Archive for December 29, 2009

The emperor has no clothes

Posted: December 29, 2009 in NFL, sports opinion

I may be in the minority within this blog and the wider NFL viewing audience, but I was never under the illusion that the Vikings were Super Bowl contenders.  Sure their offense is nice and shiny, but they are being led by a 40 year old man.  Regardless of who it is, a 40 year old man is bound to slow down through the course of a normal NFL season.  

    AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Unfortunately, this isn’t a normal season.  The Vikings had to keep pace with the then smoldering Saints who were marching towards perfection.  With the Saints slowing down, the Vikings thought they could coast into the playoffs as well. 

That’s the conventional wisdom, which is usually marked by being…well…conventional thinking. 

I contend we were led to believe the Vikings were greater than what they were because of their schedule.  Their opponents:  Browns, Lions, 49ers, Packers, Rams, Ravens, Steelers, Packers, Lions, Seahawks, Bears, Cardinals, Bengals, Panthers, Bears, Giants.  I took the liberty of highlighting the playoff caliber or playoff teams.  That is only 6 teams in their schedule, the Packers are highlighted twice. 

The Vikings should thank God they aren’t in the AFC because they are 1-2 this season against AFC playoff caliber teams. 

Look the Vikings are still a good team, but not Super Bowl ready.  I wish there was a nicer way to say that but it’s the undeniable truth.  It’s not purely Favre’s fault either.  He is the best QB on their roster.  Honestly, Rosenfels nor Jackson would have led the Vikings to where they are right now.

I also doubt it’s the play calling of Childress.  Maybe the league caught up to what the Vikings were doing?   Earlier in the season, it was AD to set up Favre.  Teams are putting 8 or 9 at the line and forcing Favre to beat them and this formula has been successful to beat the Vikings of late. 

Here’s the problem, do you have Favre throw 30-40 times a game to set up AD or keep running AD against 8 or 9 in the box to set up the pass?  Neither of those options is a good solution.  How about the Philly solution, screen passing?  Unfortunately, Chester Taylor is a better receiver from the backfield than AD but AD is the superior athlete. 

AP Photo/Mel Evans

Defensively, someone needs to make plays on the front four.  Teams are learning that if you double Allen, it kills the pass rush.  Williams Wall is mostly for run stopping. 

The Vikings have some things to work on as the playoffs approach.  Otherwise, it won’t matter who the QB is because they will be watching the Super Bowl at home.