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Initial Reactions to Vikings vs. Cowboys

January 17, 2010

The Good:

The defense.  Down the stretch of the regular season the defense faltered.  Today, the defense took over. Leslie Frazier’s defense forced 3 fumbles, intercepted a pass, and sacked Tony Romo 6 times.  That’s a quality day at the office.

Sidney Rice.  Remember during after training camp when Chilly chauffeured Favre to Winter Park and everyone wondered who would be the recipient of Brett Favre’s passes?  Today Rice had 6 catches for 141 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Sidney Rice is the real deal.

Brett Favre.  40 years old and the guy still has it is playing the best football of his career.

Ray Edwards.  The least known of the front four played a heck of a game.  The fourth year defensive end out of Purdue had 3 sacks and put pressure on Romo all day.  He went out with an apparent knee injury, but should be okay for next week’s NFC Championship in New Orleans.

The Bad:

Brad Childress.  When an offense comes out of the tunnel and starts the game slowly, blame can be placed on a coach’s ability to properly motivate his players.  Today Chilly’s lack of luster was glaringly apparent.  Not only did the offense fail to gain a first down on their first possession, but they came out after halftime and looked even worse; they were penalized for false starts twice on their initial possession of the second half. That, my friends, is poor coaching.

Since we’re on the subject of Chilly, let’s talk about the play call on Favre’s last touchdown pass.  With less than two minutes left in the game, the Vikings were leading 27-3 and on their way to the NFC Championship game.  After starting on their own 37-yard line, the Vikings’ drive stalled at the Cowboy’s 11, and the Vikes were faced with a 4th and 3.  What does Chilly do?  Kick a field goal? No. Run the ball up the middle? Nope. He called a pass, and Favre found Visanthe Shiancoe for a touchdown. That play call shows a complete lack of respect for your opponent.  You are simply running up the score and taunting karma.  Keith Brooking had some words for Favre after the touchdown pass, and I doubt Keith was inviting Favre on a hunting trip. Furthermore, I have no idea why Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and the rest of the starters were even in the game at that point, but the brain of Brad Childress continues to baffle me.

Overall:

There isn’t much to else to write.  The Vikings dominated both sides of the ball and won in a blow out.

The NFC Championship should be a great game.  The safe pick is the Saints, but a lot of people were burned by picking against the Vikings this week.  My bet hinges on the Vikings’ defense.  If they played how they did today, they will be tough to beat.  If Drew Brees has time in the pocket, it will be a long day.

I don’t know who will win next week, but I have to repeat what I’ve said before: The only one that will beat the Vikings will be Brad Childress.

**UPDATE** Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com has post-game comments from Vikings’ players regarding Brooking’s “classless comment.”

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Donald permalink
    January 18, 2010 10:57 am

    Pick your theory for the Vikes last touchdown:

    1) The Andy Reid Honorary Clock Management Touchdown: It’s highly likely that Childress had no idea how much time was left, the score, and may have even thought it was the third quarter. Go back to that passing play right before halftime that gave the Cowboys the ball back. Let’s just agree that Chilly’s not exactly a careful game manager.

    2) Alert! Alert! Conspiracy Touchdown: Obviously the 4th and 3 call was a Favre audible.

    3) The Eff-You Touchdown: Self-Explanatory. Also known as the Keith Brooking Special.

    A couple of other observations: Troy Aikman should never be the commentator for a Cowboys game. Somehow every Vikings field goal was a great Cowboys defensive stand, but he made no mention of the Vikes D contributing to the fact that the Cowboys came away from the first half with only 3 points. Finally, besides Chilly’s flubs, my one criticism is our run-play calling. Too predictable, almost solely turning into a decoy for the passing game, which is fine since Sidney Rice has turned into Randy Moss, but I’d love to see more misdirection plays and more intentional blocking getting AP some bigger holes and even possibly out to the edge. Any insights?

    • January 18, 2010 11:57 am

      While all three options are plausible, I personally think it was an “Eff-You Touchdown.” In Chilly’s post-game comments he continually referenced the media and their infatuation with the “hottest team in football,” or has he put it, “The Tasmanian Devils from Texas” (I couldn’t make this stuff up). He went on to explain that everyone thought the Cowboys would come to Minnesota and easily knock off the Vikings on their way to the NFC Championship.

      I think that last touchdown was a proverbial finger to everyone who picked against the Vikings. It’s Chilly’s team (Hmm…Well, maybe it’s Favre’s team), and Chilly can call whatever plays he wants. However, he can no longer complain if someone does it right back to him in the future.

      As far as the running game, I completely agree. With Favre at the helm, the Vikings have completely given up on finding creative ways to get Peterson the ball. Yet they’re winning in the regular season and the playoffs, so I guess time will tell.

      And don’t get me started about Troy Aikman and Joe Buck as announcers. Those two are so robotic that they could be watching the apocalypse and you still wouldn’t hear a hint of life in their voices.

  2. bern permalink
    January 18, 2010 3:16 pm

    keith brooking and the cowboys can suck it. its called playoff football. and i agree with donald, chilly did not know how much time was left.

    • January 18, 2010 8:23 pm

      Bern —

      I think you articulated the thoughts of most Vikings’ fans out there.

  3. Rob permalink
    January 19, 2010 1:16 pm

    I picked the Vikings to win against Dallas because they were undefeated at home. If the NFC Championship game were played in the Metrodome, the Vikings would be going to the Superbowl. I don’t care who they played.

    As for Childress (or Favre’s) call to throw it into the end zone on 4th down. It’s the playoffs. And IMO it’s good practice. They’re going to need it against the Saints. I know it seems like getting kicked while you’re down but my feelings are that if a team’s going to try to beat you on 4th down then you need to stop them. There’s no such thing as mercy in the NFL.

    I’m not a Vikings fan but with the Chargers out (yes, I picked them to win the SB) I think the Vikings go all the way this year. The football God’s are smiling on Favre…

    • January 19, 2010 8:01 pm

      Kudos on picking the Vikings, Rob. I agree, the football gods do seem to be smiling on Favre this year.

      However, New Orleans is going to be crazy for the NFC Championship. The Vikes are going to be entering a pretty hostile Superdome, and they will have to get out to a fast start in order to take the crowd out of it. Chilly will have to do a better job at motivating his team. Should be a great game.

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