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September 26, 2004

Underwhelmed

• Hello Vikings fans. It is nice to be 2-1. Let's look at the good stuff first:

Daunte Culpepper: 19/30 for 360 yds and 3 TDs (1 rushing)
Randy Moss: 7 receptions for 119 yds and 2 TDs
Onterrio Smith: 94 yds rushing and 104 yds receiving

The Vikings also held the Bears to only 239 yds passing which is pretty good considering the Vikings were ranked last in the league in passing defense (that spot should be taken by the Packers after what Peyton Manning did to them). As Mike Tice has said repeatedly, a win is a win and it is nice to be heading into the bye week sitting at 2-1. Now the Vikes can take a week to heal and correct some mistakes.

• Now for the bad stuff. Who else is completely underwhelmed by the Vikings this year? First of all, the defense looks just like it did last year. Wasn't Antoine Winfield supposed to make our secondary respectable? It almost looked like Rex Grossman was picking on him rather than Brian Williams, and to make matters worse Grossman was actually succeeding in getting balls over Winfield to his receivers. And our defensive line is not getting to the QB. Sure, we had two sacks, but not until late and it seemed Grossman had plenty of time to throw. Now really, this shouldn't surprise me. The Vikings are built around offense, but I'm sick of this "bend-but-don't-break" defensive style. I mean, we weren't playing against Brett Favre or Peyton Manning! Let's get after the QB! What do I know...

Now before I go on my next tirade, let me just say that I realize both Mike Rosenthal and Matt Birk are injured, and that they have been replaced by O-linemen that are now being forced to learn on the job. Because of this, Daunte may not have as much time as he needs to let a play develop. However, I gotta say I am sick of this conservative style of offense. I know that Tice and Linehan want to control the ball to keep the defense off the field as much as possible (or to just give them a rest), but for the love of Pete take the shackles off Daunte and let him pull the trigger!!! The only way we are going to be successful this season is if our offense torches the opponents and we just aren't doing that right now. Consider this, the Bears secondary has been decimated by injury and yet we only scored two touchdowns against them!?!?!? I guess Lovie Smith deserves some credit, but Culpepper and Moss should have shredded the Bears ala Brett Favre and Javon Walker today (Walker had 198 yds and 3 TDs in the loss!).

Nothing exemplifies this pathetic conservative style more than the Vikings last drive in the fourth. With two minutes left to play, and the Vikings on the Bear's 48 yard line after a failed on-side kick, the Vikings go three and out after two runs and a failed Culpepper scramble. That horrible set of play calls left the Bears with 1:31 left with which to score and take the lead. I don't blame Culpepper for this, I blame Tice and Linehan for not going for the juggular when it mattered most. Sheesh Tice! Daunte getting his roll on Take the ball and tell Daunte to ram it down their throats! Slant to Moss, screen to Smith, bomb to Campbell, anything but this conservative mamby-pamby crap! All we needed was one measly first down! I gotta calm down.

• And I know most of you can't stand it when Daunte "gets his roll on" after a score, but I wouldn't mind if we saw a whole lot more of this from Daunte against the Houston Texans after the bye. Heck, I wouldn't mind if Daunte started to do the Chicken Dance after we scored just so we start to score some dag-blasted touchdowns. Tice! Please unleash our offense! Where is Brian Billick when we need him? Screw clock management and start scoring!

Posted by snackeru at September 26, 2004 7:20 PM | Vikings

Comments

The Packers should be ranked dead last in defense. That was a pathetic display on Sunday. Slovick cannot make adjustments on the fly. He waits until halftime, then does something. Can't do that in the NFL. The Bears did a good job yesterday, despite being destroyed by injuries. They seem to have a good base there, and when fully healthy, they seem to be poised for a rebirth. I have a question for you Shane. Will you accept the conservative play calling if the W's keep coming? I can see your impatience with a style that is different than what they have been doing and yes, it's not that exciting. Welcome to ball control offense.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 27, 2004 8:28 AM

Yes, good point Cheesehead. If the Vikes keep winning, who am I to question the strategy? I guess my point is that I don't think the Vikings are going to keep winning using this strategy. And I'm not just some fan that wants to see the long bomb every play. I keep coming back to the last Viking drive: 3 and out and 1:31 left for the Bears to potentially march down the field and score. That was pathetic. The Vikings will not be able to stop a good team from scoring. In order to win we have got to start putting more points on the board, especially against a team with a decimated secondary like the Bears. Granted, Duante's protection in the pocket was a little lacking. Really, what do I know? I just think Tice and Linehan are more concerned with clock management and giving the defense a breather than they are with scoring.

Posted by: Shane at September 27, 2004 9:26 AM

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