First let’s start with the positives: Adrian Peterson.
And now on to the negatives: Everything else.
You want a full accounting of who played terrible in this game? Let’s start with the defense. Remember when we thought the linebacker corps was finally coming together? Well scrap that. Chad Greenway has reverted to his 2011 form (overrated). Jasper Brinkley seems to regress quarter by quarter. And Erin Henderson is showing why he couldn’t rustle up anything more than a one-year contract this offseason. The defensive line at least showed some life at times but they didn’t put enough heat on Russell Wilson early. This is getting to be boringly repetitive, complaining about the D-line not showing up early. Congrats to Jared Allen and Kevin Williams for rousing themselves awake in the second half I guess.
Too many blown plays on defense. Once again, guys out of position all over the place. Missed tackles. Getting physically pushed around by the offensive line. We know the drill. Hey, but at least the secondary is a little bit better than it was last year. Yeah. But the linebacker and interior D-line play is still bad. Very bad.
And that brings us to the offense. It was another bad day for Christian Ponder. The notion that Ponder is over-thinking and not playing loose enough is starting to gain traction. But if the coaches are throwing too much at him, maybe it’s because he’s making so many mistakes to begin with? He has some bad habits. The coaches are just trying to work him out of those habits. That’s what coaches do. If he can’t process all that and turn it into better performance on the field, maybe he’s just not cut out for the job.
The pass protection issues also showed up again. The overload blitz on the outside is becoming very popular with the Vikings’ opponents. Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt don’t do well against that. And the running backs don’t pick up very well. Ponder makes things worse sometimes by not knowing how to side step the rush. He either gets the throw off quick cause it’s called that way, breaks the pocket or gets sacked. He lacks the subtle moves that good QBs have. One day maybe he’ll learn to pump fake when he rolls. I just don’t think he’s a very good instinctive football player. Look at Russell Wilson by comparison. He’s a rookie with nine starts under his belt and he already does all those little things. He just gets it. Does Ponder? You have to wonder. Even if the Vikes do get better on the O-line and in the receiver corps – the second will have to wait for next season cause right now they just don’t have the personnel – will Ponder ever be good enough to take advantage?
It’s getting to be a tired conversation. Big picture is, Vikings are now 5-4 with the Lions, the bye week and the Bears coming up. And the veterans seem to be getting restless, as evidenced by Percy Harvin’s first half tantrum. Sad times have returned to Viking Nation. It was fun being good for a minute there though.
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