Thursday, September 18, 2008

Killing Time: Fallout from the End of the Tarvaris Revolution

Fallout from the end of the Tarvaris Revolution:
  • Tarvaris' failure has shaken Brad Childress' confidence (and no, I don't think that's a bad thing--maybe it will lead to him reassessing his awful playcalling).
  • Gonzo and Jason Winters are shocked that Childress would actually make the change after his hard headness this offseason.
  • Cold, Hard Football Facts point out the large knife sticking out of Tarvaris' back.
  • Player reactions.
Playcalling issues:
I still believe Tarvaris' development was hurt by his coaches. Would it have turned him into Jay Cutler? Probably not, but better coaching on fundamentals and better play calling could have been the difference between 0-2 and 2-0. The predictability of the Vikings' offensive game plan is pathetic, and not something that should be a problem for a third year head coach with an offensive background.

Advanced NFL Stats and Smart Football both have pieces on the negative effect of predictable playcalling.

Injuries:
Sydney Rice and Bernard Berrian are both battling injuries right now. Bryant McKinnie is still out for two more games. Tarvaris wasn't able to overcome his top two receivers being dinged up. Will Frerotte? (Probably not. Why couldn't the Vikings get a real backup quarterback?)

And that doesn't even factor in the injury to Madieu Williams, who might not have made the same mistakes rookie Tyrell Johnson has made that have lead to multiple deep completions.

And sadly, Visanthe Shiancoe is not injured, nor will he be on the inactive list.

Power Rankings:
After falling to 0-2, the Vikings continued to fall in the power rankings. They've dropped from just outside of the top ten to inside the top twenty and now, are outside of the top twenty with an average of 20.2. A win over the Panthers, who have an average rank of 7th, would certainly help the Vikings' move up, but don't expect them to get near their preseason ranking unless they go on a winning streak.
  1. Cold, Hard Football Facts.com (19)
  2. Foxsports.com (19)
  3. ESPN.com (21)
  4. CBSsportsline.com (22)
  5. Dr. Z's rankings on CNNSI.com (20)
Sunday:
People are already talking about the Panthers as one of the best teams in the NFL, which is no surprise after going 2-0 against the Chargers and Bears. The interesting thing, is, according to Football Outsiders, the Vikings have a higher overall DVOA. The Panthers have higher DVOA on offense, but they're only ranked 15th, while the Vikings are 18th. Defensively, the Purple have played better, and are ranked 11th, with a -5.8% DVOA, while the Panthers have a positive DVOA (you want a negative DVOA defensively), and are 17th overall.

Then again, Steve Smith is going to be playing for the first time on Sunday, and he'll be fired up (his family is even going to be there). I fully expect him to torch Cedric Griffin like he did Fred Smoot, if Leslie Frazier makes the mistake of not keeping Antoine Winfield on Smith all game long.

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