Well, Viking fans, we've been here before, have we not? A talented team, a lot of pre-season expectations, and then a season long egg laying. The thing is, this season has essentially ended halfway into it, mercifully, so we don't have to be strung along for 14 or 15 weeks before the final coup de grâce. So where do we go from here? Tweak around the edges, start giving the kids a chance to see what they can do, or blow the whole thing up?
I don't know, to be honest. There's several ways this team can go from here on out, and it's anybody's guess. I had a lot of hope entering this season, but that ship obviously sailed. What's that? The name of the ship? Oh, the name was the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Later that night when her lights went out of sight, came the wreck of the
Minnesota Vikings Edmund Fitzgerald.
SMR, after the jump.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Percy Harvin, WR: If this team as a whole had the heart that Harvin displays week in and week out, they'd be undefeated. Percy is money, and he whether he has a migraine, a sprained ankle, a bad shoulder, or a combination of all three, he answers the bell. He's easy to cheer for, and if the Vikings can draft another 52 guys like him, they'll be okay.
And that's really about it. When you get your ass handed to you in a must win game, there's not a lot of good to go around when picking through the rubble.
Toby Gerhart, RB. Gerhart looked good early, and then kind of disappeared...just like the rest of the offense. Solid, patient, running. He's finally starting to show some of his potential.
Hasain Abdullah, S. Abdullah had his first two career interceptions, which was good. He needed about five to keep the Vikings in it, which he didn't do.
Everyone not named Percy Harvin, Hasain Abdullah, or Toby Gerhart. Adrian Peterson couldn't get going, Brett Favre couldn't get out of his own way, and...stop me if you've heard this before...the defense couldn't get off of the field. It's really getting old, but it's not really unexpected anymore, is it?
Buy: John Sullivan as Matt Birk's replacement. The Vikings offensive line is a different animal when Sully isn't in there, and it was obvious Sunday. On the Vikings first drive, Peterson was running well, Favre had some decent protection, and the Vikings went down and scored a field goal. After that, other than a busted coverage by the Bears, the offense was a unit that couldn't get out oif it's own way.
Sell: Jon Cooper as John Sullivan's replacement: He just seemed to struggle all day. Maybe it was amplified because the entire offense was struggling, but the offensive line production seemed to noticeably drop off when Sully left with a calf injury.
Buy: Ryan Longwell and Chris Kluwe. Longwell is the best in the business, his first miss Sunday notwithstanding. Kluwe is quickly becoming the best in the business, and consistently had high, deep punts all afternoon, into a brutal Soldier Field wind.
Sell: Every other member of the special teams: Seriously, they can't kick or punt cover. Lane assignments are blown, tackles aren't made, and it's just flat out embarrassing at this point.
Buy: Brett Favre answering the bell. I saw a graphic today that this was Favre's 318th consecutive start, including playoffs, or something ridiculous like that. Yeah, he's pretty much sucked this year, but I appreciate the fact that he shows up to play and doesn't quit until the final gun. Oh, he's a gunslinger.
Sell: Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice not answering the bell. Rice is cleared to play and doesn't. Berrian doesn't play and then tweets (goddamn do I hate Twitter) he wasn't hurt. So why in the hell didn't you play? Maybe they don't care, maybe they do and they really are hurt. Whatever the reason, it doesn't look good. I'm thinking with Berrian's Twitter transgression, Chilly will announce at his Monday presser that he's been cut, too.
Buy: Looking ahead to the top half of the draft. Hey, if this season keeps going south, the Vikes might be in play for a quality first rounder.
Sell: Blowing up the team. This might run against the grain of popular opinion at the moment, but I don't think this team needs to be completely disassembled. The coach needs to go, but there's still a significant amount of talent. They need a guy who can get them all swimming in the same direction at the same time.
Well, needless to say, it's not a good time to be a Vikings fan. For every step forward this team has made, they take two steps back and are essentially out of the playoff race. I'm not abandoning this team, because I want to see what they're made of, and who's worth bringing back, and how the play on the field will affect contract extensions for guys like Ben Leber and Chad Greenway. Maybe that now the pressure is essentially off, they'll just let it hang out and have fun.
Ah, who am I kidding? Let's shoot for the #1 overall draft pick, baby!!