A disappointment, but honestly, it was to be expected. The flaws that were shown in the preseason were still prevalent, although (thank goodness) there was some improvement. My brief thought on the game follow…
The passing game was improved, the running game was improved. We had a few big plays. Randle-El showed his versatility (in a big way, very good free-agent pickup). First TD of the season. We showed the ability to put a few plays together and string out a drive. We actually had receivers running deep routes.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t string those plays together consistently enough. An 8 yard pickup was promptly followed by an incompletion and maybe run stuffed ending in us punting. Things like that were brutal to watch as they showed the promise, followed by reality. Our offensive line (supposedly one of our strengths) was a seive, there were Vikings constantly in our backfield. This disrupted our running and passing game.
The return of Cornelius Griffin did not herald the return of our vaunted run defense. Or pass defense for that matter. The line got very little push or penetration. And the few times we managed to get through to Brad Johnson, good things happened. But it wasn’t often enough.
Just like in preseason, the defense gave up several long drives and a long pass play. Were it not for a receiver dropping a couple passes there could have been two more long bombs, one of which was a sure touchdown.
Sean Taylor was once again victimized by the officiating crew. It’s official, he is a marked man. Both fouls against him were really borderline, in particular the “defenseless receiver” call. I wouldn’t be that upset about it were it not for one of our receivers getting plowed from behind when the ball went sailing over his head. He got hit in the back while the Viking’s receiver was facing Taylor.
Returns… Good. Coverage… Bad
Overall, I saw improvement, especially in the offense. We left some points on the table, getting a pair of field goals where if we had scored touchdowns, we’d be celebrating today instead of mourning. But I’m glad that we at least got *near* the goal line, compared to preseason when we were positively inept. The offense looks like once it starts clicking it will be pretty fun to watch.
The defense is a little more worrisome. We need some more muscle on the d-line, and there is no where for us to get it. Griffin is a stud, but he can’t do it by himself. New signing (SF castoff) Andre Carter was a non-factor. And they got it handed to them by the Vikings offensive line. I see more of the same next week in Dallas unless we somehow get ahead by alot of points and turn the Cowboys into a one-dimensional team.