400 Yards For Adrian Peterson?

Adrian Peterson
Originally uploaded by catman_1966

The since was inserted into the starting lineup. is maturing, . It’s showing.  And then there’s the rookie phenom of the decade,

Peterson has amazed us since the first game of the season, long before our offensive line pulled it together and became an machine. So with the line opening up gaping holes, the receivers opening things up with their downfield blocking, and the credible threat of a passing game, could Adrian Peterson run for 400 yards in a game, ?

I really don’t see why not, especially today. While the 49ers are not the least effective team against the rush, they rank 27th in the NFL against the rush. They are giving up 124 yards a game to running backs not named Adrian Peterson. And there’s the rub.

Such gawdy numbers are not all that implausible when you consider that the guy . All Peterson needs to do is rip of three or four long runs–a feat for which he’s entirely capable–and he’s easily within striking distance of four hundred.

The Vikings need to account for 49ers cornerback and their outstanding rookie linebacker, . Willis has 128 tackles and the season ain’t over yet. He’s supposed to be a sideline-to-sideline terror so watch for the Vikings to run between the tackles today, right at him and bet that our offensive line and Adrian Peterson can overpower him.

I absolutely believe Peterson can run for 400 yards in one game. The greatest limitation to that accomplishment may very well be Brad Childress himself by pulling Peterson before he’s through.

All Of A Sudden, The Vikings Are A Good Team

Let’s remember that the last three games the have played were against the dreadful against the and on possibly the worst game of his career, and the free-falling .

That said, the Vikings have been an infinitely more palatable team to watch during this winning streak.

The Vikings Offensive Line

Adrian Peterson
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Not coincidentally, the offensive line has been awesome for the past three games. It looks like we’ve found our starters on the right side with guard and tackle . Cook took care of in the Giants game and has been burying people on the run blocking.

They are giving plenty of time to throw the ball and are opening massive holes for and .

Tarvaris Jackson

But the single biggest improvement has come at the quarterback position, and that makes a huge difference.

I’ve been about as critical of Brad Childress as can be over playing Jackson when he clearly wasn’t ready to play. And I’ve complained that Jackson has not even shown any progress thus far.

Well, he has now. During the New York game, he wasn’t spectacular, but he made no  mistakes and he did connect with on a long bomb, a pass he hadn’t been able to make till then. Against the Lions, it wasn’t just that he kept the mistakes to a minimum (his only mistake was the interception), he actually showed progress in his development. A lot of it.

Nearly all of Jackson’s passes were dead-on accurate; he threw with touch when that was required and drilled it in there when he needed a bullet. He knew when to pull the ball down and run it and when he did, he knew how to slide to avoid the big hit. He made some plays with his athleticism, but it wasn’t his weapon of first choice.

Jackson showed pocket presence; he stepped up in the pocket to avoid the rush and looked comfortable doing so. That’s the first time I’ve seen him looking natural in the pocket, feeling the pressure, and sliding around to avoid it. His timing passes were right on time.

Jackson has been looking off defenders and he read the blitzes accurately and got the ball to the right receivers to make the defense pay. His decision making was superb.

Maybe the Vikings coaches have scaled down the playbook to the plays with which Jackson is most comfortable, or the offensive line has started to click, or maybe the game just begun to slow down for Jackson. Whatever it is, I hope it continues because Jackson actually looked great against the Lions.

Adrian Peterson

It helps enormously, of course, to have Adrian Peterson back in the lineup. The guy has missed two games, yet he still leads the league in rushing. He was his usual self against the Lions: 116 yards on 15 carries.

Let me just get this on the record: Adrian Peterson will run for 400 yards in a game this season and his best chance of doing that will be this Sunday against the .

There, I said it.

Vikings Defense

On defense, the Vikes are blitzing a lot more but are not getting burned because they do such an incredible job of disguising their defense. and and will creep up to the line of scrimmage, showing blitz, and hold…hold…hold…until the second before the sack and then drop into coverage. Two plays later they’ll show the same look and come with a full on blitz.

The artistry of maintaining a look until the very last second is helping to confuse opposing quarterbacks. The Vikings D is getting plenty of pressure now, just not with their front four. The nice thing is, with the offense now seemingly capable of scoring a lot, the defense can afford to lay off the blitzes and just bring pressure with the front four because they’re backed by a big lead.

It’s clear that the Vikings gained a lot of confidence by trouncing the Giants and that carried over into the Detroit game. That helps a lot. You play a lot better when you’re confident you’re going to play well.

I hate to get my hopes up because I’ve done that too often with this team, but considering the Vikings’ remaining schedule, they have every reason to be confident. Everyone they have left to play this year is a losing team.

The Book On Brad Childress’ Draft Picks

This week we’ve looked at head coach Brad Childress‘ handling of the Vikingsquarterback position and his free agency/waiver wire moves. So now let’s look at his draft picks:

The Vikings have actually drafted very well during the Childress era. We got Adrian Peterson (who fell to us, it should be noted), Sidney Rice, Marcus McCauley, Brian Robison, and Aundrae Allison. All of them have started this season and all of them look like they could develop into consistent starters.

In 2006, we got Chad Greenway (who’s been okay, though he is essentially a rookie), Cedric Griffin, Ryan Cook, Ray Edwards, and Tarvaris Jackson–all starters.

But it is Jackson who is the exception to our generally exceptional
drafts. During the 2006 draft, Childress moved up by trading two third
round picks to position the team to reach deep into the sixth round and
pick Jackson with the 64th overall pick of the draft. No one expected Jackson to go that high, not even the quarterback himself.

The last time an NFL team drafted a I-AA quarterback, his name was Spergon Wynn.

The reach would be easier to swallow if 1) it wasn’t such a crucial position, 2) we had a backup quarterback plan, or 3) there was some glimmer of hope that Jackson could become a franchise quarterback and remain healthy.

Not only has Jackson often looked like he is in over his head but worse, there doesn’t seem to be any improvement to his game.

Vikings vs. Packers Preview

I’m not too confident they can do it, despite , but if the are to have any chance at seeing post-season action, today is the day they .

Adrian Peterson kicked serious ass last week, but let’s be real; Chargers quarterback had an awful game, the team was without starting linebacker ; and standout was knocked out early in the second half. It’s not coincidental that Peterson ran for 253 yards and two touchdowns during the second half.

That’s not to say that it wasn’t a phenomenal performance by Peterson, it was a thing of beauty (). It’s no surprise, too, that the offensive line put in their best performance of the year and Peterson got a lot of help from outstanding blocking by the receivers down field.

Peace, man.
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Here’s something else that’s not a coincidence: The offense suddenly looked a lot better after was knocked out of the game and we got a signal caller with a semblance of passing accuracy in .

Before he was knocked out, Jackson threw directly to the defensive back who was positioned in front of on a five yard slant route. How did Jackson not see that Rice was covered? Later, Jackson missed an open on a deep route.

During the third Vikings’ series of the second half, after five straight running plays, on first and ten, Bollinger hits Sidney Rice for a forty yard touchdown on a stop and go route.

Those plays have been there all year but neither Jackson nor have been able to hit open receivers. This is how inaccurate our starter and primary backup have been: Tarvaris Jackson has an abysmal 46.4% completion percentage and Holcomb is not much better with 50.6%. Bollinger boasts a 70.8% completion percentage.

Indeed, Bollinger leads the team in every significant statistical category: Yards per Attempt (9), Touchdown Percentage (4.2%), Interceptions (0 verses 5 for Jackson and 1 for Holcomb), sacks (4 versus 5 for Jackson and 12 for Holcomb), and quarterback rating at 112.3. Is it time to stop grooming Jackson and put in the guy who gives us the best chance to win?

Which brings us to today’s game.

Running Against The Packers

The Vikings face the league’s 7th ranked defense today against the but then they faced the same challenge last week against the Chargers’ 7th ranked run defense.

Boasting the league’s best running back coming off a historic performance, it is no secret what the Vikings will do on offense today. .

The difference this week may very well be Brooks Bollinger, who is expected to start behind center. The Pack will stack eight or nine players in the box in order to stop Peterson and the Vikings need to–as they have all year long–take advantage of that defense.

Passing Against The Packers

Bolliger’s accuracy gives the Vikings the best chance to exploit the crowding of the box. Starting free safety is out, so rookie will be starting in his stead. Throw in the fact that starting strong safety (great name!) has been playing miserably lately, we may see some deep passes actually completed today.

And that would help open up the running game, as well.

Defending The Packers

The Packers’ offense is last in the league in rushing and second in the league in passing; the Vikes are second in the league against the run but 31st in the league against the pass, so we know what’s gonna happen.

The best defense for the Vikings must be a good offense. Just keep off the field for as much of the game as possible.

When the Vikings D is on the field, they should ignore the run, especially the play-action because it’s unlikely to be a run anyway. We need to get in Farve’s grill with a strong pass rush to keep him from getting comfortable and we need to jam the receivers to disrupt their short, West Coast routes.

The Vikings defense will need to bring the game they played against the Chargers if the team is going to have a chance to win.

It wouldn’t hurt at all if picked off his old mate.

Vikings Offense: Just A Little Better

Week 6 – Bears
Originally uploaded by vikingsfrenzy

See what I mean?

that the just need to get a little better on offense and they’d win a lot more games. Well, they got a lot better on Sunday. Man, I didn’t expect that.

Adrian Peterson has officially arrived on the NFL scene. 361 all purpose yards; 224 of them rushing and 128 of them returning kicks. As a result of his amazing performance, Peterson has become the story of the week, with everyone gushing over him. NFL Network even did a nice piece on him.

Offensive Line

But you can’t have an amazing performance like Peterson‘s if you’re offensive line isn’t doing their job. Could Anthony Herrera made that much of a difference? Starting at right guard in place of Artis Hicks, Herrera and the rest of the line played their best game of the Childress era. They were opening holes for Peterson and Chester Taylor and gave Tarvaris Jackson enough time in the pocket to find his receivers. If the offensive line has just started clicking, then maybe the season isn’t lost after all.

Dual Backs

It sure looks like Childress and company have found the sweet spot by balancing touches between Peterson and Taylor. Peterson carried the rock 20 times and Taylor had 22 rushes for 83 yards. Give Richardson his one carry, and the Vikings ran the ball 43 times. That’s a hell of a ground game.

The Vikings now have someone who can provide the team with the explosive plays we were lacking. Peterson had runs of 27 yards, 67 yards, 73 yards, and 35


I love the idea of having Taylor and Peterson on the field at the same time; it’s gotta create match up problems for opposing defenses and keeps them off balance as well.

Finally, it sure looks like the addition of Peterson to the roster has helped improve Taylor’s game.


The game could have been a blowout if our receivers didn’t continue to drop so many balls. The first pass on a slant to Troy Williamson hit him in the chest and ricocheted around before falling to the ground. Had Williamson caught that ball, he might have slipped the defenders for a long gain or even a touchdown. It was smart to go right back him on the next play.

Williamson also dropped a third down reception on a crossing patter just at the sidelines that hit him in both hands and would have been a first down. He did lay out for an overthrown bomb but even on his 60 yard touchdown reception, Williamson caught the ball with his arms rather than his hands. Even so, just the fact that he caught a long touchdown bomb has got to go a long way toward boosting Williamson’s confidence and giving opposing defenses something to think about.

Sidney Rice also dropped an easy catch on a slant that would probably have gone for a touchdown but he also made a very nice diving catch to convert a first down. Bobby Wade didn’t make a third down catch he should have that would’ve resulted in a first down.

Tarvaris Jackson

TJax was not the panicked QB he was before the bye. But pass protection will do that for you.

Jackson the aforementioned passes that were dropped. His 60 yard touchdown to Williamson was a perfect strike. But I thought his most impressive pass was the one he threw deep to Robert Ferguson in the end zone. It was thrown to the sideline side of Ferguson so only the receiver could catch the ball. It would have been a tough catch, but Ferguson should have made it.

On the other hand, Jackson did have quite a few misses; a lot of his passes were behind his receivers. He had Shiancoe open down the seam for what would have been a long game and perhaps even a touchdown, but Jackson overthrew him.

He missed a wide open Tony Richardson for a catch that would’ve gone for a long gain or even a touchdown. Jackson also missed Williamson by a step for another bomb.

But the fact that Jackson didn’t look like a wild-eyed rookie and didn’t turn the ball over is progress.

Vikings Defense

Going into the Bears game, you would have thought that the weakness of our defense would be our young corners, Cedric Griffin and Marcus McCauley. With the exception of McCauley’s fourth quarter dropped interception that was followed by a Bears touchdown, the two played exceptionally well.

Who would have thought it would be the savvy veterans Antione Winfield and Dwight Smith that gave up touchdowns. Excuse me, when you’re just trying to prevent a score, how do you let Devin Bloody Hester get behind you?!?

Erasmus James was in for a few plays and on at least one, he was a half-second behind his line mates off the ball. The guy still does not have his explosion back and you wonder if he ever will regain it.

E.J. Henderson continues to kick some serious football ass and Ben Leber made an outstanding pick.

But the story of the defense was certainly the abysmal play of Chad Greenway. The guy has got to learn how to shed blocks. Jeeze. What is he doing out there?!? Instead of trying to push a lineman away on his way to the ball carrier, Greenway explodes into them, as if he were the one doing the blocking. It was ugly.

Vikings vs. Cowboys

While I’m more hopeful and excited about the Vikings prospects after the Bears game, I am not insane and therefore I have to say, sadly, that the Cowboys are going to absolutely dismantle the Vikings.   

Vikings Induct Chuck Foreman Into Ring Of Honor Today

Chuck Foreman
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Patrick Reusse wrote about two of my childhood sports heros, and .

The reason for the column, of course, is that today. The Ring of Honor is basically the Vikings’ own Hall of Fame.

Foreman came out of college as a wide receiver and a cornerback. His receiving skills would be on display his entire career because Tarkenton threw to him often. The Vikings would get him out in the flat, or underneath, or in the soft spots of zone coverage to get him in one-on-one situations, where he was virtually unstoppable. They even sent him deep like a wide receiver.

For three years during the mid-seventies, Foreman was the best running back in the NFL. In 1975, Foreman led the NFC in receptions (73), touchdowns (22!), and came in second to in rushing yards with 1,070, six yards short of the Triple Crown.

During the last game, at Buffalo, a fan threw a snowball at Foreman that hit him in the eye and he had to be pulled from the game as a result because he couldn’t see. That fan probably cost Foreman the rushing title that year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Foreman recently and not solely because of his pending induction. I’ve been thinking about him because reminds me a lot of Foreman. Peterson appears to have the same combination of skills and attributes that Foreman had: Speed and quickness, but also the power to run over people and the moves to make people miss coupled with good hands.


2007 Minnesota Vikings Season Preview

The thing about this season is that the just have to get a little better than last year to win a lot more games. Consider the games the Vikings lost last year:

  • In September, the Vikings lost to the Bears, 16-19
  • In October, the Vikings lost to the Bills, 17-12
  • and to the Patriots, 7-31
  • In November, the Vikings lost to the 49ers, 9-3
  • to the Packers, 17-23
  • and to the Dolphins, 24-20
  • In December, the Vikings lost to the Bears again, 23-13
  • to the Jets, 13-26
  • again to the Packers, 9-7
  • and to the Rams, 21-41

The two games against the Packers and Bears each were winnable. The margins of victory for each of those four games were 3 points, 6 points, 10 points, and 2 points. The Vikings lost to the Bills by 5 points; to the 49ers by 6 points; and to the Dolphins by four point.

Instead of 6 and 10, they could have easily been 10 and 6 and division winners.

With the addition of , , and , I think the defense has gotten much stronger and much harder to pass against than last season.

But the defense, of course, wasn’t the problem last year. The offense was.

We improved on offense significantly with the addition of . I am officially a converted fan of , who has proven very adept at making yards after the catch. is a great addition if he can stay healthy. is a nice big target who has shown he’s got good hands, is not afraid to catch the ball in a crowd, is very athletic and has excellent body control. And if we can get to catch a few long bombs, we’ll at least have the semblance of a deep threat.

The offensive line returns with one year together playing the zone blocking scheme, so they’ve got to improve simply because they are more familiar with one another and with zone blocking.

The big question is . He looks very poised and by all accounts is a smart kid, a quick study, and a quick decision maker. The main thing for Jackson is to avoid mistakes, which is to say turnovers, while he learns the ropes.

The most glaring weakness of this team is the coverage units, which are absolutely horrible. I’m not too confident that they’ll improve that much.

Looking at the schedule, I think it’s reasonable to think that the Vikings could go 9-7 or even 10-6 this year. I’m giving the Vikings both games against the , even with . That team has to prove to me they can win, cause they’ve never done it before. I’d split the series as I would the series, though I think the Vikings could sweep them as well.

We should beat the Vickless to open the season. We play the , the , and the , all of which should be wins.

So that’s eight wins.

The are beatable with at QB. The are beatable. They’ve got a rookie coach and we don’t yet know whether is the real thing. The and the look as if they will be good, but they’re sorta at that stage where it’s too early to tell. Even the could be beatable because you never know if will be healthy.

Thee only guaranteed loss is to the .

Preseason – Minnesota Vikings Vs. NY Jets

  Preseason – Rams 
  Originally uploaded by vikingsfrenzy

Football season couldn’t have come at a better time. With the Twins being such frustrating teases all season long, hovering around six games back with a chance to get back in the pennant race but not being quite good enough to win the games they should win, it’s nice that they aren’t the only game in town anymore.

Vikings Free Agency

This off season was a particularly painful one for Vikings fans. In a weak market for receivers, the team went after one high profile guy in Kevin Curtis and settled on , a guy who had a well-deserved reputation for dropping passes. The team signed a tight end no one had ever heard of in , a special teams ace in linebacker , injured safety , receiver and another "wide receiver" , a guy who has never played football.

So you’re thinking, great, the rebuilding continues…with average players. I do not remember a more dispiriting Vikings off season.

The Vikings Draft

But then the rolls around and the picks give you reason to hope. is clearly a talented and explosive back but who has durability issues. We stocked up on receivers with , , and ; took a cornerback who was project to be a first round pick last year in ; got depth at linebacker with ; took a pass rushing defensive end in ; and got another young gun in quarterback .

The draft gave me a bit of hope. If he stays healthy Adrian Peterson could be an amazing running back; Sidney Rice, at 6′ 4" is a nice tall target and Allison and Chandler Williams have got speed. Then there’s Marcus McCauley, the first-round grade cornerback.

Hope springs eternal during the preseason and I’m perfectly happy to oblige.

The Vikings Preseason

The Vikings are heading into the 2007 season with essentially three number one draft picks. There’s Adrian Peterson, of course, but If you also count Marcus McCauley, who, as I said, most people consider a first round talent, and last year’s first round pick , who didn’t play last year because of injury, we’ve got three first rounders this year.

You have to figure the offensive line will be better–hopefully much improved–after a year together in the zone blocking scheme. So the only questions on offense are 1) playcalling, 2) , and the wide receiving corps.

The defense looks to have gotten stronger with a healthy Greenway, a healthy and , and the addition of McCauley and Mike Doss. I think we’ve got four starters at the corners, intense competition at safety, more speed at linebacker, and the only question is at the defensive end positions.

I was very impressed with last season and now he’s got a year’s experience under his belt. But it remains to be seen how will bounce back from his injury and has done nothing to warrant anyone’s confidence.

I don’t know if special teams can get much worse than last year, so we’ll see what happens there.

Preseason Games

So what do we know after two preseason games? So far, so good.

The Offense

The offense looks to be better for having been liberated from Childress‘ playcalling script.

Thus far, Tarvaris Jackson hasn’t done anything to make you groan but he hasn’t had many chances to make mistakes yet, either. He has lead a few impressive drives, he looks decisive, and he hasn’t had any center/quarterback exchange problems, so his concentration is good.

But if Jackson isn’t the real deal, then we’re in real trouble.

Against St. Louis, the Vikings got the ball to Troy Williamson early and frequently and the receiver caught all the catches you expect him to make. On the one he didn’t haul in, it was a difficult catch because the ball was thrown high and Williamson had a receiver draped all over him. He probably should’ve caught it, but at this point, who are we to quibble? It’s progress.

Against the Jets, Williamson got a long bomb down the right sideline and he fought for position with the defender, got the position, looked to have a bead on the ball with his hands in position for the catch but the safety came in to swat the ball away before Williamson could have a chance at it.

It is notable that they haven’t yet thrown to him down the left sideline. Williamson has historically had the ball slip through his arms on deep passes where he’s had to look over his right shoulder. That’s something to watch for in the remaining preseason games.

Bobby Wade is as advertised. He’s a catch and run slot guy who has caught nearly everything thrown to him. So far he’s proved me wrong about him being stone-handed. He did not make a tough third down pass that would have given the Vikes a fresh set of downs but he did have a defender all over him. Still, he should’ve caught the ball. He’s shown several times that he’s got the ability to make people miss and make a lot of yards after the catch, so that’s very good.

Wad is also an excellent blocker, a talent he showed off on Peterson’s 43 yard run against the Jets by sealing one defender to allow Peterson to get out on the edge, then moving on to another which freed Peterson up for a long run.

What little we’ve seen of Sidney Rice thus far has been good. He’s a big guy who’s not afraid to catch the ball in a crowd. Aundrae Allison and Chandler Williams have yet to make an impression, but Martin Nance has had a few nice nabs.

New tight end Visanthe Shiancoe has not yet shown up as a receiver, so we’ll watch for him to make some plays.

We didn’t get to see much of what Adrian Peterson can do against the Rams but man did we in his performance against the Jets. The shake and bake, the spin, the acceleration; we haven’t seen that in a running back since Robert Smith. You could see his power when he hit congestion at the line and moved the pile. For all his toughness, we didn’t see a lot of that from Chester Taylor last season. Peterson looked like he was hitting the holes a little too quickly at times but the patience should come. If he learns to pick up blitzes effectively, we could be in for a lot of entertaining football. Here are Peterson’s highlights from the Jets game:

The offensive line looks good enough but depth is still an issue; against the Jets, demonstrated yet again his trouble picking up the outside rush.

The Defense

Well, it looks like the defense will still be the strength of the team and very possibly much better than last year.

The defense has been fantastic thus far. Against the Rams, linebacker Dontarrious Thomas took his pick 82 yards to the house for the Vikings’ only touchdown and safety Dwight Smith picked Marc Bulger to end another Rams’ drive. Against the Jets, both Darren Sharper and Chad Greenway returned interceptions for touchdowns and rookie Brian Robison recovered a fumble for a score.

I think the secondary is stronger than last year. A healthy Tank Williams and newcomer Mike Doss provide competition and depth at the safety spots. If they both make the team, we’ll have experienced starters as backups regardless of what the depth chart looks like.

At the corners we’ve got Winfield and , who I liked a lot last year. He’s got a year under his belt and should only improve. Marcus McCauley has looked solid so far and Dovonte Edwards is healthy and had a pick against the Jets. Those two will battle for the nickel spot and regardless who wins the spot, we’ll have an upgrade in both speed and talent at both the nickel and the dime positions.

At linebacker we lost Napoleon Harris and so E.J. Henderson will move to the middle linebacking position. He didn’t fare so well at that position early in his career but he had a fantastic season last year and let’s hope that experience and maturity will help him excel at the Mike position.

Ben Leber returns after a solid season last year and Greenway is healthy. Chad Greenway didn’t do much against the Rams but he was outstanding against the Jets. In addition to scoring on an interception return, he lead the team in tackles and sniffed out a screen and tackled the Jets’ back for a loss. He’s very fast, so our drop coverage in the Tampa 2 will probably improve. Dontarrious Thomas provides depth as a roaming backer but with rookie Rufus Alexander lost for the year (what is it with linebackers and season-ending injuries?) with an ACL injury and Jason Glenn retiring, we’re a little thin at the position.

Ray Edwards has been a rock star at defensive end so far this preseason; in both games he’s put consistent pressure on the quarterback and his rush of Chad Pennington caused the ill-advised pass that Greenway picked off for a score.

It has been rookie Brian Robison who has had the most eye-opening performance this preseason. He had one sack against the Rams and was absolutely unstoppable, putting constant pressure on the passer. But I withheld judgment until I got to see him play against a first-team line. Against the Jet, Robison had four tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

I was wrong about Robison. When the Vikings picked him, it looked like a reach to me. I was really wrong. The guy is lightning-quick. He made D’Brickshaw Ferguson look like he was playing in water and put some pretty good moves on the tackle on his way to the quarterback.

On one play he motored in around the tackle and though he didn’t have a chance for a sack, he batted the ball out of Kellen Clemens‘ hands for a forced fumble that the Jets recovered. On the very next play, the Jets center snapped an errant ball that Clemens couldn’t reach from the shotgun position.

Robison, of course, was there in the backfield and as Clemens reached down for the ball, he smartly pushed the quarterback out of the way, and all in one motion scooped up the ball, and dove into the end zone for the score. A lot of players would have either tried to tackle the quarterback or dove for the ball but Robison realized he’d have a clearer path to the ball by simply pushing the QB out of the way.

If Erasmus James returns to his former self and we can get either Edwards or Robison to play the opposite side, we won’t have to worry about whether or not Udeze fulfills his promise.

‘s defense looks very much like ‘s of last year, except with more blitzing. It’s been effective. We may even see some .

Special Teams

Vinny Ciurciu doesn’t seem to have improved the coverage units measurably, so that remains a weakness. , however, may just beat out for the punter position on the strength of his kickoff power and his directional punting ability. Reyes’ kickoffs haven’t been particularly consistent but at least he’s hit some to the one and three yard lines. Neither Kluwe nor Reyes has displayed much power on their punts, but Reyes can do the coffin corner.

It was impressive to see the field goal unit quickly assemble on field as time ticked away before the half of the Jets game and nail a 54 yard field goal as time expired.

And, by the way, it was a 54 yard field goal. Outside. In wet weather. Last year, was solid inside the forty but had trouble with the longer field goals.

Next Saturday: Seattle Seahawks

We should get to see some extended play of Tarvaris Jackson on Saturday and I expect he’ll throw a lot. Expect the ball to be thrown primarily to Troy Williamson, Sidney Rice, Aundrae Allison and Visanthe Shiancoe.

The defensive spotlight will shine on Erasmus James to see how his recovery has progressed.