I'm trying to find the right analogy for a person choosing to blog about a sports team, then watching that team go winless in the first quarter of their season. Having been a Vikings fan as long as I have, I should have known this came with the territory. Hell, it was even predicted by me in my regular season projections that this team could very well start 0-5 with a couple bad bounces. Something about this particular season seems to really stink though. I can't put my finger
in on it. At least after the Vikings fell 22-17 at the hands of the Chiefs this week, I can write a new entry since we didn't have a humongous second-half lead to give up in order to achieve this loss. This was a mostly boring game, indicative of two terrible teams, featuring more field goals than touchdowns. The season began with optimism, and even after the first 3 games there was clearly a team that looked like it had something. At 0-4, it doesn't matter. Check your statistics if you think otherwise. 0-4 teams don't make the playoffs in the National Football League. Donovan McNabb, you can hand over that football (or can you?!?!?!) to Christian Ponder, grab some pine, a clipboard, and collect the rest of your year's salary before getting the hell out of town. You suck. Phil Loadholt and Charlie Johnson may as well be tackling dummies, because they have no clue how to play when the call isn't a run. Bill Musgrave, I hope it was fun getting to brag to all of your friends about how you are a big Offensive Coordinator instead of just a little QB's coach, but don't get used to it. This year might be your lone year of coordinating anyone's offense. This team has me downright pissed off. I'm not even sure why, we do it every year. It should not be a surprise to anyone, yet it surprises me every week how the Vikings find innovative ways to piss games down their own legs. Many stink eyes to come, after the jump.
Things That Caught My Eye:
Percy on the Reverse.- We seriously ran this same reverse play to Percy 4 times, and it gained 67 yards. There are many plays that should be immediately thrown out of Bill Musgrave's playbook, this is not one of them. I am convinced that if AD were to ever be hurt, this is the guy we should have lined up as our HB. Man, Percy Harvin, you are good. Keep being good, and please don't get sick of swimming in the sea of mediocrity that is the Minnesota Vikings. I hope you play here forever, sir.
TE Play.- Vikings fans heard a lot this offseason about how Musgrave was going to utilize our wealth of talent at tight end, and we finally saw a little action to back that up today. Kyle Rudolph and Shiancoe were our leading receivers and came through in big plays. Rudolph got a big play up the sideline, and although he lost yards on a third and short, made a sick one-handed grab on an off-target pass by McNabb. Shank converted at least three 3rd downs.
Michael Jenkins. - This guy has been one of our most consistent pass catchers all year. He only got one catch for a touchdown today, but I want him to be a part of our offense in years to come. Jenkins is as sure-handed a wideout as there is, now if we can just find a true #1 receiver our pass-catching corps will be a force to be reckoned with.
Jared Allen.- 2 sacks recorded in this game and 5 in the last two, this man is officially a beast. Anyone who thought he was washed up after a lackluster 2010 campaign is eating their words. This is one of the few players who has come to play every down for all 4 games for the Vikings, and thank the lord for that. As great as AD is, sometimes I feel like Jared may be the face of this franchise.
Donovan McNabb.- This experiment is officially over. Sure, he didn't play terribly, but the NFL isn't about having quarterbacks who "don't lose the game" anymore. The days of Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson winning titles are over. Averaging less than 7 yards per attempt is unacceptable. McNabb rarely puts the ball on the money with his receivers, and seems to do so less and less when the game is on the line. Four straight incompletions to finish the game. I hate to say it, but it is now time to start Ponder. We need to find out if he is an NFL starter or if we end up in the unlikely scenario of having a shot at Andrew Luck, that we should take him and give Ponder the Jimmy Clausen treatment.
Bill Musgrave.- Not really sure where to start on Mr. Musgrave. Yet again, he has decided that throwing the ball or doing something OTHER than giving the ball to AD on third and 1 is a good idea. Word to the wise, Billy, if you give that ball to AD and he doesn't get it, no one questions your playcalling. Since you decided to get cute and it didn't work, people will. Figure it out. Also, Tamba Hali is the one player on the Kansas City defense that made the Pro Bowl last year, and their only pass-rushing threat. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU BLOCKING HIM ONE-ON-ONE WITH A TIGHT END?! This may have been my biggest problem with the game today. Jared Allen managed 2 sacks today, but he was double-teamed every play. Hali got to go up against Jim Kleinsasser one on one. How does that work? Someone explain to me, in the comments or somewhere, why you single block the other team's only pass rush threat while double teaming their below-average DT's. I just don't get it. Also, quit taking out Percy Harvin on third down in favor of Bernard Berrian. That guy has like 2 catches all year and clearly sucks taint.
The Entire Secondary. - When your two leading tacklers are defensive backs, you know the game probably didn't go the way you had planned. After having a little bitch fight on the sidelines with coach Todd Haley, the commentators decided to use that as the launching point for the MATT CASSEL COMEBACK OF THE YEAR DAY. But really, after settling for a field goal, the Chiefs just got more field goals, until Cedric Griffin got manhandled by Dwayne Bowe on a crucial play that ended up being the game-winning TD. This team was missing two of it's top three leading receivers from last year, yet still managed to gouge us for 26-yard pass plays on 1st and 25s. KEARY COLBERT was starting at wideout for this team. I didn't even know that guy had a job. Last I heard of Keary Colbert, he was playing for the Panthers about 5 years ago. FML.
Gus Johnson.- Gus Johnson has the most exciting voice in sports. There is no doubt about that. But when you are watching a game that features twice as many field goals as touchdowns, why don't you just pump the brakes a little there, eh Gustav? When your team is losing it is especially enraging to listen to this guy because he makes your teams suckitude seem that much more sucky.
All in all, today sucked. I notice I have used that word a lot in today's entry, but 'suck' is just about the only word I can think of anymore to describe these Vikings. I will always be a fan, but for the rest of this season I will probably be rooting for us to suck so we can get a little Luck next year. The Suck for Luck campaign begins next Sunday folks, see ya there.