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Sleepy in Seattle (11/20/2013)
By Patrick Marek
Vikings lose to the Seahawks 41-20

The Vikings are like the guy who went to the clinic to get the results for some tests. The doctor asks him to sit down, because he has very bad news about two of the tests. “First of all, you have terminal cancer, and only one month to live.” The guy gulps and says, “Wow, that’s really bad news. What did the other test say?” The doctor shakes his head and tells the guy that he also has Alzheimers. The guy thinks for a minute and says: “Well, at least I don’t have cancer.”

The Minnesota Vikings are dead. They just don’t know it yet. Leslie Frazier still thinks that he has a job to fight for, and that playing his veterans and an injured Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder gives him the best chance at winning. Christian Ponder still thinks that he is an NFL quarterback, even though he locks on one receiver, can’t throw short or deep passes, and threw consecutive interceptions to the Seahawks when the game was still competitive. He can’t even be depended on to hand the ball off, as was illustrated when he collided with Adrian Peterson in the first half. He is, however, pretty.

Adrian Peterson still thinks that he is the same running back who gained 2,097 yards last season and beat out Peyton Manning for the MVP award. Peterson is running against the same type of stacked defensive lines that he faced last year, but hasn’t been able to accelerate through the occasional holes that his marginal offensive line provides. The Vikings’ running back has been battling a groin pull for most of the season, and the injury has made him disturbingly easy to bring down. If you take away the 78-yard touchdown run on the Vikings’ first offensive play of the season, Peterson is only averaging 3.9 yards per carry, by far the lowest average of his career. Every minute that Peterson spends on the field invites another devastating injury. Why risk it?

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman isn’t dead yet, but he’s going to have to do some serious tap dancing if he wants to regain his reputation as a whiz kid.

So if you’re the Vikings GM, what do you do? You have absolutely no chance for the playoffs. Next year’s draft is stacked with talented quarterbacks. Your coach wants to win, and the fans want to be entertained. Here’s the solution. Call Coach Frazier into your office. Point at the sign on the desk that says “General Manager,” and tell him that you are ordering him to start all the young guys. Bench that pathetic excuse we call a linebacking corps and put in Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges and Audie Cole. Jerome Simpson is either heading to jail, or to another team after this season. Put him on the bench, and let Cordarrelle Patterson play full time. If Greg Childs can come back from his injury, start him. Put Sharrif Floyd in the middle and have him take his licks…and learn how to dominate NFL offensive linemen.

You never want to tell a coach or a team to lose. It’s not in their DNA. Spielman should challenge Frazier to start the young guys and coach them within an inch of their lives. That way, the Vikings will know what they have. If they lose, the young players gain experience and the team gets a great draft choice and a franchise quarterback. If they win, the fans will have the fun of watching a young team grow and experience success. We’ll have hope, and sometimes that’s almost as good as a high draft pick. 


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