What is the most confident you have ever been? Have you ever been so confident in an argument that you knew you’d win that you sat back with a shit eating grin on your face, crossed your arms, let some moron run their mouth and rant until days’ end, while you coolly waited to mic drop their ass? Have you ever been so confident that you actually unbuttoned TWO buttons at the top of your work shirt? Maybe confident enough that you kept your leg propped up on a chair at an outside retaurant, fully aware that your dong head was slipping out a little from your shorts, but you didn’t even care?
I imagine all of that is how the Vikings are feeling right now. I mean, I know this is the preseason and I shouldn’t be an idiot about stuff, but if you were ever going to lose a preseason game, it’d be the third one, right? First game on the road so far this year, against a team that went 11-5 last year and into the playoffs, and you pretty much dismantle their first team for half a game? I mean, it was a boring dismantling, too. You were never even really worried about the Chiefs getting into the game. And then our second string team came out and did the same thing, and you’re starting to think to yourself, “Our team is so good, we basically have TWO teams on our one team that could vie for a playoff spot this year.”
That’s how confident I would feel right now if I were the Vikings, after a big 30-12 win over Kansas City on Saturday night. And this is only the beginning.
MUSHROOM STAMP OF APPROVAL
It’s tough to pick out a player from this game who is the one deserving guy of our Mushroom Stamp. So many players did so many little things that – when taken in totality – had a pretty big impact on the victory. This is all so foreign to Vikings fans who expect boom or bust with Adrian Peterson, that I don’t quite know how to adjust to this. Is this what NFL football is suppose to look like? Even so, I wanted to give a special call out to Shaun Prater. For a guy who has been looking to stick, at a position where we’ll let anyone who looks like they have a pulse have top roster spot, Prater couldn’t have been happier with his game. A big interception and a huge sack made it look like he maybe understands Zimmer’s defense a little better than his cornerback competition, and he may have just been bumped up the depth chart.
VIKINGS OF THE YEAR RANKING
Our ongoing list of top five Vikings players on the team this year grows with continued performance. This week’s top five switched up quite a bit. Teddy B has made it to the number two spot already (up one from number three last week) thanks to his sexy touch-throws for touchdowns. And a couple of defensive guys made it on merit AND generality. See, I feel like the defense as a whole has been playing better, but Audie Cole isn’t a top five Vikings right now. Nor is Shaun Prater. BUT! Everson Griffen terrorized well enough to make those guys have easier jobs, and Harrison Smith laid some awesome wood (he tackled someone really well, too!) this past game that got me excited about Vikings defense again. I mean, really?! Imagine that!
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Teddy Bridgewater
3. Cordarrelle Patterson
4. Everson Griffen
5. Harrison Smith
DIVISIONS TAKING SHAPE
We’re only three weeks into the NFL preseason schedule, and there is already a lot of NFL landscaping taking place. The Bears played the Seahawks this past week, and they looked AWFUL. If Jay Cutler stays healthy (He won’t …) AND if their defense amazingly goes from worst to first with the same players and coaching staff as last year, sure, maybe they’ll be a .500 team. But best of luck there. I’m still waiting for the Packers defense to impress me, and the Lions are still a mess. Elsewhere, the Rams lost Sam Bradford (whom we were suppose to see the first week of the season), and their team looks like a disaster now, too. Point being, I’m noticing several opportunities that are starting to open up for the Vikings where it may be worthwhile to be blindly optimistic and asshat-tastic. In other words, hire me now, KFAN!
Also, we’re leading the division right now at 3-0, so suck sausage, Packers.
NIPS AND NOTES
What else happened during the “final dress rehearsal” game? Let’s find out!
– Matt Cassel looks good, but he looks Matt Cassel good. What does that mean? It means he’s going to be mediocre throughout, throw a couple of bad interceptions, and by about week five or six, we’re going to have to make a tough decision about who the team’s quarterback should be. In the end, it may not be that tough of a decision at all.
– I’ve been impressed by the running backs so for this preseason. Maybe it’s Norv Turner’s offensive schemes, or maybe it’s just the coaches getting the talent out of their guys finally. Either way, Asiata has looked surprisingly serviceable this year (like a young Moe Williams!), and McKinnon has me excited that he learns from his mistakes and adapts to the game. In game one, you saw him trying to use his speed to beat NFL defenders. This last game, you saw his patience and presence to look for gaps and attack. That’s some solid growth, right there, and not the cancer kind!
– Jerome Simpson is garbage. He can leave.
– Matt Cassel is an All-Pro ass slapper. He loves touching butts.
– Who is this Shamar Stephen? We seriously drafted him? I like what I’ve seen out of him so far. As a seventh round pick, it was a stretch for him to make the team, but he looks like he has a decent chance now.
– I think I’d be OK with Greenway, Cole, and Barr as starting linebackers. We still need a better overall starting MLB, but Cole is serviceable, and depending on offensive package, we have back ups who could come in fresh and handle coverage duties.
– Can we start calling Brian Robison the “Minnesota McConaughey”?
– I’m liking Everson Griffen in his bad-ass role more and more each game. I’m glad he’s where he is at now, and I’m glad we re-signed him to the team.
– Xavier Rhodes is looking better and better, too. The other corners I’m not so sure on. We have a lot of bodies, but are low on overall talent. But Rhodes looks pretty legit.
I swear I’ve changed, man.
I can count to eleven,
And hate Leslie, too
I’m doing my best to temper my expectations, but the team looks pretty good right now. Sure, there will be bumps, and there will be better teams on better Sundays, but I like our chances against anyone in the division, at least. Speaking of, we’re going to take a look at the NFC North this week. Stick around, and help us close out the final preseason game this Thursday, as well. We should see plenty of Ponder. I’m excite!