10 Lingering Questions From Vikings-Chargers


I’ve watched the tape…and I’ve still got questions:

1. How many more times does Steve Hutchinson have to be blown by or knocked on his keister before people realize he is now at best an average NFL lineman?

2. What exactly was Tyrell Johnson doing on that overthrown deep ball to Vincent Jackson? It seems he was looking in at the quarterback, but it’s possible he peeked at Antonio Gates in the flat before realizing that, oops, Jackson was behind him and had Cedric Griffin beaten by a step.

3. Will the Vikings line up Kleinsasser as a lead blocker more? He had the key block springing Peterson on the 46-yard run. Generally speaking the Vikings were much more successful running up the middle Sunday than they were trying to run outside. The line got pretty good push most of the time and even when there weren’t holes, runners were normally able to manage a few yards. There weren’t a lot of negative plays. On the run blocking side I think the Vikings mostly won the battle with San Diego. Pass blocking, a different matter.

4. Is Bill Musgrave ready to give up on the toss play he ran three times in the game for a grand total of 6 yards? Also, why did Musgrave run that play with Harvin the second time instead of Peterson? Did he think Harvin’s extra quickness would get him to the edge in time to not be tackled by Bob Sanders and Takeo Spikes…the same two men who blew up the play the first time? Or was he counting on Harvin’s presence fooling the Chargers into thinking pass (it didn’t work)? Bonus question: How much better would the Vikings defense be with Bob Sanders or Eric Weddle at safety? I don’t need both, just one or the other.

5. How much blame should Donvan get? I thought he played well enough in the first half. I saw only one glaringly bad throw, on an attempted short pass to Kyle Rudolph in the right flat. His other two incompletions in the first half were a flat-out drop by Percy Harvin and the tipped-ball interception by Phillips. He had one scramble for a first down and completed 2 other passes for first downs. He also of course had a touchdown pass to Jenkins. Coupled with the success the Vikings had running the ball, that was good enough. As for the second half…well you can’t blame Donovan for Visanthe Shiancoe dropping what should’ve been a first-down reception right off the bat. Can you blame Donovan for his high throw over Percy’s head a little after that? He had to loft the ball to keep Brandon Phillips from tipping it, plus Percy ain’t that tall. Then McNabb skipped one a foot short of Bernard Berrian on third down. That was a bad pass. Possibly the most controversial of all McNabb’s passes was the one attempted deep ball to Berrian. Yes, Berrian was interfered with on the play. The defender pulled his arm a split-second before the ball got there. It could’ve been called. Also the ball was short, possibly because Loadholt allowed Phillips to be all up in McNabb’s face. In retrospect that whole play was just a combination of bad things, no single one of which can be entirely blamed.

6. Is it really a good idea to name a special offensive package after an article of clothing normally associated with yacht clubs?

7. What were E.J. Henderson and Chad Greenway thinking when they both let Mike Tolbert get behind them on the last touchdown pass? They both came up like they thought Phil Rivers had suddenly turned into Michael Vick. And Rivers just lobbed it over both their heads.

8. Will the Mike Tolbert-Ryan Mathews butt-brush celebration catch on? Gosh I hope so.

9. Who was Anthony Herrera supposed to block on the 2nd down play late in the 4th where Peterson got stuffed for a loss (the play right before Barnes sacked McNabb after Charlie Johnson failed to get him all the way on the ground)? It’s never a good sign when one of your blockers touches no one and is left standing there looking around clueless.

10. How tired is Letroy Guion’s arm after having to write “I will not get caught on a hard-count” five hundred times on the blackboard?

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