Before we turn our full attention to this weekend’s matchup against the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football, let’s empty out the notebook from last Sunday’s 34-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals…
Harvin is good at everything
We discussed last week that Percy Harvin has been delivering for the Vikings offense both on the ground and through the air. On Sunday he also delivered in the run blocking game.
“The way he blocked yesterday, was incredible to the point where he is going to receive a game ball for that,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. “He didn’t have the big numbers from a catching standpoint, but the things he did, in blocking for Adrian Peterson, Adrian had a great day, but some of those things wouldn’t have occurred without Percy.”
Harvin had a key block against Cardinals S Adrian Wilson to set Peterson free for a 24-yard TD dash to make the score 14-0 midway through the 1st quarter.
“It doesn’t show up in the stat sheet, but you talk about being an unselfish player, he is a star player, but he is going in there, taking out linebackers, taking out safeties and some of these plays were designed for him to do just that. He never complained, when you watch him block you say ‘man is he a wide receiver or is he an offensive lineman?’ He did such a great job for us.”
Sherels solid in punt return role
Marcus Sherels was among the group of young DBs who stepped up to contain Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald. But he also made important contributions in the punt return game, something he’s been doing for all of the 2011 season. Sherels is averaging 15.2 yards per punt return on the season, which ranks him 5th in the NFL. On Sunday he had 2 returns for 45 yards (22.5 yards per return), including a 22-yard return from the Arizona 40 to the Arizona 22 that set up a Peterson TD 4 plays later.
An outstanding effort from the young Vikings secondary kept Arizona’s passing attack in check with CB Antoine Winfield on the sideline because of a neck injury. But the Vikings don’t want to get too used to playing without Winfield. There’s no denying the defense is better and the secondary deeper with Winfield in the game.
It sounds like Winfield’s status will be tenuous again this week, but it also sounds like he’s improving.
“We are hoping to get him back,” Frazier said Monday. “We will learn more as the week goes on, but I know he is getting better. I was talking to our trainers today and he is making progress, but it is kind of day-to-day.”
Fans who attended the game deserve credit. They came out to support a winless football team and they were a big reason why that winless team is no longer winless. The Vikings defense played lights out, especially early in the game, and the defense and home crowd fed off of each other. The result was a great environment for the home team, and an impossible environment for the visitors. Arizona’s offense had trouble operating, and the main beneficiaries were DEs Jared Allen and Brian Robison, who each had 2.0 sacks.
“Our fans were terrific today,” Frazier said right after the game. “They always have been. I think our players really appreciated the noise they created that made it very difficult for the Arizona Cardinals football team. I’ve always told our players, I really believe we have the best fans in the National Football League and I thought it was evidenced today. It was on display.”
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Leslie Frazier, Marcus Sherels, Percy Harvin
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