Jack Buck lives in the hearts and minds of die hard Twins fans everywhere, as he called the memorable 1991 World Series, and had some of the most memorable moments behind the mic in baseball history. He also called that dramatic Kirk Gibson home run in 1988, when he uttered his famous "I don't believe what I just saw!" line.
That's the only thing I could think of when Walsh hit that game tying field goal on the heels of the near repeat of so many of last year's games.
I don't believe what I just saw. What a way to start off the SMR for the year.
Seriously, if you predicted the "Jags score a go ahead TD with under 30 seconds but Vikes tie it up with a 55 yard FG from a rookie kicker who then wins it in overtime" finish, raise your hand.
Blair Walsh, you can leave your hand up. Yes, young man, you can leave both hands up. And beer's on me. Everybody else, put your hands down. Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Walsh, that means you, too. What's that? No sir, I can't do that to myself. If I could, I'd never leave my own home.
That was cool for a gang that needed a win like that in the worst way. Cool...Kool, and the Gang...(c'mon, you saw this coming from a mile away, didn't you?)
Celebrate good times, come on
Celebrate good times, come on
There's a party goin' on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times
And your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you
Come on now
Let's all celebrate and have a good time
We gonna celebrate and have a good time
It's time to come together
It's up to you
What's your pleasure
Everyone in Viking world
The SMR of Joy, after the jump.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Blair Walsh, K: Ryan who? The NFL is a cold, cold business, isn't it? I thought the Vikes were nuts to draft Walsh and release Longwell back in April, truth be told. Distance is good, but I thought it was okay to sacrifice some distance for his accuracy. This is reason 14,101 as to why I should never...ever...be in charge of an NFL roster. Walsh boomed his kickoffs, hit all his field goals, and when given an opportunity, he made the most of it. 55 yard field goal to send the game to overtime? Money. Go ahead 42 yarder in overtime? Money. He is no longer the Blair Walsh Project, he is Blair Walsh, Professional Gentleman of Leisure. And a good goddamn kicker. Yesterday, he was...wait for it...leg-endary. Leg-endary...legendary...did you see what I did there?
Adrian Peterson, RB: What more can you say that hasn't already been said? Adrian Peterson is The Best Running Back In The National Football League. If anyone doubts that, just pick up your stuff and head to the door. Less than 9 months after his knee was mangled and left for dead on the side of road, he ran for two touchdowns, had 84 yards rushing, and along with Percy Harvin, jump started the offense in the second half. Oh, he also became the Vikings all time leading rusher in the process (respect to Robert Smith and Chuck Foreman). Adrian Peterson is proof that the future foretold in the Terminator movies is accurate, because Adrian Peterson is a cyborg.
Percy Harvin, WR: In the first half, the Vikings offense was non-existent. In the second half, Percy Harvin started getting the ball, and what do you know, the offense started to click. Funny how that works, isn't it? Harvin still has that explosiveness on the perimeter, and there was more than one time when he caught a bubble screen and turned up the field I thought he was gone. Just get an extension done now and quit wasting our time, Mr. Wilf.
Christian Ponder, QB: So, who was worried with about 6 minutes to go in the second quarter? Yeah, me too. But the mark of a good quarterback, other than, you know, to be accurate with the ball and score TD's, is to be able to ride out the wave when things aren't going well, and not put your team in a hole they can't climb out of. It's also to be able to put the team on your shoulders and make plays to win the game. Check and check. The amount of cusswords in the Glover house after the Jags scored to go ahead was measured to be infinity, and then Ponder hit on two big passes, and Walsh boomed the game tying kick. THAT was big time football, kids. Donovan McNabb wouldn't have done that last year, and Joe Webb, God Bless him, wouldn't have done that this year. THAT is why Christian Ponder is the starting quarterback.
The Offensive Line: The Vikes had 133 yards rushing, Ponder was 20/27 for 270 yards and was only sacked twice, but he had lots of time most of the day. This was one hell of an improvement overall over what we saw last year, and that directly lead to the Vikings being able to win this game. When the Vikes needed to sustain, they were , at least for the most part. When Ponder needed time to make a throw, he had it. Great effort for the whole unit.
Brian Robison, DE: Robison didn't have a sack, but he was phenomenal on the perimeter. He continually shut down runs to the edge, and stopped the runner before he was able to make a cut upfield, and stop a play just when it looked like something might be developing.
Devin Aromashodu and Michael Jenkins: Coming out of Mankato, I was of the opinion that Jenkins made the roster because he was an incumbent vet that was the best of some mediocre options, and the District Attorney was only around because Jerome Simpson was suspended for three games. Both of those guys made some huge catches, including DA's
The Secondary: Did Blaine Gabbert complete a lot of passes? Yes. Did they give up what looked to be another crippling TD at the end of regulation? Yup. But did they lay the wood to some receivers, and break up several passes? You bet your ass they did. It was a mixed bag for most of the day, but it was a noticeable improvement from recent years. I think they had more passes defended in this game than they had all of last season, and Harrison Smith and Mistral Raymond hit people hard all day.
The Secondary: I can't give them a free pass, though. Blaine Gabbert got 260 yards passing and 2 TD's, and they gave up a ridiculous TD pass with less than 30 seconds left that 99 times out of 100 costs the Vikes the game. Harrison Smith and Mistral Raymond made some big plays at the end of the game, but Chris Cook absolutely gagged on that TD throw. Josh Robinson made some plays, but he also blew a couple assignments. This group is definitely a work in progress, but they're not a tire fire anymore, either.
Punt And Kick Returners Not Named Percy Harvin: I'm sorry, but none of those guys--Marcus Sherels, Matt Asiata (lolwut), whoever, inspire any excitement. Just put Harvin back there and be done with it.
Defensive Tackles Not Named Kevin Williams: There's still a gaping hole in the Vikings defensive line, and but for just a couple of plays, it wasn't filled. Maurice Jones-Drew had some decent running room going up the middle away from Williams for most of the day. Did I mention MJD held out for all of training camp, and shouldn't have gotten anything close to 77 yards rushing?
Toby Gerhart, RB: TOBYNOTSMASH, TOBYNOTCRUSH, TOBYNOTKILL.
Buy: Chad Greenway's Pass Coverage Skills. I don't know if he just flat out got beat and made lunging dives just to prevent a big gain, or saw the play developing and just broke for the ball, but Greenway had a couple of huge pass breakups for the Vikings. Yes, he also gave up a big third down conversion to Mercedes Lewis, but I thought overall he was much better than last year, at least for one game.
Sell: Chris Cook's WTF Pass Coverage In The Last Minute. Overall, Cook had a decent game. I thought he made some plays, had a few open field tackles, and generally acquitted himself well. But seriously, how does something like Cecil Shorts beat you for a TD with inside a minute to play? Terrible. Beyond terrible.
Buy: Kyle Rudolph And The Two Tight End Set. That actually sounds like a pretty cool band name, does it not? YES IT DOES. Rudolph had a good game, and made some big catches throughout the course of the game.
Sell: John Carlson And The Two Tight End Set. Did he catch a pass at all? No? Let's work on that, shall we?
Buy: Harrison Smith As A Starting Safety. He made a few mistakes, but kid brought the wood on a few hits, and also broke up a couple more. I liked what I saw from him. It was a nice first game.
Buy: Matt Kalil's Blocked Extra Point. When it happened live I thought Cook had made a great play from the edge, but on the replay, it was #75 on the screen. Wait, what?? Kalil? Smart move. Loved it.
Buy: The Rick Spielman 2012 Draft Class, At Least Through One Game: Kalil blocked a kick and protected Ponder's blind side pretty well all day, Smith made some plays in the secondary, as did Josh Robinson, and we've already got Blair Walsh pegged for the Hall of Fame. For one game, Rick, you're a genius. Enjoy a cigar. I recommend a Romeo Y Julieta, but that's just me.
Sell: 16 Weeks Of Drama. I really can't do this every week. Look, I'll take 16 last second, overtime wins, but I'd rather not. Okay?
Don Glover Quote Of The Week:
Scene: 2nd Quarter, Vikes down 9-0, Right Before They Get The Ball to Get Their TD Drive To End The Half.
Me: You know Dad, if the Vikes can go down the field and score a TD here, they'll only be down 9-7. For as bad as they've played so far, that would be pretty fortunate.
Dad: And if the dog didn't stop to take a shit in the woods, he would've caught the rabbit, son.
Yes, yes he would've. The sun also shines on a dog's ass every now and again, and we're 1-0. It wasn't 1-0 the easy way, but after last year, I'll take a win almost any way I can get it.