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Vikings Postgame Meltdown: Another reminder that the NFL is a passing league

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: December 15, 2013 - 4:53 PM

The Vikings were playing without their all-world running back and his very capable backup -- not to mention the QB who has started the majority of their games this season -- so of course they put up the most points they have scored in 15 seasons.

Yes, their 48-30 romp over Philly was their largest output since dropping 50 on Jacksonville in 1998, the season they set a then-record for points in an NFL season.

There were a lot of circumstances that made such an output possible. The Eagles play fast, giving their opponents a lot of possessions, too. And the Eagles' defense was pretty much horrendous.

That said, it was another reminder that the NFL is a passing league ... and that for all of Adrian Peterson's greatness, a potent passing attack is what really lights up a scoreboard and makes an offense go in the modern NFL.

Matt Cassel threw for 382 yards and moved the ball like a machine. Those 382 yards were the most for a Vikings QB since Brett Favre dropped 446 on Arizona in 2010. Beyond that, you have to go back to the days of Daunte Culpepper for a higher passing yardage output.

Cassel only beat Christian Ponder's best game by a yard (Ponder had 381 in that duel against Tebow in 2011, his rookie season), but the point remains simple: Cassel is able to throw the ball to wide receivers. He moves the ball like a professional QB and Ponder really doesn't. And in the absence of a big-time running attack Sunday, we saw what happens when the Vikings open up and throw with a capable QB.

The greatest evidence comes from Cassel's chemistry with his most professional receiver, Greg Jennings. Jennings has played 13 of 14 games this season. In 8.5 games with Ponder and Josh Freeman (mostly Ponder), Jennings has 28 catches for 315 yards and zero TDs. In 4.5 games with Cassel, he has 31 catches for 418 yards and four TDs.

And the crazy part is this: Cassel is a decidedly average NFL quarterback. But even an average QB who can elevate his play in an expanded pass offense can direct a 48-point outburst like the one we witnessed Sunday.

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Cleveland - LP: T. Bauer 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 3
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: Z. Putnam 1
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 6
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: T. Walker 2
Detroit - WP: A. Sanchez 11 FINAL
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 5
Los Angeles - LP: D. Haren 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 6
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 3 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 1
Texas - LP: Y. Darvish 1 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Phelps 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 6
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: E. Santana 6
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 3 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 0
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 3
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 7 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 9
Baltimore - LP: T. Hunter 2 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 3
Chicago 1 FINAL
San Jose 5
Calgary 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Connecticut 75 FINAL
Washington 89
New York 66 FINAL
Los Angeles 64
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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