Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coming off the ledge: Buccaneers 19, Vikings 13

8 of 10 Viking games have come down to a margin of a touchdown or less.  In all 10 of the Vikings' games, they have had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter.  And so a 5-5 record is to be expected.  Until the Vikings start controlling a game during the first, second, third, and fourth quarter, they're going to either win or lose close games.  That will make them a .500 team.  

So we can dissect the details.  Jeff Garcia ran around making plays all day.  Gus Frerotte took too many sacks (one series of sacks took the Vikes out of field goal range).  Brad Childress made some questionable calls.  Adrian Peterson wasn't on the field when the game was on the line.  Cedric Griffin is a weak link in the secondary.  It's all true.

In a close game, we can pick out a few key plays, a few key calls, a few key mistakes that swung the game.  In every Viking loss this season, we could do that.  In every Viking win this season, the Vikings' opponent could do that.

But that's that: until the Vikings control a game from beginning to end, until they play a consistently good game, until they dominate an opponent and win by 14+ points, they're just a .500 team.  Certainly they're capable of improving and doing better, but they've shown us enough to make us think they won't.


  1. Anonymous3:42 PM

    1. Defense is not very good, no matter how they play the run. Did Tampa punt in the 2nd half? Defense is pass AND run. They controlled the second half.

    2. PV and Jarod Allen both had the same stat line. No sacks and I did not see any tackles.

    3. Childress half-time speech was "AP, you are a stud. They will be keying on you in the second half so we will not let you carry the ball much. AND when the game is on the line, they know you will win it for us, so we will pull you from play".

    4. Tampa holds twice in the red zone and still scores.

    5. Vikings laundry man loves McKinney. Even on grass, his uniform is spotless!

    This team is 8-8 at best! Whole new staff in place next year. Too bad for several good defensive players who are not getting any younder.. Williams brothers, Winfield, Henderson, prior to injury , Greenway. VERY frustrating team to watch.


  2. It is frustrating how poor the offense performed in the second half. In the first half they had three successful drives, moving with the pass and run. In the second half, they had no production. Once again, the opposing coach gets the advantage in halftime adjustments.

  3. Anonymous4:59 PM

    PV says Whitman not letting Brewer wear a head band is his way of keeping young players in their place. (also called him a dick) I think Childress does the same thing with AP. He doesn't want him to be a star and outshine the team.

  4. The problem is, Chester Taylor is actually a good player, and he is a better pass catcher and pass blocker than AP, thus he's in on most obvious passing downs. Unfortunately, this leaves AP off the field when the team is driving for a potential game-winning score if the time is too short. I don't think Childress is keeping AP limited to prevent him from shining (few coaches are stupid enough to limit their best player in a close game when they actually need him to help the team win). But I think the coaching staff has to do more to keep AP on the field in those passing drives.

    And I could tolerate Randy Wittman's stupid rules if he were actually a good coach, which he is not.

  5. Anonymous6:13 PM

    It is a coaches job to teach players to do things. AP seems to be more in the passing game. If blocking is the issue, send him out for passes and 1 or 2 guys will go with him.

    Whitman at least plays the best players, even though they are not that good!

  6. Playcalling again was very poor. It hadn't been too bad the last couple games, but today was pretty bad, Gruden is too experience to let a guy like Childress out-coach him.

    AP played well, he just didn't get the ball enough.

    And you can say what you want about the defense being bad, but if you were on the field as long as they were, you'd be tired too...

  7. Though it was largely the defense's doing that they were on the field so long; they couldn't get the Bucs off the field because they couldn't get to Garcia (not an easy task, of course).

  8. Anonymous8:57 PM

    Yes, Garcia played very well today, and that was a major reason why we lost, but the defense was very bad.

    The Bucs aren't a bad team, and I'm not overlooking the fact that the Vikings could've won this game, but I am trying to move on.

    As fate would have it, a 5-5 record happens to be the best in the NFC North after the 11th Week, and that's exactly where the Vikings stand. I don't care how bad we get clobbered if we make the playoffs, but that is where my mindset is focused right now.

    I don't know about you, but I am already looking to the Jags.

  9. Yes, these losses tend to make me just want to look ahead, and the Bucs are a good team, so it's not a depressing loss. Still, it further convinces me that this team is at best a 9-7 team: they're just always playing teams close, so if if things roll right, they could get into the playoffs and even win in the playoffs, but they could also just as easily lose to anybody.

    But some encouragement: the Vikes are winless on grass this season, and only play on grass one more time this year (next week). In particular, the pass rush has been much better on turf.

  10. I had picked the Vikings to lose this game anyways, as well as the last home game vs. New York.

    If we can win the other games, we should make playoffs.

    Another note of encouragement: Neither the bears or packers look good on a week to week basis. Last week it was the packers who looked like a horrible football team, and this week it was the bears' turn. No one in this division looks threatening. I like our chances.

  11. Anonymous8:47 AM

    We're right where we were when Childress took over. This was a game that came down to quarterbacks. Jeff Garcia made plays all day, Gus did not. Pretty ironic that Garcia has been available for 2 of the 3 years Childress has been here and nothing was done. Garcia was great in Philly's offense so Childress has no excuse. Was there a more perfect West Coast QB to bring in to mentor a mobile young QB like Jackson? What should have been...

  12. Anonymous8:55 AM

    Ryan Cook and Cedric Griffin drive me crazy on a weekly basis. Cook will get 1 or 2 penalties and give up a couple sacks. Griffin will play 8 yards off and give up easy catches all day. There has to be a better option.

    The score after the 2 holdings was the dagger. I knew the game was over then, and with it the season. Pat and Kevin are leaving soon, its all over.

  13. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Btw what do our 2 safeties do all day ? Seriously why was Darrin Sharper so late getting over to help when Stevens ran that deep seem route. Look I get it when teams like the Texans throw the underneath stuff to the TE's but our safeties need to be of more help on those deep routes. They are practically invisible and when you consider Winfield needs no help it should be an easy task to figure out where to rotate the coverage.

  14. To be honest, through 11 games I'm not sure I've seen Darren Sharper make a single play. Maybe...three. One good tackle, two good deflections. Sharper has been a complete non-factor.

    I'm more encouraged by Madieu Williams, though.

  15. Anonymous10:32 AM

    I agree, Madieu Williams has been a marked improvement over Johnson. And Sharper has been a step slow all year. Even the great ones age.

  16. Jerramy Stevens had the game of his life against us: career highs in yards and catches. Jerramy fricking Stevens.

    Note to fantasy football players: Start tight ends against the Vikings.

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