I have seen plenty of comments around the internet following Sunday’s game that indicate the “close” nature of many 2011 Vikings losses has led a number of fans to believe this team is better than their 2-11 record indicates.
If they are better than that, they sure have a funny way of proving it.
There is no doubt that there were a number of positive things to take away from Sunday’s loss in Detroit. Jared Allen notched three sacks and is having the best season of his career with 17.5 sacks through 13 games. Joe Webb performed well as a replacement for the benched Christian Ponder, running with ease and seemingly showing improvement as a passer. Percy Harvin had 109 yards from scrimmage, a touchdown, and a 47 yard kickoff return. Toby Gerhart ran for 90 yards and showed competence as a receiving back, especially on his two yard score. Heck, even Benny Sapp looked good at times.
Then we must look at the bad. And, boy, was there ever some bad stuff to look at.
Christian Ponder was benched after throwing three picks and fumbling twice, and two of those turnovers were defensive scores for the Lions. Cedric Griffin was benched after being torched for a touchdown by rookie Titus Young. Lorenzo Booker fumbled the ball twice, despite only touching it three times. Rookies Mistral Raymond and Stephen Burton exited with injuries. Left tackle Charlie Johnson gave up a few big plays, while right tackle Phil Loadholt never seemed even capable of making a play of his own. Four sacks were given up for 43 yards. Asher Allen and any of our various safeties were constantly out of position. Meanwhile, both of the Henderson brothers were nearly invisible.
Oh yeah, and in case you missed it, there was a very interesting non-call on the final play of the game.
“For me to come in and blame it on a facemask — we had way, way, way worse things go wrong in that game,” Percy Harvin said after the game.
I have to agree.
Until the Vikings show they are capable of winning games on their own merits, nobody should be claiming they are losing them because of anyone other than themselves.