The Vikings are wasting a Super Bowl caliber defense because of their inability to score points. There were many signs of this before, but yesterday was the final straw--this team will never win the Super Bowl with Brad Childress' offense.
There are many people who have decided this team is the inverse of the Vikings from 2003 and 2004. They're wrong--those teams did not have anywhere near the talent on defense that this team has on offense. Look at the rosters--the 2003 and 2004 teams had, at most, two Pro Bowl caliber players. The 2004 team had Antoine Winfield and second year players Kevin Williams and E.J. Henderson, but that was about it in terms of Pro Bowl talent (and, let's be honest, E.J. Henderson didn't emerge as a Pro Bowler until well after that year). This year, the Vikings have three players coming off of Pro Bowl seasons (Adrian Peterson, Steve Hutchinson and Matt Birk) and multiple players that have Pro Bowl (or near Pro Bowl) talent, such as Bernard Berrian, Bryant McKinnie, Chester Taylor.
With that kind of talent, the offense should be better. And the fact that Gus Frerotte and Tarvaris Jackson are the quarterbacks is no excuse. The Vikings' offense has scored 8 touchdowns this year. That's fewer than the 49ers, who have J.T. O'Sullivan throwing to the 80 year old Isaac Bruce. It's fewer than the Da Bears, who have Kyle Orton's neckbeard throwing to Brandon Lloyd and Marty Booker. It's fewer than the Tennessee Titans, who are basically the Vikings without Bernard Berrian. And I could go on.
Honestly, the Vikings' offense has been pathetic. The Lions' defense had given up 15 touchdowns in their first four games. They held the Vikings to one. They had only 4 sacks before the game. On Sunday, they had 5. Prior to playing the Vikings, they did not have an interception and had only caused 2 fumbles. On Sunday, they got their first interception and caused 4 fumbles. The Vikings' offense was dominated by a defense that could not stop any of the other teams it has played. They've been dominated by average defenses in Green Bay, Indianapolis and New Orleans and they've been dominated by good defenses in Carolina and Tennessee. The Vikings have not been able to score on anyone.
Which leads us to this--unless Brad Childress has some kind of magic potion that will fix the offense, this is not a playoff team. Yes, they are in first place now. But, as cliche as it sounds, you have to score points to win. And if they can't score against a defense as pathetic as the Lions, what are they going to do against the rest of their schedule? There isn't a defense as bad as the Lions left on it (well, except maybe the Lions) and the same goes for the offenses.
And so, in the end, this year's Vikings' team is going to be exactly like last year's team, only with more talent on both sides of the ball. And while that talent just might pull the team into the playoffs, it likely doesn't matter how much talent is added--the coach is never going to be good enough to win the Super Bowl. And that's what the Vikings' goal is--winning the Super Bowl. That's why I wrote that "I'm trying to decide if I'd rather have the Vikings miss the playoffs if it means they get a new coach". And that's why I'm going to treat the rest of this season like I would the rest of a season where the Vikings had already been eliminated from the playoffs. If they win, great. If not, well, at least they're going to get a new coach who might be able to turn this team into the Super Bowl contender it should be.