Sunday, November 14, 2010

On the Ledge

In this game between the Vikings and Bears at Soldier Field, what, exactly, was surprising?

That the Vikings committed a lot of turnovers?

That the Vikings allowed a lot of return yardage?

That the Vikings allowed Bear pass catchers to get wide open?

The Vikes have been a horrible road team through the Tice and Childress eras. They play notably poorly on grass. And they play particularly awful at Soldier Field.

You've seen this game before.


  1. Realistically, is the season over?

  2. Anonymous5:01 PM


  3. Anonymous5:31 PM

    Thanks for you insightful comments. Bottom line is that the 2010 Vikings are a bad team. A talented team, but bad nonetheless.

    I choose to believe that a better coach would make the difference. Some coaches get more out of less talent. This coach gets less from more.

    To Fire Childress Now, seems the most logical direction for this team. It seems to be helping the Cowboys.

  4. The Vikes either need to finish 7-0, or finish 6-1 and catch some breaks, to make the playoffs. That means winning all their home games and nabbing a couple of road games. That would also mean playing much, much better football than the Vikings have played. There is no REASON to think they will improve their play enough to do that; I think they're through.

    I'm already talking myself into rebuilding projects ("The '07 Falcons were as big a mess as I can imagine a team being, and they hired a good coach, drafted a good QB, and signed a good FA, and look!"). I'm already mentally writing the retrospective on the Childress era.

    Of course, the Vikings are required to play seven more NFL games that remain on their schedule, so technically, the season isn't over. ;)

  5. Plinthy the Middling7:42 PM

    Some are going to blame Favre, and others the devastation wreaked on the receiving corp by the absence of Rice, and then the release of Moss, now the injury to Berrian, and the continuing saga of Harvin's unpredictable fragility.

    They will be looking to the wrong problem. The good fortune in the schedule last year, plus how the receiving corp came together, allowed those in the skill positions on offence last year to assert early leads, and that took pressure off the offensive line and allowed the defensive line to de-emphasize defending against opposition running and release the hounds and terrorize opposing qbs.

    But it disguised the onslaught of problems emerging along the offensive line, which problems were not solved, with the consequence that THIS season, without a strong intact receiving corp, the offensive line has not be able to provide the additional security for a more limited group of receivers to complete their patterns into areas which are not their strengths anyway, and to where now defending teams can stack up the running game and shut down the short routes while knowing they will very shortly at the same time get to Favre before any medium to long lanes are developed.

    Without those early leads from the offense, the defense has been on the field way too long (like today, especially in the first half, which has been typical of this season and diametrically opposed to last season.

    The special teams problem is clearly a coaching problem, so we must lay that at the feet of Childress for failing to secure a proper delegate; it can be solved by next year.

    The problems with the offensive line are much more important and fundamental, and that is where rebuilding will have to be concentrated.

    The time to start those things in motion is now, in terms of planning and becoming familiar with personal. Thus, bringing in a new coach now is fine IF he will be the head coach next season and on through rebuilding the offensive line. If not, then there really is no point in releasing Childress, because he is a company man and will do as he is told ... except as a sacrifice to fan dreams for the future.

    Which given the past few years makes his being fired within the next two weeks pretty much a foregone conclusion.

  6. Superfreak188481848:32 PM

    Dan Barriero made a good point that what was needed here was a head of football operations. Whatever the power structure that is being used now (I don't think anyone could tell you who is actually in charge) worked great last year because we never even hit a road bump. In the middle of a crisis Zygi had to go around and ask individual players what the hell was going on. The handbook to being an NFL owner has in the first chapter that if your championship caliber team is badly underacheiving week in and week out the only move to make is to fire the coach, you can't fire the players. As crazy as stuff got this year it is really as simple as that. Zygi is clearly clueless.

  7. Anonymous9:43 PM

    We are almost the Cowboys. Childress has to go. His team looked like they quit today. The offensive game plan, and I use that phrase loosly, sucks.
    AP has to be the key to the team and we don;t seem to know that.
    If Frazier is to be a head coach, give him a 7 week trial to either prove himself or prove we need to look elsewhere.
    Gonna be a long 7 weeks!

  8. Anonymous1:30 PM

    In the past, I think a loss like yesterday would have been devastating. If the Bears were actually a good team, they would have scored 50 yesterday with all of the great field position they had. But I just didn't care, and it's because this team is mostly unlikeable. All these guys do is cash big paychecks every week. Teams like Cleveland, Detroit and Buffalo don't have half the talent this team does, but they compete every week like their careers are on the line; this team competes every week like they just won the Super Bowl and have nothing more to accomplish.

    Last week's win was a mirage, and everyone should have seen it. Arizona is a bad team, and needing a miracle to beat them at home is a bad sign. Favre has been mostly terrible (16 INTs in 9 games), the receivers are underwhelming (Greg Lewis played almost every snap yesterday), and defensively they can still play well but it's not all there. Jared Allen got a sack yesterday and did his cow-roping celebration, and I just wanted to slap him. There's nothing to celebrate, Jared; you're having a bad season and so is your team.

    A fun game to play would be, what does Brad Childress have to do to get fired. Apparently wasting millions of Zygi Wilf's money isn't enough, because Wilf poured a ton of money into a 3-6 team and won't make a change. So what does it take? Lose by 50 next week, coach an entire game with no pants on, send inappropriate pictures to a family member? I would love to know where the line is drawn, because apparently this miserable season isn't enough. (You can also play this game for, what does it take for Favre to get benched. Again, 16 INTs in 9 games is not enough.)

    This roster needs to be completely blown up. This is an old roster with bloated salaries, and whoever is in charge next offseason needs to start making changes left and right. Favre and Pat Williams will retire, and contract decisions will need to be made on guys like Greenway, Leber, Rice and Edwards. The Super Bowl run was last year, and now it's time to start building towards 2012 or 2013.

  9. Anonymous2:11 PM

    PV, remember that post you had a while back about not wanting to be a Vikes fan blogger any more and how painful it would be to put your emotions and hope back on the line for this season? Remember how we all agreed to keep going as fans because it couldn't get worse?

    Well, the scorned lover has returned to mock us...

  10. Anonymous2:44 PM

    I have no doubt in my mind that Sydney Rice's decision to not have surgery in the offseason and to not play this past Sunday was a big F-you to the Vikings for not offering a fat contract extension. Don't know how this guy can look himself in the mirror. Depressing. Good luck catching passes next season from Alex Smith or whereever you go.

  11. Anon 2:11, I've been thinking about that a lot.

    I found last year so devastating because all year, I knew that was a one-year shot, that last year was the "now or never" year, and no matter how it turned out, 2010 was going to be a rough come-down.

    I kept believing that, and I don't know where or how I half-convinced myself that if Favre came back they'd have a shot at taking another step up. All that has happened just confirmed what I knew all of last year, especially in January, and what I somehow was made to forget sometime in June or July.

  12. I'm pretty sure Rice would be more than thrilled to be miles away from Childress. And he'll probably do pretty well there.

  13. Plinthy The Middling7:50 PM

    "Favre has been mostly terrible (16 INTs in 9 games)"
    - Anon at 1:30 p.m.

    No. Wrong.

    Look: I was not in favor of pulling Favre back for this season; but the facts are different, and simply do not support you laying this off on Favre:

    a number of the interceptions -- if you review them one by one, MOST of them in fact -- you can explain by: receivers falling down, receivers whiffing, receivers being stripped, receivers running beyond their zones of comfort, etc.

    It has NOT been QB problem; it HAS been a receivers problem, and by inference an offensive line problem. Seriously: I would LOVE to lay this off on Brett; but he is, on the evidence, less responsible for the current state of affairs then the o-line, the receiving corps, the special teams, the deep backs, the d-line, and the head coach. Only the linebackers, the kicking teams, Peterson, and the receiving-return teams can claim to be less or at least no more responsible for this than Favre.

    The future of this team is in its strengths: Peterson for as long as he lasts; Harvin, Rice and Shianco; the linebackers on defense; and that monster at third string QB. The rest, unless they are useful on educating and preparing their successors, you could throw away or just blow up. This whole process could take two years or five, depending on the impending lock-out, on whether Minnesota still has a team when Ziggy gets through slicing and dicing, and how serious the organization is in acquiring free agents like Logan from New England to address the biggest problem.

    But I remain of the view that firing Childress now is pointless, or worse, unless he is immediately replaced by the next head coach. The most capable person to advise Ziggy on this -- presuming Ziggy is committed to keeping the team in Minnesota, on which subject I am a skeptic -- remains that old grey-haired. long-ago-retired coach in the ownership box. Again -- Childress is the ultimate company man: if he is told to do X to facilitate the entry of his successor, he will do X. An interim replacement is simply a sop to the vengeful masses.

  14. Plinthy, I think the WRs and OL have been very responsible for Favre's high INT number. But 1) the years have made me highly skeptical of attempts to blame Favre's mistakes on other players, 2) does that mean that last year's good numbers should be credited to the WRs and OL, not Favre? and 3) I think Favre's lousy play in two losses this year, to the Dolpins and to the Jets, was directly responsible for the Vikings losing those games.

  15. Anonymous2:21 PM

    I would love to see Bud Grant coach this team for the rest of the season. How fun would that be to see Old Bud again on the sidelines. Give the fans something to smile about.

  16. Anonymous7:34 PM

    I feel like the media--national and local--and alot of the Viking fans have gone insane concerning Favre. I'm glad to see a couple folks speaking some plain sense. Even a casual glance at the games shows at least half of Favre's turnovers are the fault of unusually bad plays by his teammates. Very easily Favre could have a 13-8 td to interception ratio--considering the injuries, the WR problems, the line play, the emphasis on running the ball near the goalline--I'd say those are good stats.

    PV--How was the Dolphin's game Favre's fault? Harvin and Peterson and the offensive line directly cost the Vikings points in that game that would have won the game. The two picks that are most strongly weighed against Favre were directly followed by Dolphins turnovers (which were followed by Vikings points). I thought that game was pretty similar to the Pats game.

    Favre has played well enough to have the Vikings at 7-2 or 6-3, at least. I don't know how people complain about that. This record is the result of dozens of things going wrong at all levels.


  17. I'm far too exhausted from going round and round on these "It's not really Favre's fault" discussions, and far too frustrated with the Viking season to engage in it reasonably without deliberately offending you.

  18. In other words, I was never a salesman for Bill Oliver, and I don't blame you and it has nothing to do with spite.