10 Points: Vikings Spank Bengals

What a rebound by the Vikings.  Here are my 10 points…

1.  Yesterday’s win over the Bengals was the most impressive all-around performance by the Vikings all year, given the level of competition.  A week after getting outworked by the Cardinals, the Vikings showed they haven’t become a candy-ass finesse team by pushing around a pretty physical Bengals defense.  The key was the running game, which got back on-track after derailing in Arizona.  For the first time in a long time, the Vikes dedicated themselves to running the ball, and were able to visibly wear down the Bengals’ line as the game progressed.  Adrian Peterson had his best showing in weeks, and when they mixed in Chester Taylor, he found holes too.

2.  If you threatened Brad Childress with waterboarding, I bet he’d admit that the Vikings became way too dependent on Brett Favre, and it was their own fault that the running game was able to slide as far as it did before this weekend’s rebound.  The playcalling against Cincinnati showed the determination to get back to tough, physical, run-first football.  And I imagine the tight coverage by those terrific Bengals corners probably dictated that somewhat as well.  It was just the right move to stick with the run and make it work no matter what.  The formula yesterday was closer to what we anticipated before the season:  AD as the primary weapon, with Favre in more of a support role.  I bet if you asked Favre, he’d say he was glad to have less of the onus on him.

3.  And then there was the defense.  Is there any doubt now that Antoine Winfield is one of the biggest impact players in the league?  His presence elevated the Vikings D in a way that must’ve been obvious to even the most inexperienced of observers.  He’s one of those guys who, when you need to stop a drive, he will answer the bell, either with a huge tackle on a runner or a big play in coverage.  Having him back was like opening up the window on a stifling hot day and feeling a cool breeze come blowing right in your sweaty face.

4.  Props to rookie starters Jamarca Sanford and Jasper Brinkley, who both acquitted themselves admirably in a fairly tough spot.  Brinkley made a couple of big stops early against the run, and both players avoided making any glaring rookie mistakes.  Brinkley, especially, looks like a guy with a bright future.  I am less worried about the impact of the Tyrell Johnson and E.J. Henderson injuries after watching them play.  In fact, I can’t see any discernible difference between Sanford and Johnson.  I frankly don’t care which guy ends up starting.

5.  Cedric Griffin deserves high praise for the play he made jumping and tipping the ball away from Chad Ochocinco in the endzone, a play that effectively ended the Bengals’ hopes of mounting a comeback.  There was a time when I thought Cedric was about the worst player in the league when it came to making such plays, especially on fades against good receivers, but he must’ve worked on timing his leaps.  And that shot to the face of Ochocinco that knocked Ocho’s helmet off should not have been a penalty.  I thought it should at the time, but upon further reflection, it was a bad call.

6.  We won the game by 20, but I still thought the offense suffered a little from the loss of Percy Harvin, who not only missed practice all week, but wasn’t even at the facility.  There were a couple of third-and-longs that probably would’ve gone to Percy, and may very well have been converted, that ended up not resulting in first downs.  You can cover two good wide receivers like the Bengals did most of yesterday, but try covering three.  That third guy really makes an offense dangerous.  Especially when he’s lightning fast and fearless going over the middle.

7.  John Sullivan‘s play has convinced me that the Vikings need to bring in someone next year to compete at center, either via the draft or free agency.  He just gets beat too much.

8.  Favre’s pump-fake on the Sidney Rice touchdown was a thing of beauty.  It’s the little things that make Favre so special.  And his interception wasn’t a terrible one.  He probably shouldn’t have thrown it, but he was being rushed from behind and just failed to get enough air under the ball to clear the coverage guy.  It’s not a December swoon.  We just need to stick with the plan of running more, and get Harvin back in there, and get Visanthe Shiancoe healthy and back in the rhythm, and Favre will be just fine.

9.  I think we all take Ryan Longwell a little for granted.  It’s time to throw him some random love.  He’s money.  In fact, I would take him over any kicker in the league right now.  How much do you think Jerry Jones would pay Zygi Wilf to have Longwell for the rest of the season, were such transactions legal?  $100 million?

10.  Playoff scenario time:  Yes, the Vikings have clinched, so now we can think about seeding.  If the Cardinals lose tonight, the Vikings can sew up the #2 overall seed with a win over Carolina on Sunday night.  This raises an interesting question:  If the Vikes clinch the 2-seed and first round bye with two games left, knowing the Saints are going to be impossible to catch for the #1 seed, how do you handle those last 2 games?  Do you sit all your starters for both games?  Let starters play the first halves?  Let starters sit in the Bears game knowing it’s outdoors in the cold, then let starters play the final game in the warm comfort of the Dome just to keep them from getting too rusty?  I’ll be curious to see how Chilly handles it.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Antoine Winfield Arizona Cardinals Brad Childress Brett Favre Carolina Panthers Cedric Griffin Chad Ochocinco Chester Taylor Cincinnati Bengals E.j. Henderson Jamarca Sanford Jasper Brinkley Jerry Jones John Sullivan Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints Percy Harvin Ryan Longwell Sidney Rice Tyrell Johnson Visanthe Shiancoe Zygi Wilf

  • lorenzo4

    great post-game rap, as always. anyone who saw Favre in Chicago in Dec. of 2007 will go with let him sitting out the Chicago game (after starting to preserver his streak) if it’s anywhere near as grim as that game…about 18 degrees and 50 mph winds. He looked profoundly miserable and had a bad game.

  • http://Pennsylvania bernie jelinek

    It’s a good question, Danz. I’d say let Favre play the first half of the Bears game, for one reason only. OK, let’s say San Fran upsets the Cards, and the Vikings beat Carolina, i just think sitting starters for the last 2 games, plus another bye week, maybe too long to sit them. A half against the Bears, should be just enough to keep em’ sharp. Also, your post-game wrap-up was right on, as Lorenzo mentioned. Wow, Sanford and Brinkley sure looked like veterans to me, and you hit the nail on the head with your comparison of Winfield’s return, like a cool breeze on a humid day, this guy truly is all-pro(9 tackles)in his first game back.

  • Vikadan11

    I believe Sanford out played Johnson last week when he replace Johnson in the 4th qt. of the Cards game and he played far better Sunday than any game we have seen from Johnson all year ~

    As for locking up the second seed I would like to see them rest as many starters as possible ~ Also let TJ and Sage each play a game ~ I still dont understand what TJ did to earn the # 2 job ~ Just another case of Chilly believing he really is a QB Guru ~ While Chilly seem to have improved as a HC a QB Guru he is not ~ Even Gus (old backup) helped bring the offense to life last year before hurting his back ~ That was far more than I thought the Vikings would get out of Gus if he had to play ~

  • joe

    ummmmmmm, yeah, right…

    Give AD the ball more when, against a good team, he gets 19 yards on 13 carries…

    Sounds like a plan to me!

    Favre threw for almost 300 yards and you want to downplay that as “support role” when he threw for more yards than most quarterbacks got in any game this season.

    I expect to read stooooopid stuff here from time to time, but this is really moronic.

    AD is another version of barry sanders (but not as good) – big plays, yes. Clutch yards? NO!

  • http://Pennsylvania bernie jelinek

    Hey Uncle Joe, What happened to your great Cardinals team last night? They got their as#es handed to them by the Niners defense. I told you that Vikings loss was a fluke. I watched the whole game, and thought about your comments on just how great Warner is, that is until he gets pressured, then he stinks up the place. If we meet Arizona again in the playoffs at home, our defense has to blitz the outside linebackers like the niners did. They made your hero, Warner look like he should go back to his old job, bagging groceries. Double cover Fitzgerald, stand-up Boldin and pull on the ball(he’ll fumble), bull-rush stunts, and blitz LB’S, and you make the Cardinals what they really are, an average team, that plays dirty on defense.

  • supervike

    Loved the way the Vikes played this week. Great recap too.

  • http://Pennsylvania bernie jelinek

    How many yards rushing did Frank Gore have against your great Cardinals defense? Only 167 or so. Now who posts stupid stuff, Joey? The fact is, the Cardinals defense sucks, albeit Wilson and Dockett. The Vikings simply did not prepare for over-rated Arizona, plain and simple. Leslie Frazier needs to take a good look at the tape of the niners-cards game. San Fran kicked their butts, and dominated glory-boy Warner, and defensive lineman, get those arms up when you rush Warner, i counted at least 3 knockdowns, Warner throws low.

  • http://Pennsylvania bernie jelinek

    Give Adrian the ball more is the most logical thing to do, especially if we play New Orleans. Ball control keeps high-powered offenses off the field. So long, sustained drives with redzone touchdowns beats the Saints or Colts for that matter. A running game is crucial in the playoffs.

  • lorenzo4

    hubbie says the darndest things….being a more impartial fan of Vikes than I (let’s go with totally impartial) said of Warner’s poor performance against SF….”he played the Vikings last week.” cracked me up

  • lorenzo4

    bernie, you and alot of Vikes fans need to get over this Adrian Peterson fixation. Believe me, I know A fixation when I see one, cause I followed Favre from GB to Jets (ouch). I understand that Favre is not the future of the Vikings (too old) nor is he the past like Peterson is, but Chilly has to go with what works in any given game. I even agree that Vikes should try the run first. I think in almost every game he has never abandoned the run…but defenses seemed to keep focusing on Peterson (all hail) not Favre, so Peterson has not done AS WELL this year (but STILL has DONE WELL). Exception was the Bengals game. Repeat exception. Arizona was special cause the run and pass were equally stuffed.

  • joe


    Some want to proclaim the cards suck and maybe they are pretenders.

    BUT THEY KICKED THE VIKINGS @SS, a major whooping…

    And now some want to proclaim it was a fluke. Say what you want and be as snarky as you want.

    I am sure they call many of the humiliating losses in Cleveland and Detroit flukes too.

  • joe

    If you want more 3-and-outs, by all means


    He’s an all-or-nothing runner. Without favre, the vikes would be bottow dwellers – especially if they listened to the advise given here.

  • http://Pennsylvania bernie jelinek

    Yeah, your advice in particular. Now go back to the hole your scrawny a#s crawled out of, cause you know nothing about football, in fact i would’nt be surprised if you were’nt one of those high school band rejects, who only wished he could’ve played football just for one game. Maybe i was wrong, you could not have graduated high school, most people know how to spell ‘advice’, before ripping on others that give sound advice, Joey. I just wonder what a ‘bottow dweller’ is, do you have a clue as to what you just wrote, Joey? I did’nt know Cardinal fans were that ignorant,i guess you forgot last years’ whooping that the Vikings put on your Redbirds. Favre is to Minnesota, as Brady to the Pats, Manning to the Colts,etc,etc. I guess most teams would be cellar dwellers without their QB, great observation Uncle Joey.

  • http://Pennsylvania bernie jelinek

    Hey Lorenzo Lamas-gay, You fruit-loop Packer fans jump on the Vikings’ bandwagon for one reason only, that’s Brett Favre. Who’s fixated? You clowns aren’t even Vikings fans, and you blow a lot of smoke about what this team should or should’nt do. You were all Steeler fans last year, also , right? I’ve followed Vikings football since Joe Kapp, so you wanna-be pussies don’t come on this page and preach Vikings’ football, unless you know it. You circus clowns have absolutely no idea what Vikings’ football is, you pompous as#ses just think it’s about Favre, and that’s it. Why don’t you fairies turn off your lorenzo-gay-soccer games, and watch some highlights of Peterson’s abilities, the guy has carried this team as a rookie, and still does. We won the division, and we made the playoffs last year, does that sound like cellar-dwellers, yeah that was done without Favre, remember?

  • joe

    Hand off to AD three times in a series – I GUARANTEE IT IS THREE AND OUT!

    You can proclaim what you want – ONLY A FOOL gets their @ss whooped and says, YEAH, I COULD HAVE WON bub BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

    Lets wait to see what happens if chillie is DUMB enough to follow your ignorant advise – GIVE IT TO THE MOST OVER-RATED BACK IN THE LEAGUE MORE!!!!!!!

    Assuming HE HANGS ON TO THE BALL (bug IF, moron) – it’s THREE AND OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lorenzo4

    Hmmm, your response kinda reminds me of why I quit this forum. Not too good with subtleties. Who cares if I became a Vikes fan just because of Favre. Does that discredit my evaluation. In fact the point might be made that an “outsider’s” opinion might breathe a bit of fresh air.
    And bear in mind what my point actually was. Adrian Peterson alone cannot carry a team to the playoffs and beyond. And they freakin have his number now. So, I shall repeat. yes start with run, and revisit run, but when that ain’t gettin er done, you will have to rely on Favre, and he would be a great guy to have to rely on and has proven he is up to the task.
    I’ve said this on Packers forums and I’ll say it here. I am not ashamed that I was a fan of a team for 8 years and then left because of the way they treated a player. And no fans should get ANY CREDIT WHATSOEVER in my opinion for sticking with a team even when the team screws players. Teams are corporations, players are you and me.

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  • http://Pennsylvania bernie jelinek

    Hey little joe, just because you have a Napolean complex, and still can’t spell advice, facts are facts. Peterson 14 tds=1st in stats, Peterson over 1,000 yards=2nd in NFC stats, sounds like he’s overrated, right? Don’t talk about fumbling footballs until you look in the mirror, Cardinal fan. What was it 7 fumbles against a 4-7 Niners team? I hope Detroit beats their as#es this weekend, so i can laugh some more at your good team. Why don’t you and your fruit buddy Lorenzo lamas go to your own teams web site, and tell your game plans for your own teams, you band wagon geeks. I guess the Packers and the Cardinals play each other in a few weeks, maybe you whimps can watch the game together, and give your bone-headed analysis. I’d rather watch women’s pro basketball on tv, then listen to either of you clowns, that’s how bad you and joe blow have gotten. Bring back Dallas Dave or Vikeman, at least they had brains, and knew football, not soccer fans like you guys. I got some advice for Lorenzo first, you should take your fresh air back to Packer-land, cause your breath stinks. Hey joey, i was told they still have Midget Tossing at the bars, so while some big dude hurls you through the air, you can still watch the Cardinals on big screen tv in HD, little guy.

  • joe

    bernie – not a 49 fan – adrian can’t hold on to the ball and many of those yards are GARBAGE. On a typical series, hand the ball off to AD and you are 3-and-out.

    No wonder so few stop by to read your illogical and self-absorbed rants.

    I think it is funny when a moron thinks he has all the answers. That is why I stop by.

  • http://Pennsylvania bernie jelinek

    Why are you laughing so much then? You seem to have all the answers, right? The self-absorbed midget moron keeps talking about himself, but stops by periodically, when mom and dad let him use their computer. Hey Spock, it’s illogical to call Peterson overated, because you’re a pip-squeeked little racist redneck midget, who only believes white players are worthy of praise. Well, the greatest athlete was’nt black or white, he was a real American like me =Native American=Jim Thorpe. Ever wonder why Jim Plunkett has never been inducted into the Hall of Fame? It’s because rednecks like you try to phase indians out of our own country, like you and your hillbilly families have done for years.

  • joe

    Bernie, you must be snorting too much of that sh!t again. Maybe you should just go back to pullin’ your pug and wondering why your underwear is always stretched out.

  • joe

    But gee, adrian does fumble a lot…

    I am sure he doesn’t mean too.

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