The Good, the Bad, and the Vikings


vikings helmet

As bad as this game may have seemed for the Vikings, there is plenty of silver lining.

The fact that Minnesota had the opportunity to beat the defending World Champions in their home arena deep into the fourth quarter is  not too shabby. To quote Bobby Boucher from The Waterboy, my mama says in life you should always look at things from a positive light. So, out of respect for mama, here are four positives to take out of Thursday night’s game.

By the way, I think we can all figure out why I picked four reasons. Yeah I know, it’s kind of a cheap way to be creative, but it works.

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

  1. Adrian Peterson. This man is on a mission this year and last night was just the beginning. It was a modest performance stat-wise, at least for AD’s standards, but he did average 4.6 yards per carry and best of all he DID NOT fumble. Looks like the off-season training regimen of running with weighted footballs and taking hits from small cars really paid off. Okay, obviously kidding about the second one, but hey I wouldn’t put it past this guy.
  2. Visanthe Shiancoe. Shiancoe certainly wasn’t mistake-free Thursday night, committing two penalties in-a-row in the first quarter. However, he more than made up for it, leading the Vikings in receiving with 76 yards and caught a beautiful touchdown pass in the second quarter. With the wide receivers looking out of sorts, Shiancoe is clearly Favre’s favorite target right now.
  3. Vikings O-Line. This offensive line only gave up one sack against a blitzing New Orleans defense. Granted Favre was pressured at times, but only one sack? That’s pretty impressive given the fact they gave up 34 last season.
  4. Brett Favre. If you read the negatives you’ll see that I also have Favre in that category as well. His performance was not heroic by any stretch, but the fact that he was able to leave the game without injury is a positive for the Vikings for sure. From the naked eye, it looked as though his ankle had no effect on his play. What did effect his play was the chemistry, or lack thereof, with his wide receivers, which will get better over the course of the season.

It’s great to be positive and everything, but I guarantee that head coach Brad Childress will be more inclined to look at the glaring negatives that stood out in this game. “Looks like mama’s wrong again!” Here’s four negatives to take out of Thursday night’s game:

  1. Viking Wide Receivers. I understand Sidney Rice is out, but Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian looked completely out of it. As far as we know Harvin did not suffer a migraine during the game, so there is no excuse for how bad he played. If Berrian keeps up his poor play (dating back to the pre-season), he will soon be benched in favor of WR Greg Camarillo, mark my words.
  2. Minnesota’s Front Seven. The first-half rushing stats are misleading, because the Saints only ran the ball three times. In the second half, the front line was pushed around by the Saints. The Vikings were unable to create much pressure on Brees and Pierre Thomas had huge holes to run through.
  3. Brad Childress, once again. The all-too-familiar three and outs with three straight run plays, and the screen passes on third and long need to stop. The one smart move Childress made was putting WR Greg Camarillo in the game mid-way through the fourth quarter. My only question is, why did it take so long? Camarillo clearly looked to be in sync with Favre, more so than Berrian or Harvin.
  4. Brett Favre. Favre certainly didn’t look like the Favre we saw last year, but for good reason. He was coming off ankle surgery and his wide receivers just didn’t show up. Being out for much of the off-season doesn’t exactly help either. However, I think as the season goes on he will form a better rapport with his receivers. He showed great chemistry with Shiancoe, along with Camarillo when he was in the game.

If I were a Viking fan Thursday night, my feeling wouldn’t have been necessarily good or bad. The Vikings are in limbo right now. This is a team and situation that will involve patience. This Viking team is dealing with a lot of injuries and is just out of sync. That’s not to say that it will stay like that. In my opinion, this team is changing identities from last year and they don’t even realize it yet. Favre is going to realize sooner than later that handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson is priority number one this year. Favre is still able to win games for the Vikings, but with the receiving corps depleted, the team’s success will run through Adrian Peterson.

Follow Justin here.

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