Football Ninja's Bye Week Thoughts

I know how important it is for everyone to take a whip around the brain of the football ninja, so here is a quick summary of my thoughts as it relates to your 2009 Minnesota Vikings.  Of course the thought must start with...

The Bye Week.
Could it come at a better time?  Ummm… No.  Perfect timing, smack dab, right in the middle of the season.  Now, seeing as how there is concern with Favre and his ability to stay healthy, if I could choose a place to put the bye it would be right here especially considering….
The Schedule.
…Coming out of the break we get to play 3 straight home games?  And get to start that stretch against the lions?  Shit, that’s almost like two bye weeks in a row.  Plus what this means, in terms of the whole teams health, is we play our first 8 games, get a week off, play our second 8 games, get a week off, play two tough games, get a week off, and then play one more… In Miami…  The schedule looks perfect… But…
The Saints.
God Damn, they look good.  Real good.   Reminds me of the 98 vikes.  High powered passing attack.  High powered running game.  Not a dominant defense, but a solid opportunistic and play making defense.  A dome game between these two to get to the Superbowl would be a fun game to watch for NFL fans everywhere.  By the end of year there is a very good chance these could be the number 1 and number 2 offenses in all of Pro Football… And I wouldn’t hate our chances in a dome against the Saints especially considering our newfound ability in the area of…
Game Planning.
The game planning for this coaching staff seems to be better than I remember, but maybe that is the Favre effect.  Or maybe just the ‘having-a-starting-caliber-QB’ effect.   We cruised to 5-0 before everyone was like: ‘the next three will tell us where we are at’.  Well first with the last game.  We came out with a great game plan.  We shut down that high potent offense.  Shut them down.  We got pressure on Rodgers while rushing only four and covered downfield with the other 7 long enough to put Rodgers on his back again and again.  Offensively we had a great game plan for Brett.  We neutralized the emotions by calling nice safe efficient “TJack-proof” passes.  Got AP into the mix early, and let Brett slowly push back the situation allowing him to just play the game, and eventually help us take over.  Our Game plan and execution of said plan put us up 24-3.  The Pittsburgh game was the same way (good game plan).  We felt them out in the beginning offensively and made sure to avoid the big mistake.   Played it safe to see what we could do and what we couldn’t do against that defense in one of the hardest places to play an away game.  Defensively we shut down a qb and receiving core that was firing on all cylinders coming in, without our best player in the secondary.  Our game plan put us in position to beat the Super Bowl Champs on their home turf.  And we would have, if not for a TD taken away, and a couple of unfortunate defensive touchdowns for Tomlin’s crew.  Oh yeah and Baltimore.  Baltimore is a really good team.  You won’t find many who will disagree with that.  Strong offensively and defensively, and very well coached.  We were up 27-10 with about 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter!  We had a plan and executed that plan to near perfection, until the end of the game which brings me to…
Late Game Near Collapses.
First keep in mind.  These were near-collapses, not total collapses, not total meltdowns.  I don’t know exactly what is happening here.  I hope Fraier and Childress can figure it out.  I disagree with those who think we are losing our aggressiveness late in games, blitzing wise.  Maybe our secondary is backing up another couple of yards in order to stop the huge plays which is creating spaces that aren’t usually there which is snowballing into the offense being able to get into rhythms which then swings momentum and confidence for both sides and so on.  Maybe.  I can buy that, get more aggressive in the sense that we should stick with the same exact defense we had been playing the whole game, sure.  But I don’t like this ‘we need to blitz more and more’ attitude.  These late game situations are exactly where JA and company should excel.  Up big, opposing offense is turning one dimensional, pin the ears back and get that QB.  When both the big collapses happened we were playing Rodgers and Flacco.  Both, especially Rodgers, had been beating us almost exclusively WHEN we were blitzing.  He would find the void that the blitzer left and get the ball out fast.  No, I will argue, we should have everyone in coverage and get to the QB in those passing situations which makes me think that the real reason for such a collapse is…Conditioning.  I think those guys were tired in both those games.  Look at the classic tell tale sign.  The hands on the hips.  Re-Watch the games if you can.  They were tired, just tired enough to not get to the QB, just tired enough to not be able to tackle ray rice, just tired enough to not be able to get to the point of the field where they should be just a fraction of a second earlier.  That’s my take.  In the earlier years of my Viking fanship, these collapses would have ended in losses, but not this year, because this year we have…
The KAO.
Wow.  This offense is kicking ass.  Very entertaining.  Did they actually call an 18-yard pass route on 3rd and 17 last week?  No draw play to Chester?  Yes, they did.  And it worked. 
But then again, this offense should Kick Ass.  I mean seriously… Solid offensive line.  HOF QB.  Best RB in the League.  Very good TE.  Speedster field stretching WR.  6-4 Huge radius, amazing hands, WR.  That new slot guy…  Yeah, you know, that slot guy.  He is one of the very impressive …
Percy Harvin is awesome.  This guy is explosive.  Can you say, Rookie of the year?  I don’t know what to say about him.  He looks amazing on special teams.  He has made huge plays at huge times. Momentum changing plays.  He is special.  He is doing wonderful in the passing game.  And remember, WR is one of the toughest positions for rookies to come in and excel in.  He wasn’t running these routes in college.  But he is running them great already.  8-Games in.  Awesome. I can’t wait to see what he looks like a couple years down the road.  Oh yeah, and DAMN, he is a tough little son of a bitch.  I was not expecting that, he is only 5-11, 184 but he does not go down easy.  He fights, and twists, and turns, and puts on the Jets.  Awesome. Also, Loadhalt is playing great.  Yes great.  He is pass protecting beautifully the last couple of games and run blocking equally as well.  What a draft choice that is going to be.  I’m telling you right now, Loadholt will be holding down a tackle position in the NFL for a long time.  These first two rounds worked out perfect.    The book is open on Asher Allen.  And the other rookies? I have heard their names called on special teams a couple times, speaking of…
Special Teams.
Wow.  What a turn around.  Coverage and return teams look SOOOOO much better.  The vikes lead the league in average starting position after kick offs and coverage teams look completely different from last year.  Credit this coaching staff.  (And Harvin, and Farwell) But especially this coaching staff.  This was a huge problem last year, so they went out and got special teams play makers through the later rounds in the draft and through free agency.  And now that phase of the game is a strong suit, not the weak link it was last year.  I like the attitude of ‘there is a problem,  lets fix it’.  I like it alot! What a great job by…

The Organization.

Organizations win super bowls.  Not Quarterbacks, Not Defenses, Not Players, Not Coaches, Organizations. And wow what a job of personnel building this organization has done.  The Vikings are stacked with talent.  And they built the team just the way that they wanted to. We drafted and pieced together the puzzle.  Without going through all the pieces, I’ll just look at a couple instances.  Great operations.   Go back a couple years, what did they say: Start in the trenches.  Soooo... they steal Hutch away from Seattle.  Then, when we all knew that our defense was good but hated that the secondary was getting burned, we knew what we needed was an edge rusher.  So... we go out and trade for Allen, what a signing.  Awesome.  Or remember when we desperately needed some kind of receiving threat, I do.  So... we went out of our way and got the best free agent WR available in Berrian, and paid him because he was the best available.  How about this past offseason?  We needed help on special teams, well we saw what we did.  And, of course, finally, we needed a conductor of the orchestra so we went and got…

Brett Favre.
Is there really anywhere else to end in a thought process of the 2009 Vikings?  I don’t need to break down stats, or convince anyone of anything.  If you watched the 2008 Vikings and compare them to the 2009 Vikings, there is one huge difference, one thing that is going to shine brighter than everything else….
Brad Childresses’ Beard.
Yup.  That’s why the 2009 Vikes are destined.  Because of the Beard.
That’s all.
Go Vikes.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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