The Vikings had a chance to score a TD and get back in the game in the fourth after a long Percy Harvin kickoff return but in the end they failed to punch the ball in from 3 yards out and gave possession back to the Falcons. During that ill-fated series Bill Musgrave called a bootleg for Christian Ponder that ended up in a sack, then two runs for Percy Harvin that both apparently failed to get the ball across. I say “apparently” because after a TV replay it looked like Harvin may have broken the plane with the ball on the second run. There was a chance for Leslie Frazier to challenge the play but for whatever reason the red flag never came out. This gave the Vikes a fourth-and-goal from the half-yard line and Bill Musgrave called Toby Gerhart’s number. The result was a loss of yardage and another foiled comeback attempt.
Today a lot of the conversation has been about the decision to run Gerhart on fourth down, but even more of the conversation has been about Harvin’s possible TD that was never reviewed. Leslie Frazier was asked about the whole situation during his presser and made a comment that shed a lot of light not only on that situation but the general communication problems that have been plaguing the Vikings. Frazier admitted that, in retrospect, he should’ve thrown the challenge flag, but unfortunately his replay people didn’t inform him in time about Harvin’s possible TD.
“We have a couple of coaches who are reviewing replay upstairs,” Frazier said when grilled about the non-challenge. “They’ll point something out to me if they think it’s something we need to challenge. We got to review out communication based on that play alone. We really got to review that going forward. Seeing the play and realizing that there was a chance to maybe get a challenge in there is something that we have to re-look at it, how we’re communicating between myself and the guys upstairs.”
That the Vikings missed a chance to challenge a possible touchdown play is bad enough, but even worse is what Frazier’s comment says about the Vikings operation as a whole. Right now this is not a professionally-run team. That goes for the front office, the coaches on the sidelines, the replay coaches, everybody. The whole thing is a sloppy mess and that’s on Leslie Frazier and ultimately Zygi Wilf. I’m not usually one to make sweeping statements like “we should get rid of the whole bunch” but in all honesty I’m starting to slightly lean that way. I want to have faith in Frazier but things like what happened yesterday make it difficult to stick with him. At the very least he needs to be re-evaluated after the season and maybe have some of his assistants replaced.
It’s one thing to lose games, but quite another to be a total trainwreck of a team. I never thought I’d see a worse mess than 2010 but this is a worse mess. Frazier was supposed to calm things down but instead he seems to have totally lost his grip. Maybe these tribulations will make him a better coach; or, maybe he’s just not cut out to be an NFL head man.