Life is a funny thing. It really doesn't matter what your walk of life is, and no matter how talented you are at your chosen career, because at some point, life comes along and gives you a comeuppance.
And if you're being honest with yourself, it's one you probably deserved.
And just when you think you have everything figured out, life punches you in the mouth, and you're left bruised and battered, aren't you, Mr. Springsteen?
I was bruised and battered, I couldn't tell what I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
Saw my reflection in a window and didn't know my own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin' away
On the streets of Philadelphia...
Your 'you just got your ass kicked' SMR follows...
Blue Chip Stocks:
None. This was a game where everyone had their ass pretty much handed to them, and no one stood out. At least in a good way. When you play football like Bernie Madoff handles money, we're just happy that no one landed in prison today, kids. So yeah, there are no blue chip stocks this week. I hope you understand.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR: There was only one guy on offense that seemed like he was able to break through the fog that side of the ball was on, and it was Patterson. He was the only guy that found the end zone all day, and made a couple of really nice plays on special teams as well. For all the misery we sat through today, Patterson was one of few bright spots.
Adam Thielen, WR: There were a couple times today when I thought the Vikings might be on the verge of breaking out of what turned out to be a game long funk. And both of those times it was a catch by Adam Thielen that provided the spark. Yes, it turned out that it was a spark that landed on water logged wood in a monsoon in a 50 mile an hour wind, but hey, it was the thought that counts, Adam.
Sam Bradford, QB: I do not like bad picks, my man. I do not like them, Sam I am. Bradford had his worst outing as a member of the Vikings today, and although it wasn't all his fault, a lot of his throws were off the mark. Between four fumbles (two lost) and a bad, bad interception in the end zone, Bradford was a one man rally killer today.
The shitshow of an offensive line: Bradford wasn't good, I get it...but he was also under siege today, and that was because of the turnstile offensive line. It didn't matter who, or what the line combination was, because it was all bad. Newly signed T Jake Long made T.J. Clemmings look like an All Pro, but the funny thing was when Clemmings was in he looked like a guy that was eager for all his defensive line buddies to meet his QB Sam, and hey, let me walk you up to the pocket and introduce you to him. Bradford was hit 20 times on 41 pass attempts, and that's about as sustainable as a cactus farm in the Arctic.
Buy: The running game, at times, showed signs of life. There were times today when Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata made some noise on the ground today. McKinnon had 43 yards on 11 carries and Asiata had 55 yards on 12 carries.
Sell: The running game kept the offense in manageable down and distance situations all day. But once again, the Vikings running game was more of a hindrance than a help. Minnesota had 30% of their running yards on one play, a 29 yard run by Asiata, and if you take that run away, he only had 11 carries for 26 yards. The line and the running game are going to be the two things that unravel this offense, and right now, they're inextricably linked. That was never more apparent than down on the Philly five yard line, and the Vikings needed one yard to get a first and goal early in the fourth quarter with a chance to get back in to the game. They had two chances, and got zero yards. If you can't get one yard, you don't deserve to win.
Buy: The Vikings offensive line has been decimated by injuries. Hey, speaking of the line, they've been hammered by injuries, absolutely hammered. I'm not making excuses, but they've had what, a dozen combinations of guys in six games this year so far? It's tough to get any kind of continuity when you have more line options than you find at a typical American Girl Doll Company store. At least these offensive linemen are cheaper than American Girl...my God that place is a fortune.
Sell: There are good options to solve the offensive line problems. It is what it is at this point. The newest addition, Jake Long, was horrid. T.J. Clemmings just isn't getting it done, and neither is Brandon Fusco. For all the praise Tony Sparano has received as an offensive line coach, I look at this group and I consistently see poor footwork and guys that consistently lose the battle for leverage. Look, the cavalry isn't coming over the ridge, so you better shoot your horse, use it for cover, and dig in. Because if you don't you're gonna get overwhelmed and overrun.
Buy: The defense wasn't bad today. When you produce three turnovers in the first quarter...IN A ROW...with all of them in Philadelphia territory...and two of them give the ball to the offense at the Eagles two yard line and 17 yard line, you're doing your job. The defense also held the Eagles to under four yards a carry, and Carson Wentz had a QB rating of only 52.4. For all the things that went wrong today, the defense wasn't one of them.
Sell: The defense can win games all by themselves. When you have two drives that start inside the Eagles 20 and come away with zero points, that's not the defense's fault. When you have two shots to get less than one yard down on the Philadelphia goal line and can't make a first down, that's not the defense's fault.
Buy: Blair Walsh kicked well today. For all the things we need to worry about going forward, Walsh and the kicking game isn't one, it appears. He nailed his extra point and hit on a 48 yard field goal in pretty windy conditions.
Sell: Blair Walsh and the rest of the special teams didn't play well. The Vikings special teams contributed just as much to this defeat as anyone. They gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown, Marcus Sherels had a back breaking, close the door on any hope of a comeback fumble on a punt return, and Jeff Locke had a couple of meh punts, although overall he had another good game.
Don Glover Quote Of The Week:
'Son, we can't rush the quarterback and we can't stop the Eagles from rushing ours. We're not going to win a lot of games doing this.'
No Dad, we sure aren't.
Hey, I think it'll be okay. No one goes undefeated in the NFL, and the Vikings are no exception. We all knew a loss was coming, we just never like it when it happens in the brutally overmatched way it happened to the Vikings today. I still like this team moving forward, but they absolutely have to get better on the offensive line. Can they? I'd like to say yes, but I'm not sure how, or who is gonna step up. Jake Long? Tony Sparano with some magical coaching elixir? I don't have the answer, and right now, I don't think the offensive line does, either.
And if the Vikings can't find those answers, we'll be in for a lot more of games like today. Somewhere, the Browns and Joe Thomas sit, waiting for a call...