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Viking View (09/10/2008)
By John Edstrom

Rodgers looked good against Vikes

...now comes Peyton Manning

Well fans, the early results are in, and it is not looking good for the Purple, although as such things go they have looked much worse in the past. Small comfort. Letís go with the obvious story line. T. Jackson failed to scintillate, or even show that his game has progressed beyond last year. I wasnít impressed with his receiving corps either, particularly the ballyhooed Bernard Berrian, who could not get by Al Harris (widely described as venerable) to establish the much anticipated Deep Threat. The Cheeseheads stacked the line and it was the same-old, although Adrian Peterson did run for 103 yards, mostly on his own.

Jackson threw some nice balls, but missed easy tosses when the pressure was on. He hit Berrian on the shoes to settle for the first field goal, and missed behind Rice to muff the two-pointer. Neither should have been a very difficult throw. His performance will be called erratic, and not answering any of the crucial questions about his ability to lead the Vikes to a winning season, much less Super Bowl. And, by the way, it was disappointing to see such a stodgy approach to 21st century football in the first half.

Meanwhile, out on the right defensive end, Jared Allen made it look like just about anybody can make multimillions working for Zyg Wilf. He spent much time flying through the air, more rolling around on the ground. The speedy Allen seemed able to get by Chad Clifton fairly often, but always went for a tumble at the last second Ė once again, no sacks for the Vikes, no pass rush to speak of. Allen has an impressive portfolio, but after watching him for one game, I would call him one of those big guys who has trouble keeping his feet under him.

For all of that, the Purple could well have had a happy plane ride home. In revisiting old bugaboos, they gave up the punt return on special teams and incurred a slew of sloppy penalties. some of which kept them from preventing the first Rodgers TD throw. (This was a play wholly reminiscent of Favre, and surely sent the Cheeseheads home in sodden, happy delirium). Ben Leber failed to wrap up, bouncing off Ryan Grant to give up the long run, and Charles Gordon had good coverage when Greg Jennings made the long catch, but just didnít quite make a play on the ball.

The Vikes as a team, not just Jackson, played erratically, and will be lucky to post any kind of winning record if they donít tighten things up.

Next week the Purple will get to see Tony Dungyís minions at the Hump. The Colts, in their first game in a brand new stadium, will be in an ornery mood, having been made to look very ordinary vs. the Bears. Hopefully that was the start of a trend, because if Peyton Manning gets his offense back up to speed, the Vikes could well be off to a 0-2 start.



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