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  1. #1
    purplepat is offline Hall of Famer
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    Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)

    I called it.
    Maybe I wasn’t the only one, but perhaps I was the only one to invoke the Vikings teams of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

    Those teams, I reminded you, didn’t exactly have pretty passers or passing games.
    The team won by constantly winning the battle of field position and turnovers, led by a stifling and opportunistic defense that rarely gave up the big play and usually made several of their own.
    As long as the offense took care of the ball and moved the chains a little, the other team would eventually make a mistake that could be capitalized on.
    I suggested that this 2007 Vikings team could win in a similar manner if the defense managed to find a pass rush and the offense could move the ball just a little to keep from getting pinned down deep in their own territory.
    In the end, this is exactly how the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

    Having been at the game, I have to say I don’t believe there’s been another live game I’ve been to that I enjoyed as much.
    Oh sure, I’ve seen more scoring, more offensive skill and dominance…but not a game where an opponent was so completely controlled that despite the low scoring through the end of the 3rd quarter, I never felt that the outcome was in doubt.

    First, let’s talk about winning the battle of field position.
    Chris Kluwe’s punts gave the Falcons offense starting positions at their 11, 10, 3 (after a return of -1), 19, and 12.
    Ryan Longwell’s kickoffs went to the 1, 1, 3,
    4, and 11, being returned to the 22 (but pushed back to the 12 with a holding penalty), 32, 26, 24, and 14 respectively.
    The special teams more than held up their end of the bargain here, with only one Falcon drive (other than the Vikings one turnover) starting beyond the Atlanta 30 and seven drives starting behind the 20.

    Let’s talk about the offense.
    Only one three-and-out series, and that was near midfield.
    Generally speaking, the Vikings offense didn’t start with great field position; five of their eight possessions started at the 25 or worse.
    Yet, in five of their eight possessions the Vikings moved the ball at least 35 yards.
    The offense actually ran 19 plays in the third quarter during their two possessions, despite starting at the Vikings 13 and 9.
    Despite only scoring 10 offensive points, the offense did an excellent job of moving the ball just enough to keep the Falcons pinned down and out of scoring range.
    The battle of field position was clearly won by the Vikings.

    Tarvaris Jackson wasn’t necessarily impressive, but he did the things he had to do as an inexperienced QB to win.
    He only had one interception (I think it resulted from a deflected ball).
    He had Troy Williamson open on a deep route, but overthrew him.
    The Vikings only had 9 3rd down plays all afternoon and converted but 3 of them.
    Three of the failures came from the fumbled shotgun snap that was almost disastrous for the Vikings, and two runs (???) on 3rd and 8 or more.
    Jackson converted 3 of the other 6 3rd down chances, with one of the failures being a 4 yard reception on a 3rd and 6 play.
    So Jackson did what he had to do, which was not lose the game.

    Then there was the heralded rookie Adrian Peterson.
    He was everything he was advertised to be, and more.
    Bobbled a little swing pass from Jackson but kept it alive, caught it and outraced the entire Falcons secondary for a 60 yard TD that sealed the outcome.
    Ran the ball 19 times for 103 yards (a 5.4 yard per carry average), despite the Falcons loading up the box to try and stop him.
    He produced five first downs by running the ball.
    Chester Taylor was also effective before he got hurt, but you can already see that it won’t be long before even with a healthy Taylor, Peterson will get 75% or more of the touches at the halfback position.

    The passing attack wasn’t fancy, but it wasn’t horrific either.
    The Vikings only dressed four WRs, and all four caught at least one pass and produced a first down.
    Troy Williamson didn’t drop any passes thrown his way.
    We still don’t know how much this group can produce with the passing attack, but Sunday they didn’t need to.
    They got off to an early lead and then simply played smart football.



    Now let’s talk about the defense.
    The Falcons had been the #1 rushing attack in the NFL in 2006, though a large part of that could be attributed to the 1000 yard season produced by Michael Vick.
    Without Vick, the Falcons rush offense simply couldn’t get anything consistent going.
    13 of Warrick Dunn’s 22 carries went for 2 yards or less; during one stretch Dunn had 8 carries total only 6 yards.
    Jerious Norwood’s first two carries both went for over 10 yards, his last three totalled only 5.
    Overall, the Falcons managed 95 rushing yards but only 3.4 yards per carry.
    That won’t get it done in the NFL.


    Then there was the pass rush.
    Two sacks in the first half, both on blitzes by EJ Henderson, both coming on 1st down.
    In both cases, the Falcons failed to make a first down and punted three plays later.
    Then, four sacks by the defensive line in the fourth quarter, three coming after the Vikings had pushed the lead to 17-3.
    Even Kenechi Udeze broke his dry spell by sacking Harrington on the final play of the game.
    And let’s talk about Harrington’s day for a second here.
    Prior to the final Atlanta drive, which started with 2:37 left in the game and the Vikings leading 24-3, Harrington was 17 for 25 for a paltry 154 yards passing.
    He had been sacked 5 times for 24 yards in losses, giving him a net 130 yards passing to that point.
    And, he was victimized by two interceptions that Kevin Williams and Antoine Winfield took to the house, Winfield’s coming on a bobbled reception.
    Some pessimists might point to the fact that the Falcons had three drives of 10 plays or more, and had 17 first downs and think that the Vikings defense didn’t play all that well.
    But all you need to know, besides the 3 points listed on the Falcons side of the scoreboard, was that the Falcons deepest penetration into Vikings territory was the Minnesota 23, and that was on the next to last play of the game.
    The Vikings defense forced three three-and-outs, and six Falcon drives moved the ball 10 yards or less.
    The defense pitched a shutout for 3 1/3 quarters, in the end giving up only a 45 yard field goal.

    With a stout defense that needed only a pass rush to be dominant, and an inexperienced QB and WR corps, and a potential superstar rookie at RB, the Vikings season opener produced everything a hard core Vikings fan could have hoped for.
    There were big plays on offense and defense, limited mistakes (only one turnover and 4 penalties for 35 yards), and great special teams play.
    Six sacks, two interceptions returned for TDs and Adrian Peterson outrunning the Dirty Birds and making it look easy.
    It was a truly outstanding way to start the season.
    SKOL VIKINGS!

  2. #2
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)

    [size=14pt]GREAT POST![/size]
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

    When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.

  3. #3
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)

    Nice read.
    I agree that it was an outstanding way to start.
    I think props also need to be given to Rice for his block on AP's TD catch and run.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  4. #4
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    Re: Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)

    Definitely an awesome read.

  5. #5
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Re: Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)

    "NodakPaul" wrote:
    Nice read.
    I agree that it was an outstanding way to start.
    I think props also need to be given to Rice for his block on AP's TD catch and run.
    On that run, I love the way Birk is downfield, searching for someone to hit as AD races by!
    LOL!

    =Z=

    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  6. #6
    Jviking's Avatar
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    Re: Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)

    WOW, Well done. thanks.
    I BLEED PURPLE!

  7. #7
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)



    Thanks PurplePat,





    That was better reading than any media artical I've seen out there..





    You are a Writer sir..... ;D


    I LOVE THE SMELL OF VICTORY IN THE MORNING AIR.

  8. #8
    PurpleTide's Avatar
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    Re: Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)


    Nice summation PurplePat, Tarvaris is still better than Gary Quazzo, or Bob Lee tho'. We got ourselves a ballclub here, and am looking for more of the same all year.

  9. #9
    Marrdro's Avatar
    Marrdro is offline Beware My Spreadsheet, Bitches!
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    Re: Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)

    "COJOMAY" wrote:
    [size=14pt]GREAT POST![/size]
    What he said


    I would also like to give a shout out to the crowd but I am to hoarse to do it.
    Forced at least 2 false starts and made Joey burn two early timeouts.

    Damn what a game.
    ;D
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  10. #10
    NodakPaul's Avatar
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    Re: Opener everything a Vikings fan could hope for (long read)

    "Marrdro" wrote:
    "COJOMAY" wrote:
    [size=14pt]GREAT POST![/size]
    What he said


    I would also like to give a shout out to the crowd but I am to hoarse to do it.
    Forced at least 2 false starts and made Joey burn two early timeouts.

    gol 'darnit what a game.
    ;D
    Absolutely!
    The Vikings fans were back in form on Sunday.
    There were several games last year that were pretty subdued - it is nice to hear the dome rocking again!
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

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