Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Youth and Desperation No Match for Old Age and Athleticism

Well, for starters, Wow!

A Houston Texans defensive team had been told that no starting job was secure, no roster spot safe. That the reckless abandon with which a unit should play had squarely shifted to reckless desperation.

A Vikings kick-off return to their own 25...and with that the defense took to the field on Monday Night Football for the first series of the game against both a quarterback legend and arguably the game's most dangerous, quick-hit running back. They had much to prove when it came to their need to step up their defensive intensity, unity, and understanding of and commitment to the assignments of their defensive schemes.

Well, for starters, Wow!

Adrian Peterson, off tackle, untouched into the secondary, bounced it outside to the right sideline. 8 seconds and 75 yards later he had put up 6 points, sucked the air out of Reliant Stadium, demolished the fans' expectation that their team had had enough ridicule after last week's rushing defense debacle against the Saints, and set the tone for an evening that had you hoping for at least a competitive effort at some point by the Texans that would be reflected in a respectable score if not a bona fide contest.

Well, for starters, Wow!

Other than DeMeco Ryans' inspired defensive play that included 12 tackles and a sack, the Vikings offensive penalties were pretty much their own defense as 3rd and 8s were converted with the same ease as 3rd and 2s, with conversion success in excess of 50% before their starting QB was taken out to enjoy the rest of the evening from the sideline.

From the podium during the post-game press conference, Brett Favre was asked "What have you learned, if anything, about yourself with this organization and your new teammates, that even as an 18 year veteran of the league, you didn't know a week and a half ago?"

"That I can still play."

With the complement of an ever-threatening running attack, #4 delivered completions from naked bootlegs off of play-action fakes in his own endzone while chased by top draft pick defensive lineman, 72% passing efficiency on 13 of 18 attempts, a TD Pass, and half a 300 yard game in just two quarters of play...all with the continued toughness and durability that included withstanding a couple of sacks, and getting a flag thrown for throwing a crack-back block when he found himself out in front of a run. You know, just playing football!

The evening was supposed to be about the Houston Texans making a statement: keep their QB healthy...hurt ankle, minimize turnovers...2 interceptions, and a defense stepping up to prove to themselves and us that they belonged on the field. Instead, it was #4 making sure there was no mistake about where he should be...

Well, for starters, Wow!

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