Well, in the intro to yesterday's game thread (just below. . .the one with the cool helmet pictures from The Helmet Project), I said that the Vikings should have no problem winning against the Panthers.
It turned out that the Vikings had no business winning against the Panthers. And yet they pulled it out anyway.
Some thoughts from yesterday's game. . .and, by the way, the Panthers/Vikings game will be replayed at 9:30 PM Central Time this Wednesday night on the NFL Network if you want to see it again.
-If there's a better defensive player in the NFL than Julius Peppers, please attempt to point them out to me. You can have your Urlachers, your Ray Lewises, your Chris McAlisters, and everyone in between. If I'm starting a defense from scratch and can take any player in the NFL, I'm starting my defense with #90 in silver and blue. Period.
-That Randy Moss trade doesn't look so lopsided any more, does it? Napoleon Harris played a MONSTER game yesterday, and made a couple of game-changing plays. . .the sack of Delhomme on 3rd and goal at the Minnesota 1 that held Carolina to a FG, and running down DeShaun Foster on a nicely set-up screen pass just before the end of regulation, just to name a couple.
Oh, and that Williamson guy is turning out to be a pretty decent WR, too. And his hands appear to be getting better. He had a heck of a catch on a play where he was ruled out of bounds to go along with his first ever career 100 yard game. . .and averaged 17 yards a catch to boot.
-Chester Taylor can handle the load. However, he's on pace for 440 carries. I don't know if he can handle THAT big a load. Granted, if he does get that many carries, he'll gain more than 1,600 yards, as he's only averaging 3.7 per carry at the moment. Considering the defenses we've faced over the first 2 games, 201 rushing yards and 3.7 a carry is pretty good.
-You know, I can't wait to see how this team does against a team with a BAD defense. Start out with Washington and Carolina, Chicago this Sunday, Buffalo the week after that. . .and then a divisional game with the Lions, which you'd THINK would be a breather, but divisional games are never gimmees. Shoot, with the possible exception of the Lions game, we don't have a game against a team with a bad defense until Week 9 (Minnesota's 8th game) when we play San Francisco.
-I ripped Chris Gamble pretty good yesterday for that boneheaded lateral on that punt return late in the game. It turns out that John Fox called that play, after all.
"We have an option to abort, but I'm not going to put that on him," Fox said. "That's my decision to take that risk."
Added Gamble: "I should've kept the ball."
Gee. . .you suppose?
Now the question is who screwed up worse. . .Gamble by not holding onto the ball, or Fox for calling something that dumb in that situation in the first place?
-The fake field goal was a thing of beauty. When the snap went straight to Longwell, I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
Amazingly, that was the first successful fake FG by the Vikings since. . .get this. . .16 October 1977 against the Chicago Bears. Paul Krause hit Stu Voight for the game winning TD against the Bears in that one. I was a little more than 1 year old. I don't remember it.
(Thanks to the posters at Purple Thoughts for providing that tidbit.)
-Speaking of the Bears, they're the next opponent for the Purple this weekend at the Dome. The Vikings have a couple of streaks going coming into this one. 2 straight wins in 2006, 4 straight home wins against the Bears (2002-2005). . .and 3 consecutive years that they've won the game that falls either on my birthday or on the Sunday before my birthday (@ Detroit in '03, vs. Chicago in '04, and vs. New Orleans in '05). This year, we play the Bears on the 24th. . .my birthday is on the 26th.
Let the chain remain unbroken! (-:
That's all for now. Have a good day after a victory Monday, everyone.