I love reading everyone's comments and posts about week 1. The biggest storylines of the day have been about Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder and Blair Walsh. And rightly so. But there were some other incredible plays made on Sunday afternoon that deserve a little more recognition. Read on after the jump.
1. Matt Kalil and the Blocked PAT.
How crucial was that blocked PAT? I mean, we went into overtime because of a field goal that tied it. What if Kalil hadn't gotten that blocked PAT? Would Jacksonville have gone up by 4 instead of 3? Maybe we wouldn't be looking at 1-0 without that big time play. And how many PAT's get blocked each year? Not many.
2. Devin Aromashodu and his 100% catch rate.
How many fans dogged Aromashodu all preseason because of his abysmal catch rate? I might have been the only guy saying good things about him this off-season and giving him the benefit of the doubt. He didn't take a single snap with the 1st offense all Preseason. Fans were ready to throw him to the curb, citing his poor catch rate, but guess what? His QBs were playing behind what was probably the worst 2nd team offensive line in the NFL, and half of his passes were either uncatchable, or thrown out of bounds. So what does he do week 1? He goes and catches all 3 targets for 61 yards, including the crucial grab with seconds to go in the 4th quarter to help setup Blair Walsh for the game-tying field goal. Way to go buddy. For those keeping track at home, Aromashodu: 1, Burton: 0.
While Jared Allen had a pretty quiet day, Robison did not. He didn't notch a sack on the stat sheet, but he was in the face of Blaine Gabbert all afternoon. Check out what the folks at Pro Football Focus had to say:
Brian Robison (+9.8) was a destructive force all day long. Robison was a constant fixture in the Jacksonville backfield, and when he wasn’t there he was batting down passes or chasing plays down from behind. He finished the game with three takedowns of Gabbert, six more pressures–some of them coming extremely quickly–a batted pass, three tackles and a defensive stop. If you’re reading that list and find you need to take a deep breath, blame the relentless display of Robison for filling up the stat sheet so thoroughly.
It’s not often you will see a guy so thoroughly dominant without notching a sack, but it can happen, and that is precisely why working from sack numbers alone is folly. Robison single-handedly caused breakdowns in the Jaguars’ passing game, and forced Gabbert to work under duress for much of the clash.
Sounds pretty good to me!
4. Kyle Rudolph Moving the Chains
Rudolph caught 5 passes for a total of 67 yards on 7 targets, and 3 of those catches went for 1st downs. Not bad for his first game as a starter. But even more importantly, he caught them when it mattered most. The Vikings needed a few more yards to get Blair Walsh into position, and Rudolph delivered in the 4th quarter catching Ponder's short pass to inch them a little closer with 2 seconds left to play.
Let's be sure to give credit where credit is due and recognize everyone that played well in week 1. There is a lot to be excited about for this Vikings team in 2012.