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Wild Card Weekend: Vikings Lose To Eagles 26-14

Posted by LOTGK on January 7, 2009

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Our Playoff Chances Went Thatta Way!

The Minnesota Vikings hosted the Philadelphia Eagles for the first round Wild Card weekend Sunday. This was Brad Childress’s first playoff game as head coach. The Vikings lost the game 26-14. At halftime, the score was 16-14 Eagles. The Vikings did not score a point in the second half. His lack of adjustments during half time, his lack of his special teams being able to contain a return, and his fantasy that his ill conceived offense is kick ass led to his demise. Same as it ever was.

Viking Thunder’s last post of the season reveals what we have learned in 2008?

* The Minnesota legislature will never approve a new stadium for the Vikings. Especially now in this recessionary climate. When the Metrodome lease expires, the Vikings will pull up stakes and move out of the state. I’m guessing Columbus, Ohio, the 10th largest media market in the United States. Just so you know, the Vikings currently reside in the 49th largest media market. The Vikings would generate millions of dollars more in revenue residing in this market.

Moving to Columbus achieves and satisfies several key issues. One being that the location is still close to Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago. This maintains unity for the division. Another issue is fan base. Columbus citizens are ravenous college football fans. The Buckeyes stadium holds 105,000 fans and it is sold out to capacity each and every home game. Just this week, the Vikings had trouble selling 60,000 tickets, and it was for a playoff game for God’s sake. And another issue, a stadium complex. Perhaps the Buckeyes would strike up a deal with the Vikings allowing them to use their stadium on Sundays until a deal could be struck with the NFL and the Columbus officials to build their own stadium. Possibly a joint venture between the Buckeyes and the Vikings.

* Tarvaris Jackson has potential. After three years, Jackson, after coming off the bench, played well down the stretch advancing the team into the playoffs. Alas, we are only talking potential here. Donavon McNabb has talent. Do you see the difference? Jackson when blitzed, faltered big time, locked onto his receiver, and threw the ball regardless whether he was open or not. McNabb was having fun on the field. When blitzed, and it was often, he routinely made the right read and found the open man for a first down. I hope the Jackson experiment is over and the Vikings move on to a new quarterback. Three years is a long time to waste.

* Brad Childress. Someone needs to educate him on clock management and to adjust his game plan at half time. One more case in point. At the end of the half against the Eagles, the Vikings had the ball, first down, and decided to run. On second down, they passed, which was incomplete. On third down, another run into the line. Eagles call time out, get the ball back not having to spend all their time outs with field position to put them in scoring position.

About game plan adjustment. The Vikings gained only 106 yards in the second half. And scored zero point. Jackson was blitzed and taken out of his comfort zone. Childress had no remedy for this. The offense just got more sick as the game wore on. Perhaps several designed quarterback run plays allowing Jackson to evade the blitz and pick up positive yards would have slowed the Eagles a tad. But no, Childress was right. His kick ass offense was the best.

Andy Reid versus the pupil, Brad Childress. As usual, Childress was schooled.

* Special Teams. Nothing special about them except for being the worst in the history of the NFL. I’ll let that sink in for a minute… OK, let’s continue. The 2008 Vikings special teams allowed more return touchdowns than any other team in history. Not just this year, but in the 100 years the NFL have been keeping stats. And what happened during Sundays wild card game? You got it, Eagles receiver Jackson returned several punts, not for touchdowns, but one for 62 yards, and another for 45 yards setting up two eagles scoring drives. Without the lousy special team play, the Vikings could still be playing next week. Coach Childress should be very proud of this accomplishment.

* Adrian Peterson: He is one hell of a running back, the best in the business at this moment. However, although he led the NFL in rushing with an impressive 1760 yards, he also led the NFL in fumbles. If he doesn’t get his fumbling under control, I’m afraid he will be taken out of key situations limiting his effectiveness.

* Chester Taylor: Whatever it takes to keep him on the Vikings, management needs to do so. He is a selfless player, an excellent runner, fantastic receiver, kick returner, and blocker. Peterson needs to watch game film of Taylor to see how a complete running back plays the game.

* Darren Sharper: Perhaps it is the last we see him in purple. Although admittedly he has lost half a step, he is still a great leader on the field and although T. Johnson, rookie safety is talented, grasshopper still need more training.

* Matt Birk: As well, possibly the last he plays in purple. IMO, he is an all pro center with still plenty in the tank. Does anyone really believe rookie Sullivan or Ryan Cook can be a better center than Birk? Didn’t think so. Wise up Wilf and sign him to an extension before he explores free agency.

* Leslie Frazier: Quite possibly the Vikings will lose another defensive coordinator two years in a row. Mike Tomlin left to be the head coach and Pittsburgh and now Frazier is making the circuit rounds. To bad nobody wants Childress.

* Pat And Kevin Williams and Star Caps. What a mess. Still looming is a possible and more than likely four game suspension at the start of the 2009 season. I’m sure lawsuits will be filed fast and furious, and I believe the players will be compensated for the loss of money, reputation, and invasion of privacy they were put through. But, I see them sitting out games 1-4 next season.

* Gus Frerotte: Gus got more than he bargained for this year. He was signed to ride the pine and be the emergency back up. Instead, he is tossed in as starter game three and played his heart out for 11 games. Gus has guts. I admire him for that. And he has proven that he is a reliable back up. I would hope he stays on for another year.

* Jared Allen: Allen is worth every penny on his contract. 14.5 sacks is the highest total on the Vikings in a long time. And he had two in the playoff game. Not only does he pressure the quarterback, he defends the run quite well. Also, he never stops. I noticed that he was one of few Vikings that pursued Westbrook when he broke for the long 70 yard gainer. Allen chased him all the way to the endzone.

* Bernard Berrian: Berrian came close to a 1000 yard season coming up 36 yards short. And for missing games and times, that is a pleasant surprise. Berrian also had the league’s best yards per catch ratio just over 20 yards per catch. If Only Sidney Rice would have matured the receiving team would have been solid. Instead, Bobby Wade led the team in catches.

* Visanthe Shiancoe: Here is your shoutout. I was wrong about you. Last year and beginning this year, I likened you to the Venus-De-Milo statue, (The no hands statue) for all of your dropped passes. Midway through this season, the light went on. You became a force to be reckoned with. Viking Thunder salutes you. Shiancoe ended with 42 catches, 596 yards, over 14 yards per catch, (Big for a tight end) and 7 touchdowns.

* Chad Greenway. E.J. Henderson. Ben Leber. The best trio of linebackers in the NFL. Will be a force for many years coming.

Final 2008 Season Thoughts:
As other fans gear up for this week’s playoff games, this fan sits alone on his computer, (Not really sitting on it, but by it) and ponders now that the off season is officially upon us, what is in store for the Vikings in 2009.

Can Childress guide this team to a superbowl victory? With Jackson at QB? With his so-called kick ass offense? And his inability to adjust at half time? All good questions with no real answers in sight. I don’t think so, but according to Wilf, Childress is the man for at least one more year.

Free agency begins in about a month and right now the Vikings have about $20 million to spend. $33 million if they don’t resign Birk, Sharper, Kleinsasser. I say this every year at this time. What is it going to take for the Vikings to get to the top level. (Is there a secret handshake Viking management isn’t aware of?)

Here’s what I think.
#1) A new quarterback. Jackson is not the answer. Either is Frerotte. Nor Booty, although he could come along in a year or so. Imagine if the Vikings had Garcia at the helm this year. They would still be playing, with carolina visiting them this Sunday.

#2) Wide receiver. Berrian was a good pick up, and Rice was hurt, and completely ineffective, and Wade is just terrible, and Allison, well, he is on his way out. Add a top flight receiver next to Berrian and have Rice in the slot and the offense gets in gear.

#3) A new right guard and right tackle. Cook and Hicks suck. Plain and simple.

#4) A bigger offensive playbook. When Peterson is in the game, the Vikings run. When Taylor comes in the game, the Vikings pass. Defenses know this. Why not have both on the field to eliminate the defenses teeing off on the QB?

#5) Depth. The draft needs to add key players for depth. The D-Line was hurt when Udeze got sick, and Edwards and Robison got hurt. Add experience on the O line with free agency, at safety, corner, and linebacker.

#6) And finally, a new head coach. Childress is so paranoid he believes waiters at restaurants are trying to steal game signals when he orders dinner. Take a lesson from Belechick, no wait, strike that. I know a new coach will put the Vikings in start over mode, but if the Falcons can achieve success with a new head coach, and the Dolphins can achieve success with a new head coach, and the 49ers achieve midseason success with a new head coach, why couldn’t the Vikings?

See you all next month when free agency season opens.


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4 Responses to “Wild Card Weekend: Vikings Lose To Eagles 26-14”

  1. Vitalyok said

    nice news!

  2. Fast and the furious 4 the trailer said

    Fast and the furious 4 the trailer…

    Fast and the furious 4 …

  3. Eggberty said

    Very prophetic on Childress and Peterson. Yuo did a better job than Nostradamus.

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