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The Leslie Frazier Era Begins



Date: 28 November 2010 Location: Washington, DC
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: FedEx Field
DirecTV Ch. 707
Know Thy Enemy: Hogs Haven
Gonzo's Prediction: Vikings 20, Redskins 17
Final Score: Vikings 17, Redskins 13

Well, now that the coach has been replaced, maybe we're officially done with some of the drama for this season and can spend the final six weeks concentrating on silly things like. . .I don't know. . .playing football. It sounds weird, but hopefully we'll get an opportunity to try it going forward.

So, what are the keys to getting the Leslie Frazier era started with a victory?

1) Okay, seriously, let's not turn the ball over, huh? - Adrian Peterson hasn't had a fumble all season. Hence, he hasn't lost a fumble all season. Despite this, the Minnesota Vikings still have more turnovers than every team in the National Football League with 25. They have only had three games this season where they did not turn the ball over multiple times (against New Orleans in Week 1, against Dallas in Week 6, and against New England in Week 8), and they've turned the ball over at least once in every game this year. It would be nice to have just one game where this team didn't give their opponents a free possession, but with every game that goes by, I wonder if that's too much to expect out of this group.

2) Let the offense run through Adrian Peterson - Gee, what do you know, something else we say every week. The decision of Leslie Frazier to stick with Brett Favre at quarterback has been somewhat controversial, but I suppose that he. . .like the rest of the organization. . .seems to be sold on the fact that #4 gives this team the best chance to win. But, really, you know who gives this team the best chance to win? The guy that wears #28, that's who. After all, he's going to be here beyond this season. . .Brett Favre is not. (Neither is Tarvaris Jackson, incidentally, which may be another reason that he's not getting the start here.) Peterson is just 20 yards away from racking up his fourth straight 1,000-yard season, and is second in the league in rushing overall. I could care less what anybody says. . .the guy is the best running back, and quite possibly the best non-quarterback, that the National Football League has to offer, and his workload needs to start reflecting that. He had 14 carries last week. . .unacceptable.

3) Take advantage of the Redskins' injury problems - Washington could be down as many as six starters this afternoon, and are going to be playing a lot of backups regardless of how many starters they're down because of injury issues elsewhere. The Vikings should be able to take advantage of these things, particularly when the Redskins try to run the ball. . .Washington is having plenty of issues with their interior linemen, they put Clinton Portis on IR this week, and running back Ryan Torain won't be playing today, either. The Vikings need to go out and play at a level equal to their talent rather than the garbage we've been seeing for most of the first half of the season.

We're not playing for the post-season any more, folks. . .even if this team does run the table from here on out, the odds of 9-7 being good enough to get a team into this year's NFC playoffs are slim at best, and most likely non-existent. But it's time to see that if this team that had such high expectations going into the 2010 season can man up and play well for a new coach after pretty much completely giving up on the previous one.

Kickoff is about two hours away, folks. . .hope to see a bunch of you here.