I just want to make something very obvious here to start. What we saw on Saturday night was a preseason game. The way the game fell, particularly at the end of the game, we ended up seeing the Vikings second stringers (who needed more time together because they only had like half the third quarter since the Arizona offense chugged down the field for most of that quarter) against the Cardinals third string defense. I mean, let’s not fluff each others nuts and talk about how the Vikings team you saw end the fourth quarter was a team that beat up on the Seattle Seahawks who won the Super Bowl last year or anything. That’s just not the case.
HOWEVER, I WOULD BE LYING TO YOU IF I SAID I DIDN’T GET SUPER EMOTIONAL WATCHING TEDDY BRIDGEWATER THROW A GO-AHEAD GAME WINNING TOUCHDOWN IN THE FINAL SECONDS OF THE SECOND PRESEASON GAME OF THE SEASON.
I mean, it’s a preseason game, right? Why am I sitting there crying? It’s not like this counts for anything. We don’t get closer to a playoff berth because we beat the Cardinals in August. I shouldn’t be whimpering and feeling proud like I just saw my child stand up to Hitler. It makes no sense. Except it makes ALL THE SENSE, because Teddy Bridgewater is MINE now, and I get to be excited for all his wins. Even preseason ones.
Mushroom Stamp of Approval
Could it have been anyone else? Teddy Bridgewater looked technically sound, in control, and sexually appealing in a way I have not seen a Vikings quarterback look since at least Daunte Culpepper, but probably Warren Moon. Rookie or not, he’s looked pretty damn good in his first two preseason games. Is it good enough to upset Matt Cassel? Tough to say. Cassel has been equally as good, and we’re now sitting here – as Vikings fans, mind you – with a problem where we have too many good quarterbacks on our roster. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!
Vikings of the Year Ranking
We keep ranking individual Vikings from the team in our totally arbitrary and selfish ranking system. Going into our second week, I’m beginning to factor in long term performance, and snow balling actions from all the players. Compared to last week, we do have a bit of a shuffle in the top 5:
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Cordarrelle Patterson
3. Teddy Bridgewater
4. Kyle Rudolph
5. Greg Jennings
Honestly, I just left Jennings in my top 5 this week because I got a chub watching him catch a couple of slant passes. What really pisses me off though is that I don’t have any defensive players in my top 5 favorite Vikings ranking. I really want Harrison, Barr, Everson, or a CB to jump into this ranking, but none of them have done anything super sexy. GET IT TOGETHER, DEFENSE.
I will say this so far, too. Watching the coaching staff, during the preseason where they allegedly keep all their best game day secrets hidden in their socks, has been a breath of fresh air. Calling time outs when they matter, managing the clock well, mixing up the play calling, putting players in positions to succeed … It’s like, this is allowed? Coaches have been able to do this for the past decade? I’ve just been living under a shroud of crap since Childress where I believed coaches didn’t actually help the players, that the players were either just good or bad and had to deal with everything. Who knew? Who knew that coaches could affect teams in such a drastic way? Amazing.
Nips and Notes
What else happened this game? Lots! Let’s hit some of the highlights:
– Remember that Packer fan the camera panned and showed during the game winning drive? First, GTFO of here you green freak. You don’t deserve to spend three hours in the state of quality living. Second, you ESPECIALLY don’t deserve TV time during a Vikings game. Go stand in a collapsing barn.
– Greenway actually surprised me this game. I know he’s led the team in tackles in the past 20 years or whatever, but no one actually is happy when he’s out there playing, in a position to cover someone, and has to make a tackle because he’s beat instead. But for whatever reason, he was pretty solid in the line of scrimmage, and shut people down in goal line. I was impressed.
– Speaking of linebackers, I kept my eye on Anthony Barr this game too, because I wanted to get chaffed and excited about him as well. I didn’t, exactly, but I’m probably understanding his role better. He seems to be playing solid assignment football, staying in his position and picking his opportunities carefully. He was lined up from linebacker to defensive end several times, and played well accordingly. He had that nice sack and strip hit, where he probably overshot his responsibilities first, but then wheeled back and tracked down that idiot quarterback to brutalize him. I liked that. In other words, I’m feeling better about his potential going forward.
– Rodney Smith is tall. Should he be on the roster?
– I like Xavier Rhodes turning his head around while defending a pass. Hard to compete with that.
– Joe Banyard, Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon. Can probably only keep two, right? McKinnon is a lock. Who is your other one?
– Kyle Rudolph is going to DESTROY this season. Was probably a smart move locking him up long term.
I painted my face!
And wear purple Zubaz shirts!
This is my life! *sob*
On to the next one. Third preseason game is the big “dress rehersal” for the regular season, so people say. Will we see Teddy step in with the ones? Will we ever see Christian Ponder again? Do we have to pay attention to the preseason? All this and more answered this week!