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Scarlett/Rosie - Game of the Year Edition

Remember a few weeks ago when there was a lot of Rosie pictures and not much Scarlett in the post-mortem report?

I think that just might change this week.

I'm not sure how many times I can say this, and I don't know if I'll ever get tired of saying it, but Adrian Peterson is good.  He's real good.  Just how good is he?  A couple of answers.

-Peterson currently leads the NFL in rushing with 607 yards.  The four guys behind him are LaDanian Tomlinson, Ronnie Brown, Willis McGahee, and Edgerrin James.

Tomlinson, Brown, McGahee, and James have each played 6 games.  Peterson has played 5.

-Peterson now holds the Vikings' rookie record for the most 100-yard games in a season.  Chuck Foreman held the old record with 3.  Peterson now has 4.  Again, Peterson has played five NFL games.

-The Chicago Bears have been in existence for 88 years.  They have NEVER given up more rushing yards in a game to one player than they did to Adrian Peterson on Sunday afternoon.

-Peterson's 361 total yards on Sunday was the third highest total for a rookie in NFL history, behind Denver's Glyn Milburn (404) in 1995 and Houston's Billy Cannon (373) in 1961.

-Oh, and Peterson holds the Vikings' record for most rushing yards in one game, another record formerly held by Chuck Foreman.

I would like to personally thank the Oakland Raiders, the Detroit Lions, the Cleveland Browns, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Washington Redskins.  They ALL passed on Adrian Peterson, and allowed the best running back to enter the NFL since LaDanian Tomlinson to fall right into the laps of the beloved Purple.

No running back is going to put up 224 yards by himself. . .and no group of runners will put up 311 yards by themselves.  So, it's time to give a little love to the Vikings' offensive line.  The big guys up front took the Bears' "vaunted" front seven and kicked them all over Soldier Field for sixty minutes on Sunday.  Tommie Harris collected all of one tackle (which should put to rest any claims that he's on anywhere near the same level as either of the Williams brothers), Brian Urlacher's name was hardly mentioned, and Chicago's "great" pass rush had exactly the same number of sacks as Minnesota's "terrible" pass rush.  McKinnie, Hutchinson, Birk, Herrera, and Cook did one hell of a job on Sunday after being a collective roller coaster for the season's first 4 games.
And while we're doling out praise here, how's about Tarvaris Jackson, huh?  I said in the open thread that I didn't know if he could avoid the big mistake or not.  Well, it's not often that 9/23 for 136 yards and a TD is going to get a lot of praise, but there's one number that Jackson put up on Sunday that was even more important. . .ZERO turnovers.  That allowed the Vikings to be +4 in the all-important turnover ratio.

Oh, and that 60-yard hookup to Troy Williamson was the best damn Vikings' pass play since Culpepper and Moss left town.  Not to mention that his numbers would have looked MUCH more impressive had it not been by the five dropped passes by his receivers (4 combined by Sidney Rice and Troy Williamson) and getting overly excited and overthrowing a couple of others.  Sunday was obviously the best the Vikings' offense has looked all year, and even though Jackson's numbers won't make you go "WOW," they didn't make you go "UGH," either.  And with this offense, that's what's really important.

Not that anybody noticed with Peterson going absolutely bonkers, but Chester Taylor had himself a pretty decent game, too.  He had more carries than Peterson did (22 to 20), and managed to go over 80 yards with those carries.  A lot of people are going to be screaming for the running game to be all AP, all the time, but Taylor is a vital part of this offense.  If we want Adrian Peterson to be the next Barry Sanders or Walter Payton and not the next Earl Campbell, we need to not run him into the ground.  Taylor is a big part of keeping that from happening.
Well, there were some negatives to go with this one, too.  The first Rosie goes to a couple of members of the Vikings' secondary. . .Dwight Smith and Marcus McCauley.  I won't put Winfield on here for the Berrian TD because, hey, it's hard to defend anyone when you fall flat on your ass.

But McCauley had a pass on the Bears' second to last drive that hit him right between the 3 and the 1 on his jersey that he just flat-out dropped.  The Vikings could have iced the game right there, but instead we got all of the excitement we wound up with at the end of the game.  I know McCauley's a rookie, but you still have to catch that football.

Dwight Smith, on the other hand. . .oy vey.  First, there was his crappy "tackle" attempt on Mushin Muhammad's 33-yard TD reception that came not long after the drop by McCauley.  He didn't even come close. . .Muhammad pretty much threw him out of the way.  But then, Smith even managed to top that on the Bears' next possession.  Devin Hester lined up as a wide receiver, ran a "go" pattern, and managed to beat Smith by ten yards.


I don't care if Devin Hester IS the fastest man in football.  Smith should have been WAY off of the line of scrimmage on that one to prevent such a thing from happening.  Besides, it's Devin Hester. . .exactly what kind of route were we anticipating he'd run?  A curl?  A 10-yard out, perhaps?  Hell no. . .he was in there to run as far as he could and see if Griese could get him the ball, and that's exactly what happened.  I don't know what Smith was doing on those two plays, but he damn near single-handedly cost the Vikings this game.

Let's end this one on a positive note.  I have some issues with Brad Childress' play-calling, but with the way the offense looked this week, I'll lay off of him for this week.  Or for a day or two, anyway.

How about that Ryan Longwell fellow, huh?  55 yards, on the road, dealing with the weather.  It's the longest field goal that Longwell has ever made, and it just might be the kick that ends up saving Minnesota's season.  I'll tell you what, though. . .we're lucky that it wasn't a 56-yard attempt.  That 55-yarder wouldn't have made it through from 56.  But that doesn't matter. . .it went through, and the Vikings got a five-year old monkey off their collective backs.

And there's the post-mortem for this week, folks.  Thanks for making The Daily Norseman a part of your daily routine, and we hope you'll continue coming back for more.  Have a good night, everybody!