The Vikings are 2-4 Vikings Nation. Not where we wanted to be.
Where to start with this game? I could talk for days about the atrocity that is the offensive line. Or I could drone on about needless penalties. Or I could lament the lack of Cordarrelle Patterson in Norv Turner’s offense, who I believe may be completely demotivating Mr. Patterson with his offensive “game planning”. Should we talk about turn-overs? Oh, so much to say.
But first, let’s start with some of my favorite quotes from Coach Mike Zimmer in my new post-game section, “Zimmerisms”.
Coach Zimmer isn’t taking any crap from undisciplined dodos.
“I’m the boss. Their job is to please me. Not the other way around.” (This nearly contained an “f” bomb!)
“This team cares. When things are going good we are pretty good… Trust me, we are going to get disciplined.“
“I expected better today. It was disappointing.”
“I’m extremely disappointed about this loss. I can handle getting beat, but I can’t handle getting our butts whipped like that.”
“They kicked our butts.”
“We didn’t block guys… and until we can figure out that this game is about blocking and tackling and catching the ball… doing your job, we’re going to have results like this.”
“I think we physically got beat.”
On Cordarrelle Patterson: “if he wants the ball he has to get open”.
Question: “Overall, were you pretty pleased with the defense?” After a long pause, Zimmer shook his head and said “I don’t know… (pause) we were better on 3rd downs.”
Not a direct quote, but Zimmer said he’s been fining players for showing up late to meetings and treatment. And those fines are about to go to the max allowed. Quote: “Those fines are going to start going to the max. I’m tired of it.” My thoughts: a) he’s pissed about it, otherwise a head coach wouldn’t say this to the press and b) money talks and that money is saying that Zimmer isn’t taking any amateur crap from a bunch of kids. I like this coach!
Teddy has lots of upside at this point.
The Vikings have some new players and a new head coach this week. Leading the team is “Don Zimmer”. New players: CORD-ar-elle Patterson. Matt Ahzee-AY-ta. Brian ROBE-isson.
It was still just 10-0 going into the 4th quarter. It felt like it should have been 34-0 at that point. 9 missed points on fields goals helped…. speaking of which…
Prater is not the answer to the Lions’ field goal problem, ensuring that the beating the Vikings took didn’t look as bad if you just looked at the score.
The defense finally found a bit of a groove in the game but it wasn’t enough.
Bridgewater didn’t give up. Despite multiple tipped passes for INTs, a number of dropped balls and a continually collapsing pocket, he kept soldiering on.
There was a Greg Jennings sighting.
The Vikings weren’t completely shut out. At home. On a nice day.
Is Robison only good when Jared Allen is on the other end?
Can passing plays to players behind the line of scrimmage be taken out of the playbook? I’m tired of watching those fail. You need a stout o-line for that to work and we don’t have that.
Norv Turner’s play calling. I remain completely unimpressed with him. He started out with a great reverse. And it worked, so consequently we’ll never see it again. I sometimes wonder if old Norvy thought Musgrave’s play list was too extensive.
The defense looks perpetually confused for the first 2 defensive drives of every game. Yes, EVERY game. As a result, teams march right down the field and score. And this after the Vikings defer when winning the coin toss. You can’t defer if you can’t trust your defense.
Penalties. Every. Freakin. Week. I don’t know what’s wrong with the discipline on this team, but for YEARS this has been an on-going issue.
The lack of high-impact defensive plays. No forced fumbles. No interceptions. Vikings lost the turnover game again.
Asiata’s running production: 2 carries for -5 yards. His longest run was -2 yards.
Matt Kalil: still getting beat.
The Vikings’ offensive line. Especially Matt Kalil. It took our former star Running Back years to learn how to pick up a blitz. Jerick McKinnon isn’t going to be able to do it in a few weeks. Consequently, Teddy was sacked 8 times. EIGHT!
9 penalties for 60 yards. If you’re a mediocre team, you can’t afford to have 9 penalties week after week. Nice to know the lack of discipline extends to the in-week activities, too. [heavy sarcasm]
Norv Turner’s plan for the 4th quarter. With time being short, Turner kept the plays centered on… dink & dunk away from the sidelines and running plays. When you’re down 17 points, you conserve time. You put your team in the position to do a long ball or two to someone like… Cordarrelle Patterson. You don’t eat up time in the middle of the field.
Red Zone Efficiency (when they could get there): 0%
Third Down Efficiency: 21% (this is not going in the right direction)
The Even Worse
The FOX announcers for today’s game. Now, granted, a team performing like the Vikings is not going to get the A squad… but this was like a couple of local Pop Warner announcers trying hard to sound smart.
There are still 10 games left in the season for the Vikings. Plenty of opportunity to continue to rip our hearts out and stomp all over them.
So that’s it, my Vikings friends. Another week, another loss. Next up, the Bills.
There was lots of angry, aggressive typing at my house tonight as I live tweeted during the game. This showing by the Vikings was absolutely pathetic. I understand we’re down 5 starters, but that’s no excuse for the poor game planning, the offensive travesty and the absolute lack of run stopping by the defense. Heck – the Vikings defense managed to make chunky Eddie Lacy look like a power running back with finesse. Frankly, I cannot believe I watched the whole game. But, I did.
Let’s break it down.
The Vikings managed to score a touchdown, thereby avoiding a complete shut-out.
Teddy will be back next week.
The Vikings on the national stage. The Vikings cannot play in nationally televised games. The NFL should stop putting them in those time slots. I don’t care if they have a rotation. Just stick the Vikings in the early games on Sunday and move on. NFL – I will call you if the Vikings are ever ready for the national stage. I hope I’m still alive when that happens.
Ponder’s QB rating barely made it to double digits.
The offensive line was like a sieve.
Patterson was barely utilized again. Someone needs to explain to me what the hell Norv Turner is doing. Because I don’t understand it.
The first three defensive series.
Matt Asiata fumbling.
Christian Ponder throwing interceptions.
3rd down efficiency at 33%.
9 penalties for 91 yards.
Red zone efficiency: 33%
The Worst Thing Ever
Christian Ponder starting a game as a Viking. I never want to see that again. Someone please get McLeod John Balthazar Bethel-Thompson off the practice squad and put him in as the 3rd string QB. Stick Ponder on the practice squad. Guaranteed he’d get there because no one would claim him off waivers.
I am going to work really hard at forgetting this game ever happened.
Skol, Vikings Nation. Next up: Lions. If only they still sucked.
Well, well, well! The Vikings had a decisive win today over the Falcons. I admit I did not pick the Vikings to win today. I don’t think anyone using their brain instead of their heart would have. And maybe that’s my problem sometimes. I underestimated our coaching staff, who truly seem to be bringing this team to the next level. After watching today’s presser, I can understand why Coach Zimmer was so loved in Cincinnati. He’s a no-nonsense, honest and direct person who truly believes anything is possible. And, unlike our other recent coaches, this coach can get the team to believe it, too. I can’t imagine the “next man up” scenario the Vikings have faced during the first 3 games being handled as well by Frazier or Childress.
I don’t know what Thursday will bring, when the Vikings take on the Packers, but with this head coach, I don’t think we’ll see some of the embarrassing blow outs we’ve seen since 2010 – and could, in fact, log a win. The Packers don’t look that great. Of course they never do… who could in that terrible uniform? But I digress.
Let’s look at today’s game.
Coach Zimmer is a breath of fresh air.
Let’s start a list since we actually have a bunch of stuff in this category this week!
Coach Zimmer’s decision to go for the 3rd Asiata TD on 4th down and then go for the 2 point conversion. Gutsy – and it worked!
Teddy Bridgewater’s NFL debut was stellar. Not even his ankle tweak at the end could ruin the good vibes for him in his presser. Teddy threw for 317 yards with no interceptions. He rushed for a TD and logged 37 rushing yards total. He was calm, cool, collected and had a relaxed manner about him that I haven’t seen in a Vikings QB since Brett Favre took the field in 2009. And no – I am not literally comparing Teddy to Favre – I am merely stating that they share a confidence that makes you believe they’re in control.
Jerick McKinnon. 18 rushing attempts for 135 yards. Coach Zimmer was told during his presser that McKinnon hadn’t expected to rush for 135 yards. Zimmer’s response was that he’d talk to him about raising his expectations.
Matt Asiata. 3 rushing TDs and a steady presence in the backfield.
Jarius Wright! 8 receptions for 132 yards. His longest was 52 yards and if he were just a little faster, he would have made it to the end zone.
Greg Jennings had 3 receptions for 72 yards.
Blair Walsh posted 15 of the Vikings’ 41 points today.
Kalil didn’t suck today!
Cordarrelle Patterson averaged 43 yards on his kick off returns.
2 Interceptions! Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson are getting the job done back there!
Anthony Barr got the only sack of the whole game.
Red Zone Efficiency: 4/6, 66%
Goal to Go Efficiency: 2/3, 66%
Total net yards: 558!
The Vikings’ 3rd down efficiency is still under 50%. The offense needs to continue to improve that.
The Falcons rushed for 123 yards. Remember the Williams wall? It was nearly impossible for anyone to log >100 rushing yards against the Vikings in those days. We’ve finally made progress on the cornerback/pass protection positions. Time to reestablish the run stopping powerhouse we used to be.
The Vikings wracked up 6 penalties again today – the first 4 on the defense. Total penalties of 40 yards.
It’s great we out-scored the Falcons, but it’s not good that they were able to get 4 TDs against the Vikings defense.
The Vikings allowed the Falcons to log 411 net yards. In a normal game, you’re typically not going to win if the defense is allowing that many yards. Today, the Vikings had almost 560, but that’s something the defense should consider as the team pivots to face the Packers.
The Vikings defense allowed the Falcons to convert 66% of their 3rd downs. That’s been an on-going problem for this defense for the last several years. Coach Zimmer referenced “bone-headed things” the defense does that need to be fixed. I consider this to be one of those.
The Vikings still have some things to clean up. The good news is that we have a head coach who actually likes to clean. It’s so refreshing to not hate the Vikings coaching staff. It’s made me inadvertently positive at times when I’m tweeting during the game. It almost feels unnatural!
To sum things up: impressive start by rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater. If he continues to shine, I might hate Spielman and his inability to identify QB talent a little less. But probably not. The Vikings defense is improving and that’s a good thing. I’ll just shout out SKOL to Vikings Nation as we head into a short week for the team and our semi-annual Border Battle with the ugly green and mustard yellow.
Ponder closed out the game. Let’s hope we don’t have to see him on the field again this season.