Mullet's Weekly Report Card (Week One)
Welcome to my weekly blog everyone! I love reading the graded reports in the post-game threads, so I figured that I would make one weekly in blog form. I love this new blog feature. Thanks for reading! Now on to week 1.
Week One Report Card
I was tempted to get him a C, but I'll give him a C- for Floyd. He had a very brutal game. A big mistake on the first play really haunted him. It was a phenomenal move by the LB, but an INT is an INT. I can't recall any horrible passes or decisions. He also had a few nice escapes. His O-line did him no favors. He was getting killed around the edge on every other play *cough* Charlie Johnson *cough*. Although he could have easily thrown his line under the bus, he took the high road. He dodged multiple questions about it, and only blamed himself. He didn't make a single excuse and I respect that.
AP did everything he could possibly do this week. He averaged 6.1 yards a carry. Just imagine how good he would have been if we would have utilized play-action and got the passing game going. It's not a full A because he was under 100 yards and had 0 touchdowns. Toby looked great as well, in his only two carries of the game. This team will live and die with Adrian Peterson. He has to get more carries, but that's not his fault. Once the passing game gets going, he will be even better than he already is. He also did a better job blocking this week. Not great, but much better. This guy is a hall of famer folks. He deserved every penny that he got in his new contract.
This would have easily been a D or worse if Sauce didn't have such a great day blocking. It goes up another letter since we didn't bring Tahi back LOL. Jimmy K was an animal out there. However, our tight ends were totally non-existent in the passing game. That killed us. We need Shiancoe and Rudolph to be security blankets for McNabb. I understand Shank being a bit slow on the hamstring, but Rudolph couldn't get open either. I hope that's not a trend. He had trouble getting open in preseason as well.
Percy's kickoff return saves this whole core from getting a D. I saw countless drops in a game where we couldn't afford ONE drop. Jenkins looked great on 3rd downs. Berrian and Camarillo were non-existent. Although Berrian did have at least 2 awesome run-blocks that I can remember. Randy Moss anyone? Please? We desperately need a down field threat. Percy can't carry the whole core by himself. I'm hoping that they can start developing chemistry with McNabb. 39 receiving yards combined is NOT going to cut it.
This would be a F- (is that allowed?) if this was a 2nd half grade. WOW were they bad. Especially Charlie Johnson. They almost got Donovan killed back there. We have to address this need immediately in the next draft. It's not a very "fun" pick, but we have to draft a LT in the first round. Matt Kalil anyone? McKinnie really put us in a bad spot. Big uglies win football games. It doesn't matter who we have at QB with a line like this. Jeff Davidson really disappointed me in this game. I thought we would be better with new schemes, and it looked eerily familiar. In a bad way.
Holy penalties Batman! That was ugly. Letroy Guion was so frustrating in this one. But you can't expect much with Kevin Williams on the sideline. Which is why this grade isn't much worse. We got ZERO pressure from the middle. I would have liked to see a lot more playing time from Christian Ballard. Guion and Evans were a miserable combo. Only one more week until we have Kevin Williams back! Then we will be able to grade the line fairly. I'm giving them a big break on this one. Run stopping could have been a lot better, but it really could have been a lot worse. They mostly killed us on those little dump passes, and that would be on the linebackers.
Allen and Robison looked like a very deadly combo. Very pleasantly surprised by Robison's performance. We won't be missing Ray Edwards much if he continues to play like this. Jared Allen was my co-MVP of the game. That interception was unbelievable and he got a nice sack. Once Kevin Williams comes back, our D-Line will look stellar as usual.
This group was tough to grade this week. Our defense played their hearts out, even though it wasn't good enough. But a blown assignment from our 2 best LBs cost us that late TD and put the dagger in us. Although, Erin looked better than I thought he would in his first start. He had a nice sack. They killed us all day on the short dump passes, and our LBs never did figure it out. Mike Tolbert? Seriously? That was embarrassing. I wish we could have had a lot more success on the zone LB blitzes as well. Our depth here really kills us. I miss Jasper already.
Our corners looked pretty damn good! Lot great, but very good. Antoine Winfield was my co-MVP of the game with Jared Allen. He is one of my all-time favorite Vikings. He was all over the field, as usual. He played great in coverage and even better against the run. Chris Cook was the biggest surprise of the game for me. He played great. One stupid penalty, but that wasn't a big deal. I loved the flashes that he was showing. Remind me of a young Cedric. Speaking of Cedric, he had a very solid game in his first real game back from the knee surgery. He upset me with that late hit though. We could NOT afford to give up those 15 yards at such a critical time. We didn't give up a single big passing play to one of the best QBs in the entire NFL. Very impressed. The core couldn't have played any better with that personnel.
Jamarca missed a few tackles, but they didn't give up the big plays. Husain had an awesome pass break-up in the end zone too. I can't give them a high grade, but I can't give them a low grade either. Tyrell Johnson looked decent filling in as well. Could have been better, but could have been a LOT worse. Not giving up a single big play to Phillip Rivers is extremely impressive.
Coaching and Overall grade
Our coaches did a very bad job this week. Bill Musgrave in particular. But we can't let Leslie off the hook either. He didn't have the team very motivated when they came out for the second half with a big important lead. We took our foot off the gas. Bill Musgrave called a "Chilly-esque" offensive gameplan, and that was a huge buzzkill to the whole game. I really didn't like it or understand it. He also failed to utilize play-action. Which is the no-brainer way to run this offense. I would love to hear an explanation from him. I loved Fred Pagac's defensive gameplan, but unfortunately he gets grouped in with the horrible performances of Leslie Frazier, Bill Musgrave, and Jeff Davidson.
What a heartbreaker! It's impossible to give a good grade for a loss. That being said, it's impossible to give a bad grade to a big underdog that competed this well on the road. We played a Super Bowl contender (in their house!) and really gave them a run for their money. Not very many people thought we would have a chance at beating them. And we did! According to Las Vegas, we were the biggest underdog of the week (9 points). We did have a chance. But we totally blew it. I blame that mostly on coaching. We came out flat in the second half and had a horrible offensive gameplan. Which really hurt because our defense played their hearts out. I hope we come out hungry at home next week. We can beat the Bucs! It will take a great game, but we can beat them. I hope this loss serves as motivation and not discouragement.
Thanks for reading guys, and please check out my report card following the Bucs game on sunday! Please share your comments and criticisms below. And use the new blog feature! It's great.