It still hasn't really sunk in yet. The Vikings, who fools like me alleged were actually contenders for the Super Bowl as recently as a couple of weeks ago, went into Candlestick/3Com/Monster Park yesterday and put up a lousy 3 points. THREE. . .POINTS! Against the 49ers! A team that was allowing 33.6 points per game prior to yesterday and had given up 40+ on three different occasions.
The Vikings lost a game to a team that they held under 100 yards passing AND under 50 yards rushing. Chester Taylor outgained the San Francisco 49ers yesterday BY HIMSELF, for crying out loud. I can't believe it.
Anyway, let's take a look at the game here. . .
WHAT WAS GOOD
Chester Taylor - As I mentioned above, Taylor outgained the entire San Francisco offense by himself. 141 yards for Taylor (96 rushing, 45 receiving) to 133 yards for the Niners (91 passing, 42 rushing). This despite the fact that everyone in the National Football League knows that the Vikings' offense isn't capable of doing one single, solitary thing other than handing the ball to Chester Taylor.
This guy could handle the load. . .and if he had anything resembling an offense around him, he'd be counted among the best backs in the NFL. As far as I'm concerned, he IS one of the best backs in the NFL. . .but because he's stuck in this black hole of an offense, he won't get the credit he deserves.
The Defense. . .Every Damn One of Them - The defense once again did everything they could to try to carry this team to a victory, and the offense just wasn't having it.
Napoleon Harris, who's done a whale of a job at MLB this year, didn't even play yesterday. And, quite frankly, I didn't even notice. Why? Because Dontarrious Thomas. . .yes, THAT Dontarrious Thomas. . .stepped into his spot and did a hell of a job in his own right. Kevin Williams was hurting, Pat Williams was hurting. . .and it didn't matter. This defense is THAT special. When you hold your opponent to under 150 yards in the National Football League, you should win. Period. End of sentence. But not with this team.
I just wonder how much longer it's going to be before someone on the defense expresses how tired they are of having to carry this sorry-ass offense all the time.
Which brings us to. . .
WHAT WAS BAD
Every Single Member of the Vikings' Offense Not Named Chester Taylor - Seriously. . .this is the worst offense I think I've ever seen the Vikings put on the field. Ever. And the first year I watched this team, they went 3-13. This offense might be worse.
Brad Johnson, Mr. "Game Manager" that "won't kill you with stupid mistakes," continues making stupid mistake after stupid mistake. Why? Because teams know that they can camp all their defenders within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage, because that's Johnson's effective range. It's rare that he can do anything outside of that. 4 TDs and 13 turnovers in 8 games. That sucks. I don't care what measure you use, that sucks.
And when Johnson DOES get the ball to the receivers, there's no guarantee that it's going to get caught. Troy Williamson couldn't catch gonorrhea in a Vietnamese whorehouse. Our best pass catcher on this team is Jermaine Wiggins, and it's really not close. Our two next best pass catchers are Chester Taylor and Mewelde Moore, in whichever order you prefer. Our best WR, quite frankly, is Marcus Robinson, who was inactive yesterday. Is M-Rob really THAT key to this offense? And how sad is it that you have to get at least 5 people deep on this list before you can even bring up the names Troy Williamson or Travis Taylor?
This team's going to end up spending another first round draft choice on a wide receiver this April. Hopefully one that can actually catch the stinking ball.
Discipline - This just in. . .this is NOT a more disciplined team now that Mike Tice is gone. Let's officially put that myth to bed right now. This team kills themselves in the red zone. . .they do stupid things to negate positive plays (yes, Travis Taylor and Darrion Scott. . .I'm looking at you). . .this is just like watching Mike Tice's teams from the last couple years. No real difference at all. Except for that whole "not scoring any points" thing. That's different.
Playcalling - Could we please. . .PLEASE. . .just once try throwing the ball INTO the end zone on third and goal, please?
Well, after this debacle, it's Packer Week, v1.0. Pardon me if I'm not overly excited at this point in time.