If Sunday’s win were a fish,...would we throw it back?
Well fans, if Sunday’s win over the Lions were a fish, would we throw it back? Tough question. This year’s Vikes are improved just enough over last year’s version to eke out wins over inferior teams, regardless of doing nothing right and making mistakes all day.
The dragon ship is a derelict old tramp, springing a new leak for every one patched. Last Sunday, special teams coverage of punt and kickoff returns, recently woeful, was solid. So, the offensive line suddenly forgot how to block for the run or pass, and couldn’t pick up the blitz at all. I looked at my column from a year ago, written after the surprising win over Chicago, and found myself singing the praises of a new and improved Ryan Cook, and Anthony Herrera, now solid in place of the banished Artis Hicks. Against the Lions, Cook had easily his worst game in a year, and Herrera began the cavalcade of stupid penalties with a hold that moved the Vikes out of scoring range. Once again, this offense is not consistent enough to overcome penalties, especially the ten-yarders that its line specializes in. Cook managed one on a running play that went to the other side, wiping out a brilliant Chester Taylor run and a sure TD.
Last year the slew of sloppy mistakes and penalties began to thin out at about this time. Now, they seem to be getting worse as we stumble through October. It was a Halloween horror show watching the Vikes eke out an ugly, one-eyed victory versus the pathetic Lions, but against what other team could they have made so many game-losing mistakes and still come away with a win? Childress teams are beginning to develop a personality of mistake-making, many of them stupid, to go along with the stodgy and predictable offense that has so much trouble scoring the requisite 20 points. I hope that these last two narrow victories will do something more positive than simply prolong a regime that should be run out of town.
Nevertheless, after six games the Vikes are 3-3, sharing the NFC North lead. Last year they were 2-4 and all but out of it, despite playing an easier schedule early on. They have shored up the pass defense, (at least for now), and showed some offensive fire power which could be put to use scoring points if they’d cut down on penalties, dropped passes, and fumbles. Coming up are beatable teams, Houston, at least, a pushover (like Detroit was). But the Vikes will have to play much more disciplined ball, improve along the offensive line, and continue to play tough defense to beat the likes of Chicago and Green Bay, also teams playing .500 ball.
The Chiller’s tenure in Minnesota will be riding on the next four or five games, so they will be interesting and we will have something to root for regardless.
Talk back! Tell us what you think of this year’s teams. What would you do if you were in charge?
Go to winonapost.com, click on Football Forum to discuss this year’s season.