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  Friday April 25th, 2014    

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Vikes keep finding ways to get worse So, they’ll probably start winning again (11/19/2003)
By John Edstrom

John Edstrom
     
Well fans, just when it got to the point where the defense could get no worse, the offense and special teams have stepped up to ease the pressure in a reprise of some of last season's worst outings. Thought we had our place kicking problems solved? Think again, as Aaron Elling joins in the general collapse.

But at least Daunte Culpepper has solved the worst of his turnover problems, right? Look again. He now seems capable of falling down, untouched, and dropping the ball. In fact, he falls down a lot. Perhaps they should outfit him with longer cleats. I don't know what is to be done for his hands.

And then there is the recurrence of the excessive penalties which we thought a year's experience had helped to alleviate. The Vikes have committed ten each in the last two games, and inevitably defensive holding or pass interference if the opposition fails to convert third down, a rare occurrence.

The Vikes defensive numbers were somewhat better last Sunday, but there is not a lot to cheer about there either. The Raiders barely made any pretext of passing, or even of running wide, yet continually held onto the ball by gaining yards running between the tackles. Supposedly, the Vikes were unable to defend the perimeter because of slow linebackers and weak-tackling corners. Now it appears they can't defend the run anywhere. And when third-string QB Rick Mirer finally started throwing the ball, they couldn't stop that either. Can you imagine what will happen to this team when it faces the high-powered Rams offense down in St. Louis? They are likely to give up 100 points.

It looks, unfortunately, as if NFL offensive coordinators had totally pantsed the Purple defense by game number seven, and a cruel and ugly sight it has been for Minnesota fans. It apparently has got the defensive line pretty shook up too as, one by one, they fill up the metro area drunk tanks.

The way things look, it doesn't appear that the Vikes should be favored over Detroit this Sunday. The team's defensive weaknesses are an open book shared freely around the league. There is an obvious crisis of confidence shared by one and all. Most of the calls are going against them, they are having mostly bad luck, and they seem to find a way to get worse each week.

Figure that once they have ruined their playoff chances, they'll probably start winning again, if only to spoil their chances in next year's draft.

 

 

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