2-10 sucks. And it sucks even more when over half of those ten losses are in the last minute, and you think that you should have won most, if not all of those games. At least half.
Some of those losses were because of offensive ineptitude, some were from critical defensive breakdowns, and today, it was a mixture of both. Joy.
Once again, we are relegated to moral victories and looking at the silver linings of this dark cloud F5 tornado that has wrecked this season, but we're going to do a little something different here at Viking Investments.
It's apparent that there are three gold bars that we talk about pretty much every week: Jared Allen, Percy Harvin, and Adrian Peterson. We'll talk about Allen and Harvin, but they've pretty much graduated into permanent Blue Chip Stock status. Junk bonds are usually the same culprits every week as well, and this week was no exception: offensive line was pretty bad, special teams failed at critical times, and the secondary managed to make Tim Tebow look like a Hall of Fame passer. But today, we were felled by St. Tim of Florida, and we helped to grow the legend a little bit more. We were cut down in the last minute, not by God, but by a God fearing man. And sooner or later, he'll cut you down.
No, this week will be a 'Buy' and 'Sell' special, and there might be some guys that are both. And this week we are accepting Cash only.
Take it away, Johnny:
Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down
Cash only SMR, after the jump.
Buy: Christian Ponder as a long term answer as quarterback. 381 yards and three TD's was a performance that is a Vikings rookie record. He took a beating behind a disaster of an offensive line, but he came back, shook off a rough start, and damn near pulled off one of the most exciting wins in recent history.
Sell: Back breaking turnovers as a franchise quarterback: What Christian Ponder giveth, Christian Ponder taketh away. His turnovers resulted in a 10 point turn around in the first quarter, and his fourth quarter interception directly lead to Denver's game winning field goal. I love this kid and how he plays, and I feel that these turnovers will drop off as he gains more experience. Well, I hope they will.
Buy: Percy Harvin having a breakout game: It's been building, and in the pregame I said that if the Vikes were to be successful, they needed Harvin to make plays. And he did, oh boy, did he ever. He scored on catch and runs of 52 and 48 yards. Finally, 12 games in, Harvin is finally being exploited for the playmaking ability that he possesses.
Sell: Using anyone but Percy Harvin as a kick returner. Can we pass a rule that the only player on the Vikings roster that can be allowed to bring the ball out of the end zone more than two or three yards deep is Harvin? Seriously, I don't mind Booker or Sherels periodically spelling Harvin, but DO NOT RUN IT OUT DEEP IN THE END ZONE. That happened more than once, and both Sherels and Booker were guilty of it. And the results were un-Harvin.
Buy: The first quarter safety by Jared Allen, and forcing two turnovers. One of the few quality special teams plays saw a punt downed inside the one, and on the next play the VIkings defense rose up and tackled Willis McGahee in the end zone for a safety, and helped set the Vikings up for early success.
Sell: The inability of the defense to make one more key play when the game was on the line. Just one play, just one stop. And they couldn't do it. Between the defense and the kickoff coverage unit, every time the offense got in the end zone, the defense gave it right back, in under three plays.
Buy: GERHART SMASH! Toby Gerhart will never be be confused with Barry Sanders, or Adrian Peterson. But Gerhart is an effective back in his own right, in the role he was used today--a battering ram, used to wear the defense down. He started ripping off yards in chunks, and had a good game in his own right.
Sell: Gerhart as a third down back: This isn't to bash Gerhart, because he's a good back. I just think he's a better feature back than a guy that comes in and spells Peterson. His skill set, while effective in it's own right, isn't suited as a third down guy. So, do the Vikings keep him in that ill-suited role, or in an effort to upgrade the roster do they maybe look to move Gerhart for a mid rounder or secondary help? I don't know.
Buy: Devin Aromashodu. With Michael Jenkins going on IR, somebody needed to step up and fill the void as Ponder's outside threat. The district attorney did that today, having his best game as a Viking with 6 catches for 90 yards. Every single one of the grabs seemed to be for a first down, and at an important part of the game.
Sell: Wide receiver depth. It's one of the areas that need to be dealt with once the off season hits. Jenkins and the DA are serviceable, and Harvin is Harvin, but the Vikes need more playmakers on the outside. Yeah, Aromashodu had a good game, but it's maybe the second decent game he's had all year. Is he a long term answer? I don't know.
Buy: Kyle Rudolph is a future All-Pro. That 19 yard TD grab that Rudolph had is a nominee for catch of the year. He essentially used his height to grab the ball, keep it above his head and play keep away from the Broncos defender on him. He reminds me of Jason Witten, and I think by this time next year he'll be a guy that we'll be seeing getting 4 or 5 balls a game, 60-75 yards, and a 'HOLY CRAP' moment once every two or three games.
Sell: Kyle Rudolph is better than the People's Champion, Jim Kleinsasser. No one is better than the People's Champion. No one. Not even Chuck Norris. One of the reasons the Vikings got so much better in pass protection in the second half was because they used Kleinsasser as a blocker, and he stopped the Denver edge rush cold on his side of the line.
Buy: A Remi Ayodele sighting. In the game thread I compared Ayodele to a Sasquatch. Not because of his size, but his existence was pretty much just a myth up until today. He had 4 tackles, a sack, and a QB hit.
Sell: Remi Ayodele on the roster in 2012: Today's game aside, Ayodele has been invisible all season. Opponents ran right at him, and today was no exception. Willis McGahee had over 100 yards, and it seemed that he got most of those running right at the middle of the defensive line, where Ayodele dwells.
Don Glover Quote Of The Day:
So my dad lives literally a block from my house, at an assisted living facility. The conversation during the 1 minute drive from his place to my house is usually a quick preview and prediction from him. But yesterday was a bit different, as the release of Donovan McNabb and his subsequent clearing of waivers was the topic of conversation:
Dad: So did anybody claim McNabb?
Me: Nope, he cleared waivers and is a free agent.
Dad: So the Vikings are on the hook for his whole salary?
Me: Yep, sure are.
Dad: Well, I guess he'll never have to throw himself a welfare party, will he?
I damn near hit my wife's car pulling into the driveway I was laughing so hard.
Well, that's about all I've got for now. There are some things that we have to work with on this roster, but we also have a sizeable rebuilding project ahead of us. Ponder's mistakes aside, I like his attitude. He's fearless, makes some plays, and I like the aggressive way he's always looking downfield. It cost him today, but he'll learn, and those mistakes will hopefully start to drop.
And now, we move on to Detroit, the one place in America where people like me who live in St. Louis can point to and say 'man, what a shithole'.