After seeing the Vikings' second pre-season game of the year, let me say this. . .I knew Mike McMahon was bad. I had absolutely no idea that he was THIS bad. Here's his numbers for two pre-season games. . .and when you read these, keep in mind the fact that he hasn't played anything better than a second-string defense:
52 yards (about 40 of which came on a run after the catch by Jason Carter)
In conclusion, he's only completed one more pass to his own teammates than he has to the other team. If not for Carter's great RAC, he'd barely have double-digit yardage. And it's not as though this is McMahon's first goat-rope, either. . .this is his 6th year in the NFL, and he looks horrible. Pathetic, even. There can't possibly be a quarterback in the National Football League right now that's as bad as Mike McMahon.
On the positive side, Tarvaris Jackson has looked sooooooooooooooooo much better than he has any business looking at this point. For a guy that was supposed to be such a tremendous "reach" on draft day, he sure does look like he can play in this league to me. Sure, I'd like to see him get a shot against a #1 defense, but I don't know how soon that's going to happen. But as of now, he's clearly no worse than the second best QB on the Vikings' roster.
Aside from the first series of the Pittsburgh game, I live what I've seen from the #1 defense. The linebackers are actually. . .gasp. . .in a position to make plays! I can't believe it. . .I'm not sure when the last time I saw that in Minnesota was, but it hasn't been any time recently. The war for the MLB spot is still being waged, with Ben Leber occupying the SLB position and E.J. Henderson solidifying the WLB position after Chad Greenway's injury. My gut feeling is that Napoleon Harris is going to end up winning the MLB job, but if Dontarrious Thomas can get his head screwed on straight, he could do the job, too.
I know I said that I was going to go through our training camp battles a while back. . .but you know, other than the MLB tussle, there really aren't a whole lot of "battles" to be had. Greenway's injury gave the WLB job to Henderson, pretty much by default. . .Tank Williams' injury gave a starting S spot to Dwight Smith, pretty much by default. The offensive line appears to be basically set. . .there's no battles on the offensive side of the ball to speak of, really. Defensively, MLB and nickelback might be the only two real fights happening out there. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
That's about all for now. We're just 4 days away from the Vikings' third pre-season game of the year, as they host the Baltimore Ravens. The third pre-season game of the year is usually the big one, and Baltimore has the potential to be a pretty good team (defensively, anyway). It will be an interesting one, and I'll be here. Hopefully you will be, too!