The Vikings hosted the 2-0 hot Detroit lions (Wait, is that right, the Lions are hot this year) at the Dome today with a must win to have have any playoff hopes this year. The Vikings as usual came out smoking in the first half racking up 20 points, with Peterson over 80 yards rushing, while the defense sacked Stafford and held the Lions to a total of 50 half time yards. Half time score, Vikings 20, Lions 0.
The second half, well, Stafford came out firing looking like Joe Montana and racked up 350 plus yards of passing while racking up 23 unanswered points to take the lead. A coin flip in overtime and the Lions walk away with a victory.
Through three games, the Vikings scored 54 first half points. In the second half, they only scored 6 total points. On defense, the Vikings only allowed 7 total points in the first half. In the second half, they allowed 63 points.
Now I’m no rocket scientist, (Wait a tick, yes, I am a rocket scientist) but what the Vikings have failed to do in the second half of each game is adjust. Plain and simple. Opposing teams figured out the Vikings offense and defense and exploited both in the second half of each game while the Vikings just seemed to stay the course and hope for a happy ending. (Helga ain’t giving no happy endings for free. Usually, you have to pay double for that type of action)
Well fellow Viking fans, to quote 80′s rock band Devo, it’s Duty Now For The Future! It’s time to make those hard (Easy) choices. The Vikings sit at 0-3. Only three teams since 1990 made the playoffs after starting 0-3. The last team to do it was in 1998.
Wholesale changes must be made. Now! This week.
First, explain to Donovan that the Vikings are not going to reach the playoffs and that the team is going to get younger at the quarterback position. During practice this week, insert both Ponder and Webb with the first team offense. Come Sunday, select a starter for that week and play him. Let the rest of the season be their auditions for the starter position in 2012.
If both Ponder and Webb are not the answer, perhaps the Vikings will be in the position to draft Andrew Luck in 2012. However, I believe Ponder is the guy. I like Joe Webb, he has skills, but I think Ponder has that “It” factor. Let him play in meaningful games, make some mistakes, big mistakes for sure, but also get the experience a quarterback needs to make it in the NFL. The Chiefs game next Sunday is the perfect opportunity to insert Ponder.
Second, Leslie, please, whenever you put the Vikings defense in the soft zone, opposing quarterbacks pick the D-Backs apart. Vikings first half defense allowed 7 total points with aggressive defense. Vikings second half defense deploying the soft zone allowed 63 points. Leslie, dial up the pressure even more in the second, call the defense like you were behind 20 points instead of ahead by 20 points.
Third, when you have the best running back in the NFL, and it’s fourth and one with a first down icing the game, most teams give the ball to their best player. Peterson was beating the Lions defense, he had 50 yards called back on penalties but still had 80 yards rushing. Give him the damn ball.
Fourth, penalties. It’s the same every year for the Vikings. Penalties take three or four victories from the Vikings every year. Just today alone, Peterson had a 30 yarder called back on holding. A fantastic punt return at the end of the game that could have iced the game for them called back. A horse collar penalty giving the Lions another 15 yards tacked onto the play.
Leslie, it’s time to play the young guys. The Vikings are not going anywhere this year with the way they started out. However, next year, the Vikings could be going places. Perhaps to Los Angeles. The Wilf’s are in a losing battle to secure a new stadium in Minnesota for the next 30 plus years. An 0-3 start is not helping.
Duty Now For The Future!
For 2011 Viking Thunder will compare two former Viking players who jumped shipped. One on offense, one on defense and compare them to their counterpart on the Vikings.
Team: Vikings — Seahawks
Player: Michael Jenkins – Catches: 15 Yards: 143 Points: 6
Player: Sidney Rice – Catches: 8 Yards: 109 Points: 0
Note: Sidney Rice did not play due to injury. (2 games injured)
Team: Vikings — Falcons
Player: Brian Robison – Sacks: 2.5
Player: Ray Edwards – Sacks: 0
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL