Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coming off the ledge: Bears 48, Vikings 41

Box Score

What are you going to do?
On the day the Vikings have 439 yards of offense and score 41 points, they play their absolute cruddiest defensive game of the year (Bear receivers were perpetually wide open), they commit turnovers like it's fun, and they allow a two touchdowns in special teams.   It's absurd for this Viking team to actually manage 41 points; it's beyond absurd for this Viking team to go into Soldier Field, slap 41 points up there, and still lose.

Pass Defense
Reprehensibly bad.  The Vikings couldn't cover Bear TEs worth a poop (E.J. Henderson is very badly missed right now).  The pass rush was generally nonexistent.  The pass defense was worse than the numbers show: the Bears dropped a lot of wide open passes.  I felt like it was 2002 or something, watching opposing receivers running around in open field with nobody near them, then running around after the catch with nobody tackling them.

Bernard Berrian
BB has yet another productive game with Gus Frerotte throwing to him.  He's making plays and helping the Vikings pick up first downs and score points.  Without him, where would the passing game be?  He's been a good player for the Vikings: I'm glad they signed him.

Adrian Peterson
Like Barry Sanders, he takes too many losses.  But goodness, is he good.  Today he was much more consistent than he's been, often picking up solid gains on first down and rushing for quite a few first downs.  He tries to break plays across the field to the sideline often, and that means some loss of yards, and it also means some spectacular gains.  His 54 yard touchdown was vintage Peterson.

Red Zone Success
Now the Vikings are on to something: use both Taylor and Peterson in goal line situations, and defenses have two potential runners to account for.  Generally the Vikes ran and threw in the red zone well today.

Special Teams
Despair.

A Team Loss
The defense sucked, the special teams was reaching previously unseen levels of suckitude (at many levels), and the offense had four turnovers (all on Frerotte), and I've still got questions about some coaching decisions (you'd really rather just let the Bears have the ball around the 40 on every kickoff rather than try to actually cover Devin Hester?  If he hadn't gotten hurt, and the Vikings persisted in that strategy, the game might not have even been as close as it was).  This loss was deserved at every level of the team.

My eternal optimism
The Vikings are a game out of the division lead.  They've got trips to Lambeau Field and Soldier Field out of the way.  They play five more home games.  If they're good enough to win the division, the opportunity is in front of them going forward: they still get the Bears and the Packers at home.  I'm a long way from despairing about the season with a 3-4 team going into the bye week.

Please rant
What complaints and observations do you have?

14 comments:

  1. I have to disagree with you on the performance of the defense. I'll grant that this may have been an off game for them, but really, they're a brutal run defense that struggles against the pass. I think some credit has to be given to Orton who spread the ball out well passing.
    Special teams was without a doubt abysmal, but I don't think trying out new punters is going to change much there. Klewe is fine.
    AP was running very well, and the play selection was much more varied. Offensively, we got to see just how bad Ferotte actually is. 4 int's and many more poorly thrown balls. It's a good thing that we have Berrian to catch some of those lame ducks.
    I'm going to chalk this loss up to chronically poor special teams play and Gus' inconsistency throwing the ball.

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  2. What is there to feel good about this loss? First of all, there is nothing to feel good about a loss. Second of all, losing to a division team is no a good thing.

    The team was outplayed and outcoached today. The special teams looked disorganized and poorly coached in this contest. The defense was very bad. which is why the Vikings lost this game more than anything. Gus had a rough second half. Da Bears made a mockery of the Vikings. What is there to be positive about? You can be happy with the offense, but the truth of the matter is that this team once again was poorly coached, and it showed in the play. Come to think of it. Has there been any games under the Childress administration where you say to yourself that this team was coached so well and how they were prepared? I don't think I can come up with one, and that's been the problem under the Childress era. You can bet on this team to find ways to lose, make mistakes, and play bad week after week, and this is where Childress has to be held accountable.

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  3. Anonymous4:46 PM

    A porfessional coaching staff just gave a lesson to guys who do not understand it yet. Answer for the spread? None. DUMB special teams. Off sides on a 53 yard field goal. We have no discipline on our team and that goes to coaching. Can we adjust to someones offense. I still feel your boy McKinney is vastly over rated. He gets beat often and badly.
    This is a .500 team at the end of the year again and that is not enough! Don't try to sell the great defense today. More to defense than stopping an average running team. Orton looked like his college buddy Drew Brees. When do the T-wolves start?

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  4. Anonymous4:50 PM

    First off I am an optimistic Viking fan and will watch every game regardless of where they are in the standings but I have thrown in the towel of high expectations. This team has so little football smarts is unreal. Kluwe's play was embarrassing. I know he is a punter but he is a football player too and kicking the ball while it was on the ground was inexcusable. Equally bad was Gordon's play. You don't make that block when the ball is going to land so close to you. Than later in the game on the 4th and 1 Frerotte rolls out and could have tiptoed to the first down but instead chucked an impossible pass.

    I hope we fire Childress during the break as many of the problems could have been avoided with better coaching. But I am sure as Viking fans we will have to endure Childress the rest of the year.

    All in all I guess I am tired of seeing games like this over and over again.

    Sad in Cali,

    Tom

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  5. I would love to see Childress go away after the break, but which coach on this coaching staff is ready to coach. Leslie Frazier showed that he is not ready for the job with the way his defense has played this season. As for bringing guys like Billick, Cowher, or Marty right now, they will wait until this season is over.

    We are stuck with Captain Clueless err Childress for the remainder of the season.

    Buckle your seatbelts.

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  6. Hmm.

    Frerotte killed us today. Maybe you don't bash him for the INT on a tipped ball, but the other 3 picks were awful and on him and him alone. It's too bad, because he made some excellent throws as well. but avoiding the killer mistake is a must for this team and he had a bunch

    The special teams are a complete mess right now. They may be able to block FGs and kick FGs, but every other aspect of the game is a disaster right now. Time to can the special teams coach, and at least a few of the players.

    the D played decent but not great. they made a few good stops, but struggled with a couple of coverages. Overall the scheme seemed sound.

    The O was moving the ball really well. Play calling showed some creativity at times and execution was good, except for Gus's INTs. Yucktastic. AP ran hard and hit holes, but he needs to still learn that sometimes it's better to take the no gain than the 5 yard loss trying to break one out of nothing.

    You can blame Chilly for this one because the head coach is ultimately responsible, but the players let him down today with costly mistakes in fairly simple execution.

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  7. Another thing bothers me. For the third time, the Vikes had the ball at the end of the fourth quarter needing a TD to tie or win. For the third time, they had an interception.

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  8. I'm tired of you guys only getting half of the story - why don't you come inside the "kick ass" mind and head over to my blog?

    http://bradchildressrantings.blogspot.com/

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  9. Here's my observations:

    1. Special teams: I know what's already been said so I won't go there. The only thing new I can say bothers me is the way Gordon runs when he DOES catch the ball. It seems he gets speed built up really well and maybe could break for a long run, but he always ends up running into the back of his own blocker. Now I know what makes Hester so dangerous, he avoids his own blockers and doesn't trip over them.

    2. Offense: No sense of urgency ONCE AGAIN. Less than 6 min left on the clock and down by 2 TD's...what are we doing? I don't know, but I can tell you what we ARE NOT doing, and that's hustling to the line.

    3. O-Line looks like a joke, McKinney forgot how to play football, Defense can't stop the pass or tackle a guy after the catch, Gus threw 4 picks, Defense got tired from short rest due to turnovers, pass rush was weak, refs made a shit call on 4th and goal.....oh, and Peterson still had a great game despite only getting any blocking on only 1 play.

    Childress?...no thank you, please pass some Cowher or the Schottenheimer.

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  10. Does anyone know what Vinny Ciurciu contributes to this team?

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  11. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Anyone think that giving up their 2008 draft to get Jared Allen may be having an adverse effect on this team’s 2008 special teams play? Most skill position rookies cut their teeth on special teams. And of course the Vikings gave up their 1st and 2 3rds. Of their remaining picks, they took Johnson, but also a QB, DT, and a Center. Not exactly many gunners to be found there. And their last pick, WR Johnson, is on the practice squad, I believe.

    I guess what I’m saying is there isn’t exactly a lot of young talent there this year to put out there on coverage, and maybe it’s showing. Their coverage has been poor all year, even before Reggie Bush. And now the team’s not even confident that they can kick it deep at all.

    And the QB situation is just the big elephant in the room. It's such an important position (duh), and the Vikings just have nothing there. It makes it so difficult to assess where this team is heading.

    My guess is the next coaching regime will probably bring in a new young QB, perhaps even a high drafted one (I know the Big 12 doesn't play much defense, but man, there's a ton of QBs in the conference having crazy years; if a couple of the underclassmen come out, it could be a decent batch of prospects this year). But I think they'll also want to upgrade who they look for in terms of a veteran; that is, they'll look for someone with at least a glimmer of starting potential. Like a David Carr (playing a 1 year, $1 million contract right now), or Byron Leftwich or something. I kind of doubt they'll trade multiple picks again and go for someone like Derek Anderson or something, but you never know, I guess.

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  12. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Of course, having said I "doubt they'll trade multiple picks again," I just saw a link elsewhere to Charley Walters' column reporting the Vikes offered their 1st round picks in both 09 and 10 for Brady Quinn, and the Browns declined.

    It's just my opinion, but if that's true, then I think both teams are nuts. The Vikes for offering that much, and the Browns for failing to capitaliza on that offer. Quinn had pedestrian numbers at Notre Dame, and has minimal NFL experience. I think he's an overrated prospect.

    I got to say, and again, this is just my opinion, that I'm not a fan at all of Zygi "Dan Snyder" Wilff's approach to things: throw money and draft picks at problems and hope they go away. And I'm getting nervous they'll eventually "Hershel" the entire QB situation.

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  13. I wouldn't put too much stock into that Brady Quinn rumor...as you said, it's inconceivable that both teams would be that stupid.

    The problem with us bringing in any young QB is that Childress (and probably Bevell) would be there to "groom" (i.e., "ruin") him. If there was any sort of established player out there this off-season (McNabb, Garcia, Warner, Rosenfels), that might be a better bet, and then hope that Booty or even Jackson can still develop into something, long-term.

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  14. Anon, that's a very good point about draft picks and special teams. While the move was portrayed as selling the long-term for the short-term, it may have been the opposite. Jared Allen is 26--he's a long-term DE solution. But maybe there are consequences short-term.

    The QB situation makes me sadder than it even did last year (I'll write more about this soon). We know Frerotte is mediocre--we knew he could have interceptions in bunches, that he is a chucker that makes the '08 Vikes better (there's a legit passing threat--Berrian is effective, and they're regularly throwing for 260+ yards), but he's a 37 year old mediocre QB. That's that. When Jackson sucked, I could at least hope he'd improve. I could still hope on potential. Now the QB situation just sucks with no hope for the future.

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