So far this season for the Minnesota Vikings can be summed up as, A Tale Of Two Halves. Last week against the Chargers, the Vikings held a 17-7 halftime lead. San Diego proceeded to score 13 more points holding the Vikings to a goose egg. Chargers win 20-17. Vikings 0-1 to start the season.
Week two had the Vikings coming home to the repaired homer dome to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As like last week, the Vikings took a commanding first half lead, 17-0 limiting the Bucs to a paltry 48 yards in total offense. Alas, the Vikings stayed true to form and allowed Tampa to score 24 unanswered points and shut out the Vikings. Buccaneers win 24-20. Vikings 0-2 to after two weeks.
To put in a different perspective, the Vikings in both games scored 37 points in the first half combined allowing only 7 points. In the second half, the Vikings scored 3 points while allowing 37 points.
In both games, the Vikings had the Chargers and Bucs exactly where they wanted them. Simply pound Peterson (Clearly the best running back in the NFL) and churn out first downs using the passing game to keep defenses honest.
Instead, Rivers and Freeman picked the Viking defense apart and took total control of the second halves of each game.
This Sunday, the Vikings host the 2-0 red-hot Detroit Lions who just laid the wood to the Chiefs scoring 48 points allowing only 3. Yes Viking fans, the same Detroit Lions who were perennial cellar dwellers in the NFC North for years. Decades even.
I hate to play this card already but this is a must win for the Vikings or else the season is over. (Yes, I said over!) The facts and history are already against the Vikings this year. Fact, only 12% of teams starting out 0-2 have reached the playoffs. Given the fact the Vikings have to play super bowl champion Green Bay twice and a host of other solid teams, the forecast looks dark. Not hopeless, but dark. Hell, the Vikings in 2008 started 0-2 and inched into the playoffs.
However, only one team in 13 years that started out 0-3 reached the playoffs. (Buffalo Bills, 1998) The percentage is almost nil, where either a stroke of luck and a few nice bounces of the ball have to occur, or shake up the team and make major changes in team personnel.
A Tale Of Two Half Seasons:
If the Vikings win this Sunday against the Lions, (Odds are favoring the Lions in Vegas as I type) the Vikings will continue to churn their might oars steering the Viking ship along a familar course. The Vikings just might reach 9 victories and just perhaps slip into the playoffs.
If the Vikings lose to the Lions and fall to 0-3, major changes should occur. The Vikings can stop believing in the myth that they are built to win now and have a playoff and super bowl run still left in them.
The Vikings should bench Donovan McNabb and rotate Joe Webb and Christian Ponder for the remainder of the season. Let the two young quarterbacks get valuable playing time with the first string offense in real game time situations. Something that practice can never supply.
The Vikings should also increase Toby Gerhearts touches per each game. Nothing at all against Peterson, (He’s the best back in the league) but as a good change of pace and perhaps avoid less wear and tear on Peterson for next season.
On defense, to be honest, the defensive back field cannot hold up to any decent quarterback they go up against. There’s a reason teams don’t run against the Vikings. It’s not that it is difficult to do so, but because it’s so damn easy to pass against them. Solution: Blitz often. And then, blitz even more. Do not allow the QB to drop back, survey the field, have a sip of tea, thn fire the ball to the open receiver. Put him on his ass and make him hurry the throw.
Here’s to hoping the Vikings somehow find a way to slow down the Detroit’s offense and win this Sunday.
For 2011 Viking Thunder is going to compare two former 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: 6 Yards: 55 Points: 6
Player: Sidney Rice – Catches: 0 Yards: 0 Points: 0
Note: Sidney Rice did not play due to injury. (2 games injured)
Team: Vikings — Falcons
Player: Brian Robison – Sacks: .5
Player: Ray Edwards – Sacks: 0
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL