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Monday, September 10, 2012

Minnesota Vikings week 1 thoughts

Headline: Despite blowing a fourth quarter lead, the Vikings were able to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars in OT

Biggest Takeaway From the Game: Percy Harvin is the most important player on the Vikings offense. Harvin was the biggest reason the Vikings were able to defeat the Jaguars yesterday. Yes, Blair Walsh nailed a miracle field-goal as time expired to tie the game. And Adrian Peterson ran for two TDs and 84 yards. But it was Harvin, who was the Vikings most important player. Harvin single-handily jump-started a moribund Vikings offense, with three straight receptions late in the first half that led to the Vikings first TD in the game. And gave quarterback, Christian Ponder some much needed confidence. The Vikings had just one first down on four offensive drives until they got Percy involved in the game. Without Harvin's play-making ability and hard running after receptions, the Vikings would not have been in a position to win this game.

Turning point of the game: Christian Ponder completing a 26 yard pass to Devin Aromashodu with seven seconds left  in the second half. Which put the Vikings in position for Blair Walsh's game-tying field goal. The Jags' had just made a stunning comeback. Taking, a three point lead on a 39 yard TD pass from Blaine Gabbert to Cecil Shorts with 20 seconds left. Remember, the Vikings blew their first three games last year. Losing all three games when they led in the fourth quarter. So, the poise Ponder showed in completing the pass to Aromashodu was huge. As this young Vikings team was on the verge of losing to a team that they should have beat, yet Ponder would not allow that to happen. His clutch play should give Ponder and his team teammates a huge confidence boost going forward.

Quick Takes:
-Blair Walsh had an amazing rookie debut. He nailed the game-tying field goal as time expired from 56 yards and kicked the game winning field goal in overtime. For one week, at least, he made Vikings GM Rick Spielman look smart for his decision to draft Walsh in the sixth round of this years draft and to let go of previous kicker, Ryan Longwell.
-Vikings offensive coordinator, Bill Musgrave needs to go. His decision to not call Percy Harvin's number until late in the first half was horrendous. And it led to the Vikings offense looking lifeless and stagnant, much like last season.
-Christian Ponder started slowly, but he steadily improved as the game wore on. At one point he completed 12 out 15 passes. If Ponder can build upon his second half performance, the Vikings might have a legit franchise quarterback in the making.
-Adrian Peterson is a beast. Peterson ran for 84 yards on 17 carries in his first game back from a torn ACL and MCL suffered, just 8 months ago. Amazing. Peterson, also scored two rushing TDs, and had a 20 yard rush in OT. Adrian looked more comfortable with his knee, as the game wore on.
-The Vikings pass-defense is still terrible. How do you allow a 39 yard TD pass with 20 seconds to go in the game, when you are leading by four points? The Vikings made Jaguars QB, Blaine Gabbert look competent. Which, if you watched him at all last season, you know is not the case.
-Yes, Chris Cook was burned on the Jaguars late TD pass, and looked terrible on the play. But where was the safety help from Mistral Raymond? He was nowhere to be found on the play. And I have to believe the Vikings would not call a man-to-man coverage look, leading by four points, with just 25 seconds left in the game.
-Bryan Robison, Chad Greenway, Kyle Rudolph, and Matt Kalil all played very well for the Vikings.
-This was not the prettiest game in the world, but a win is a win for the Vikings. Who, after being 3-13 last season, are in no position to complain about any victory this season.

Up Next: The 1-0 Minnesota Vikings go on the road to take on rookie QB, Andrew Luck and the 0-1 Indianapolis Colts.

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