Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down: Victorious Week 6, Vikings Edition

  • I know the Vikings benched Donovan McNabb and brought in Christian Ponder for the offense's failure to score points (and to get a glimpse of what they've got in him), but I don't really see what McNabb was doing to prevent that. His final stat line wasn't anything to be ashamed of - 19/24, 177 yards - and had two or three dropped passes in there. Definitely seemed like a scapegoat moment to me. The Bears were just about selling out to stop Peterson on every play, and it's hard for any offense to score when half of it is stopped solid. McNabb was fine, but the Bears just wouldn't back off from their persistent eight or nine in the box.
  • Pass protection was much improved, especially in the first half. Cutler had as much time as we've ever seen him allotted, and he made the Vikings pay for it. Early in the game, most noticeable on the Hester 48-yard TD, the Bears were keeping in seven or eight men and only running a couple routes. The Bears got away from that in the second half and we started seeing more four-option sets, but Cutler's jersey was still kept pretty clean. The one sack was costly - Jared Allen forced a fumble and the ensuing drive was capped by an Adrian Peterson touchdown - but besides that, protection was great.
  • Ideally, this is the formula that works so well in the NFL - scoring early and often, then when playing from a position of strength, running down the clock. 32 dropbacks, 28 rushes. The Bears were really able to take advantage of the weakened Vikings secondary with deep passes.
  • Thoughts on Ponder: Looks like he has the makings of a solid quarterback. Excellent mobility, nice touch on his passes, and can sense pressure pretty easily. Needs a little more arm strength, but there's some foundation there for a good quarterback.
  • Chris Conte had a pretty solid game in his first NFL start. I was pleased by his positioning and ability to make the sure tackle. Wright was a little shaky, but overall, not a bad game by the safety corps. No big plays given up, too. That's known as a "good thing."
  • So, what happens when Carimi comes back? Louis looked pretty decent since taking over RT from Omi-_Ole!_, and Spencer hasn't been bad at RG either to shift Louis back.
  • I just can't buy into the "new and improved" defensive line. The line got some decent pressure on occasion, but the Vikings played almost the entire second half with a backup LT and C.
  • That being said, why the hell wasn't Stephen Paea given a little more playing time? He almost single-handedly created that safety.
  • I thought Peppers seemed a step or two slow with his knee injury - the sack he got was from hitting the right gap and not necessarily through explosiveness. Still, solid effort last night.
  • Cutler _can_ lobby for a call! And they even showed him working with the other QBs! Where's Dane's crazy pills .gif?
  • Gould's 51 yard field goal could have cleared 55 or 56. Just sayin'.
  • If Hester doesn't stumble, we're talking about a second return TD. He is magic against the Vikings.
  • Forte was making some good, tough runs last night. I thought we signed Barber for that. Forte is deceptively hard to tackle - Minnesota found that out the hard way.
  • I thought receiver play was a strength last night, although again, a weakened Vikings' secondary... Hester's long run to beat double coverage was very solid, and the receivers were where they needed to be. Going up for balls was a plus today - I still can't figure out how Sanzenbacher came down with his touchdown grab.
  • Was the penalty count last night really just one false start, an illegal procedure, and Tillman's illegal use of hands? Or am I hallucinating still?
  • Other Hester Effects: The Bears had a ton of scoring drives start with great field position and quick strikes. The longest scoring drive was 8 plays, 39 yards, 4:13 off the clock. Other scoring drives: 68 yards in 1:13 (TD), 56 yards in 3:13 (TD), 33 yards in 1:23 (TD), 39 yards in 1:27 (FG), and 30 yards in 2:35 (FG). Who needs to draw out a drive?
  • Time of Possession: MIN 29:20, CHI 30:40

What else did you guys see last night?

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