Although it’s short notice, something tells me you won’t hesitate to send in your Monday Morning Mailbag questions. The Vikings dropped their home opener to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon and this week they’ll prepare to host the high-flying Detroit Lions.
Let’s try not to make this an open forum to complain about things. Submit your questions and we’ll post several of them in the Monday Morning Mailbag.
To submit a comment or question, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit your comment or question in the comments section below this entry.
Remember to include your name and town on the comment/email. We can’t post every comment/question, but we’ll try to answer each question.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 315 Comments »
It was like re-living a bad dream. The Vikings opened up with a strong 1st half, took a lead into the locker room at halftime and then watched their lead slowly slip away and turn into a deficit during the 2nd half. That’s what happened to the Vikings last week in San Diego and it happened again on Sunday in the home opener, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers providing the heartbreak this time.
Donovan McNabb and Adrian Peterson came out looking sharp in the opening half, with McNabb going 11 of 17 for 153 yards and Peterson looking nearly unstoppable on 15 carries for 83 yards and 2 TDs. The Vikings outgained Tampa Bay 284-62, held a 17-3 advantage in 1st downs and possessed the ball for almost 10 more minutes. The result of that 1st half domination was a 17-0 halftime lead and a home crowd that was buzzing.
But then the Vikings opened the 2nd half by going 3-and-out, punting to Tampa Bay and then watching the Buccaneers go 44 yards in just 2 plays to cut into the lead and make the score 17-7. The Buccaneers then got wise and successfully attempted an onsides kick. Vikings S Husain Abdullah ended the ensuing drive with an INT in the endzone, but by that point it was already apparent that this Buccaneers team wasn’t going away easily.
It was all Buccaneers the rest of the way. They kept the Vikings out of the endzone after a 12-play, 69-yard drive and Ryan Longwell came on to convert his second FG attempt of the day. But FGs weren’t going to be enough to stave off Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers scored the final 14 points of the game, with the final score coming on a LaGarrette Blount TD run with just 35 seconds to play in the game, giving the Buccaneers a 4-point lead and ultimately the win.
Peterson finished the game with 120 yards rushing on 25 carries, which is a good box score under normal circumstances. But the Vikings went to Peterson just 10 times in the 2nd half and it amounted to 37 yards. McNabb finished going 18 of 300 for 228 yards with no TDs or INTs. The top receiving target for Minnesota was Percy Harvin, who had 7 receptions for 76 yards.
Defensively, the Vikings were led in tackles by Antoine Winfield (11). DEs Jared Allen and Everson Griffen both tallied a QB sack and Abdullah had an INT.
The loss drops the Vikings to 0-2 on the season and they’ll try to right the ship next Sunday when they host their first NFC North game of the year, as the Detroit Lions come to Mall of America Field.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Brian Robison, Donovan McNabb, Husain Abdullah, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 308 Comments »
The Vikings came out in their first home game of the 2011 regular season in great form, building a 17-0 lead by halftime thanks to solid performances from all three phases.
On offense, RB Adrian Peterson led the way with 83 yards and 2 TDs on 15 carries. QB Donovan McNabb looks much improved from his debut performance and is 11 of 17 for 153 yards. McNabb’s leading receiver is Percy Harvin, who has 4 receptions for 48 yards. But 2nd-year RB Toby Gerhart is also making his presence felt, picking up 36 rushing yards on 2 carries and also salvaging the team’s second TD-scoring drive by executing a screen pass to the tune of 42 yards.
Peterson’s first TD of the day came late in the 1st quarter to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead. That score made him the new record hold for career rushing TDs in Vikings franchise history. Peterson tacked on another rushing TD in the 2nd quarter and now he has 54 for his career.
The defense was dominant and yielded just 62 total yards and only 3 first downs. DE Jared Allen tallied a sack on the game’s first series and DE Everson Griffen also got to Freeman to register a sack. S Jamarca Sanford has a pair of tackles for a loss and both S Husain Abdullah and CB Antoine Winfield have made multiple open-field tackles to bring Buccaneers ball-carriers to a halt.
On special teams, K Ryan Longwell is 1 for 1 on FGs and a perfect 2 of 2 on PATs. Kick coverage teams have been solid and P Chris Kluwe landed a punt inside the 10-yardline again.
The Vikings will begin the 2nd half with the ball and have a great opportunity to take a commanding lead.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 192 Comments »
As we have for the past few seasons, we’ll be hosting a live game-day chat for each Vikings game.
The next chat is today, of course, as the Vikings host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mall of America Field for the 2011 home opener. Today’s chat will begin right around 12:00 p.m. CT.
To join the chat at kickoff, click here to go to the Vikings Game Day page.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 32 Comments »
Today is the Vikings 2011 home opener, as they are set to face former NFC Central rival Tampa Bay at Mall of America Field and get back to a .500 record after losing the season opener last week in San Diego. That storyline on its own makes today a big day for the Vikings organization and its fans.
But there’s more going on that makes today even bigger.
– Individual player introductions will return today for the first time in three years. The defensive starters will be introduced this week and then next week against the Detroit Lions the offensive starters will be announced.
– RB Adrian Peterson is poised to set yet another team record today. He currently is tied with Bill Brown and Chuck Foreman for career rushing TDs as a Viking with 52. One rushing TD today for Peterson will make him the Vikings career leader in that category and you have to wonder A) how high Peterson can make that number by the time he’s done and B) when and if anyone will break Peterson’s mark.
– CB Antoine Winfield will play in his 100th game as a Viking today. He was signed as a free agent in 2004 and it wouldn’t be too extreme to say he’s one of the best free agent signings in franchise history. He has 25 takeaways since arriving in Minnesota, has 5 return TDs and he was a key component in the Vikings defense dominating against the run (ranked #1 in the NFL 2006-08 and #2 in 2009).
– Last week teams that hosted games did a great job of commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by honoring those who lost their lives that day and in subsequent days, months and years defending our communities and our freedom. The Vikings will continue that theme today in their game presentation, as several public safety and military elements will be included in pre-game and halftime festivities. Today’s Honorary Viking is Mona Dohman, former Maple Grove Police Chief, who is now the Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner. The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon will take the field at halftime and perform their unique silent precision exhibition drill. Minnesota State Trooper Leah Carpenter will sing the National Anthem. The U.S. Army Reserve Fort Snelling Honor Guard will present the Colors today.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 17 Comments »
LB E.J. Henderson was questionable for today’s game with a sore knee, but he is active and will start for the Vikings.
Here are Minnesota’s inactive players: CB Brandon Burton, S Mistral Raymond, C Brandon Fusco, DE Adrian Awasom, T DeMarcus Love, WR Greg Camarillo, & DE D’Aundre Reed.
Here are Tampa Bay’s inactive players: WR S. Stroughter, RB A. Bradford, S L. Asante, CB M. Lewis, CB A. Gaitor, T D. Dotson and T J. Lee.
Posted in All | 16 Comments »
Antoine Winfield signed with the Vikings as a free agent back in 2004 and is now beginning his 8th season with the club. In that time he’s developed into the best tackling CB in the NFL and he’s made plenty of other plays along the way.
And as of today, he’ll have played in 100 games as a Viking. We caught up with Winfield right outside of the locker room before today’s home opener to speak with him about his tremendous career in Minnesota. Click here to watch that video. We’ve also compiled a “Top 5 Moments” video that looks back on some of the outstanding performances in Winfield’s career as a Viking. Click here to watch that video.
Now a 3-time Pro Bowler, Winfield has 25 takeaways as a Viking and trails only five other cornerbacks in franchise history in that category. He’s also scored five touchdowns on returns since 2006 (two interceptions, two fumble recovery, one blocked kick). Only one player in club history – Ed Sharockman – has more return touchdowns than Winfield’s five.
At 5-9, 180 pounds, Winfield is often the smallest player on the field. But he finds a way to make the biggest impact, game after game.
Tags: Antoine Winfield
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 8 Comments »