Week 2: Vikings @ Cincinatti

- wadE

Wow... ... what more can you say?

That was an impressive loss, I'd say a complete failure across the board, a few observations:

While some teams have come back after giving up a 70-yard TD on the games second play, this team isn't one of them. What apparently was a "mis-communication" on a defensive audible, was the first of many mistakes we'd see that day.

Many "geniuses" are saying that the O-line played better. Well, yes, they did play better than the previous week, but upgrading from "miserable failures" to "horseshit" isn't much to crow about.

I know I said this about TB last week, but I think it's true again. The Benglas are slightly better than advertised. They still committed a team-record 17 penalties (which makes you shudder to think what the score might have been had they had an error-free game), but their O-line played decent, enough to give Palmer time to throw, and Rudi Johnson space to run. Although it's hard to stay if their defense is that good, or we're just that bad.

While it wasn't the worst showing of a Vikings secondary ('02 (Eric Kelly) and '95 (Dewayne Washington) were worse), it was especially bad. Again, if a team finds themself in a 3rd and long against the vikings, just throw a simple out pattern to pick up the necessary yardage. Unless the WR drops the ball, it's pretty much a sure thing.

Daunte: Yes, everyone is now thinking that Brad Johnson should maybe start the next game, but you're wrong. Daunte...sucked. There is no question. But he has great skill, he just isn't trusting himself nor his offensive line at this point. Add to that the news that he might have an injured knee (which would explain why he didn't just take off and run with the ball), and that starts to explain what happened. If the knee is an issue, then maybe Brad should get some time in there, but I'd rather see the O-line improve to give him an actual pocket that allows him to scan the field. Maybe some WRs might actually run a route and get open...and then maybe they'll actually catch the ball.

Injuries: Even without the injuries sustained in the game, we were going to lose, but it doesn't look good going into next week when Cowart still might be out, Burleson is out, Sharper is probably out, etc. Koren Robinson is not the answer. Neither is Troy Williamson.

Speaking of... that Moss trade is looking worse and worse by the week, isn't it?

Is it too early to jump off the Vikings bandwagon? Yes and no. This isn't a playoff team, but in this division, we might make it. It will really depend how we play against our own division, and no matter how you look at it, we're only 1 game out of first place (sad, but true).

What actually bothered me most about the whole game, is that when you have failures across the board, that comes down to coaching. Our secondary has talent, but when they don't do the right thing when an audible is called, that's coaching. When you see little to no adjustments made throughout the game on offense or defense, that's coaching.

What saddens me most is that there are some very talented players on this team, and they are stuck in a spot where the team needs to tear down and rebuild from scratch (including the coaching staff), or try to build on this shaky foundation. Maybe all the new defensive personnel will start to gel. Maybe the O-line will get it together (I'm looking at you Johnson and Withrow). Maybe it'll be WRs by committee to replace the production Randy Moss used to have. But time is running out. This isn't a team that can win the Superbowl, but this is a team that will play better than they have in the first two games.

- 09/20/2005

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