I’m just going to jump right into my usual assessment.
Cordarrelle Patterson’s 109 yard kick off return for a TD
An Adrian Peterson rushing TD
Toby Gerhardt’s rumbling rushing TD in which he ran over Greg Jennings (that latter part wasn’t good but Greg laughed)
Minneapolis looked GREAT in the aerial shots
Did I mention that Minneapolis looked really pretty from the air?
Cris Collingsworth having a microphone broadcasting his irritating commentary
Packers driving up the score just because they could; but hey – why not? If the Vikings can’t stop them then they deserved to be scored on.
Everything else. Literally.
Ponder was as terrible as he’s always been.
The o-line continues to do basically nothing.
The defense is inept, with no ability to make game-changing plays whatsoever.
Jeff Locke is a bust.
Coaching. The entire coaching staff. All of them.
The Packers scored the most points they ever have in the Dome. Aaron Rodgers has nearly perfect stats against the Vikings. The SNF crew was chock-full of horrible statistics showing just how much the Vikings have sucked under Frazier.
I don’t know what else to say other than the Vikings will take the field next Sunday once again, likely headed for another loss. The good news is that the game isn’t on prime-time. We won’t be embarrassed on the national stage again until Thursday, November 7th.
Let me end this with a poll. What do you think the real problem is with the Vikings?
Vikings and prime time football are like oil and water, as we all know. The great news is that we have 3 weeks in a row of prime time! Our humiliation has just begun and it’s only going to get worse.
Because I cheer for the Vikings, I went into the game with low expectations. The good news is that I was not disappointed. At this point, I feel like we should petition to give a nickname to the offense; we can call them the 3 & Outs. I’ll break down the issues in a bit, but at its core, our inability to convert 3rd downs is why we continue to lose, not just games but the battle for clock time. Make no mistake though: our inability to convert is the result of numerous issues, as I lay out below.
Color commentary about Josh Freeman: “Uncatchable is an understatement.” And that, my friends, is the theme of tonight’s game.
Marcus Sherels and his punt return TD in the 1st quarter.
Jared Allen’s long armed, one handed sack in the 2nd quarter.
Half-time. I really enjoyed the break from the atrocity tonight. In many respects I would have been happy with just one half of a game tonight.
Cullen Loeffler’s fumble recovery. You don’t see that from a long snapper every day… or ever.
The Vikings played in prime time. That’s never a good idea, unless Brett Favre is facing his former team for the first time. But we only had one of those.
Josh Freeman is a professional QB. One would think he could hit open receivers down field… but apparently not.
Josh Freeman can, however, throw an INT instead of taking a sack which was very Christian Ponder of him. It’s great to know that we have 3 mediocre QBs on board. Maybe Webb can move back to QB just to shake things up.
Cornerbacks missing easy INTs. There were 3 of those by the start of the 4th quarter.
A Sherels fumble on a punt return and a subsequent Giants recovery.
Sharrif Floyd fumbling a kick return… that actually made me laugh and I didn’t stop until the Giants kicked their field goal.
The 2 minute warning of the 4th quarter took FOREVER to arrive.
Xavier Rhodes and his PI penalty in the first half. That was a costly and unnecessary error.
The o-line’s inability to generate even a whisper of space for Peterson to exploit. What ARE they doing?
Leslie Frazier did a terrible job of pre-game planning once again.
Bill Musgrave didn’t reduce the size of his play card so he could do hand signals. I don’t care what the color commentators say about that. We’ve suffered through 2 seasons of Musgrave and we know he’s unimaginative, uninspired and unable to construct explosive plays.
We had more passing plays than running plays… nevermind the fact that the starting QB has had 2 weeks to practice with team and we have the NFL MVP at running back. Clearly Musgrave couldn’t be dumber if he tried.
I wanted to cry when I realized that there were still 12:13 seconds left in the 4th quarter.
8:40 left in the 4th quarter didn’t make me happy either.
This was a terribly embarrassing performance that was worse than I could have anticipated.
Week 7 comes to a close with the single worst football game I believe I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot. The collective ineptitude of the entire coaching staff, coupled with the bottom of the barrel execution by the team was nauseating. Not to be the voice of doom, but this team is going to suck until someone wakes up and cleans out the coaching staff. And I’m a HUGE fan of taking the front office with them.
We need a regime change and we need people who are actually proficient in managing and coaching an NFL team. We’ve been waiting for SOMEONE to bring excellence to Minnesota since Bud Grant retired for the 2nd time in 1985. How long are we going to have to wait?
My dad died without seeing the Vikings win a Super Bowl. This coaching staff? This front office? They are NEVER taking us anywhere. I have no interest in dying without ever seeing a Vikings Super Bowl win. The Wilfs should cut their losses and move on en masse.
And that’s it for this week my fellow sufferers. At the end of the day, this is our team… and it’s time to take it back. Frazier has to go. Red shirts anyone???
In the first offensive series for the Vikings, Matt Cassel was competently driving the team down the field. Great passing, Gerhardt picked up a blitz and everything was going according to plan. I was just thinking to myself that Cassel was a great upgrade over Ponder as Cassel threw an interception. That interception led to a Panthers TD.
And so it goes.
The first half was an offensive and defensive travesty. Looked like the Vikings were going to score a TD just before the half, but naturally the Vikings were only able to get a field goal. Because that’s what they do. Oh – and did I mention that Adrian Peterson fumbled the ball, nearly ending the drive for those pathetic 3 points? Brian Billick had some hilarious commentary about AD’s “strong handshake”. Well, Brian, this isn’t the first season AD hasn’t been able to hang onto the ball. Probably won’t be his last either. Not that I’m in the pit of despair or anything.
The second half would be better, right?
The Panther’s first offensive series of the second half started out strong and went right to amazing when Newton hit an open receiver, who took it 50+ yards right to the house. Because – why would the Vikings be covering an open receiver right? Just let him run! In fact, cheer him on as you stroll in Brandon LaFell’s direction as he runs on by.
Needless to say, the Vikings lost. It was a trouncing and the entire organization should be embarrassed.
Brian Robison played strong the whole game, batting down balls and keeping up the pressure.
Locke finally had 2 punts worth talking about. We need 7 data points to call a trend though and his previous 7 punts weren’t impressive. We’ll see if he’s on an up-swing.
Adrian Peterson couldn’t shake the Panthers’ defense… because the o-line couldn’t produce any real gaps for him to exploit.
The o-line did no one any favors in general.
While the front 4 tried hard to make a difference, the other 7 members of the defense couldn’t be bothered to generate anything that resembled… defense.
Oh… where do I start?
The crowd. Hey you jackalopes – if you’re going to go to the game, make some damn NOISE. It was depressing to watch you people sitting there like lumps on TV. I don’t care if you’re cheering or booing – do something.
Coaching – all phases. Musgrave in particular, but Alan Williams certainly doesn’t get a pass with the defense sucking all year long.
2 interceptions by Mike Mitchell. In case you’re not aware, Mike Mitchell is a Panther. That’s why it’s under “Ugly”.
Time of possession. I’m going to keep harping on that as we continue to lose.
Leslie Frazier, after a bye week, has been outscored 108-27. Remember in early 2011 when I said that he should NEVER be the head coach? I stand by that.
Leslie Frazier’s press conference post game. “They were playing their coverage, they just weren’t doing it well.” And that folks, is our HEAD coach. Also, he thought the preparation was there and that the effort was good. THIS is why he doesn’t belong as a head coach in the NFL. He’s clueless.
I have quite a few more comments about today’s game, but I try to keep my blog clean and family friendly so it’s best I wrap this breakdown up.
I’m pretty fed up with this team right now. And the Wilfs. There have been enough indications that they do not have the right coaching staff in place for this last 2 seasons – and yet they’ve done nothing. Great football minds they are not.
It’s not like I could ever cheer for a different team – but I don’t look forward to games anymore. I watch out of obligation, turning the TV precisely at noon and shutting it off as the coaches shake hands. I sit through the games, cringing the vast majority of the time and then sigh as they disappoint once again. It’s pretty infuriating that we, as fans, have to put up with the sheer incompetence year after year.
So that’s it for another week. I’ve predicted that the Vikings would go 5-11 this season. I feel like I may have overestimated their ability to win. What do you think?
See you next week Vikings fans! Same Bat Time, Same Bat Place.
The Vikings and Steelers sang our National Anthem reverently to accompany the obvious choice of Gene Simmons for the featured singer today. Really NFL? Gene Simmons sang the National Anthem? In London? That was the best we could do there? Paul Stanley would have been a vocal upgrade if you were really determined to have someone from Kiss start the show.
I went into the game with realistic expectations that the Vikings would eventually give away the game. They sure tried at the end, but a strip of Big Ben and a fumble recovery prevented the disaster that was threatening to throw the game into over-time.
Cassel performed better than Ponder has since he began starting for the Vikings, achieving a QB rating of 123.7 – something Ponder can only dream of to date. Could be an anomaly or it might be a level of performance that Cassel can maintain. Frazier indicated after the game that Ponder is the starting QB. This angered many Vikings fans; however, Frazier cannot possibly make any other statement at this point. If he’s singing the same tune after the bye, then I hope everyone joins me in my long-standing campaign to relieve Frazier of his head coaching duties.
Let’s break it down.
Blair Walsh 54 yard FG in the 1st quarter
Greg Jennings’ catch, juke and application of turbo to get his first TD is the appropriate color to pair with gold: purple!
Adrian Peterson busting loose a 60 yard rushing TD late in the 2nd quarter.
Jared Allen achieved 2.5 sacks in the 1st half. That would be his game-ending total as well.
Greenway’s interception, which they were actually able to convert to a scoring drive. That’s been non-existent with Ponder at the helm.
I’m going to put Cassel in the good section. His ability to drive the offense is clearly better than Ponder’s. If Cassel continues to play as he did today, and Frazier sticks Ponder back in once he’s recuperated, then we’ll know exactly how stupid Leslie Frazier is.
Missed tackles, missed sacks and general defensive ineptitude. I’m putting this under “bad” instead of “ugly” because the defense is actually decent at times – but has shocking bouts of dysfunction.
Cassel fumbled the ball late in the 1st half. The good news was that somehow Jerome Simpson managed to recover it and get the first down. I guess that’s one way to convert.
Walsh missed a 44 yard field goal in a controlled environment, wide left. That broke his 19 FG streak extending back into last season. Chris Kluwe tweeted that the hold was a couple of inches off. Skeptical people might say he’s trying to start a controversy; I believe he was making an observation.
Locke is not good. He is not an improvement over Kluwe in the way that Walsh was a significant upgrade over Longwell. Let’s all take a moment to understand that the Vikings wasted a draft pick on a punter for the express purpose of getting Kluwe off the team – not for performance, but for being a social progressive. This, my friends, is why I’m not going to any home games this year. I’m not giving any money to the organization because I disagree with their decision
Josh Robinson’s PI call in the end zone resulting in a 48 yard penalty and a Steeler’s subsequent TD.
The Steelers converted 3rd down after 3rd down after 3rd down. When is Alan Williams going to fix that? It’s been a continual theme for the last 2 seasons. Third down conversion rate for the Steelers today: 53%
The defense was poised to throw away yet another lead. A last second strip of Big Ben and a fumble recovery prevented another travesty at the end of the game.
Time of possession. 23:33 was the time the offense had the ball today. The Vikings can’t keep losing that stat; if they do, they’ll continue to lose more games than they win.
So the Vikings are now 1-3. When they come back from the bye, they should have a new starting quarterback who might be able to take us beyond the 5-11 I’ve been predicting since the preseason. We’ll see what happens!
Obviously, there won’t be a game to break down next week, but hopefully I’ll be doing plenty of live tweeting about a Packer loss! Skol Vikings Nation!
The game didn’t start off with a 105 yard kick off return for a TD; however, the first offensive series actually resulted in a rushing TD by Adrian Peterson (with DT Letroy Guion blocking no less!). Not only that, but there were TWO passes that were greater than 6 yards! One of those was a nice completion to Greg Jennings. I have to admit that I smile with glee (and not just a little schadenfreude) whenever Greg makes a play. I like to imagine Packer fans crying like little babies as he catches footballs while decked out in the beauty that is PURPLE.
For now, I’m going to ignore the fact that Ponder missed a passing TD when he waited way too long to throw it to John Carlson, who had been open for what seemed like d-a-y-s.
The Browns’ first offensive series was a travesty of defensive ineptitude. Where the hell is our defense? We let a guy throw his THIRD NFL TD in FIVE years (not to mention we allowed him to complete his longest pass). I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that this march down the field by the Browns completely eradicated the tiny bit of hope I had after the first offensive series.
So, at the end of the day, the Browns decimated us and beat us for the first time since 1986. Well done, 2013 Vikings.
Let’s break some stuff down.
Marcus Sherels stepping up when Chris Cook went out.
Erin Henderson’s INT that Ponder *actually* managed to convert to a TD by running it in himself. Good choice since he’s otherwise inept.
Erin Henderson got the first sack on Hoyer of the day.
Brian Robison got the second sack on Hoyer.
Erin Henderson got a 2nd sack in the 4th quarter.
Alan Williams: completely oblivious to the fact that the Browns might fake a punt on 4 and 1 in the 2nd quarter. The Browns got a nice, long run out of that.
It took until the middle of the 3rd quarter for the defense to look mildly interested in the game.
Harrison Smith INT (which Ponder squandered yet again)
Chad Greenway INT (which Peterson fumbled away. Again.)
Adrian Peterson’s ability to hang onto the ball. Or rather inability. 2009 redux so far.
General fundamentals are TERRIBLE (holding onto the ball, tackling, execution in general) because our coaching staff is ATROCIOUS.
The o-line. Loadholt, Sullivan, Kalil…. what the hell is going on?
The defensive pass rush. I assume it’s ugly since we never really saw one.
THE ENTIRE GAME
That’s it for another week, my Vikings compatriots. I’ll sum up today’s game like this: Leslie Frazier needs to be fired. If not now, then for sure at the end of the season. Bill Musgrave is a talentless hack who should be divested of his position in the org and replaced as soon as possible. Get Brett Favre up here as OC. Hell – Kluwe was tweeting during the game. Bring him in as OC. Literally ANYONE would be better. BENCH PONDER. Matt Cassel is barely better but I’ve got no interest in looking at that permanent herp & derp look on Ponder’s face every week.
This team is a mess. I’ve said previously that I thought we’d go 5-11 this year. I believe I was overestimating the talent of this team.
What do you think?
See you next week, my Purple Friends. Make sure you prep yourself this week for a loss to the Steelers in London. No point in letting this team ruin your Sunday by expecting a win.
The good news is that I had zero expectations that the Vikings would have a chance in this game. Weirdly, the game score is much closer than I anticipated. That, of course, is attributable to defensive plays and a kick off return on the first play by #84 Patterson.
Let’s get to it.
A kick off return TD by Cordarrelle Patterson (105 yards) on the first play of the game.
A strip (Jared Allen) and a fumble recovery for a TD (Brian Robison)
Watching Jordy Nelson frolic with a fairy in a commercial for Travel Wisconsin. Any time a commercial can make a Packer look stupid, I’m for it.
The defense managed to force a 3 and out after Peterson’s fumble so that the Bears didn’t capitalize on the error.
Harrison Smith’s interception at the start of the 4th quarter.
Letroy Guion’s hilarious strip of Matt Forte. Haven’t seen something like that since Clay Matthews stripped Peterson in the Dome back in 2009. He just reached in as if to say, “Hey… let me take that off your hands.”
Poor turf conditions early in the game really inhibited Peterson’s ability to cut and run.
FOX’s continual issues with technology, including cutting to the half-time show while the Vikings were still playing.
Tackling fundamentals continue to be an issue. Unless you’re Leslie Frazier – then you just ignore that and keep chugging along.
Chad Greenway: his angles were terrible and he missed many tackles.
Adrian Peterson fumbled in the 3rd quarter; it was reminiscent of his issues in 2009. He better take care of that right now. I’m not going to watch him fumble all season.
Adrian Peterson’s hand getting munched.
Field goals instead of TDs. If Ponder had been able to convert one of the field goals – just one – to a TD, this would have been a win.
Christian Ponder. Whether he’s staring down his receivers or completely ruining a big defensive play by throwing an immediate interception, he sucks. He does not belong in the NFL. I want him off my team.
Leslie Frazier is still the head coach.
Bill Musgrave is still our untalented, unimaginative and repetitive Offensive Coordinator
Our o-line remains sieve-like and there’s a distinct lack of cohesion.
2 times the offense could have gotten a TD and 2 times we got field goals as a consolation prize. We have to increase effectiveness in the red zone. Stated more plainly: we’re completely ineffective in the red zone.
Ending the game with a defensive take-away by the Bears was just the icing on the cake. I have to admit that I laughed until I cried on that one. Typical.
There it is my Vikings brethren. Week two. And we’re 0-2. In my opinion, it’s going to be a l-o-n-g season filled with a bunch of crap we’re going to wish we didn’t have to watch. But we’ll watch regardless and hope for the day when the Vikings’ front office staff stop ruining our team with inappropriate coaches and inability to draft competent quarterbacks.
The title of this particular game should have been “Travesty on the Turf”.
I honestly don’t know where to start. Where it ended was with the Lions at 34 and the Vikings with 24. Let me just jump right in with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Jerome Simpson: a surprising stand-out on the day, making plays when we needed them. 7 receptions for 140 yards.
Adrian Peterson: 3 TDs and a hell of a great run on the first offensive play of the game for the Vikings. He should NOT be “credited” with that fumble on the hand -off from Ponder.
Harrison Smith: good open field tackles, played hard and stayed focused the whole game.
Erin Henderson’s INT was a solid play.
Why wasn’t Jennings targeted more frequently? We need to leverage his skills.
Play calling. Many times during games I stare at the TV and ask… “Musgrave. What the F*** are you doing????” It’s a new season but my question remains the same.
Tackling fundamentals across the defense. If I had $5 for every missed tackle today, I’d be eating the Surf & Turf at The Oceanaire tonight.
What was Matt Kalil doing? Preseason is over bucko. Time to give a crap.
Leslie Frazier. If the Wilfs had a brain, this would be his last season at the helm. If you’ve been reading my blog since 2010, then you know I never wanted Frazier as the head coach. I have not changed my mind. At all.
Christian Ponder. I. Am. Done. 3 INTs, 1 TD. I was mostly done with him last year. This year? Let’s just all agree that he is not an NFL-caliber QB. We’re wasting Adrian Peterson’s talent by keeping Ponder on the roster as a starting QB. Too late to do anything but bench him this year, but bench him we should. Put Cassel in there and let’s see what happens and then for Odin’s sake – let’s get a REAL quarterback for 2014.
The offensive line. I am flabbergasted.
The defense as a unit. I remember fondly those days when we used to be able to stop the run. Today was an absolute travesty. Reggie Bush was tearing right through our front 7.
3rd down efficiency: 20%. That, my friends, is laughable.
Net punting average: 34.8. Somewhere Chris Kluwe is snickering as royalties from his new book start rolling in.
Well, that’s Game One of the 2013 season, Vikings fans. The Lions were so Lion-like that we should have walked onto Ford Field with a smirk and then we should have left with a win. Instead, we have a fan base in pandemonium and Frazier still at the helm making excuses for his lack of preparation and poor execution by his team. I don’t know about you, but I can’t even watch his press conferences any more because I’m so tired of his attempts at glossing over performances that should be criticized.
I think the thing that bothers me most is that everyone in power seems absolutely incapable of learning from their mistakes. Christian Ponder has not improved since the first time he started. Frazier’s coaching continues to lack intensity and ability to adjust. Musgrave couldn’t game plan his way out of a wet cardboard tube. I could go on, but why? It’s not going to change any time soon. The most we can hope for is a change at QB. But Frazier won’t do that until he’s forced to do it. Again – because he lacks vision.
So. Next week, the Vikings will try again. My guess? By this time next Sunday we’ll be 0-2. What do you think?
Preseason Game 4. It’s the game we all dread, but watch or attend anyway. None of the starters are on the field; it’s essentially 3 hours of 2nd string or unproven talent desperately trying to make one last case for a spot on the 53-man roster. It’s rare to see truly stunning play, although thoughts of Audie Cole’s INTs and pick-6 last year run through my mind. I started this game with the hope of seeing something along those lines. I got a terrific 109 kick off return by Marcus Sherels. That’ll work!
Things I Liked:
Cassel to Rodney Smith in the waning moments of the 1st quarter. Yes, we had a pass of 28 yards!
Cassel to John Carlson over the middle for good yardage and YAC.
Matt Asiata producing a TD at the start of the 2nd quarter and showing good running instincts during the game.
Joe Banyard had some solid plays in the 2nd quarter, including the screen from McLeod John Balthazar Bethel-Thompson resulting in a TD.
Marcus Sherels: 109 yard kick-off return TD.
Marcus Sherels with an INT in the 3rd quarter.
A fumble recovery to end the game.
Things That Bothered Me:
A continued emphasis on short passes in the flat for minimal or no yardage. For Odin’s sake, Musgrave – can we just stop? Air it out, man. At some point we have to develop a passing game that worries SOMEONE.
The Titans were able to convert 3rd down after 3rd down after…
Lack of effort on the Titan’s TD in the 2nd quarter; slow play by the safeties and no real effort to break up the play.
Paul Allen calling Marcus Sherels’ smile “pretty”. I remain creeped out.
Free & loose on protecting the ball (goal-line fumble anyone?).
Blair Walsh missing a 42 yard field goal. What happened to our Leg-a-tron? Is Locke going to be his downfall?
Things I Hated:
Seth Olsen’s injury in the 2nd quarter. Neck injuries are terrifying.
Still no improvement in tackling fundamentals
So that’s it. Next up: regular season. Are the Vikings ready? My sense is they’re not quite ready for prime time. But I hope they surprise me.
Based on what you’ve seen during preseason play, predict the Vikings’ 2013 regular season record:
The Vikings took the field without much fanfare and less finesse. If Twitter’s any indication, Ponder’s going to be in for a rough time from the fans as long as he’s starting. It appears that the off-season didn’t do Ponder any favors when it comes mechanics and instinct. Not that I thought it would. I’ve never been much of a Ponder fan (which probably hasn’t gone unnoticed if you’ve been reading my blog for a while).
What I Liked:
1st defensive series with a short field: 3 & out for the Niners
Chad Greenway’s INT in the 2nd quarter
The incredible 1 yard TD between Ponder & Zach Line in the 2nd quarter (yeah… I’m exaggerating – but any time Ponder scores a passing TD I feel we should all look on with surprise. I mean enthusiasm.)
Greg Jennings drawing PI and catching passes in purple & gold (because that has to piss off Packer fans)
Joe Webb’s TD catch. Ran a good route and pulled the ball in. Well done.
Mauti looks like a solid pick.
What Bothered Me:
Adrian Peterson on the field. Why???
Ponder on the field. Why??? (This is somewhat sarcastic – but seriously – just put Cassel in already & let’s move on)
Frazier in a starring role as coach. Still???
Matt Kalil’s antics on the field
Ponder’s lack of time awareness
San Francisco fans running onto the field. Please… why drag out my agony with your antics?
A lack of discipline. Boy – hasn’t THAT been a constant theme on the Frazier-led Vikings squads?
What I Hated:
1st offensive series: 3 & out with a Ponder fumble
2nd offensive series: 3 & out with a punt by a punter who isn’t Chris Kluwe
Tackling fundamentals. Our tackling sucks as much now as it has in the last 2 seasons.
The Vikings 1st string offense struggled against the 2nd and 3rd stringers on the Niners. Pathetic!
Multiple fans running onto the field delayed the end of the game.
Well my Vikings brethren, that concludes the preseason Dress Rehearsal. Something tells me that we’re in for a lot of pain. I hope I’m wrong… but we have so many gaps, I don’t know how this can go well. Agree with me? Disagree? Leave me a comment or send me a tweet!