John Carlson TE, Minnesota Vikings
I knew the John Carlson who was good for like two seasons as a Seahawk, got hurt, and then was nearly invisible while wearing the purple. I knew the free agent Carlson that nobody else really wanted, besides a certain R.Speilman. He wanted John so badly, that he threw millions of dollars at him. What was that original and rickdiculous contract worth, like a 25 million dollars or something? That Carlson managed to be so bad and so overpaid, that he somehow got Rick Speilman to pay him…. Wait for it… ONE MILLION DOLLARS… per catch! Per catch fellows!** The following season (this season) Carlson caught a little more balls (and for less money), but got about the same amount of yards out of them as he got from his eight catches last season. So to summarize, I knew the overpaid, no can catch, TE named John Carlson.
But who did I see today? A Stud! A ball catching TE! I saw a John Carlson who almost caught for 100 YARDS! I saw a Carlson extending a play, and grinding, and leaping for a… TOUCHDOWN! 7 catches, 98 yards and 1 TD. Who is this John Carlson?
Kevin Williams DT, Minnesota Vikings
I knew a Kevin Williams, who pared up with another Williams, to form the Williams wall. A knew a Kevin Williams, who was able to penetrate the opposing offensive line when the Vikings needed to get a stop. I knew a Kevin Williams, who was a six time Pro Bowler.
But these last couple of seasons? That Kevin Williams was heading into the sunset. As he was doing so, the shouts echoed around him "take a pay cut" and "he used to be really good" and "they should play that Floyd guy more instead". So wrong those shouts were today!
Today I saw a Kevin Williams, who looked like he should be paid more. I saw a Kevin Williams, who was not good, but excellent! I saw a Kevin Williams playing alongside Floyd, not replaced by him! I saw a six time Pro Bowler racking up 3 sacks and play like a Pro Bowler! A Pro Bowler, baby!
Robert Griffin III QB, Washington. Period. ***
I knew the spectacular and dynamic playmaker RG3, from his rookie season, but this season I had seen the RG three and out. Today I saw neither, but more somebody in-between those two extremes.
Christian Ponder QB, Minnesota Vikings
Well I actually saw the good Ponder today. I knew him though, I had seen him before - not this season though, and not very often before either. But it started off with the bad Ponder. First the statue-waiting-to-be-sacked performance, followed by a total brain fart that led to the interception. What did he throw that into? Triple coverage? Double at least. But then the good Ponder emerged. Quick passes. Accurate passes.
Today I saw the normal mobile Ponder escaping pockets and extending plays, but then came along the good ponder, who instead of running a couple of yards short of a down, hit his receivers instead!
I saw a Christian Ponder NOT staring down his first read. I remember one play in particular, were I saw him scanning the field from right to left and the hitting his left most receiver with a very nicely timed throw (Simpson I think). He scanned the whole field. Not half. The whole field! Or so I looked. But either way, it was something we don’t usually see him do, scan the whole field or fake to look to one direction, and the throw to the other one.
Today I saw a Quarterback that looked like a leader of men, and it wasn’t only the quarterback playing for the other team! Today I saw the Christian Ponder who sacrificed his body for his team. Something that I’ve seen him do often, mind you. Regretfully I also saw him get hurt, something that I’ve also seen to get often. I cannot fault him getting hurt trying to make that play though.
I loved that he wanted to get back into the game with a dislocated shoulder. Doesn’t that hurt like a moth… like a lot I mean? Of course, he should not be allowed to return without a left arm, that would not benefit the team. But I still loved the fact that he wanted to. He sure looked to want to go out there and be our quarterback. Then the camera panned first to Cassel and then to Freeman. And the look on Freeman’s face - priceless. One should certainly not make too much of someone’s expression, but he sure did have that deer-in-the-headlights or shit-is-there-a-chance-that-I-would-actually-have-to-play look going down for him.
Minnesota Vikings, a 2-7 NFL team
Today I was reminded that the marginals are so very small in the NFL. I was reminded that the Vikings could be a 5-4 team if it wasn’t for the horrible defense for a combined of 3 minutes during the last minute of three games. Today it sure looked like Frazier wanted to extend that to 4 lousy minutes for 4 games and a 1-8 record. Like what the hel..ium! WHAT WAS THOSE TIME OUTS ABOUT? I don’t know. Jennings did not to seem to know either, just ask the bruise on Kalil’s shoulder. I know that I have written about tanking for Bridgewater or Mariota, but that was more about giving playing time to our prospects over the veterans (who haven’t performed) - not about trying to give the game away like that! Luckily RG3’s receivers managed to drop the game tying passes.
But still, in the end, what did I see today? I’ll tell you, I saw a Vikings team that won, and that made my day!
* I watched the game today after work, due to the 7 hour time differential.
** First year signing bonus 5 mil + about 3 mil base salary = 8 million dollars. 8 Catches. Rest of the math is pretty easy.
*** Trying to be politically correct here. ****
**** Not really. But hey, with the amount of issues that the Vikings have offensively, defensively, injury and coaching wise, and especially at the quarterback position, aren’t I then allowed to make fun about the team that have issues, with their name?