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McNabb, Vikings Offense Take Step Forward

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 21, 2011 – 6:05 am

While winning games is always nice, teams strive for improvement during the preseason. On Saturday night in Seattle, the Vikings accomplished both objectives. Coming off a 14-3 loss to Tennessee in their preseason opener last week, the Vikings took a step forward this weekend and notched a 20-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

Another outstanding effort from the entire special teams group and a solid performance from the defense anchored the Vikings effort against Seattle. But the improvement made by the Vikings first-team offense should not go unnoticed, especially considering both WR Percy Harvin and TE Visanthe Shiancoe were missing from action.

The Vikings first-team offense didn’t see much of the field in the 1st quarter – they had just two minutes of possession and ran just 3 plays. But a goal line stand by the second-team defense set the stage for Donovan McNabb and Co. to hit their stride for about half the quarter.

Following the goal line stand, the Vikings first-team offense took over 1st and 10 from their own 1-yardline. Despite the fact it’s a preseason game, beginning a drive on your own 1-yardline on the road with the crowd screaming for a safety is not exactly the most comfortable position. But McNabb, a 13-year NFL veteran, handled the situation with poise and guided the offense downfield.

The first play from scrimmage was a 2-yard completion to Adrian Peterson, which gave the offense a little bit more breathing room. The second play from scrimmage was another pass, and McNabb stood tall in the pocket and delivered a 17-yard completion to rookie TE Kyle Rudolph. That got the Vikings out to the 20 and it set up TE Jim Kleinsasser for a 23-yard reception on the next snap. In a matter of moments, McNabb guided the Vikings from the shadow of their own goal post to midfield.

A few Peterson carries left the Vikings with a 2nd and 10 from the Seattle 45, which is when McNabb stood in the pocket again and found WR Michael Jenkins down the left side. Jenkins positioned himself beautifully on the play, as he cut in front of the CB and made a back shoulder grab while falling to the ground. A penalty two plays later eventually stalled the drive and the Vikings settled for a FG.

Yes, the Vikings offense needs to convert those drives with TDs and it was disappointing to see a false start penalty ultimately stall the drive. But given the current circumstances – new QB, new offense, no Harvin or Shiancoe – it was good just to see the Vikings march 81 yards in 13 plays and chew up more than 7 minutes of the game clock. Additionally, we saw a great illustration of a veteran QB guiding the offense through a tough situation – backed up against your own goal line on the road.

As we said after last week’s game against Tennessee, the effort by the offense tonight was acceptable and encouraging. Now, the key is to see improvement this week during practice and a step forward in next weekend’s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at Mall of America Field.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 49 Comments »


49 Responses to “McNabb, Vikings Offense Take Step Forward”

  1. By Jeffbleedspurple on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    It may be a stupid question, but I have to ask, were was Berrian when all this was going on? I don;t know if I was half asleep or what, but I recall seeing a busted up play and asking myself, was that Berrian? my eyes are not as sharp as they used to be :D

  2. By Matt on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    What up DMac – Super Bowl Homeboy!

  3. By Thai on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Berrian is not turning out the breakout receiver we need him to be. I think we should cut him not because our other receivers are better but because they flash greater potential. We’ve seen what berrian brings and it ain’t much.

  4. By Carl Brodin on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    B

  5. By Woodboat on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    @ Thai….. agreed.

  6. By Woodboat on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Wobs…. Please get the “Tags” section of this site cleaned up… seeing Brad Childress’ name staring me in the face every time I come on here is offensive :)

  7. By Carl Brodin on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Berrian needs to go. He is either hurt or cant catch thats all that needs to be said. We might need a new left tackle Johnson nearly gets Mcnabb killed. Maybe we need to give Patrick Brown some practice just in case. otherwise i think i like what i seen from the offence especially the tightend position. Wide recievers are decent. Line backers look solid Adrian Awasome looked real good. It was nice to see some more starters in the game. Safties looked average. Since of enthusiasm about the CB position we still need to clean up the mistakes.

  8. By lawl on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    in all seriousness im sad we lost rice, berrian has some big shoes to fill as one of the main wide receivers we have on our roster… id love to see anyone step up besides percy harven. with mcnabb it would be nice to have 2 wide receiver threats. i love watching kleinsasser still at tight end!!! i was so hypped about joe webb!!! obvious candidate for wild cat offense, also if he isnt a prospect for QB could he be a wide receiver?

  9. By SmileyStar on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Joe is progressing. I’m not a Mcnabb fan after watching him here in DC. Saw some good stuff from our guys fighting to get a spot on the first team. This game was personal for the Vikes, so we will see if they can show progress against the cowgirls.

  10. By Parody on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Nice game this week. Next week’s game should be the most telling of our starters. Game 3 is usually the game where the projected starters play in more than in any other preseason game. Couple that with the fact that it’s the first time back in the Metrodome since its collapse, and expectations will be exceptionally high.

    The Cowboys are supposed to be a lot better than they were when we beat them in the Dome last year, but that may just be the hype following “America’s Team”. In our last two encounters the Cowboys performed much worse than they were supposed to, so I expect the Vikings to embarrass them once more next week.

  11. By TonyO on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Agree that many names have to be purged from the “tags” section…………Also agree that Berrian is a major bust………on the upside, Gerhart likes like he is running, blockin, and catching on a higher level and may be a huge piece to the offensive puzzle…..thrilled to see T-Jack and McKinnie gone, the former due to lack of talent, the latter for lack of work ethic………..

  12. By Bigfan1 on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Overall, a good progression from last week,, the second string D looks awesome. I like Ponder, he’s doing great, but the O line is a problem watching Ponder get rushed, hurried, and sacked, we really need two good O tackles. Looks like Donovan is more comfortable.

  13. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    T-Jack would ride the pines in the CFL.

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

    I would still like to hear why Rick Spielman didn’t even try to compete to keep Rice with the Vikings. Since Rice released the issue last week there is no word on why from the Vikings personel. I would like this question answered and I am sure others would too. All this plus pumping up Berrian’s ability smells fishy. Berrian hasn’t show anything in the first two preseason games. Time to be straight with the fans. My two cents anyway. Take care

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

    Not to defend TJack but the first and second string defense wasn’t giving him much time to throw. This is a weakness and the Vikings too advantage of it but keeping a pass rush on him all the time. They stopped the run and kept pressure on TJack Front Defensive Core didn’t well first and second string.

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

    oops need to proof read before sending lol. TJack has a weakness of not being able to find open receivers when being rushed. Vikings knew and kept the pressure on. The D also stopped the run, so that was the reason for the 13-0 half. First and Second String defense did well in the game.

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

    OLine was much improved with exception of two mistakes. One mistake caused a 4 and out. The other cost us 7 points. I think the first string offense looked pretty good overall. Dallas will show us more. McNabb was doing well. Webb got it and looked for his open receivers before pulling in the ball. Ponder made a great throw with 3 defenders in the area to gain yardage.

  18. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Has anyone noticed that even though T-Jack has a strong arm, he cannot throw the ball deep with any accuracy or touch, and rarely tries? I can’t believe Seattle gave him 8 Million$. Oh well, he’s their problem now.

  19. By Parody on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Yes Nova, I’ve noticed that too. TJack couldn’t even hit Rice deep downfield when everyone knows that you just have to put the ball near the guy and he’ll find a way to haul in the catch. Instead, Jackson was sailing the ball over his head and out of bounds. So it looks like Rice made a career mistake accepting Seattle’s offer while Seattle made the mistake of entrusting Jackson as their uncontested starter. Everything I’ve seen out of Whitehurst tells me that he is the better QB at the moment, but what I understand is that Bevell will not allow him to compete for the job.

  20. By Thai on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    @mike b.. Oline much improved? Slight improved but still too weak. Read every single article written about the Vikings and every analyst comments on how suspect our line is. Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s one of our weakest links right now. Our running game is struggling and we can blame petterson, gerhart and Booker or the oline. I’m pretty sure the blame doesnt rest with the rbs.

  21. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Parody, Bevell might have to eventually, to keep his own job. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes right now. You are 100% correct about Whitehurst being the better QB.

  22. By Nicholas on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    I agree that Berrian should be cut. We have too much young talent that can step up and replace him. Our recently acquired Free agent recievers have been looking great, too.

    I also agree that we really need some answers as to why we didn’t even try to retain Sidney Rice????

    Mike W. please release this information.

  23. By Thai on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    I must agree with the front office on letting rice go. The price was way too steep. He is good and we won’t be able to replace him too soon but he is injury prone and too high priced. We need the money for greenway and petterson. Besides let’s think of all the high priced receivers seattle overpaid for and how they turned out. Burleson, branch, tj hoosh….none finished their contracts and were cut after subpar performances. Rice will be cut too after sub par performances with tjack and Whitehurst.

  24. By CA Norwegian on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    It will be interesting to see where Edwards ends up statistically this year. Will the boxing help?.

    All those greenbacks went to Sidney and he did nothing to justify it in our first matchup. The Cards in the West, Vikes in the North, Giants or Eagles in the East. Saints or f’Cons in the South. GB is very good, but bad things will happen to unravel them this year.

    It looks like the formula of overpaying the skill players and underpaying most of the OL has travelled to Seattle.

  25. By GOVIKES on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Sidney did not want to be a Viking, whey are yall still being loyal to him??? He overplayed his injury last year so he wouldn’t have to play and wanted WAY too much money for the kind of receiver he was anyway. I’m glad he is gone because he was whiney, weak, had ONE good season, and had a bad work ethic…good ridance. Oh yeah, go VIKES!!

  26. By Boosted01 on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    I felt our defense did very well against the seahawks. It was nice seeing the pressure on the QB. Henderson had a great game. I like the talent im seeing from the younger guys, Berrian needs to step it up. We have great talent on this squad, now we just need to put it to use. I was upset when Jared Allen did’nt punish Tavaris on that sack, but it was still a great effort. Great Game!

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

    The issue is that they didn’t even try hard to keep him(Rice) a viking. Our current reciever core is not even to the quality of Rice. It would be proper to get this quesiotn answered. I am not buying that Rice didn’t want to be a Viking.

    I do buy off that last year was a total mess and Childress had no ability to control star players. It brought about the results of the season and the end of his job.

    The question is why not retain your No.1 receiver the cost have been worked out, but not to contact him that’s not right. We need some answers please.

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

    OLine was better but no it’s not great by any means. The running game was not as good as it should be. The pass protections was better. McNabb was blindsided that wasn’t good. But there is improvement.

  29. By Stoney on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Mike B, your living in the past man, move on, it’s over, Rice is gone.

  30. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    If T-Jack is his QB, Rice will find himself making more tackles than catches.

  31. By VeGAsVIkE on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    I bet TJack gets benched before the end of the year. I read a blog from a Seahawks fan that said “I don’t understand why TJ checks out so early on every play, then drops back only to make a poor pass or get sacked” I’m thinking “uhhh, that’s why he’s not in purple anymore”
    Free BB

  32. By koolie on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Please get the tabs up to date.

  33. By PuRpLe 'n GoLd on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Rice was a valuble player with out a doubt, i hope all goes well for him in seattle. On the other hand, by watching last nights game i was impressed with mosty all of our recievers! Even Kleinsauser had a nice 23 yard gain, McNabb seemed quick and sharp, the redskins did let him go to soon…shame on their part. Also congradulations to Marcus Sherels for the 64 yard pick 6, that with the rest of our defense looked pretty sturdy last night, cant wait for the next game!!

  34. By PuRpLe 'n GoLd on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    I also agree with the above comments, that blindsided tackle on McNabb was a downer but i did see some improvement from the game in Tennesee, our running game wasnt anything special really….but when our starters were out there we did pass more than running so we didnt get to see as much of AP as we would like, not trying to make an excuse or anything. Im sure he’ll shine come season opener, and Lorenzo Booker has potential in my opinion.

  35. By PuRpLe 'n GoLd on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Last note, does anybody know what happened to Harvin? I didnt see him on the field last night

  36. By Parody on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Harvin is a little sore, (bruised ribs is the report), and the team is deciding to keep from agravating the injury in a meaningless game. Harvin’s a lock at the position anyways, so it gives the coaches a lot more time to evaluate all the other players fighting for a spot on the WR depth chart.

  37. By pjack on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    My question is… if we’re getting similar play and results from both McNabb and Ponder — do you start Ponder and allow him to grow this year instead of waiting until next year? Webb is okay, but likely suited for a backup role or position change at some point.

  38. By vikings fan1955 on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    this game should let ppl see that u can’t judge a team on one game. There were so many negitive comments after the first game and many seem to forget there were very few camps compared to what teams get to have every year.i see the plan that coach frazier has and it’s coming together on both sides of the ball. Now I see we have a true starter in mc nabb and a very capable even though raw qb in ponder, he is the future qb for this team and will carry them a long ways. So be patient viking fans this will be a very good yr and no matter what anyone say we have as good a chance as anyother team to go all the way.

    Just think we didn’t have harvin or schonice in this game and still looked pretty good so I thinking all the way. Now for the Mc Nabb doubters if u watched this game u will see why he’s the man this yr, he can runbut knows how and when to stay in the pocket to make a throw under pressure. I think as long as he stays healty 3/4 of the season ponder will learn a lot from him. We look goo this game not great but good and I’ll take that

  39. By John on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    What is going to happen to pat williams, and Hank Baskett? I think that you should resign pat williams cause he was a lot of help on the front line in the defense. I do like how our team is looking right now. I just hope that this year the vikings can do the best that they can.

  40. By Parody on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    @John – Pat Williams has gotten too old. His production has dwindled over the past few years, and it’s time to move on with younger prospects.

    Baskett should have never been on the team. You’ll be hard pressed to find one person with half a brain who thinks we should even consider giving him a shot on the practice squad.

  41. By Arrow86 on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    @John:

    I’m in agreement with Parody. The “Williams Wall” was more of a mirage last season than a reality. Pat Williams gave his all, but his production dropped off. Hank Baskett’s greatest catch was Kendra. We need to get younger, quicker, and healthier. I’m a little puzzled though John. I know many of us loved Pat Williams’s play, but when you threw Baskett into the equation I thought you might be kidding around.

  42. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    @ Arrow86……I bet Kendra eventually slips through his fingers too!

  43. By Purple08 on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Why are people so worried about Rice leaving? According to most posters the last couple of seasons, it was Lord Favre who made him look so great. Now that Rice doesn’t have gods gift to football throwing to him he will surely go back to being mediocre at best. My biggest concern is how the Vikings are going to manage without the golden boy leading the way?

  44. By Parody on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Golden Boy? By his own declaration, Favre is the Silver Fox. With that, let’s quick looking to the past, start believing in our future and that we’re making a step in a positive direction by dubbing McNabb the Golden Boy.

  45. By AmishViking on Aug 21, 2011 | Reply

    Cons:
    1) It was Seattle with T- Jack
    2) O-Line is a problem….once again it was Seattle
    3) AP 16 yards….check out prior year preseason stats
    4) We still have Berrian as a wide receiver…can you be a QB?
    5) Fans still wanting Webb as a QB…ahhhhhh!!!!…..It has the same ring as listening to a golf tournament as some fan yells..GET IN THE HOLE!!!

    Pros:
    1) Future star coach
    2)McNabb….perfect fit
    3)Ponder and Webb get to sit ALL season.
    4) Rudolph, Ballard, and yes Davis the running back…and more!!!
    5) Vikings are back on track.

  46. By Rye on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    For all you complaining about Rice. Isn’t it rather obvious why the vikes didn’t keep him? He has only had one good year. All the other 2-3 years he spent with the Vikes he was injured. He chose to sit out last year (final year of contract) because he refused to have surgery in the offseason… pretty much costing us the season.

    The vikings were smart to get rid of him.

  47. By Ironman on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Didnt we have a first round tender for rice?

  48. By Parody on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    @Ironman – We tried to put a tender on Rice, but it didn’t hold because the terms of the new CBA remove the RFA status of players after their 3rd year in the NFL.

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