Week 7: Vikings @ Bears

If you had told me that the Vikings would score 41 points during their visit to Soldier Field, I would have bet the house on a Vikings victory. The Vikings managed to pack a season\’s worth of mistakes in one game. Both on and off the field. After yesterday\’s game I don\’t have the energy to

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write a thousand words (1,480 last week!) on the spectacle that is the 2008 Minnesota Vikings. With so many mistakes by the players and questionable calls by the coaches (and the refs), there is plenty of fodder; but the first order of business is how much the Vikings are missing E.J. Henderson. Kyle Orton (Kyle ORTON!!!) attacked the middle of the field with precision. He only attempted 4 deep passes, all of them incomplete. All of his completions were passes thrown 15 yards or less, which includes the long TD passes. As bad as the safeties played, the linebackers were atrocious in pass coverage. Hard to tell if it was the scheme or the individual efforts, but what was looking to be a much improved linebacking core this year has taken a huge step back. Hopefully Napoleon Harris and Dontarrious Thomas will get up the speed over the next two weeks, but it really highlights how thin the Vikings are at all positions. Once you get past the starters there is no real talent; and the Vikings were forced to pick up two players who were doing the same thing you were last Sunday, sitting at home watching games on TV. As for the mistakes off the field… I don\’t know who makes the decisions on how to kick the ball off, but they should be fired. Not only were the kickoffs in the first half embarrassing, the decision to do a short kick right before halftime was a gift of 3 points to the Bears. Playing not to give up the big play is not smart football. It\’s cowardly, and just stupid. Chicago\’s first half drives started at: Chi 46, Chi 48, Chi 22 (they kicked to Hester on this play), Chi 41 (short kick off before half). Why would you intentionally handcuff a defense by giving the opposition a short field? Afraid of the big plays? It was a bit too late for that (see: Kluwe, Chris and Gordon, Charles). Enough of the negatives, let\’s talk about some positive aspects. Despite 5 turnovers, the offense put up 41 points. That\’s an impressive total regardless of the opponent. Adrian Peterson tore off a long touchdown run and the offensive line did a good job of run blocking. Cook and Herrera bounced back to have solid games. Shiancoe held onto a ball after getting hit really hard. Jared Allen had an outstanding game with two sacks and a forced fumble. However, I couldn\’t help but think all day yesterday, \”what if the Vikings only had a serviceable quarterback?\” Jeff Garcia would have looked good in purple. Donovan McNabb? Kerry Collins even!?! Going into the bye week I think we know what kind of team the Vikings are. An average team that will do no better than 9-7, and more likely go 7-9. It’s increasingly unlikely they will get the career year they need from Gus Frerotte. They need a QB, a new coaching staff (Bill Cowher anyone?), and depth on defense. By the time they get any of that the team will be a year older, and a year slower. While it feels a bit early to pull the plug on the season, it is time to reset expectations. This is NOT a team that is ready for the Superbowl. This is a NOT a team that can win a road game in the playoffs. This is a team that has an outside change of winning its terrible division, but has zero chance of winning a wild card. So let\’s focus on the good things. Enjoy watching Adrian Peterson. Enjoy watching the defensive line. Enjoy watching Ryan Longwell kick field goal after field goal (he currently leads the league in scoring). If you go into each game with low expectations, perhaps you\’ll be pleasantly surprised. See you in two weeks! Skol Vikings!







One response to “Week 7: Vikings @ Bears”

  1. Nursedude Avatar

    If you take away Longwell’s dependability, the rest of the Vikings Special team is special in that short school bus kind of way. I don’t know if I can recall a Vikings team worse on kick and punt coverage, or even executing a punt. I wonder when Chilly will make a sacrificial lamb out of his special teams coach? A very frustrating loss. But then, most games when you lose two fumbles and have 4 interceptions, it is amazing that the purple only got beat by 7. Good to see AP have a good game, though. To your point about the vikes only being a 9-7 team…the NFC Norris is so mediocre, 9-7 just might win this sorry division.

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