Week 4: Vikings @ Atlanta

- wadE

A loss is a loss... right?

Last week I said: Next week at Atlanta will be the game the probably defines this teams season. I'd expect a loss, but if they can play well in that loss, all is not lost.

I think you have to go slightly broader to define the Vikings season, that game, coupled with the other games the NFC Norris teams played, would definte the season. This division is now 3-11.

Sadly, this is a team that could still make the playoffs. Has a team ever won a division with a losing record? This could be the year. Even with the Packers 0-4 start, I think they should be favored over the Vikings to win this division.

I'll be honest with you, after the first quarter, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to this game. We had a few people over at out house, and the new puppy was being terribly cute (as an update, we've decided on Solei as a name... a Hawaiian spelling of a French word meaning "Sun").

What I did see though, was a team that had no idea what it was doing on either side of the ball. Reports bear out that assessment.

I agree with the players on this. The coaching staffing it trying to scheme, not coach.

There's a book I had to read for work (yes, for work). It was one of those management type books that talks about strengths and weaknesses. But what I liked about this book, is that instead of focusing on your weaknesses, it says forget about those, and focus on your strengths. That's what this team needs to do. It has talent. It has the most talent in the division. Focus on what the team does well, and do it.

At any rate, the bye week couldn't come at a better time. If Tice is any sort of coach, he'll come back next week with a specific focus for his coaching staff, and he'll get this team on a path to salvage the season, and when they come back they'll have a decent shot of being tied for first place in the division! :-)

Some quick comments on the game itself. I'm shocked that Erasmus James wasn't called for a late hit on Vick. I'm guessing there will be some sort of fine on him though. And I completely missed the hit out of bounds later in the game...haven't even seen a replay. All I can say here is at least the kid is doing something.

I hate the Falcons as it is, but I will never forgive Jim Mora for the play in the 4th quarter where they were on the Vikings 21 yard line. It's 4th and 1, you're up 27-0. A field goal puts you up by more than four TDs, but yet he decides to go for it. As Gregg Easterbrook would say, the football gods will get you for that one. Or maybe they already did earlier in the game when Vick went down. At any rate, it was so horrible of a call that even Alex agreed with me!

For better or worse, all is still not lost on this season. There are 5 relatively easy wins left on the schedule for the rest of the year. They should beat Chicago and Detroit twice, and win at home against Green Bay. They will definitely lose at Green Bay, lose to Pittsburgh at home, and lose at Carolina. The deciding games will be at the Giants and at Baltimore. If they can win those games, that puts them at 8-8, and a divison win isn't out of the question.

But is making the playoffs worth it if you might be bounced out by a wild card team at home by a score of 42-10?

- 10/03/2005

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