Well fans, the Purple is on a fast track to sink into a deeper swoon than last season. (Perhaps they shall be known, henceforth, as the Deep Purple.) How ironic that just one more win will likely put them into the playoffs, thus accomplishing half of their preseason goals. The Vikes could well make the playoffs, although that's no lock, considering the character of this team; nevertheless, they do not seem to have improved over last year, and could likely be worse.
It is easy to say that things would have been different without all the injuries, and maybe that is so. But regardless, the 2004 model continues to find a way to lose. When the offense is scoring, the defense is a sieve. When the defense tightens up, as in the second half of the last two games, the offense sputters.
And coaching? Good athletes on defense cannot eliminate mental mistakes which keep their opponents on the field, handing them long gains and points. These errors seem most likely to occur when the pressure is on, indicating an overall lack of confidence, tight collar syndrome, if you will, which seems to extend to or even originate with the coaching staff. How else to explain the decision, when you have a first down on your opponent's 20 yard line with barely two minutes left in the game, to give the ball to Randy Moss on the half back option?
Moss is a genius at catching, not throwing. Certainly, he was coached not to throw the ball unless he had a wide open receiver, but what idiot would credit him with the the good judgment not to throw into coverage? That's not his job! And besides, with the track record of the Purple defense on last possession, why would you want to score quickly in the first place?
The play-calling, and over-all handling of this team by Tice and his minions just doesn't muster.
Next week, the Vikes will have all they can do to beat the Lions away and, in fact, could well lose on out. And I have this bad feeling that, should they win any more games, it will only happen after they have been eliminated from the playoffs.
Mike Tice has been given lots and lots of rope, perhaps enough now to hang a big man.