Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Vikings vs. 49ers Analysis
National media outlets including several local affiliates gave the Vikings little or no chance to win the game after they lost to a terrible Indianapolis Colts roster. Leslie Frazier continued to preach about how prepared the Vikings were compared to the previous week vs. the Colts. The coaching staff had the players ready to play in this contest and set up an excellent gameplan to beat the 49ers. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave deserves praise for his great play calls during the game on Sunday. I like how he involved Kyle Rudolph in more formations and targeted him several times during the game. Rudolph proved his size and great hands, by catching two touchdowns, while hauling in 36 yards. He was dominate in the redzone and made the Vikings offense difficult to stop.
Christian Ponder is going to be a great quarterback in this league. He made great decisions and has such great touch on his passes. His touchdown pass to Rudolph in the first quarter was a display of great body control, as he threw completely across his body. I like how he threw the ball away when pressure was near and how he didn't take any sacks in the entire game. This is contributed to two attributes; Ponder is making quicker decisions and the new addition of Matt Kalil has improved the Vikings offensive line.
The wide receivers played well, as Percy Harvin continued to be a workhorse for this team. I can't believe the Vikings haven't locked Harvin into a long term deal as of yet. We paid 25 million dollars for a tight end that hasn't even yielded a reception this season. This money can and should go to Harvin if John Carlson continues to be a non-impact. Next week will certainly be interesting, as Jerome Simpson returns from suspension and Jarius Wright makes a comeback from his high ankle sprain he suffered late in the preseason.
Adrian Peterson was effective and was picking up 3 yards per carry on a hearty 49ers defense. Peterson nearly busted through for several big gains, but had a huge twenty yard run in the fourth quarter when the Vikings were deep on their own goal line. Toby Gerhart came into the game and fumbled the ball three times, which caused a huge controversy. This led to the replacement officials awarding the 49ers with two extra timeouts that they shouldn't have had.
The NFL needs to do something about the replacement officials as soon as possible. We all saw last night's Monday Night Football game vs. the Packers and the Seahawks. Games will continue to end in the same result until we get our regular officials back on the field. The fans, coaches, and players have waited patiently, now it is time to get the deal done between he owners and referees.
The Vikings defense played remarkable against a stellar San Francisco 49ers offense. Alex Smith was pressured nearly all day, which was missing in the last two games. Jared Allen got back in the sack column by strip-sacking Smith to seal a Vikings victory. Kevin Williams was key in the defensive line's success, as he brought great penetration up the middle. This forced a double team on him, which opened the door for players like Allen, Brian Robison, and Letroy Guion to be successful.
Chad Greenway may have played his best game as a Viking, recording 13 tackles and 2 sacks. His father Alan, who has been battling leukemia, was in attendance for the game. Chad dedicated his performance to his dad, who I'm sure is very proud of son.
The secondary was much improved as they were pivotal in forcing two turnovers during the game. Josh Robinson read the tendencies and recorded his first career NFL interception. Jamarca Sanford stripped Frank Gore and forced a fumble in place of starting safety Mistral Raymond, who suffered a deep bone bruise in his foot. It is nice to see the secondary step up and begin to force turnovers.
Overall, I like the way our team fights and battles every week, no matter the score. If we continue to play with the same passion and tenacity, we can compete with the elite teams in this league. I had faith in this team since day one, but I had many doubters. It is very early to get too excited, but it is nice to be tied for first place in the NFC North after week 3.