Yes, I was super excited to use that headline: I remember when the Vegas line came out on this game sometime last week and I saw that it was only Packers by seven. I thought to myself, “You got to be shitting me. Seven points is all your giving them? They got Aaron Rodgers having a historic season, our team starting a rookie quarterback, and one of our cornerbacks in jail! Seven points is it?!” And while the Vikings didn’t win on the field on Sunday afternoon, losing to the Packers 33-27, they were winners in Vegas. Moral victories, baby!! In fact, it was probably the best type of win for this team. It likely re-energized the fan base by getting to see Pondexter play against tight competition and perform admirably, allowed the team to play the role of the underdog attempting to make an amazing comeback against a top tier team, and we even roughed up their unmistakably gay quarterback a bit (which he obviously liked). In the end? We looked decent and still lost, keeping us in the hunt for the Suck4Luck campaign.
But now we have bigger questions … do we Suck for Luck or do we keel for Kalil? We don’t even need another quarterback now! We’re coming, baby, we’re coming!
Mushroom Stamp of Disapproval: The real mushroom stamp of this weekend should be headed to every single player on the defense. EJ Henderson looks terrible, Erin Henderson isn’t up to snuff, we might as well be using trash cans as safeties, and the cornerback play makes me want to polish my sniper rifle. But since I don’t have the fortitude to stamp EVERY defensive player on the team, I’ll settle for dropping the poop stain on the one guy this week that gave up the big play which likely changed the game in Asher Allen, who left the Packers’ best receiver in Greg Jennings wide open at the start of the second half which allowed the Packers to score the go-ahead touchdown. It was dumb, and really inexcusable. Watch the replays of it and even Joe Webb on the sidelines is like “Come on, man!” Other than that though, I thought the defense played … fine? … considering the circumstances, CHRIS COOK, and probably even a little bit better than what the team is good for this season. So really, I ain’t mad atcha.
Accolades for the Kid: After a week of ambivalence from PJD about Pondexter starting, I can say I was mildly surprised by his performance. You look at his numbers and they don’t really do shit for you (13-32, 40% completion rate, 219 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs) … and in fact they’re kind of bad … but in the laziest possible sports reporting way, I can certainly say that Pondexter passed the eye test. Overall, he protected the ball well, had a decent sense for when pressure was getting to him, and hit on a handful of real nice passes. In particular, his third down completion rate was stellar, and just goes to show that if you’re not trying to bowl a football to a receiver that they can sometimes catch the pass and get first downs with the reception, McNabb. Several times throughout the game I legitimately was not concerned about the Vikings picking up a third down, and that hasn’t been the case since like 2009. So good on that. He also looked pretty butter with his slant passes, which is just so damn hard to defend in the NFL and is always good for at least five yards. If he can get that down to Harvin, Jenkins, and even Shanko, things will be a lot easier for him. People may want to rag on him for his two interceptions, but I’m going to play the role of apologist here and take the blame off of Pondexter’s shoulders and pass it around. I thought both routes run by the receivers looked a bit lazy and weak, which is understandable as they are use to play with McFatpants, but on top of that, both were covered by Charles Woodson who made great plays on both. Truth is, very few DBs in the NFL have hands like that, or the brains, and Ponder won’t be facing those players that do, I don’t think. With that in mind, hey, the kid did alright. Now next time, I’ll just expect him to play with his shirt off.
Craptastic Notes: There is a lot we’d would like to cover so we’re hitting you again with some quick notes on the game. If we miss anything, beging a sexy convo in the comments. That’s what they’re there for:
- Berrian sat again, and my god, I was certain we were going to win the game because of it. We almost did, and I hope the coaches are realizing this isn’t just a coincidence anymore. Can he be cut on Monday? That’d be so god damn awesome.
- The defense can obviously improve, and damn well better, but I think they played one of their best games this season today. There was some great pressure and even coverage sacks because Rodgers couldn’t find people later on in the game. Also, they held their total team rushing yards to 114, which isn’t AWESOME by any means, but is certainly better than they have been doing. I felt a lot of tackles were made right at or behind the line of scrimmage too, which was nice to see. I’m guessing the offense playing competently had a lot to do with energizing them.
- Did you notice Longwell put the ball in the endzone almost every time on kickoffs? Where has that been for the past three years? I know they just moved the kickoff up five yards, but even for the first six games … nowhere to be seen. Awesome stuff.
- Do we win if Chris Cook is in guarding Jennings? If Winfield plays? Thanks for beating your wife, dick.
- I have to give kudos to the offensive line as well. They weren’t perfect by any means, but with a rookie quarterback starting and with two guys eventually getting injured in the game (Fusco and … that center guy starting? Yikes), they did pretty average considering. Which, as a reminder, is what we’re setting the bar at now: Just let us be average, please god.
- Seriously, Vikings, how do you not realize that those throwback unis are the best thing this franchise has going for it right now? Every game, wear them, or GTFO.
- Between all of the visiting Nebraska and Wisconsin fans this weekend, Minnesota should pretty much have that new stadium paid for already.
- Ponder’s first play of the game was just silly. You couldn’t have planned something like that any better, and if that was the REAL #84 in that jersey, you bet your ass it would have been a touchdown. Solid stuff.
- Purple Jesus ran for 175 yards. I don’t think that’s been fully accepted by people yet. He gashed those mother f*ckers and we wasted that performance. I hate this team
- I don’t give two shits abotu Robison kicking some dude in the testies. In fact, I think it’s hilarious. Go get yours, son!
- Kluwe had another awesome Kluwe non-tackle on Sunday. Put it in line for a new figurine!
A losing haiku:
“Enjoy the win, Pack.
But know this: Title Town lives
Alright, solid stuff everyone, good times. Come back again for this upcoming week’s game as the Vikings head to Carolina to try and contain Camputer Newton. If you were smart, you would have picked up Cam in your fantasy league after his week one performance SIMPLY for this game. 40 points from him, gauranteed. In the mean time, let’s keep talking about how Ponder is our future, we don’t need Andrew Luck, and holy shit are we depressed with this season. That’s Vikings football!