I apologize for the lack of an update yesterday. . .long day at work, followed by my wife and I making a few things for my flight's Thanksgiving lunch this afternoon. That and it takes me a while to get over a loss, particularly one as depressing as the one this past Sunday.
We'll get right into the breakdown.
WHAT WAS GOOD
The run defense. . .again - I should really macro this so I can just copy and paste it every week.
Yes, once again the Vikings' run defense was outstanding. Miami had 14 carries for a net total of -3 yards. Yes. . .for an entire game, the average Miami rushing play went backwards. Teams just don't run on Minnesota, it's that simple.
The entire defense in the second half - After looking frighteningly good in the first half of play, particularly on their opening drive, the Dolphins' offense managed to gain only 71 yards in the second half of play. I'm not sure if it's the adjustments that the Vikings made as much as it was the fact that the Dolphins, for whatever reason, stopped going to the spread-type of offense that they ripped Minnesota with for much of the first half. But, in any event, the defense once again gave the offense a chance to win the ball game.
Hey, I mentioned the offense! That must mean that it's time to move on to. . .
WHAT WAS BAD
The offense in general - As I mentioned above, the Vikings held the Dolphins to negative total rushing yards for the game. That's pretty amazing in and of itself. Would you like to hear something more amazing? If you're a Vikings fan, you should probably be sitting down for this one. . .
Sunday's game was the first time in 45 years that a team held an opponent to negative rushing yards. . .and lost.
Yes, it's true. That hasn't happened since 1961, the first season the Vikings even existed. I'll tell you what. . .it takes some kind of offensive talent to blow a game when the opposing team, literally, can't run the ball. Note how I said "some kind of talent," not just "talent."
On Sunday, the offense allowed more points than the defense did. It's pretty hard to win games that way, as the Vikings proved this past weekend.
Chester Taylor - For as much as I've praised Taylor in this space all season long, his two fumbles this Sunday were absolute killers. He's now lost three fumbles this season, and they've all come at the worst possible times (the two against Miami, as well as the one against the Bears that set up Chicago's winning score). I don't know if Chester is wearing down or what the deal is. . .he's already had more touches this year than he's had in any other season of his career, and we've still got 6 games left. Whatever the problem is, I hope he gets it cured in a hurry.
The playcalling - So let me get this straight. . .our coach has no problem going for it on 4th and inches from the Minnesota 29-yard line, when not making it would put the opponent immediately into field goal range. . .but on 4th and goal from the Miami 1" line, we send in the field goal unit?
You've got to be absolutely, positively kidding me with this crap. Touchdowns are at a premium for this offense, and if they can't score from 1" out, they don't deserve to score at all. Add in the fact that the defense was playing lights-out in the second half, the worst-case scenario would have been having the Dolphins pinned to their goal line and unable to run the football.
If Brad Childress is going to pull some offensive genius out of his ass, it would be beneficial to him to do it sooner rather than later.
Brad Johnson - Yep, he's still bad.
That's all for now, folks. . .have a good rest of your Tuesday!
Update [2006-11-21 11:14:42 by Gonzo]: Nope, not it. . .thought of one more thing.
The two-minute offense. . .if you can call it that - Seriously. . .the last time I saw a two-minute offense run with less urgency, it was the Eagles in the Super Bowl against the Patriots a couple years back. The Vikes acted like they had all day to get TWO scores, and moved with zero sense of urgency. Way to just give up on this one, Vikings.
Okay. . .NOW I think I'm done.