First, let me apologize for any confusion the post by my guest contributor, Metal Phil, may have caused. It was a last minute decision on our part, based on his desire for a cathartic writing experience after the travesty that was today’s game.
Second, I should reveal that I watched the 1st half AFTER the 2nd half, as I had a 1.5 hour massage that started at noon. Last week, when I booked it, I paused and said, “Oh no! I’ll miss the good half of the Vikings game!” And you know what? I wasn’t wrong.
Third, I admit to profiting from today’s game. A crazy friend of mine bet me $20 that the Vikings would win by 5. After telling him he was higher than a kite, I gleefully accepted his bet, fairly certain I’d be coming out of the transaction with $20 in my pocket. Hey Jim: you owe me $20 buddy!
Let’s begin. After watching the first drive end in a field goal after Percy and Adrian both dropped passes (that surprisingly weren’t terrible), I thought it wasn’t hard to see how the rest of the game would go. Obviously I have the added advantage of knowing how it all turns out – but those are mental mistakes that shouldn’t happen with 2 players of that caliber.
The Vikings’ second offensive drive was equally unimpressive, with more bad passes and horrible offensive line play – especially on the part of Phil Loadholt. Is it that hard to find some guys that can block? I guess it must be, otherwise we’d have some, right?
The defense caused two 3 and outs for the Lions – primarily due to the sacky stylings of Jared Allen and Brian Robison. These two gentlemen earned their paychecks today. They also racked up 5 sacks between them (Allen 3, Robison 2) against an offensive line that hadn’t allowed one yet this season. Let’s be clear: the Vikings front 7 is a very, very good unit. They are not the problem here. I could watch these guys play all day long and not have too much to crab about.
One of the best moves, in my opinion, that the Vikings made this off-season, was signing Brian Robison to a 3-year deal and allowing Ray Edwards to get the heck out of dodge. Despite his encroachment penalty last week (that negated a fumble recovery), he brings a ton of energy to that front 4. He and Jared Allen make tremendous book ends.
One of my favorite plays on offense is the Percy Harvin end around. He had a phenomenal one today, for 39 yards, before succumbing to his stomach ailment for the rest of the game. I saw reports stating he was getting sick repeatedly on the sideline. I hope it isn’t heralding the on-set of another bout of migraines.
Kyle Rudolph had a good game today. Marcus Sherels: I love you. Chris Cook had a great play against Calvin Johnson early in the game. Of course, when it really mattered late in the game, we can’t say the same. So goes the Vikings’ defensive secondary. Wax on, wax off.
Like the previous two regular season games, the Vikings out-performed and, in fact, dominated their opponent throughout the entire first half. And, like the previous two regular season games, they could not finish. The question everyone asks me is: WHY?
The Vikings don’t lack for talent. Unless you mention our situation at wide receiver, then a case could be made since one critical WR spot is sucked up by the absolutely worthless Bernard Berrian. The Vikings show during the first halves of these games that they can play as a team. Not only can they play, they can dominate very good teams. So what happens after the half?
Coaching. The Vikings have the same game plan every week for the 2nd half. Abandon what worked in the first half, continually go 3 and out, exhaust the defense and blow the lead. Make sure Peterson’s touches are significantly reduced. Be as predictable as possible.
This is 100% on the head of Leslie Frazier. He is the leader of the team and he has shown repeatedly that he cannot lead this team to a win. Last week I called for the firing of Frazier. I did it again this week and I’ll do it again next week. For those who think this is knee jerk, I said in numerous posts last season that I felt Frazier should not be offered the head coaching job. I continue to believe it. Why? Because he doesn’t have the guts to do what needs to be done.
What needs to be done?
A) Donovan McNabb needs to be benched. Let’s be clear: he should have never been given a purple jersey in the first place. But he’s proven once again that he cannot make it through an entire game.
B) Berrian needs to be cut. Bernard Berrian is a disgrace. He is worthless and adds nothing to this offense.
C) Those who do not play their hearts out for 6o minutes need to be benched, too, until they get the message that sloppy mistakes, lack of effort and mediocrity will not be tolerated.
The problem this team now has is that the rest of the NFL knows exactly how to beat us. All they have to do is lull us into complacency during the first half and then come out and score on us. This offense is so mentally weak, they cannot handle the pressure of watching the other team add points to the board. And by “this offense”, I mean Donovan McNabb. The longer the game goes, the worse his throws become. These teams know that, even if we’re up by 20 points going into the half, we won’t be able to score any more during the second half… so they just have to play catch up.
This all bodes for an incredibly long and wretched season for the purple faithful. The good news? Donovan McNabb’s contract is for one year.