Take from this what you want, and I don't get butt hurt from people I don't know talking about me. I only ask that you:
1) Read It
2) Digest it
Fans want to blame Christian Ponder, and I get that. Hell, I'd love nothing more than to just slap the guy on the side of his head after some of the decisions that he has made. This however isn't about Christian. For this weeks loss I am giving Christian a pass. Say what you want about me being stupid, not knowing what I'm looking at, or having purple goggles.
Christian gets a pass this week because on more than one occasion he turned what was a doomed play (whether due to the blocking he had, coverage, or play calling) into something positive. I am placing this loss on the doorsteps of Mr Frazier's house. I don't exactly know where that is, but I'll leave that to Fedex. The offensive line has been disappointing so far this season. They have had moments where you remember that they are INTACT from last year, BUT then there are the moments that you saw in the Preseason. After Week 2, minor changes should've been made to the offensive line. Loadholt, Kalil, and Sullivan aren't going anywhere, but that leaves the guard position to tinker with.
The play calling was absolutely terrible in this one. Just as Pittsburgh must trust Ben with their season due to a lack of a running game, Minnesota must give Christian more slack in the passing game, because there are no holes for Adrian, except for the ones with defenders coming through them. Our offense doesn't need trick plays to get yards, Christian is throwing for roughly 220 yards a game and has hasn't thrown multiple picks since Week 1. Musgraves is so involved in the play that Christian is practically throwing the ball from the teams sideline. I don't want to see the exact same offensive formation multiple times on a drive and the the exact same play.
You can not keep making the same calls, seeing that you are getting whooped yet hoping for better results. Christian and Adrian are doing what they can with what they have been given and they haven't been given much. The play calling has got to change, and the philosophy on defense has got to change. Bill Musgraves is entering his 3rd Year as the Offensive Coordinator and I feel like he never upgraded from his initial "Offensive Schemes for Dummies" back in 2011. An offense should have layers, initially simplistic and over time you tailor it to your players, you build it around your strengths. I think his clipboard reads run, run, pass.
Our offense has more than a couple weapons:
Tier 1: Adrian Peterson (a man who needs no introduction), Kyle Rudolph (he prospers with Ponder), Greg Jennings (he won't let the next one slip through his fingers), Blair Walsh (he scores more than anyone else), Jarius Wright (just needs the ball thrown his way),and Cordarelle Patterson (already, his game speaks for itself)
Tier 2: Jerome Simpson (when he catches the ball), Jerome Felton (happy to have him back), and Rhett Ellison (Utility Man- can be used anywhere)
Tier 3: Joe Webb (just needs a chance)
So how is it that we can not win a game. I'm tired of hearing all of the calls for Christian's head. He has shown us what he can do at the very height of his game (see Week 17 2012) and what he can do when he is at the bottom. All that we need to demand from Christian is consistency, because again, we don't need Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning. Players built like these would be wasted in a run heavy offense such as ours.
On the Defensive side of the ball (I'm at work by the way.. lol.) we have heavy hitting, play making, stars, like:
Tier 1: Jared Allen (who isn't even close to being done in the league, 15+ Sacks, they have to bring him back), Kevin Williams (a veteran, but not too expensive), Combo of Everson Griffen & Brian Robison, Chad Greenway, and most importantly Harrison Smith.
Tier 2 includes: Jamarca Sanford, Josh Robinson, and Chris Cook (maybe Letroy Guion)
Third Tier: ALL OTHER LINEBACKERS, ALL OTHER MEMBERS OF OUR SECONDARY, ALL OTHER LINEMAN
Any defensive coordinator worthwhile knows when someone has been beating them, if not, check the box score. Bush in Week 1 was a wildcard, I wasn't expecting him to have such a game. However, in Week 2 Bennett goes off for multiple TDs including the game winner. INEXCUSABLE. That is on the DC. Week 3, the exact same problem. Cameron (the next Hillis) goes off on our defense and Gordon (only his second career game with more than 100yd) joins him. I'm sorry but we lost to a subpar team. This past weekend we didn't face Drew Brees or Peyton Manning. We faced the Cleveland Browns and they came into town with only two weapons. Absolutely Pathetic.
(I like Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes, but you have got to prove it to me on a consistent basis. With the matchups that Xavier has faced this far, he should be a step closer to reaching his potential next year.)
Our problem isn't so much personnel or turnovers (surprisingly). We can't stop any offense when it matters. I was watching ESPN and they were talking about the Packers run to the SB and how the defense (Clay mostly) was talking about it was their time, and that it was now or never. I don't know if our guys talk like that. We are taking the ball away from our opponents, most importantly in the passing game. Yet we aren't winning.
Week 1: 4-2 L
Week 2: 3-4 L (with Special Teams TD & Defensive TD)
Week 3: 3-4 L
Takeaways are no longer a problem. We have to capitalize on every possession. I HATE when the game comes down to the last 3 minutes knowing damn well that it should've been wrapped up already. The offensive line must hold up, Christian must make better decisions, the play calling needs to be better, and Adrian must hold onto the ball. Those are the most disheartening turnovers because he is our best chance.
I wanted to talk more about the coaches, but the Faked FG for a touchdown spoke for the coaches more than I can. We are an 0-3 team, but having been in each of those games late, we could just as easily be in Chicago's position, and while we have lost 2 games in our own Division already, the season is still young.
There is something strange going on in the NFL this year, Kansas City, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, NE, Denver, and NO. I don't care how the season began, it is how we finish it. We have to starting playing like a playoff spot is on the line, because it is.
I don't know if our players want our coaches around or not, but if they do, they had better start playing like it because if this continues any longer they will have a new staff and there will be a lot of new faces in the locker room next year.
I love, love, love the Minnesota Vikings. I feel angry and physically sick when they lose. I never had a chance to get to like another team. My name is Chris Carter and there was nothing else to it.
I'd hate to see Pittsburgh 0-4, but their coach is safer than ours so he can survive another week. Our team can not survive another week. London could very well decide it all.