This was a tough loss. Much tougher than the loss in San Diego, because I felt that we were the better team (unlike the game against the Chargers who are being picked by many to make the superbowl this year) and it was our home opener. We came out once again like a bat outta' hell, completely running over them with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart (I've said it many times, when AD is washed up, we're in good hands) to build a 17-0 lead, only to flop around like chickens with out heads cut off in the second half. But all Hope is not lost, I'll lay out some fears and hopes after the jump. WARNING!!! This is not for the jelly fleshed and will be a long read.
Sidenote: This is not intended to devalue Ted's Stock Market Report, as I have absolutely nothing on his writing. Back to the story now..
Let's start out with some negativity, as I don't like story's with an unhappy ending (so why do I love the Vikes... puzzling)
1. Leslie Frasier isn't a future HOF coach, he doesn't manage games well, and he can't adjust defensively.
When your up 17-7 and 17-0 at halftime, there's not much you can (or should) adjust to. But that being said, in basketball, when one team is in the midst of a scoring streak and the other one seems incapable of doing defending, the poorly playing team calls a timeout and it's coach says something uplifting, something inspirational, or just flatout chews their asses out. But this was not the case in Sunday's game. When we were getting ran over by Legarrette Blount and burned by Josh Freeman, we didn't take any timeouts to convey defensive strategy, change any personell, or give our huffing and puffing defense a break. The announcers on the game kept saying that we weren't "sitting on the lead", but when we don't try to stop a nosebleed because we're way ahead, that's called sitting on the damn lead.
But I'm not jumping off the Frasier express just yet. He showed us some great coaching last year, but he's still a rookie head coach. Mistakes will be made, and he'll learn from it and be better for it. You can't expect Christian Ponder to throw for 3000 yards and 25 TD's next year, and you can't expect Leslie Frasier to be Bill Belichick his first year.
2. Our defense isn't properly conditioned, which is why they falter in the second half.
Hogwash. These are professional athletes right? They get paid to stay in shape and put the hurt on their opposing offensive counterparts right?. There are anomalies such as Mount McKinnie, but to suggest that our entire defense was gassed due to improper or insufficient training is ludacris.
3. Our corners can't defend the short pass.
I agree for the most part. But this won't matter if we put a little more pressure on the quarterback. We've been sending five on a consistent basis, but every now and then, I'd like to see another linebacker or a corner blitz to keep the offensive line guessing.
4. Donovan McNabb keeps throwing the ball at lineman's hands.
This is my only big concern. I've never noticed his passes being deflected this much when he was with the Eagles or Washington, but he needs to leard how to step away from slow lineman rather than trying to throw it over them. I never really noticed that he was 6-2, his beefyness makes him look alot taller (and like a linebacker).
1. Donovan McNabb can handle this offense.
Donovan McNabb had a much better showing against Tampa Bay than he did against San Diego. He completed 18 of 30 passes (60%) for 267 yards, no TD's and no INT's. The only thing I can say he could do better is go through his reads quicker and don't stall out in the redzone.
2. Toby Gerhart is a beast and we have a solid backup and eventual replacement in him.
Toby Gerhart has had only four carries so far, but these are how they turned out. 4 yards, 5 yards, 12 yards, 31 yards. He also had a fantastic reception of about two yards that turned into 42 yards by speed and good blocking. I was big on Gerhart when we drafted him, and I'm seeing potential in this kid. He had a great season last year filling in for AD, and giving him a break as a change of pace. I hope we have our next guy, but if he's not, we can trade him to another team for a second or third round pick.
3. Michael Jenkins is an elegible reciever.
I'm starting to love me some Jenkins. He only caught 3 passes for 29 yards against Tampa Bay, but it's hard to get attention when some guy named Percy Harvin is attracting so much attention. Jenkins has soft hands, quick feet, and hopefully he can be the solid #2 reciever that we desperately need.
4. We keep making steady improvements on offense.
We have a new head coach, new offensive coordinator and system to go with it, and numerous new starters and contributors on both sides of the ball. Hoping for 28 points per game is a little out of the question, but if we keep making steady improvements and the duo of Michael Jenkins and Donovan McNabb turn out to be solid, we could be pretty decent on offense this year (surely better than last year).
There's my reflection through a dull mirror. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed typing it.
SKOL VIKES!! BEAT DETROIT NEXT WEEK!!