Sep 11

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Vikings vs Chargers: Post Game Lament

I’m going to start this entry off strong and then taper off until I’ve totally lost interest. Wait – no I’m not… but I would if I were to emulate the way the Vikings played today.

I’ve been watching this team since 1973. When Percy Harvin took that kick-off return to the house, despite 38 years of heart-crushing disappointment, I jumped up and clapped and laughed… my purple heart soaring like the eagle that had flown throughout the stadium prior to kick-off. And then, by the end of the game, my purple heart landed with a thud unlike that glorious raptor.

I don’t even know where to start with this bloody mess. Let me try a format that worked for me in the past…

The Good

Percy Harvin continues to shine.Percy Harvin returning a kick 103 yards for a TD on the first play of the game. Jenkins scoring a TD off a bona fide McNabb pass. Jared Allen with a fantastic interception, Brian Robison rushing Rivers and Antoine Winfield with his usual focus, determination and an interception to boot. Erin Henderson made quite a few good plays in the back field.

In other good news, we’re not Colt fans.

And yes… that’s it.

The Bad

You should get a snack, because this is going to be a LONG section.

McNabb intercepted near our goal line on his first throw.

Berrian can catch. If there's no one around him and the ball is thrown perfectly to him at precisely the right speed.

Wide receivers: receptions today for Percy Harvin and Michael Jenkins. Did any of our other receivers catch a ball? No. Were they targeted? Yes. Here’s a rhetorical question: could Berrian ever TRY to catch a ball that isn’t perfectly laid out for him? He actually did some blocking today with those skinny stick legs flailing… but isn’t he on the field to CATCH?

The defensive secondary, excepting Antoine Winfield. Chris Cook was all hype and no substance. Completely blowing his coverage, tackling like he had wet noodles for arms (resulting in no actual tackle) and drawing penalties. This isn’t Pop Warner, Cook! It was a tough call not putting this under “ugly” but Antoine and Cedric made enough plays to keep the unit in the “bad”.

The Falcons apparently missed Musgrave today. Not sure he showed up for the Vikings, though.

Using Joe Webb twice – but not putting a lot of thought into it. Musgrave calls for the Blazer with Webb taking the direct snap. We lose 3 yards. Why not put him out there as a decoy before springing that one? Line him up as a WR. He doesn’t have to catch. He just needs to draw attention. Use him in a reverse with Percy. We have a weapon like that, and they come up with the “Blazer”?

Bill Musgrave’s play calling was sub-par. I could have sworn he had a Dixie Cup with a string and Chilly on the other end of the line at times. We were entirely predictable today. And that’s never a good thing. Hopefully he’s keeping the really good stuff for a game that matters! Wait… this was a regular season game. I’d forgotten.

The offensive line. I had to debate on whether or not I should include our Woe-Line under “Bad” or “Ugly”. I decided to split it – the whole woe-line is filed under “bad” and one special member of that unit made the “ugly”. Our O-Line is not getting the job done. And it’s not just the left tackle that’s the problem. We had all kinds of issues out there today, exacerbated by the uninspired play of our starting QB and missed blocks by our RB and TEs.

The Ugly

Donovan McNabb: 39 Passing Yards

Donovan McNabb. PFT realizes that McNabb was terrible. I said myself that we should avoid McNabb in this post back in January. And what did we do? We signed McNabb. I want to go on record as stating that I am SICK and TIRED of the Vikings picking up old QBs and using them to patch over the fact that we can’t seem to draft a QB to save our lives. McNabb ended the day with 39 passing yards, completing 7 of 15 passes. That’s right – THIRTY NINE. Now, I’m not saying that Berrian wasn’t a factor in at least one missed opportunity. In fact, neither of these gentlemen should even be ON the Vikings roster, but that’s for another day.

And speaking of people who shouldn’t be on the roster: Charlie Johnson. How is Peyton Manning even ALIVE with that guy at his blind side? That guy is worthless. And what’s worse? We don’t have a good alternative.

Letroy Guion and Fred Evans being completely duped REPEATEDLY by Rivers’ hard count. I hope Frazier rips the crap out of both of them.

And so, my fellow Vikings sufferers, we start the 2011 season with a big ol’ L that didn’t have to be. Right out of the gate, we’re back where we started: last in the NFC North. With all of our divisional rivals winning, we’re 2 games back. The big question is: can the team move past this with reflection, improve and start winning? We’ve got 15 games left to watch, wait and see.

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