Monday, November 05, 2007

In Case you Didn't Hear

Adrian Peterson (aka "All-Day" or "Purple Jesus") had a pretty good day running the football yesterday. I'm pissed, what was he thinking? Seriously, how are we going to get a top 5 draft pick (and get a future QB) if he goes out and wins games by setting NFL rushing records and stuff.

Yesterday was pretty amazing to witness. The Vikings have something special here and they need to make sure they do 2 very important things...

  1. Keep him healthy!
  2. Build a real team around him!
You won't see me this tempered very often but here is what has been lost in all of this Purple Jesus hysteria.

The Following had their best performances of the season (beyond Peterson)
  • EJ Henderson - his statline isn't impressive but EJ was all over the place. He had a great day. Going into the game I was very worried about 2 things, Ladanian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates. Slowing either (or both) of these guys was going to take a tremendous effort by EJ Henderson (and the other LBs). Tomlinson finished with 40 yards rushing and Gates had 1 catch for 10 yards.
  • Cedric Griffin - with Winfield out Griffin had to step up. And he did, having his best day as a Viking. 2 passes defensed that were both very good plays. The Chargers 2 best receivers (Chambers and Jackson) combined for 6 catches and 75 yards. For a pass defense that has been scary bad all year this was a great game let by #23.
  • Chester Taylor - had his best day of the 2007 season. 9 carries, 60 yards, 6.7 avg and 1 TD. Everybody wants to give PJ the ball 40 times a game but maybe sharing the load is aiding him in racking up huge 2nd half yards. Taylor has now been the backup RB in the 2 greatest single game rushing performances in NFL history.
  • Offensive Line - While Peterson was amazing on Sunday, let's not forget the guys who gave him massive initial holes. 296 is awesome, but so is 378 which is what the entire team had because of this offensive line. They haven't dominated a line of scrimmage like this all year. The Bears game was great, but that rush D has been struggling all year. The Charges rush D was 7th in the league giving up only 88.9 yds/game, not anymore!
  • ADRIAN PETERSON - after a ho-hum 43 yards on 13 1st half carries, he breaks out 253 in the 2nd half. Incredible. When Jamal Lewis set the previous record he had a paltry 5 carries that netted over 10 yards. AD had that in the 4th quarter alone and he had 9 total. There are a number of impressive numbers for Purple Jesus but ultimately it comes down to the fact that this kid is 8 games into a career and he has already turned the league upside down. It's not like he was running against the Gopher defense, the Chargers are were one of the best teams in the dominant AFC. They were manhandled on this date and then run over by Purple Jesus.

QB (B+) - all this position had to do was hand the ball off. I thought Jackson was having a solid game before getting knocked out. He picked up 3 1st downs through the air and used his legs for 2 carries of 9 and 10 yards. All in all that is about what we can expect from him at this point. Bollinger stepped in and did admirably. His injury may have been the stimulant to Peterson's big day. When you are down to your 3rd string you run, run and run. Then you take 1 shot over the top and he completed it.

RB (A+) - nothing more to say really.

WR (C+) - not their fault really, they were just irrelevant. Rice had one of his best days as a pro. Solid day, but nothing impressive.

OL (A) - Bollinger was destroyed on his first play from scrimmage but other than that it was a near perfect day.

DL (A-) - only 1 actual sack but had pressure on Rivers ALL DAY. I would have liked to see the safety instead of a facemask, but I'm just getting greedy.

LB (A+) - I was very happy with this group, their rush and pass defense was exactly what it had to be.

CB (A) - My favorite play all day was Dwight Smith's tipped pass on the deep ball down the Viking's sideline. That got me more excited than anything else.

Fun day to be a Vikings fan and the perfect game to lead into Packer Week. Unfortunately Peterson's performance still only counts for 1 win and we are still sitting at 3-5 (with no significant NFC wins). The worst thing that can happen to this team is we finish 7-9, miss the playoffs and get stuck outside the top 15 draft picks. If you want to make the playoffs you need to rattle off a few wins in a row. Starting NOW.

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