Not too long ago, 2009 to be exact, the Vikings were the best team in the NFL. Yes, we were absolutely unstoppable and if not for a conspiracy, we would've won the Superbowl. Ok that's out the way. Many people say we are in rebuilding mode. I'm kind of on the fence. I kind of agree and kind of don't. Maybe we are though, but I'd like to take a quick look at exactly what we lost from that 2009 team that we could use on this team to help us become contenders again. (Which i think we will soon.)
Ok, Ponder is no Favre. We can all agree to that. But the potential to be something special is there.
In 2009, Favre had his best statistical year. So what do we need from the Qb postion that we had in 2009?
Deep throws. High Accuracy, and low interceptions. Also, the ability to convert 3rd downs with a high efficiency. If Ponder can give us a few deep completed throws a game, that would be a huge help with this offense, who has gone back to the stages where 8 to 9 men are in the box now to tame AP. Ponder has to be very accurate on the quick slants and short routes to effectively move the offense. People say that it doesn't matter if you don't complete 1st and 2nd down as long as you complete 3rd down, and in a sense that's true. BUT when you are playing in games to CONTROL the clock, 2 incomplete passes will immediately stop the clock. Even if it's for 1 yard, in "Controlling the clock" type of games, those pass needs to be completed. This also will have to be true for this upcoming game. Ponder will force some things and throw interceptions, but hopefully in time he can reduce those interceptions and not get too Confident.
But to get deep throws completed, part of it has to be on the Wideouts. So what else do we need?
A true deep threat wideout. Percy Harvin is magical in the slot. Not at the #1 Wr position. We have many possession wideouts on this team, one too many maybe, but in this offseason, we should seriously invest or draft a deep threat. This will help Ponder, Percy, the tight ends, AND AP!... I know we have bigger needs, but if a top deep wideout is on the board when we pick, I would think long and hard about it.
Also, the Vikings actually have gotten weaker in another area with the wideouts.
Down the field blocking. I remember the days when not only the O-Line opened holes for AP, but our wideouts were actually Great blockers down the field. Just check out some of AP's best runs and you will see that it is a wideout who gave one of the most important blocks. I've seen this area fade from the Vikings this year.
Ponder is doing well on 3rd down, but nothing is actually given to him. He needs a
True 3rd down running back. Yeah Toby can change the pace a little, but I seriously miss Chester Taylor. He was a game changer on 3rd down. I heard good things about Booker maybe being the 3rd down back we need, but I haven't seen it. Maybe we can look into requiring one.
The Vikings used to be known around the league for just absolutely crushing the run game and making goal-line stances. So what else do we need?
Another DT The Williams Wall was great while it lasted, but it's evident this year that our DT's aren't getting the job done. Maybe Kevin isn't playing his best, but seriously he hasn't been given any help with the other DT, having what 2 tackles this year?... Get Kevin someone who can actually help him stop runs and rush the QB please.
LT Yes, Julis Peppers did abuse Bryant McKinne that year, but for most of the year Mckinne held his weight quite well. That was not a joke people. If we can get better blocking not only out of LT, but the whole Line, we will be alright for years to come.
That's about it that I can say that we need that we had in 2009.
But other needs of course include:
Not only a secondary that can cover, but make plays as well.
Could really use a good punt and kick returner. Percy is good at kick returner, but he's kind of injury prone.