1 Point: Vikings vs. Chiefs
By Dan Zinski
Yeah that’s what I said. 1 point. It’s all I need this week:
1. The Vikings are a bad football team. And that’s all you need to know about why they lost yesterday and why they are having a terrible season. Breaking it down is beginning to feel like an exercise in futility.
I’ve been rewatching the game this afternoon but honestly, I don’t feel like I’m learning anything I didn’t know already. The Vikings played okay in spurts yesterday against Kansas City. They got some penetration against the KC offensive line and were able to make some plays. They got a few sacks. Offensively they were able to hit one deep pass and they got Visanthe Shiancoe involved in the passing game and when they were behind in the fourth quarter they were able to go down the field and score points to give themselves a chance. But in the end…so what?
So what if they sometimes look like a decent football team? So what if when the chips were down they kept fighting and got themselves back in it? The point – and this has been the main point all season even if we didn’t always see it and will continue to be the point until they finally just pack it in – is that they weren’t able to finish. And why weren’t they able to finish? Isn’t this supposed to be all about analyzing and dissecting and finding out the whys behind the things that happen? Sure. But eventually you realize that the whys are always the same and you get sick of laying out the whys and finally you just have to resort to the obvious. In this case the obvious is this: They’re not very good. And they’re not going to be very good until they fix the following three things:
1. The offensive line
2. The receiver corps
3. The secondary
In a perfect world I would dump the following players immediately and replace them: Charlie Johnson, Phil Loadholt, Anthony Herrera, Bernard Berrian, Cedric Griffin, Jamarca Sanford/Tyrell Johnson. But of course this is not a perfect world, this is the real world, and you don’t get to just dump the guys who aren’t getting it done and plug in new guys who do get it done. So you’re stuck with the mediocre, the inadequate, the frustratingly average…and sometimes the flat-out bad, as in the case of Cedric Griffin who is officially a liability at cornerback. The sad thing is that we knew coming into the season where the weaknesses were on this roster, we just hoped that other guys at other positions would rise up and compensate for those holes but so far it isn’t happening. Adrian Peterson has been good but not good enough to overcome poor pass blocking. Michael Jenkins has been good but isn’t a deep threat so his goodness is limited. Jared Allen has been at times brilliant but he’s only one man. The person everyone hoped would kick this thing up a notch was McNabb, but McNabb has shown himself to be at best competent. I think now that the whole rationale behind trading for McNabb was this hope that he would rediscover the magic much like Brett Favre did in ’09 and help lift up an otherwise mediocre offensive roster but clearly that hasn’t happened. McNabb doesn’t have a magic bag like Favre. He also doesn’t have Sidney Rice. And the offensive line, only barely good in ’09, has degenerated to awful.
So what we’re left with is the sad spectacle of a semi-washed-up quarterback attempting to lead a team with a couple of great offensive players but not enough good ones to complement the great ones. And the result…has been predictable. They’re in every game, but they just can’t finish. They can get up on teams but they can’t put them away. They can come back when they fall behind but can’t get over the last hump. Some of this is sub-par talent, and some of it is undisciplined, terrible, brainless football. The coaches are going to get heat of course but they can only do so much. What do they have to work with? A depleted roster. It’s time for all of us to finally admit the truth: This is a rebuilding year even if the coaches don’t want to acknowledge it. I almost admire Leslie Frazier’s ability to pretend like this team is a few tweaks and adjustments away from becoming good, but at the same time I know he’s full of it, and I know he knows he’s full of it, and I suspect he knows we know, but that’s just the game you play when you’re an NFL coach. At this point there’s really no reason to listen to anything anyone’s saying because it’s all going to just be generic nonsense. The truth, which no one on this team will come out and say, is that 2011 was a lost cause before it began. Many fans are already wise to this, hence the Suck for Luck silliness that has taken over my Twitter feed. Yeah, I suppose it would be great to score Andrew Luck, but I also don’t want to spend the next couple of months blogging about a boring, bad team, so how about we mix in some on-field excitement too? But of course the chances of that are slim with this roster and these coaches, so…I guess we hope for Arizona to have a bad game on Sunday and allow the Vikes to squeak out a boring victory?
That’s what we’re reduced to. That and watching Bernard Berrian berate legless war veterans on Twitter. Your 2011 Minnesota Vikings.
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