Due to popular demand I'll make my long awaited return. I've been planning to do this for a while now, but as a few people mentioned, I've been busy with school and crap lately so I haven't had much of a chance to get on here. Thank you all of you who offerered the kind words, as to those pathetic cheseheads who are just tryin to make fun of the Vikings even though they have had a better team than the Packers for the past who knows how long. Yes, that's arguably but ever since we've drafted Moss you guys have been taking loads of DBs in the draft every single year. It's pretty predictable to sit there and when it get to the Packer's pick, just mark them off with the top DB still there. Anyway, I'd prefer to show how great the Vikes are then show the many weaknesses of the Packers and make meaningless jokes about them...I'll make my 2005 assessment of the Vikes....
QB Daunte Culpepper:
Ok, it's just one game but Daunte looked awesome yesterday. With a total of 5 TDs, he had a great performance. The main complaints I had last year were his decisiveness and his running. To me he showed great pocket awareness and was able to pull it down and run for the first a few times, showing great awareness and watching the blitz. When he did run he wasn't stumbling and bumbling as much. Last year it seemed whenever he ran he would be tripping and falling over his feet. This year he ran, got what he needed and got down, didn't try too much and fumble or do anything to get hurt. It is more fun to watch him anihilate a DB or a LB that weighs 20 pounds less than him but it's much smarter football to duck out of bounds or go down instead of getting hit. I think he's gonna finish the year with more stats than last year, which is sayin a lot. But he's got more weapons this year and he has matured and gotten smarter each season in the league.
RB(s), Bennett, Smith, Williams
If Bennett can stay healthy he's gonna be the number one back and can put up some awesome numbers. He's got world-class speed and has the agility to get away from the defenders. He's had injury problems throught his football career though, dating back to his days at Wisconsin. If he does go down again though, I think Onterrio is up to the task of starter again. If he can get past his off-field struggles with the law and drugs he could potentially be a great back. He's got more patience as a runner than Bennett did as a rookie and has the speed to get away from the defenders. He doesn't have the break-away speed Bennett does but he was able to beat the defenders to the outside a few times yesterday, and the Cowboy's D is no slouch. To be honest, I think Moe is being phased out. Yesterday he touched the ball hardly at all. He's a great team player, always willing to do whatever the coach wants him to, but he gettin old and the Vikes are pretty loaded at RB. I don't see him having a whole lot of impact this year.
WR, Randy Moss and co
Randy set the stage last year, averaging more than 100 yds and a TD per game. He fought with plantar flacitis over the offseason and many were worried about his production. He is supposedly completely over that and at near 100% once again. However, I have doubts that he repeats the stats he had last year. The Vikings now have Marcus Robinson and our other two WRs are another year older and as he showed in the game against the Boys, Daunte is spreading the ball around a lot more this year. He found 4 different people for TD passes. I have no doubt that Moss will finish the season once again with great numbers and the number 1 WR in the league, but I don't know if he'll be able to repeat the 17 TDs. The rest of the corp is pretty strong as well. Often overlooked because of Moss, the Vikes have three WRs that are very capable of putting up stats. It will probably be a battle all season between these three for the number two WR spot, for fantasy purposes I would be surprised to see any one of them come out on top and be the definite number 2 guy. We've gotta definitely be considered though in having the best corp of 4 WRs in the NFL though.
I was actually pretty high on the Vikes D this year. With the additions of Udeze and Winfield are reat, along with Thomas at LB. We've added a ton of speed, but our secondary is still a bit weak. Yesterday we gave up a huge day to Vinny Testaverde and the Cowboys passing. We weren't able to get the pass rush we has been getting all preseason either. Granted, the Cowboys have a great line, but the Vikes have one of the best young D-lines in the league. The injury to Irvin hurts, he was going to be one of our starting CBs, at least til Williams was healthy again. With a ruptured achilles, he's most likely out for the season. Brian Williams looked good yesterday though, he made a few big hits and was playing with a lot of enthusiasm and looked good on coverage too for the most part. Chavous is still the Pro-Bowl safety and should be great again this year. I still think Russell is a little suspect but should be servicable for another year at least. Overall I wasn't overly pleased with our D's performance yesterday but they're a very young group of guys and should only get better as the year goes on.
I'm not gonna comment on kicking right now, other than the fact that it looked better...but then again, could it have been worse than last year? We lost at least 2 games from our kicking game last year, if not 3 or 4.
I'm looking forward to this NFL season, along with the many other Vikes fans, and once again I'll say...this could be our year guys!
Thanks to Flockers for this great post...