The final wall of the Vikings house came crashing down last night when they played their division rival Green Bay on the road and would lose in miserable fashion, 45-7. I’m sure this loss has to be in the top five in franchise history of butt-kicks. The Packers forced their will without any resistance from the Vikings defense and QB Aaron Rodgers surgically exploited every weakness the Vikings had. And there are many. The Vikings now are 2-7 and continue to spiral out of control.
You wouldn’t know the Vikings had a week and a half to prepare for this game by the way they played. The coaching staff had plenty of time to review video and find tendencies and weaknesses on both sides of the Green Bay ball. You would think the Vikings would see and understand what they do and do well and figure out how to attack them but it just seemed the Vikings were playing eight on eleven the entire game. An interesting stat for this game was Green Bay rushed five or more 28 out of 36 times Ponder dropped back to pass. A trend the coaching staff should’ve noticed and adjusted for.
I will not disappoint anyone if they are expecting my weekly rant about NFL officiating this week, so here you go: I know the Packers have an undefeated record but to have one penalty for 5 yards in 60 minutes is too much for me to handle. They are perfect but not that perfect. There were plenty of calls that should’ve been made but weren’t called. Would it have made a difference in the final outcome? No. But to miss calls as much as Mike Carey’s crew did, is unacceptable. I digress. I’m really thinking that particular topic will be discussed in a future blog.
I believe, and other Minnesota media as well, the Vikings coaching staff is to blame for this latest debacle. The team has committed untimely penalties, lined-up in wrong formations, ran botched plays, continued lack of focus and attention to detail throughout this 2011 season. These are all coaching issues and I think coach Leslie Frazier’s days as the Minnesota Vikings head coach should be numbered. Why would you try and run a flea-flicker play? What’s wrong with trying to do what you do best? What’s wrong with using RB Adrian Peterson to the best of his ability? Unnerving, to say the least as well as a broken record.
This team is two years removed from the NFC Championship game and the Vikings secondary has virtually been the same since. These were draft picks made while Frazier has been the head coach and/or as the Vikings defensive coordinator. I am talking 6 players that haven’t worked out in the secondary and were all draft picks: Abdullah, Johnson, Sanford, Cook, Allen and Griffin. What’s the difference from two years ago to now? Frazier as head coach. Someone should be accountable and unfortunately, I think it’s Frazier and his staff that need to exit after this year. With a stadium push needing new life and $300M in funding, it is better to get some kind of hope for a team that could win in the future.
You have the core players of Peterson, QB Christian Ponder, WR Percy Harvin and DE Jared Allen to build around and it’s time to make the correct draft choices consistently and bring in free agents with value to help the team right away in the right positions. Minnesota is a small market team so they have to be frugal and smart with their money each year because revenue streams are hard to come by.
In the good news department, CB Antoine Winfield made it back on the field for the first time in a month. In the bad news department, Winfield broke his collarbone during the game and is done for the season. A speedy recovery #26 and you will be missed. Former Viking CB Benny Sapp will be visiting the Vikings this week and will likely be signed by the team to help the depleted Vikings secondary. If that’s possible. CB Chris Cook has been suspended by the team indefinitely due to his legal matters.
The Autumn Winds will be bringing the Oakland Raiders to the Mall of America field this week and I heard it is a sold out game which is good to hear. I’m surprised but happy. There is still time to show improvement and I’m okay with playing the spoiler role for the rest of the year.