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  Saturday January 31st, 2015    

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Thank God for Smoot
Otherwise this defense would be really bad!
By John Edstrom
Well fans, thank God we picked up Fred Smoot in the off-season, or this Vikings defense would be really bad. As it was, the Panthers' Steve Smith faked Smoot out of his pants in the opening series on Sunday, and he played the rest of the game as if they were down around his ankles. Luckily for him he strained his shoulder in the fourth quarter and didn't have to finish the game.

But before we get too hard on Smoot, it must be remembered that football is a team game, and he certainly didn't get any help from his mates on the defensive line, who generally gave Carolina QB Jake Delhomme time to brew coffee and drink it too.

The jury is in, and the verdict is that this team is rotten on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The defense can't rush the passer, and the offense can't protect him. That's a no-fail recipe for losing. All the rest of it is just random motion.

This is written Monday afternoon, and in case anyone was looking for a silver lining, the medical report just came back on poor Daunte Culpepper, who tore both his anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, plus the medial collateral for good measure. (For the layman, that means the lower leg is about to fall off.) Fans of the Purple must kiss their erstwhile pro bowl QB goodbye until next year. It is doubtful that he will be able to play in the preseason, nor that he will ever go on anything but bent wheels again. Cheers.

Sunday, the Purple looked as bad as I have ever seen them, and I have rarely missed a game since the beginning. When they jumped offsides twice in the opening series, it was obvious that last week's victory over the Cheeseheads was just a moment's respite for their long-suffering fans. Then, when Edinger missed the easy field goal, it was obvious that the only sensible thing to do is scatter this poisonous team and coaches to the four winds, fumigate and seal the locker room, and start over again next year.

That said, they're bound to look halfway decent and beat the Lions next week. 


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