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Article:Purple Pride Ponderings - Week 1 2008

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When the calendar hit September this year, there were two things I heavily anticipated - Metallica's new album, and a revamped Vikings football team. Similar, yet different. Metallica is and always has been my favorite Rock/Metal band. The Vikings is and always have been my favorite football team. Leading up to September, I had to wonder would this be the album that brings Metallica back to the level us die-hard fans remember? As for the Vikings, would this be the year Childress and his "kick ass offense" takes off and leads us to the promised land? ESPN took my love for both a step further on Monday night. They fused them together throughout the entire broadcast, paying homage to the best band on the planet. A nice plug for the new album indeed, but it also got this Vikings fan that was already clamoring for a statement victory against the hated Packers - even more amped.

As we all know, part of this metal infused evening left me feeling like the typical lyrics of a sad Country song, and that part would be the Minnesota Vikings.

The Stage was set, and he blew it

Jackson once again, did not have a good night, completing less that 50% of his passes. Sure he looked a bit better in the second half, but how could he not after piling up a measly six yards in the first half. As bad as the Vikings overall appeared to play (and as much as Rodgers was....Favre-like....puke!), they still found themselves in the game, with a chance to win on the final drive. This was it, Jackson's chance to prove all the skeptics wrong, show them that he is ready to be a big-time play maker in this league. But of course, instead he throws a horrible interception at the most inopportune time. Game over, Vikings fans left wondering what to do about a team with loads of talent, and a QB that still seems incapable of leading them.

Money well spent

Well at least that's what we were led to believe this entire off-season. The Vikings spent a truck-load of money on three players in particular - Jarred Allen, Bernard Berrian, and Maideu Williams. So how did they fare in this Monday night dance with their hated rival?

Williams - Did not play, out with a bad neck. May see action by week three.

Berrian - Three receptions for 38 yards and no touchdowns. If this guy could actually stay on his feet, he very well would have been over 100 yards with a score. But hey, at least he caught a few balls, which is more than Williamson could of ever said last year.

Allen - 0 tackles, 0 sacks Shut your mouth and play next week Country boy!

A little harsh on these guys after week one, but when you make the kind of jing they got, you better perform.

Offensive Line

I'm sure Jackson took a lot offense to the way these guys played. I understand that McKinnie was out, but let's face it, that guy is overrated anyway. Jackson is taking a ton of heat after this game and rightfully so, but the Offensive Line did nothing to help in regards to pass protection. Jackson hardly ever had time to sit in the pocket and go through his reads, and when he did, he stood there and took a few shots, which is a credit to him. This unit better gel and gel quickly, or the next three games will put Jackson in the hospital.

The three big plays Three big plays decided the outcome of this game.

1. The punt return for a touchdown, most of which was run down the sideline (the supposed extra man).

2. The bomb to Greg Jennings. Outstanding catch! While Rodgers seems to be getting all the accolades for that, it's Jennings that deserves it.

3. The 50+ yard Ryan Grant run that lead to the winning touchdown. Totally unacceptable for this defense. Grant is not that great of a running back, something I think that will be exposed with Favre gone. For a team that prides itself in stopping the run, they really shot themselves in the foot at that wrong time. This unit should take on as much heat as Jackson did for his interception.

A pissed off Manning comes to town

So what do we have to look forward to next week? How about a pissed off Colts team after stinking it up in their new house against that Bears. Neither of these teams wants to be 0-2 and both have something to prove now. The Vikings front seven HAS to get pressure on Manning or it's going to be a long day in the big inflatable toilet.

That's all I can muster after this debacle. As I stated earlier, would this be the year Childress and his "kick ass offense" takes off and leads us to the promised land? As of right now, the only ass kicking going on is the new Metallica album, Death Magnetic. From beginning to end, it's a hard-charged, the boys are back and grabbing you by the balls, epic masterpiece. Wish I could say the same about the Vikings, but hey, relax, it was only week one.


Keith Michaels

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