10 Points: Vikings End Regular Season on Dominating Note

Vikings beat the Giants 44-7, and we’re not sure how happy we should be…

1.  The prevailing wisdom seems to be that the Vikings should be satisfied with they way they played Sunday vs. the Giants but not overwhelmed with happiness, cause the Giants weren’t really trying.  It did seem a pretty listless performance by New York, but still, the Vikings’ execution was very sharp, and even had New York given a solid effort, I think we would’ve still smoked them by at least 20.

2.  The encouraging thing about Sunday was the way the offense seemed to carry over from the second half of the Bears game.  For a four quarter stretch (throwing out the overtime period v. Chicago in which the Vikes did not score), Minnesota’s offense put up 61 points.  During those four quarters, Adrian Peterson was used in a complementary role to Brett Favre and the passing game.  AD right now is a change-of-pace back and a goalline weapon.  I don’t know how that sits with the people who want Peterson to be the AD of 2007, but, you can’t really argue with 61 points in four quarters.

3.  Sidney Rice continues to dazzle with his acrobatic catches.  He has every skill Randy Moss ever had, except the raw speed, and unlike Moss, he never takes a play off.  I dearly hope that, after Favre leaves, the Vikings are able to find another quarterback who can develop a similar rapport with Rice.  I’m sure Rice does too.

4.  Much has been made of a TV shot showing Adrian Peterson securing the ball with two hands as he was being tackled at the end of a run.  It only took him till the last game of his third full season to learn that.  Quick study, that guy.

5.  One thing you have to give Brad Childress:  he won’t say anything bad about a guy to the press.  Today, when asked about Jamarca Sanford coming in for Tyrell Johnson for a few series, Chilly insisted that Johnson is in no danger of losing his job, and that he was just getting Sanford some playing time.  The truth I suspect is that Chilly has been mulling benching Johnson for awhile and he decided to have a little impromptu safety competition there in the last game.  All Sanford did was make a huge stick in the backfield about three seconds after he entered the game.  I can’t remember one thing Johnson did yesterday.  Just sayin’.

6.  I hope the bye week is enough for Antoine Winfield‘s foot to heal to the point where he is able to resume his usual starting corner role.  It’s kind of sad seeing him reduced to part-time duty because the team is terrified he’ll get torched deep.  Of course it didn’t matter much yesterday, cause the Giants didn’t really try throwing it deep, even though they fell way behind and had nothing to lose.

7.  The NFL has announced that the Vikings will play their second round playoff game on Sunday, January 17 at noon CT.  They could be matched up against the Cardinals, Cowboys or Packers, depending on how things shake out this weekend in the Wild Card round.  Philadelphia will face the Saints if they win.

8.  Brett Favre finished the regular season with a 107.2 passer rating, the highest of his career.  As a matter of fact, this was the first time in Favre’s career that he ended a season with a rating over 100, his previous high being the 99.5 he posted in 1995.  His 68.4% completion rate was also the best of his career (his second-best being the 66.5% he posted in 2007).  His 33 touchdowns were his most since 1997 when he threw 35, and his interception total – 7 – was the lowest of his career (actually, it was the only time in his career he finished a full season with fewer than 13).  His 4202 passing yards were his most since 1998 when he had 4212.  Oh, and you know that whole bit where Favre was going to be less explosive in the Vikings offense and more of a game manager?  Well, his 7.9 yards-per-attempt rate this year was the highest of his career.

9.  Adrian Peterson had a bad year.  It was so bad he finished third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1819), 5th in rushing (1383) and 1st in touchdowns (18).

10.  Don’t you feel sorry for the fans of all those teams who didn’t make the playoffs?  Especially Bears fans?

Topics: Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Arizona Cardinals, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Sidney Rice

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  • supervike

    ESPECIALLY Bears fans. =)

  • Mike

    Peterson had a tough year because defenses focused mainly on him by loading the box. He could be the Vikings’ ace in the hole if defenses decide they must focus on the passing game or risk going home. I hope the Vikings formulate a flexible game plan that takes what the defenses give them. They must also avoid telling plays like they did against the Cardinals and Panthers.

  • joe

    AD has a role with this team – just not as the premier weapon. The team looks good when Brett calls the shots and uses the mix of weapons he has, including AD.

    I don’t buy into the 8-in-the-box stuff because that is what all premier runners face when the other team knows their are playing against a one-dimensional offense.

    And there is absolutely no evidence that the vikings tipped their plays this year or that somehow “hiding” what they were going to do was the key to their success.

    In fact – it was exactly the opposite. The vikings move the ball and score points when Brett is taking the best play against a given defensive set.

    Let them load the box, let them blitz, let them think they know what’s coming – Favre proved time and time again he can burn them.

    AD is an important part of this teams success – but he is a feast or famine runner – we saw this again yesterday, virtually never against 8-in-the-box.

    Sure his average looked good, but he actually ran for 0 – negative yardage on most attempts. Perhaps not his fault, but it no longer matters now.

    The situation is simple: Let the guy that knows this offense best direct it on the field and they are legitimate contenders.

  • Tom

    Nobody loaded the box this year. They didn’t have to. McKinney and Hutchinson got pushed around with ease this year, they missed Birk immensely, and while Loadholt played well for a rookie, he still has a ways to go. The bottom line is that the run blocking is just plain awful. They need to make signing or drafting an O-lineman their top priority. McKinney is so overrated and it’s a joke that he was voted to the pro bowl.

  • lorenzo4

    danz, assume you know your site was down all day…

    good post as usual, but one thing I might add is that the playcalling was I thought rather unique to the entire season…certainly, as you mention the more balanced approach to AD, which allowed for alot of different looks and a greater emphasis on Visanthe (though I think that was successful earlier on this season and they got away from it), and Chester. Do you think this was a premeditated result or just a result of letting Favre change plays on the field (wherein anything can happen).

  • your mother

    if u think sidney rice has randy moss level skills you are sadly mistaken…Moss is a freak….period…forget the speed..you telling me Sydney Rice can match his leaping ability, agility and hands?..just being realistic…don’t get too excited because of ONE season…when he makes the pro bowl with a below average QB like Moss did then get excited….til then..dream on