Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vikings vs. Texans Analysis

Vikings running back Jordan Todman
made the coaching staff's decision
tougher as roster cuts loom.
The Minnesota Vikings came up just short in a thrilling game vs. the Houston Texans. We saw many positives and several players emerged as possible players who could make an impact on this roster. Despite a stellar attempt by quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson to lead the team on 99 yard game winning drive, the Vikings missed out on an opportunity. This resulted in a Vikings 28-24 loss to the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. McLeod Bethel-Thompson looked impressive finishing with 193 yards and a touchdown, while adding an interception, as the defensive back made an excellent play on the ball.

Joe Webb struggled once again as the Vikings starting quarterback, passing for just 47 yards. This brings the big question of whether or not the Vikings cut or trade Joe Webb to make room for McLeod Bethel-Thompson on the active 53 man-roster. I think the odds are about 50% at this point, but I wouldn't be suprised to see the Vikings release Webb so they can continue the development of Bethel-Thompson who has bundles of potential.

Jordan Todman looked extremely impressive, which makes the decision of who will be the third running back much tougher. Todman rushed for a 76 yard touchdown, breaking a few tackles, why busting down the sidelines on his way to the endzone. He had great statistics, rushing for 114 yards, while adding 21 yards through the air. Matt Asiata executed while he was in the game, rushing for 43 yards on seven carries, which was a decent performance. General Manager Rick Spielman was in the booth during the 3rd quarter with play-by-play announcer Paul Allen and he made the strong indication that the Vikings may keep four running backs, while eliminating the full back spot due to Rhett Ellison's flexibility at the position. I hope that this happens because with Todman's speed and passing catching abilities, he can make an impact as a 3rd down running back.

Jarius Wright looked excellent hauling in 122 yards through the air with a 59-yard touchdown. He was great at getting open and ran stellar routes. He was injured in the third quarter, as someone rolled on his ankle. He should be fine, but his status will be worth watching when the injury report is released. Devin Aromashodu looked impressive adding 89 yards, including a 58 yard touchdown. He proved he will be the starting split end while Jerome Simpson serves his suspension.

Robert Blanton looked great at the safety position and displayed his ability to be effective in run support, along as within the passing game. I still believe with more work, he will be a starter when the season rolls along. Audie Cole looked impressive and was very effective in making plays at the line of scrimmage. He made several tackles for loss while adding 6 tackles to the defense. He makes this roster and will make an impact on special teams this season.

Several players lost their roster spots based on their performance this evening. Eric Frampton showcased some poor tackling, sparking an early long run by Justin Forsett. Larry Dean also was quite ineffective at the linebacker position, as he missed several tackles which led to big plays. He makes an impact on special teams, but doesn't have the ability to fill-in at linebacker. Tyrone McKenzie is the Vikings leading tackler on defense and special teams during the preseason and will fill Larry Dean's spot. Manny Arceneaux dropped several balls and missed out on several opportunites. He most likely lost his job to a wide receiver like Stephen Burton, who was very effective in tonight's contest.

Overall several players solidified their spot on the roster, while several may have lost their chance to make the 53-man roster. It was a very energizing game to watch and I was very impressed with the way the backups battled for their spot on the roster. We will keep you posted all day tomorrow as roster cuts most be made by 8 p.m.

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