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Sep 14

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Week Two: Vikings vs Patriots

The Vikings looked great on the opening drive today. Matt Asiata didn’t quite break free on his runs, but eventually he found the end zone.

And that, my friends, would be the highlight of the game. For Vikings fans, anyway. The truth of the matter is that you’re not going to stand a chance of winning a game when your QB’s passer rating is 39.1.  The harsh reality is that 4 interceptions are going to lose you the game. Now that we’ve all returned to earth from our trip into the stratosphere of excitement after the Vikings stomped the Rams, we must acknowledge that beating the Rams last week is probably going to be an anomaly. Especially if the NFL rightly suspends Adrian Peterson and Matt Cassel remains our starting quarterback.

Coach Zimmer is constantly assessing.

Coach Zimmer is constantly assessing.

The Good:

Since I am hard-pressed to find anything good about today, here are some funny quotes from Cassel’s presser.

“We… I… I can’t turn the ball over.”  (Captain Obvious in the house!)

“I thought the safety did a good job getting over to that ball.” (On the Patriots’ safety Devin McCourty)

“I have to do a better job. And I will.” (Should we ask the Chiefs fans about that?)

“After that first drive, we never got back into rhythm.”

I’d highlight Zimmer’s press conference as “good”, too. Per his usual approach, he was quite candid. He started by shutting down any talk about Adrian Peterson and the blight he has brought down upon the team. My favorite quote, “You know what affected the team? Throwing interceptions, getting a field goal blocked, not tackling well enough and having penalties on defense. That’s what affected the team.”

By Odin, I really like this guy. Another zinger when asked about bringing in Bridgewater… “I hold the quarterback position to the same level of expectation as any other position. Matt needs to play better, it’s pretty obvious… we all need to play better. And I need to coach better.”

“It’s a team game and we all have to step it up.” Praise Odin, Zimmer. Thank you for your candor.

Offensive mastermind?

Offensive mastermind?

The Bad:

Cordarrelle Patterson had just 4 receptions and zero rushing attempts. With his performance in 2013 and his performance in the season opener, how the heck could Norv Turner completely ignore him in the game plan for today. Understood that Turner was likely planning for Peterson’s presence. Why not try a few end-arounds with Patterson instead of expecting Matt Asiata, who is a serviceable running back, to try to replace the “star” RB? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

Speaking of game planning… why can the Vikings never seem to adjust as other teams do? If Belichick is over on the other sideline, adjusting away, why isn’t the Vikings coaching staff doing the same? These are the days I really miss Bud Grant. I’ll just say this… I am so far not overly impressed with Norv Turner. I know people think he’s an offensive mastermind… but I’m just not seeing it yet.

Other bad things…

Dropped passes by Rudolph and Jennings. 19 total rushing plays. 2 fewer rushing plays than Peterson had all by himself last week.

Penalties – 7 for 58 yards. Total return yardage – 11 (Patriots had 126). Tackling fundamentals appeared to go out the window and the team displayed a general lack of urgency and no heart. No heart! The whole outing was completely uninspired and an absolutely unmitigated disaster.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

The Ugly:

4 Interceptions by a quarterback who could not mentally recover after the first one. Cassel displays a general lack of intestinal fortitude when the chips are down. He fumbled, too.

Brian Robison had one tackle today. Add that to the 2 from last week, he’s got 3 on the season. He’s a very good defensive end. Where is he???

The defense was able to manage ONE whole sack today. Where was the defense from last week? Where was the blitzing? Where was the pressure? Brady could have made flapjacks on a griddle back there – he had that much time to find a receiver! “Order UP!” <ding>

Blocked field goal. I’ll repeat that. BLOCKED FIELD GOAL. Nice job, Special Teams.

Oh, there are probably 900 other terrible, ugly and atrocious things I could call out that happened during today’s game. If I had more energy, I might even talk about 3rd down efficiency. Or maybe I’d mention that the Patriots had almost 3 times as many rushing yards on us as we did on them. Anyone concerned those Patriots racked up 150 rushing yards today? I think that’s disturbing.

So much ugly in one game. It’s amazing how this team in particular has the ability to take us on an emotional roller-coaster every season. It’s not a ride I’m currently enjoying. Now, I’m not going to do anything stupid – like trade my beautiful purple secondary color to pair with gold for a truly butt-ugly green secondary color to pair with what Packer fans pretend is gold (hello mustard yellow!). But I was really hoping a complete coaching change would bring about some consistency in performance from our team.

It’d be easy to blame Peterson and the ugliness he has brought to the team for this loss; however, I think all the current situation has done is highlight the fact that the Vikings are not mentally resilient and they have a number of flaws that need to be addressed as quickly as possible.

That’s it for today, Vikings Nation. I’ll leave you with a Skol and let’s see what next week brings.

 

 

 

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