It doesn’t look to me like Leslie Frazier is getting any better effort out of his team than Brad Childress did. Last night, the Vikings laid down just like they did against the Packers a few weeks back – Childress’ last game as coach – and against the Giants last Monday night. This probably isn’t as much a reflection on Frazier as it is on the players, but because the fans haven’t turned on Frazier yet the way they did on Childress, Frazier will not get as much heat as Childress despite the results being pretty much the same.
Can we all now agree that this team just isn’t very good? There are at least three areas of major concern to me: The secondary, the offensive line and the quarterback position. Last night, we saw once again just how awful Madieu Williams is, and were reminded how much we miss the general adequacy of Cedric Griffin. Yes the defense can still function reasonably well when the front four is able to get pressure, but that pressure doesn’t come as consistently as it should, which means more onus on the defensive backs, who are clearly not up to the task. Second, the offensive line…well, they are just brutal. Phil Loadholt continues to struggle, John Sullivan has apparently forgotten how to properly execute the shotgun snap and Ryan Cook and Chris DeGeare will never be more than decent back-ups. Steve Hutchinson is now on IR which means we don’t even have his solid veteran presence. Watching this cobbled-together line try to block the Bears last night was like watching a tissue paper dam try to hold back a tsunami. They got Brett Favre almost killed, then poor Joe Webb had to come in and try to operate and things became even more dire.
I will say this about Webb: He stood in and took the punishment. A lot of guys quit, including the guys supposedly blocking for Webb, but Webb himself fought down to the bitter end. He got to flash his wheels on a rushing touchdown, and his arm looks very strong. He also possesses one other attribute that seems particularly refreshing after weeks of watching Brett Favre writhe around on the turf after every hit: the ability to bounce immediately back up and continue playing. Sure, Webb struggled overall, throwing 2 picks and fumbling the ball once, but at least he has youthful inexperience as an excuse. The same can’t be said for second-year starters Sullivan and Loadholt, who ought to be rounding into form by now, not regressing on a weekly basis. The same also can’t be said for Madieu Williams who is now officially a major free agent bust. The team as a whole should be ashamed of the effort it put forth in front of the assembled Vikings legends and diehard frozen fans last night at TCF Bank Stadium. It might be time to blow this whole sucker up and start over.
Site5 and Fansided Holiday Season Charity Drive: Give to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.