The DVR was smoking today as I went over the Vikings v Broncos, jumping back and forth. To be honest, none of it is really that critical since we're talking 2nd and 3rd stringers, but hey, it's Vikings ball and I do love it so :)
Anyway, this is what seemed worth noting.
In general, the O-line performed as expected, showing they need some help. They drew too many penalties in the beginning of the game and even after warming up, didn't give the QBs much time either. What they did do good was open some lanes for the RBs to squirt through. Not big holes, but it was enough.
Tarvaris Jackson - Failed to take advantage of opposition's mistakes, he didn't seem to even look to see what was going on as he ran pre-programmed plays. He displayed marginal accuracy, poor throws, poor situational awareness, stared down targets, and I never once saw him check down. He's clearly going with his first target and if that doesn't work out, he's floundering. I don't like his decision-making, he's going with what he seems to have already decided will be his target instead of going for the targets he needs or giving the play a chance to develop and going for a better target. I know that he's familiar with the offense, I know he's likeable, but the only excuse I can think of for keeping him is in case Favre goes down hard and the Vikings need a semi-functional #3 QB. No way this guy should be #2.
Sage Rosenfels - He can get the job done, he looks like a real NFL backup. It's crazy that he's #3.
Webb is smooth, accurate, but I worry about his willingness to rabbit downfield. I can't help it, I like this guy at QB. I'm just afraid he's going to get hurt on one of his take-offs. I like the look in his eyes as he scans the field, he's not lost at all. I also like the fact that he's strong enough to hold off the occassional over-eager defender. No way he survives through the practice squad.
Freddie Brown. Who? This guy's got to be on the outside of the bubble.
Albert Young - Solid, competent, reliable, willing to tuck his chin down and push underneath. He doesn't give up, he keeps grinding even after contact. Got to find a way to keep him.
Dugan and Mills - Neither one was impressive, both appeared to have stone hands. I'm sticking with my original observation here, let Dugan go and keep Schuler.
Taye Biddle - Not real fast, couldn't outrun the corners, I'm still not sure why he's with the team.
Ian Johnson - Clearly has potential but I think the Vikings have too much talent at RB for him to survive.
Javon Walker - Still not that impressive, but maybe he just needs time. Yes, he scored a TD that he came back to catch, but over all I'd still rather the Vikings had kept Mitchell over Walker. Now that we have him, hopefully he'll warm up as the season progresses. Reps make a difference.
Darius Reynaud - What can't he do well? I think he needs more reps as an RB if the Vikings are serious about using him there with any regularity; he needs to be more protective of the ball when running in a crowd.
The D-line did a great job of collapsing the pocket but wasn't getting consistent penetration unless it was with a speed-rush off the line. While that was impressive, it also tended to draw penalties. I'd like to see them get more inside pressure through power rushes. I think against a 1st string o-line, they'd get drawn into more penalties.
The secondary was swarming in the flat, everyone was on it in the first 3 quarters, but they faded in the 4th.
This backup D seems very interested in take-aways, I like that. They're going for the ball every play, looking for opportunities. I hope they got that from the 1st team.
Sherels - Too small, often too late, he relies on tackling after the fact, good blitzer only if no one notices him, and he can't get through the WR if the ball's on the other side. On coverage, this guy gets beat like a red-headed step-child; let him go.
Jasper Brinkley continues to improve and impress. I'm glad we have him behind E.J.
Colt Anderson - High motor, plays hard, hits hard, good tackler, tenacious, was consistently double-teamed on ST. I hope we keep him, the guy is beastly.
Lito Sheppard is working hard, making good effort, but he needs to be more careful in his contact. We'll have two top CBs injured but returning, Griff and Cook. I suspect Lito's days are numbered.
Asher Allen looking good but not quite ready for prime time yet. Both him and Sherels aren't looking for and tracking on the ball enough.
Erin Henderson - Good situational awareness, still developing. Loved the way Brinkley ran wing-man for Erin on the pickup and TD run, these guys are in tune. Henderson is a show-stopper all by himself, he doesn't let anyone run him down.
Tyrell Johnson seems to feel the heat and be getting some motivation. About damned time. He's finally looking for the take-away, there may be hope for that young man yet.
DeAndre Wright, has great hustle but just doesn't seem to make the plays, despite being in the right place at the right time. Yes, I liked his spearing of the ball to force a fumble, but I'm more interested in his man-coverage and his ability to win that contest. Put this young man back in the oven to finish baking, Practice Squad if possible.
Onatolu continues to be a beast, you gotta love his ST play.
Rhys Lloyd is getting his distance down now, finally. That extra 5 yards is making the difference. He's consistently getting to the back half of the end-zone, can't ask for any better than that.
It was kinda funny when the announcer said that on a QB rabbit that came up short, Tebow should have put his shouder down and run over Farwell. I think it's easy to say that when you are the one staring into an on-comming Heath Farwell, IMO Tebow did the right thing. Go down easy.
I must admit, I love hearing the Gjallerhorn and Led Zeppelin being played over the stadium speakers :)
Hererra's kid looks like a go-getter, keep an eye on that one :)
I just freaking hate it that the NFL doesn't have a junior league where they could send some of their guys to play until they can come up to speed. So much talent and we're going to lose a lot of it.
Vikings cheerleaders are as lovely as always :)
What caught your eye in the game?