I feel like pointing out a few plays and moments, and just things in general, that I found enjoyable about the game overall. Maybe some obvious points, and maybe some lesser seen ones. Hope you like.
These are, in no real particular order by the way:
1. LaMarr Woodley. The man seemed to start this year off sluggish and out of shape, yet seemed involved on a lot of plays today. And I think he had some big one in there... Aside from letting the 40 year old Favre juke him out of a sack, it was pretty great to watch him play at a high level.
2. 2008 defense in the 09 season. Best run game in football, check. Undefeated team, check. Highest rated passer in the league, check. And what happened? 10 points. That was the finest display of defense I've seen from this unit since I dont know when. Sacks, CLUTCH turnovers, and general blitzing shenanigans... more on this later.
3. Trusting Brett Favre more than Purple Jesus: I love it when a team decides to put their goal-line fate in the hands of a rusty old QB instead of the best running back on the planet. Observing Peterson get one out of 3 attempts on the goalline made our work that much easier. And it was capped off by a Childress pansy field goal. Bra-vo.
4. Maxamillion Starks. He earned his keep today. I dont think I hardly ever heard the name Jared Allen flutter through my ears. In fact he finished with just 1.5 tackles, and most importantly, no real impact on the game. I knew Max had his number on a passing play early in the game, I believe with 12:57 left in the first, Max just flat out pancakes him to the floor. I jumped up and shouted on that block. Today Max was worth every cent of his fat contract.
5. The Review Crew: For making an excellent review of a sideline Vikings catch that from a glance, hell, from a stare, didnt seem to be a catch. But fantastic work. They also made the right call in our favor on another review, 2/2. Good work and even when they go against us, I still prefer a clean review.
6. Keyaron Fox. Losing your fastest LB when playing a fast offense hurts, especially when he's been all over the field in this game. But talk about filling in some shoes. Great play, and only really made one bad move on AP, and there's no shame in that. And of course, made the big clutch play to prove he can handle the load on defense.
7. Ziggy Hood. He didn't play much, but looked energetic out there. The thing I absolutely love his that he hauls his ass all the way down to follow Fox's INT return. Thats a good sign out of the kid. He showed hustle even though there likely wasn't anybody to block, but you can bet if there had been, he'd have them on the ground.
8. Dick Lebeau's Blitzburgh. I saw a lot of 1-5-5 looks and plenty of other exotic 5 man rushes late in the game. 4-5 man rushes are not really a big deal, except out of that formation they can be deadly. Favre had men in his face. Dick started the year out a bit timid, perhaps concerned about pass coverage without Polamalu and B-Mac, but he's got into a groove right now, and looks to be back in top shape.
9. James Farrior. Farrior deserves a big nod today. Many feel he's lost a step. In fact, I have been wanting Fox to fill in for him more. But its hard to argue that when he posts 9-6 in the tackle column, with a sack, and was involved in breaking up a few passes.
10. Physical Play. On both teams, the play was quite strong. I'm probably never going to forget Purple Jesus mowing down William Gay like a hummer going over a speedbump in the walmart parking lot, nor Ward taking a hard hit and dropping it. And of course, Professional Wood Layer Ryan Clark did his weekly decleater and forced a timely drop. Favre even got knocked around a bit and to his credit threw his classic low block. Great stuff on both sides of the ball for both teams.
So thats my 10 spot. Hope you like. There was quite a bit about this game to love but to me this one was just a pure great football game. Seems like we really step up for people wearing purple jerseys... Watch out B-more!