Another week, another loss. What a disappointment to be 0-2 now. Somehow this loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will bite us in the ass down the road if this team strives to make the playoffs. Here’s who faired well today and who stunk.
He simply is the best running back in the game. Adrian darted down the field for 120 yards on 25 carries and scored two touchdowns. He now holds the Vikings record for most rushing touchdowns with 53, so it’s not inconceivable at the age of 26 he could hit the century mark when all is said and done. Adrian was also an asset in the passing game and has gotten better picking up a blitz.
Sanford has passed Tyrell Johnson as the Vikings best strong safety and it’s not even close. He was all over the place today playing close to the line of scrimmage and also stepping back to cover the pass. What was most notable were three solid open field tackles, two of which were on LaGarrette Blount. Maybe Antoine Winfield is teaching him a thing or two about finishing plays. All that’s left is what’s a better nickname for the dude… Jamarca ‘Mon’ or Sanford and Sons?
Percy always finds a way to contribute. Last week it was the special teams touchdown to start the game. This week it was leading the team with 7 receptions for 76 yards on 8 targets. Had it not been for a pass interference call, he’d have gone over 100. Keep finding ways to get this man the ball.
Anyone On The Defensive Line
Going into last week’s game head coach Leslie Frazier said he hoped to make Philip Rivers uncomfortable. The first half the mission was accomplished and the second half the wheels fell off. This week unfortunately was the same story all over again. Everson Griffen and Jared Allen each nabbed a sack, but what’s most memorable is Josh Freeman having north of 5 seconds on every play in the second half to go through his reads and throw the ball. Kevin Williams can’t come back soon enough.
Remember when Frazier said “Berrian is going to step up and have a big year for us”? Well we haven’t seen it yet. He finished the day with 1 reception for 17 yards on 4 targets. In fact Michael Jenkins outplayed Berrian to the point that it’s obvious whom this teams 2nd wide receiver is now. Memo to Rick Spielman: Can we just please cut Berrian? Can’t block, can’t separate, struggles to run anything more than a go route and basically brings nothing to the table. Anyone think we wouldn’t get more out of Devin Aromashodu now?
You hate to harp on a 1st year coach who has to go through his own growing pains, but Frazier simply blew it today. Beyond the lack of pass rush in the second half, his clock management in the final minutes was miserable. When Tampa Bay was driving down the field trailing the Vikings 20-17 at the point no timeouts were taken by our beloved purple. Yes, this is to some extent Monday Morning Quarterbacking, but it’s common sense to leave as much time as possible for when the Vikings would get the ball back. Frazier said he felt we were going to stop them on defense, but it simply didn’t work out that way. Even if we did get the ball back, all it would have taken was a first down to kill the clock and then go into victory formation. As of right now Frazier’s Approval Rating stands at 30%, which is 6th worst in the league. For what it’s worth, Brad Childress had a rating in the high 20s last year after week 2. Gulp.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig