I know, I know. This year's Vikings' team was deeply flawed. That doesn't mean that I'm ok with the fact they missed out on the playoffs this year. And just barely at that. As of right now, the New York Giants are in the lead for the last playoff spot. The Packers are just barely behind them (and if you think I've come to terms with the fact the Packers might make the playoffs, you are badly mistaken). If the Vikings' offense had managed even a field goal on Thursday, they'd be the team in the lead, not the Giants.
Basically, if the Vikings had fielded a decent offense this year, they'd have cruised into the playoffs. Then again, you don't turn around a crappy unit in one year without adding a lot of talent, and the additions of Chester Taylor and Steve Hutchinson were obviously not enough to offset the massive drop in Brad Johnson's play and the loss of Koren Robinson. Pretty much the whole unit would have needed to be replaced to turn around an offense that averaged 18.1 points a game when playing defenses that were trying (the Vikings scored 34 points in week 17 against a Chicago team resting their starters).
And yet, I've heard people say that Mike Tice would have led this team to the playoffs. Even if you think that Mike Tice's offense would have worked better, there's still the fact that his teams never, ever, ever finished the season strong. In fact, during his three year tenure, they failed to win a single game that would have either clinched a playoff berth or prevented them from being eliminated from the playoff hunt. So let's not pretend that the Vikings would have made the playoffs this year if Tice had been the head coach. The offense would have been just as bad, and the team would have had just as much success down the stretch. Now, if Sean Payton had been the Vikings' coach, that'd have been an entirely different story.
[Wednesday--why Childress deserves another year before he's run out of town.]