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  Saturday August 30th, 2014    

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Vikes could scratch out win against Denver (11/30/2011)
By John Edstrom


     
...or should we just go for 2 – 14?

Well fans, if this team were a horse, it would have to be shot. Our defensive backfield has now lost Antoine Winfield, Chris Cook, Asher Allen, Husain Abdullah, and Tyrell Johnson, and Cedric Griffin doesn’t appear to have fully recovered from ACL tears in both knees. We went dumpster diving and came up with Benny Sapp, who did not appear to be the worst defensive back wearing purple. It appeared, at times, as if the Vikings might have been a man short in the secondary. The Purple has become a barely moveable feast for even mediocre quarterbacks.

At least the offensive line has not been decimated by injuries, with only Anthony Herrera down with a knee problem, but that unit has been nearly as pathetic as the secondary. It can’t consistently get enough push to gain the crucial yard, as witnessed by the waste of Percy Harvin’s brilliant kickoff return, and constantly allows penetration into the backfield, Toby Gerhart hit three yards deep on the fourth down of that series.

Possibly some of that leakage into the backfield is caused by players who just don’t know their assignments. That would be a coaching problem, and there seem to be many of these. Why in the world would there not be someone in place upstairs to tell Leslie Frazier to throw the red challenge flag when all the world now agrees that Percy Harvin did get the ball into the end zone? When asked, Frazier gave no specific answer, nor even a coherent one. These kinds of coaching gaffes are mounting up, and it doesn’t say much for basic preparation and readiness to play the game. The Vikes did cut down their penalties to six, but many of them still seem to come at key moments when players simply have to concentrate harder.

Next week Denver comes to town, a team which has eked out a 6-5 record without much of a passing attack, but a quarterback whose deep religious faith seems to somehow move the football, if not mountains. This should be an interesting matchup – a team with no passing offense vs. one with no pass defense.

At least watching this cavalcade of losses has been made somewhat palatable by the fairly rapid rate of development of Christian Ponder, plus the heroics of Percy Harvin. If Adrian Peterson is able to come back, the Vikes might even scratch out a third win, but by now the main prize would be a high draft choice. The Vikings are tied with St. Louis at 2 – 9, and only the woeful 0 – 11 Colts are worse than that.  

 

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