I want to try to put as much positive spin on this as possible but.....there was too much negative to not use this as my place of venting and criticizing this team that I've loved for so many years. So bear with me and here we go!
The Bad: First off, I'm not going to blame McNabb for the pick on the first play of the game. He made the right read and the receiver was open, it was just a great heads-up play by Shaun Phillips. It seemed that interception kind of rattled Donovan, because besides the TD to Jenkins, he wasn't really the same the rest of the game. I mean, how can you be satisfied with 28 NET PASSING YARDS?!?! He really needs to step up next week against the Buccaneers, or else Viking Nation will be calling for his head and calling for Christian Ponder to line up under center against Detroit. On the defensive side of the ball, the 3 offsides penalties on Letroy Guion (2) and Fred Evans were horrendous and the dagger in the heart of the old purple and gold. The Evans one came on a third down with 1:48 left I believe, and if we would have stopped them, we would have had at least a chance at tying the game. Greenway and EJ bit on Rivers scrambling and "running" the ball, and Rivers found Mike Tolbert wide open for the game winning touchdown. Our offensive line had no protection whatsoever for McNabb, resulting in almost all of his throws (besides the underthrown deep ball to Berrian) were dumpoffs and screens. The tight ends we've hyped up all offseason were nowhere to be found, besides a couple times in the first half where they blocked.
Game Ball: Since this is a Vikings blog, I'll try to choose a Viking, win or lose, for this category. If we should lose, I will also choose someone from the opponent. And the game ball goes to......Jared Allen. I debated giving it to Percy, just because he started off the season in the best way possible. But our favorite cowboy had 6 tackles, .5 sacks, 1 INT, and a swatted ball, basically playing at every spot on defense.
Winner's game ball goes to......Mike Tolbert. He had 3 touchdowns. That's about all you need to know and all I'm going to explain on the subject.
All in all, this was a typical Sunday for the die-hard Viking fan like myself. Our hopes start off sky high (thank you Percy), then come crashing down (Shaun Phillips), then shoot back up again (Jenkins TD, Allen and Winfield picks), before we are finally daggered (Tolbert TD, offsides penalties). Hopefully we will improve next week and get our first W of the season in the home opener vs Raheem Morris' Buccaneers. Feel free to vent in the comments below. I will have a preview coming for the Tampa Bay game sometime this week. Until then, Skol Vikes!