Black and Blue all over: Mea culpa
September, 22, 2009
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
I’ll just say it straight up: I need to make a correction to one of the observations I made during Minnesota’s 27-13 victory Sunday at Detroit.
Those of you who were watching the game on television probably noticed it immediately: Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson lined up as an upback, NOT a gunner, during a second-quarter punt. I questioned the intent of using Jackson on a punt coverage team, but if you watch a replay -- which I finally got around to Monday night -- you can clearly see Jackson faking a direct snap and then faking a throw. Essentially, it was a (fake) fake punt.
I was juggling too many things in the press box at the time and obviously didn’t see the play clearly enough to write about, let alone make a comment. That doesn’t happen very often, and I wish I had taken a minute to wonder if it was really possible that a backup quarterback with a history of injuries was being used as a gunner on punt coverage. Live and learn. But as we’ve discussed before, I’d rather point out my mistakes than hope you never catch them. (Because I know you will.)
End mea culpa. Now, let’s get to our morning spin around the division:
- The Vikings are looking for reasons to explain why they’ve faced halftime deficits in each of their first two games, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
- Detroit managed to do enough damage to Minnesota’s vaunted run defense that the Vikings were forced to move from Cover 2 to eight men in the box, writes Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Coaches were pleased with Chicago linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer’s performance Sunday, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times, and as of now are unlikely to pursue a veteran like Derrick Brooks as a long-term replacement for the injured Brian Urlacher.
- Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completed nine of 11 passes against Pittsburgh’s blitz, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
- Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette breaks down the Packers’ protection schemes Sunday against Cincinnati, noting they used six or seven blockers on 30 of 45 passing plays.
- Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sounds the alarm: “If the Green Bay Packers don't solve their pass protection problem very soon, their season could drop out from under them.”
- Detroit coach Jim Schwartz has no plans to change quarterbacks, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.
- Michael Rosenberg of the Free Press: “The Lions host the Washington Redskins this week, and this is a little different from most of the Lions' games because -- you'll never believe this -- they can actually win.”