q. and think we have a chance this season!

  59. By Bigfan1 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    The returning champs lost to the BROWNS! Quite a few great teams from last year lost their respective openers. Mike W. is right this just another practice. I like from clips what Ponder did, Ballard, and Johnson.

  60. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with Shawn and others who rightly point out that there should not be excuses like new coach, new QB, lack of training camp, etc for the Vikes…..guess what the Titans have new coach, new QB, lack of trainig camp…..THEY CAME OUT AND DOMINATED OFFENSIVELY AND DEFENSIVELY.
    1st, 2nd, & 3rd string were all Titans.WHY? Are they that much more talented? Do they have more desire? Do they have a better game plan?
    I for one, would like some concrete answers as to why we were ineffective.

  61. By Jeffbleedspurple on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I could care a less if we win or not ” Shawn” pre-season is what it is, to evaluate the players and see which of the unproven players can stand up and be counted on to do there job, and who will be sent packing. Ponder looked good, I hope next week that the Vikes put him behind the starting line up. Webb is not QB material. What has been said all off season still holds true, OL and secondary needs much improvement. Johnson last night looked like another McKinnie, except McKinnie was a higher ranked lineman. I noticed Love made some good blocks, could b e potential there. Did Jenkins even play last night?

  62. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Here is a quote from the Titan’s coach on ESPN:

    “We all know it’s a preseason game but no matter what you do, you win it,” Munchak said.

  63. By Old School on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    For the ones that say that it was 0-0 on first team -VS- first team………WAS THAT NOT #31 CHRIS COOK GETTING BURNT FOR A JAKE LOCKER TD PASS?


  64. By Garett1212 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Negative people are the way they are bc thats all they look at. Pessimistic idiots. Team should take hicohornets piont of view & just throw in the towel. Spend your money elsewhere. Maybe u should strap some pads on. Dont know if we’ll make SB run, but hopeful we’ll be better than last year. Got some gaps to fill, new offensive scheme/players, & young players to groom. Need lil time Pleased with direction we’re going. Game didn’t mean anything. Pitts lost to washington. Does that mean they’re the better team? Nope.

  65. By tru-speed on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Rice is not that good! and was not worth the money he wanted!!!!!(check his stats) come on people its pre-season!!!!!!! Cord Parks kinda looked like a young winfield!!

  66. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Friday’s game between TB @ KC(teams we play soon) showed both ends of the spectrum with what Wobs is saying. tampa bay appeared to be a team close to ready for Game 1. The chiefs looked horrible like a team in training camp with just a few practices. I thought the vikes would fall in the middle but they did not, sorry Mike

    Look guys asher is only 5’9″ tall. At least he plays all out to the best of his ability. Time to blame Pagac and Speilman for our DB problems imo. undersized and undertalented issues go back several years

  67. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    If the preseason games were not important, then all teams would simply play them as scrimmages, not keeping score.
    The reason for keeping score is to ultimately see who wins the contest……it is important to establish a winning attitude from day one.
    Teams play each game to win. period. nobody plays the game to “well..let’s see how we do and it is not important if we don’t win………

  68. By Remember Met Stadium on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Yes, by all means – the preseason is soooooo important. Winning in pre-season has such a major impact on the rest of the year.

    Ummmmm, maybe not. Go back and look at the pre-season “records” of teams that won the super-bowl. I’ll wait . . . .


    Ok, tell me again how important winning in pre-season is. I need the laugh.

  69. By skolpurpleandgold on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    looked like there is alot of work to do. saw some good things but alot of mistakes. Cook looked like he was half asleep on D. And an offensive play that sticks out is the long throw from Nab to Berrian along the sideline…. Berrian needs to attack the ball and not let it come to him, the defender was in good position to pick it. thats a throw that Rice would have made by going up for it and Berrian needs to do the same.

  70. By Lucas on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Well Burton impressed me with that sack. I liked how McNABB sought the first downs by making smart check down throws. Ponder looked good. Our 2nd/3rd string o line let him get sacked 4 TIMES though. That’s horrible and no one can look great. Kept his eyes downfield during the pressure. I liked that. Joe Webb played like I expected. A non QB who can’t evaluate what happening in the pocket and just runs runs runs. If he were to play in the regular season all a team would have to do is play run and pass rush. Cause either Peterson is running or Webb is breaking the pocket. I could barely watch Webb tonight. Ponder impressed me

  71. By Remember Met Stadium on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I know the play you are talking about skol. The defender was watching the ball for a good 3 seconds before BB even looked for it. Hard to make plays when you dont know whats going on. Does show how good McNuggets is though. If BB had turned to look a few seconds earlier and put his hands up, the ball would have floated right in. His 6 of 11 is misleading. He was dead on the money most of the time.

  72. By Derik on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    To those saying that winning preseason games actually matters remember one thing. The Lions were undefeated in the preseason the year that they didn’t win a single regular season game.

  73. By Mark B on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Hold on here – before everyone jumps on the “Vikes will be 4-12 this year at best” bandwagon, lets keep one thing in mind. BOTH coordinators (offense AND defense) had a VERY vanilla game plan in place for this game. They didn’t want their young players out there trying to think about what formation they are in and what their responsibilities are too much, they wanted to see them go out and as Pagac would say, “Play like their heads were on fire”. Keep it simple, get some reps and reinforce CONCEPTS that they will then build on. I went into this game not expecting greatness – just get everyone off the field in one piece with some “at speed” reps and some game film (both good and bad) to go over with the guys.

    While it is nice to come out on top according to the scoreboard in preseason games, let’s keep some perspective on what this game was really about – evaluating young talent, as well as building rapport and getting better timing offensively. I don’t think we have seen what this team is capable of. In the episode of Vikings Game Plan, Musgrave said he was going to be “vanilla” to:
    1. Reinforce concepts
    2. Not “tip his hand” on what the offense will look like.

  74. By josh_lanky88 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I know the starters didn’t score, but they were only in for 2 series it’s not like they played 60 minutes and got shut out! Plus a lot of the starters didn’t play!

    The Secondary does suck, it has sucked for as long as I can remember! Why we don’t ever address our needs in the defensive backfield I don’t know!

    Ponder was decent, he was better the Webb but I believe he will remain 3rd on the depth chart because I think Frazier doesn’t want pressure to put him in if McNabb struggles!

  75. By TrUViKeSFaN on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I have been reading these posts for weeks and not commenting, but now I feel it’s time. FIRST OF ALL, McNabb did good for what i saw so far, and I’m happy to have him on our team. It seem like a lot of you, don’t know ANYTHING about football. Our starters barely played, and a decent amount of them, didn’t play in the game AT ALL. When, we play against the Chargers, that will be our REAL Vikings team, and I think we will win that game. I do agree that our secondary was looking weak,but Antoine Winfield, Mistral Raymond,and Cedric Griffen,didn’t play AT ALL, so I can’t say our secondary is actually weak, I would just say, we are learning who to cut before the Chargers game. No matter who you are, it takes time to gel together, when playing on a new team, with new schemes. I am a TRUE Vikings fan, and that first game didn’t really bother me, I could see if AP and the rest played the whole game, but they didn’t, so why SOOOOOOOOOO MANY negative comments??? Go to the Packers page or switch your favorite team, if Vikings are not satisfying you. I honestly see us in the playoffs, and who knows, we may make the Super Bowl. People didn’t think that the Seahawks would kill the Saints in the playoffs last year, but they did, and nobody thought the Cardinals would make it to the Super Bowl and almost beat the Steelers, but they did. No negativity from me, until the first regular season game against the Chargers, but I don’t think it will even come then, because we will win. GO VIKES GO!!!!

  76. By William on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Why Didn’t Thomas Welch play?

  77. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    While I agree that preseason records of W/L mean nothing, it seems only logical to expect the team to play with intensity, focus, execution, timiing, etc.
    To all who say “we don’t wish to show our hand” B.S.
    That only applies to poker. This is FOOTBALL. You go out and hit, tackle, block, pass, catch ,run.
    Practice with half-effort produces results with half-effort.
    The Titans were ready to play with new coach new QB short minicamp, just like us. No excuses, period they played better than we did.
    We need to step it up. period.

  78. By TrUViKeSFaN on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Rocksalt…You know NOTHING about football I see, Go to your Tennesee Titans fan page!!!! Different coaches have different styles, and playing this preseason like poker(I’m LOVING IT)!!! I don’t care what you say, it’s smart that we are not trying to give it our all, and risk injuries, just for a fan’s excitement for a preseason game. Do you really think that with our starters vs Titans starters would be the same outcome??? If so, you really are crazy!!! I just can’t wait to see all of you Vikings haters look stupid, when we have a good season!!! Fans, shouldn’t give a care what happens in preseason, it doesn’t count towards our record and doesn’t determine the regular season. I guess since the Falcons, Bears, Vikings, Ravens, Steelers, and packers lost their first preseason game, they will suck in the regular season?? You negative non football fans, gives me a good laugh. LMAO

  79. By Parody on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    To all the negative people who are saying that we must be horrible because we didn’t win the game; why are NONE of you complaining about the decision to go for it on 4th and short twice? Both times, we were in chipshot range for Longwell, but the coach decided to try and get a first down. Those decisions could very well have made the difference in the game, but nobody is whining about it. WHY?

    Because the game didn’t matter! The coach decided to test out the players on a situational down instead of doing everything to win a meaningless game. The coaches were trying to give everybody experience throughout the game so that they have enough film to evaluate while they start deciding how they are going to trim 40% of the team away.

    That’s RIght! 40% of the guys who were at the game today aren’t even going to make the final 53-man roster! We know a lot of guys who are, and rested a fair share of them for the entire game, (J.Allen, K.Willaims, A.Winfield, C.Griffin, V.Shiancoe, plus Herrera was out with an injury), while the rest of the guaranteed starters were only in for a couple of series each.

    So those of you who are panicking, GIVE IT UP! The game was lost mostly by players who are not even good enough to call themselves a backup once the season starts. The coaches are just giving them all experience so that they can decide which players will make the cut for the backup teams.

  80. By Carl K on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Preseason is preseason. Out scoring the other team is not the ultimate goal.
    #1 – A Team wants to come away without any major injuries. – I think we did that. I don’t know of any injuries at this point. Knock on wood.
    #2 – limit sloppyness – 4 penalties in the opening preseason game is a positive we can bulid upon.
    #3 – A team wants to be able to move the football – The Vikings had 14 first down compare to 15 for the Titians.So I would say that the way we moved the football with McNabb and Ponder, is a POSITIVE we can bulid upon. We generated alot of yards with out really using AP or Harvin. That was good to see!
    #4 – Turnovers – Titans had 14 points off the Vikings 2 turnovers. I think it was the big difference in the game. The positive is McNabb and Ponder did a great job running our offense and protecting the football and managing the game. That was good to see. Defensively we need to find a way to create turnovers.
    #5 – Players stepping up – Joe Webb looked good running the football… we just need to find a way to put him in the right position at the right time. Erin Henerson looked like a starting OLB and confirmed our linebacker corp is solid. Jaymar Johnson showed some explosion as a punt returner which is what the Vikings are looking for. I would say our special teams played well.
    #6 – Our DB’s got schooled, but think about it… We didn’t have up front pressure from Kevin Williams or J. Allen, and we didn’t have Windfield or C. Griffen in the backfield.
    #7 – The Vikings got a good look at some younger guys- Ballard, Brandon Burton, Cord Parks, Mark Washington, K. Rudolph and D’Aundre Reed are just a few guy take got an chance to flash some good plays.

  81. By TrUViKeSFaN on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Parody and Carl K..I AGREE with you 110%!!! The people that are bringing all of this negativity, obviously knows NOTHING about football. I’m just glad that they’re REAL FANS still out there, that understands it was just the FIRST PRESEASON GAME and not the FIRST REGULAR SEASON GAME!!! I just want to give a shout out to ALL of the REAL Vikings fans!!!

  82. By TrUViKeSFaN on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    OH YEAH!!! People must of not noticed the no calls and bad calls against us either in the game, we just was completely horrible, let other people tell it. SMDH LMAO!!!

  83. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Wins or losses in the presseason including the score doesn’t matter. It’s the performance. We played awful. To deny that means you know nothing about football. I have a right to be negative if I go out and buy the tickets. The guys need to play better. We are on a road to success because we have a young talented quarterback who is very smart. NOT because we have McNabb. Play Ponder and get him reps so when Adrian is 28 29 years old Ponder will be more ready.

  84. By John on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    the pre season reflects the practice and practice reflects on an important game. In high school if we lost a scrimmage we would run till we puked. i think it should be looked at the same way in pros come one we cant make excuses. Us fans dont want to see a 6-10 season!!!! step it up vikes!!!

  85. By Frederick Jones on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    One thing’s for sure, we won’t get this many blogs if the Vikings win.

  86. By Frederick Jones on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply


    You made a good comment about he Vikings having 90 guys on the team. How many did they play?


    How much momentum can you build in a game playing that many guys???

  87. By TrUViKeSFaN on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Hicohornet..I understand that everybody has the right to their own opinion, but you are NOT, the only one who buys tickets. Our coach knows what he is doing, he is just trying to figure out how the younger guys would react to the speed of the real game. Basically, all I’m saying is that it was PRESEASON game 1 and NOT REGULAR SEASON GAME 1. Our REAL team wasn’t out there and everybody didn’t look AWFUL out there, that’s why you have preseason games to see who stays and who doesn’t. I do have faith in Ponder, all I’m saying is that McNabb didn’t look bad last night to me, and I don’t care what anyone says. I want Ponder to be ready and help lead us to the Super Bowl, but he has to adjust to this new speed in the NFL. Our team started to play better in the second half, and they are going to continue to get better, as the season goes on.

  88. By TrUViKeSFaN on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply


    I agree, I don’t think we would be getting this many blogs if we won either. LOL

  89. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Go play poker you …. probably never even played sports……..

  90. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    and as for your poker “not show your opponent your hand” philosophy…….there is a quote from Vince Lombardi…..ya know who he is?
    Well he is quoted as saying “….everyone knows what we are going to do……..we’re just gonna do it better than anyone else.”
    BTW I am niether a Titans nor Green Bay fan….I AM A VIKINGS FAN since 1970 …but I feel that true fans can call attention to team faults and apso, I am secure enough to give credit to opposing teams when credit is due without worrying about my FANHOOD………..
    So go back to your little sandbox and hopefully you will learn some things…..

  91. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    How does Ponder get better and becomes ready? By riding the bench? NO He iether has it or doesn’t have it… and to me he has it. Let’s find out gives us better chances in the future to win a Super Bowl the faster he picks up on things and learns from his mistakes.

  92. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    By the way I know why they have preseason games. It’s to evaluate players and cut who needs to be cut right now it’s the entire secondary that played poorly. (i said right now)

  93. By Tom on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    The vikes looked pretty solid at skill positions on offense. However, that doesn’t do you much good when you have our offensive line. I think my 83 year-old grandmother could have gotten to Donovan through our o-line. Our defensive backfield still needs some work, granted niether one of our starting corners played Saturday. I think this will be a good year. Still plenty of work to do but you can’t put too much stock in preseason game 1.

  94. By FLAVIO on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    relax guys……Browns beat Packers in pre-season ,does that make them a Super Bowl contender…….take it easy ,yes the vikies have to get better and they will

  95. By Mark B on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    Tom, how many sacks did our starting (minus Herrera) OL give up? I can remember a couple of occasions where there was good pressure on McNabb, but he rolled out (like you would expect a 13 year vet) and escaped. The couple of times that didn’t work, he put one pass on the hands of a receiver (BB) but it was dropped (go figure, mainly cause he can’t create separation) and the other time the running back broke deep when the pocket broke down when he should have come back to the QB (McNabb – right handed – was rolling to his left).

    While not happy with the way the team executed on either side of the ball (what fan could honestly say that) I’m not ready to start beating them up on the blogs because of one PRESEASON game where the personnel changed more often than Packers fans change their underware. If they still look like this in game 3 I can see the outrage/panic because the starters will get more than 12-15 snaps, but until then let’s not panic and show some faith in the coaching staff.

  96. By hicohornet on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    We all know the Packers have talent. More talent than us. So the score didn’t indicate anything but the way they played did. They where crisp. We didn’t play football. The Saints won and they played hard aggressive football. Their defense hit hard and ganged tackled their running game worked to profection. The Lions defense played really well. They too played great. The Falcons looked really good. The Falcons showed that they have the ability to put up major points this year. Tampa looked solid. Those are NFC teams that are way ahead of us right now. We are no where near where they are. We may be able to compete with the Lions for second place, but with that said 2nd place in the North will not get us into the playoffs whne you have teams like the Giants, Bucs, Saints or the Falcons playing for two wild card spots. The other teams who scored 3 points… The Bengals & the 49ers… yeah that’s just about where we are.

  97. By Mark B on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    And for those who are arguing against not “tipping your hand” I say this: why would you want to go out there on 9 padded practices, try to use the whole playbook and look like a bunch of rubber-legged fools? The QB’s WOULD have taken far more hits due to missed assignments, the team would have looked even worse than they did and you would be giving all 16 teams that the Vikes would play in the regular season 4 more games of film to study in preparation. By not “tipping his hand,” Musgrave has kept pretty much all the surprises he has in his offensive playbook a secret and had a better chance to evaluate the talent and reaction of his young players to a live football situation. The less time the players spend trying to remember the terminology for this formation or that blocking scheme, the better chance you have to see how fundamentally sound they are – making the cut down to the 53 man roster that much easier.

  98. By Mark B on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    Are the Packers, Falcons, Lions, Bucs or Saints installing a completely new offense with a new starting QB all while changing most of the faces in the offensive coaching staff?

    While that may sound like an excuse, let’s call it what it is – fact. The only person who had complete access to the playbook (Ponder) won’t even be starting at his position – and I seriously doubt that the playbook that he got went unchanged in the months during the lockout.

    While I applaud Frasier for not using the lockout, missing OTAs etc as an excuse, it does put the team – the offense in particular – behind the 8 ball. Expecting any sustained momentum with 10 days of practice in a new system is ludicrous at best.

  99. By eric house on Aug 16, 2011 | Reply

    Let me play devils advocate for both causes….
    Ya see ya both have very good points here….
    First a loss is NEVER a good thing because it means the other guys BEAT you… now this is true…. and it alswo is true that the Titans came into the gam,e starting the season the same way we did… however…

    It also needs to be understood that the Vikings did not play this game as if it was a real game they played it just to look at as many playersw as they could while at the same time keeping our starts in as a little of harms way as poissible…… anyone think things would have been the same shall we say if Peterson had played the entire game??????

    So guys take it easy… remember at the end of the day we are all VIKINGS fans!!!!!

    Football is back!!!!

    We have a good experienced quarterback and we have a young guy that looks like he could be the future… and Webb shows that he could back up either of them if needed.. try to remember not that long ago we wondered if we whjere gonna have a quarterback….

    Its a loss but it has no bareing on the regular season…. none of our soldiers got hurt in this game….

    We got a look at strengths and weaknesses….

    Lets get ready to rumble!!!!! lol

  100. By Rocksalt on Aug 16, 2011 | Reply

    Eric house-
    You make good points except for your analogy “if we played Adrian all game…….” well, neither team played their starters very long….my concern is their 1st ,2nd, and 3rd stringers outplayed ours…..

  101. By eric house on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Rocksalt your right they did outplay our 2nd and 3rd stringers but I do not believe our 1st stringers or theres for that matter really played long enough to give us a real idea of what things would have been like if it had been our first stringers vs their first stringers….

    I mentioned Peterson in particular bnecause of his ability top be able to change all the dynamics of the game.

    He is expl;osive and 2 of his runs could be for touchdowns at anytime in the game….

    Keeping this in mind….

    The game would have been totally diferent and I just do not believe this game gave either tedam or any of us what a real game between us would be like.

    However I listen and respect other peoples points of view and I could be completely wrong here…

    Time will tell…..

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