Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No Super Bowl This Year

Before I get into my rant, I’m going to take a step back and look at the broader picture: The Vikings are 4-3 overall, 4-1 in conference and have a ridiculously easy schedule remaining. They are still one of the favorites to make the playoffs. They are not, however, Super Bowl contenders. And I think it’s probably for the best that the Patriots demolished that pipe dream now, so we can enjoy the stretch run, rather then having it destroyed when the Vikings lose in the first or second round of the playoffs.

That being said, RUN THE %$*#$&*#$ BALL.

The Vikings and Patriots both had the same game plans last night: rather then attack the defenses’ strength by running the ball, they would come out throwing. This, as we saw, worked well for the Patriots. With Tom Brady making accurate throw after accurate throw while under no pressure, they quickly marched down the field for a touchdown. When the Vikings got the ball for the first time, Brad Childress tried the same thing. The problem, of course, was that Brad Johnson is his quarterback. And even with Theisman trying to talk up the idea of a contract extension (I’m done if Brad Johnson gets a contract extension and is handed the starting job next year) BJ made some stunningly bad decisions, his normal amount of poorly thrown passes and the Viking’s offense sputtered and turned the ball over on its way to zero points. Basically, Brad Childress forgot who his offense was, and the Vikings got destroyed because of it.

The defense didn’t exactly hold up their part of the bargain either, as the secondary left receiver after receiver wide open. It looked exactly like the Buffalo game, only against a Hall of Fame quarterback and an offensive coordinator that knew what they were doing. That wasn’t the only thing that was reminiscent of the Vikings other bad loss this year. Against Buffalo, the Vikings ran the ball 16 times. Last night? 15, seven of which were before the half. Against the Bills, Brad Johnson threw two interceptions. Against the Patriots, he threw four, and then was benched for Brooks Bollinger.

That final bit of embarrassment was the last straw in the Vikings’ worst loss of the year. They forgot who they were, had their weaknesses exploited and dispelled all talk of a possible Super Bowl run. Again, there is no reason to give up on the season, but the Patriots showed how to beat the Vikings: Attack the secondary, force the Vikings to abandon the run, and make Brad Johnson beat you. The scary thing is, the Bills were able to carry out that game plan, which means that it could happen against any team, something that does not bode well for the Vikings' playoff chances.


cheswick said...

exactly, Tbird, exactly! Last night was a rude wakeup call concerning BJs lack of ability that hopefully the staff FINALLY noticed.

Jesus, BJ sucked last night (no pun intended). The INTs killed any hope at all. And tossing INTs in the red zone? Killer. I was almost cheering BB until he did the same damned thing. Crap.

I felt good about the lame teams remaining on the schedule. But now I'm not so sure. Can you imagine how the Arizona receivers are going to TORCH Smoot and Winfield? It won't be pretty.

And how about Favre? You just know somehow he's going to SCORCH those DBs too.

I'm getting nervous, Tbird, realllll nervous.

TBird41 said...

I'm nervous too, but I think so long as Childress recommits to running the ball, the Vikings will be fine. 'Zona and the Pack don't have the offensive line or coaching that the Pats do. That and I think Farve and Leinhart are more likely to make mistakes then Brady.

The Vikings should still win those games if they RUN THE BALL. But after last night, I refuse to pencil them in as wins.