Well fans, on the day before Halloween the corpse of a lost season suddenly sat up in the coffin and demanded something to eat. Of course it wouldn’t have made sense, but don’t you wish the Vikes would have plugged Christian Ponder in at QB from the beginning? It is too early to get real giddy, but the rookie seems to have the cool and poise in the pocket that McNabb seems to have lost. At this point he looks like he has all of the physical tools as well, with the possible exception of the big arm down field. That said, he did drop a fairly long one right onto Visanthe Shiancoe’s fingertips that probably should have been caught.
And how wonderful to discover that Adrian Peterson’s education has progressed from not only hanging on to the ball, but actually catching it in the air! The offense we saw last Sunday would have held on to win those first three games. Using him out of the backfield as a receiver like that will make it much more difficult for opposing defenses to stop him by loading up the line of scrimmage, as we saw during the second half down in Charlotte.
Unfortunately, the defense seems to have regressed. For the first time in years they are actually weak against the run. Remi Ayodele has not filled the massive shoes, (or should I say jersey), of Pat Williams, and Kevin Williams seems to be getting pushed off the line of scrimmage. And going around the Vikes defensive left, you too often see no purple jerseys holding down the line of scrimmage, giving up an average of about five yards. This team really misses Antoine Winfield, its best tackler by far. Perhaps he can come back in two weeks against the Cheese, a game we can look forward to watching now, rather than dreading like a painful surgery. (This is not to hold out any solid hope of an upset.)
And then there is the question of Chris Cook and his misadventures which have piled up so rapidly. The summary execution of Bryant McKinnie was supposed to have put the fear of God into other potential miscreants. Apparently Cook is an infidel. He should probably be sent packing, but I have to admit that I would rather see him return, hopefully chastened. That defensive backfield desperately needs help, Christian, pagan, or whatever.
If the Vikes can get some of the holes plugged back there, I would bet a dollar that they will break even over the rest of the season.