I didn’t understand it. How could the Vikings be getting absolutely demolished at home against a 2-4 Buccaneers team? This isn’t possible. This just cannot be happening.
And then it happened. It hit me hard – harder than Chris Kluwe pu… Nevermind…
But I just didn’t understand it until NFL Network shared this wonderful stat with us: The Buccaneers broke their 10 road game losing streak with a win over, our beloved purple, the Minnesota Vikings.
Why didn’t anyone mention the Buccaneers hadn’t won an away game in 640 minutes of football. This thing could have been much easier to endure.
Nevertheless, here we are. The Vikings are 5-3. We got decimated at home by a 2-4 team. The sky is falling. I’m on the ledge. Take your positivity elsewhere. Angry Brett has arrived.
Where to begin?
Holy cow. Let me start off by saying that I have been a adamant, steadfast, diligent, enduring supporter of #7, QB for the Minnesota Vikings, Christian Ponder. I have always deferred the blame for his poor play and placed blame elsewhere.
I could do that again tonight. I really could because, let’s be honest – Ponder didn’t have a lot of help. And I’ve said that after every poor performance of his. And that won’t change tonight. Ponder had no time to find non-existent open receivers amongst the Tampa Bay secondary. He had no time to set his wild feet, go through reads and deliver the ball to the receiver who is not there.
What will change tonight is this: Ponder is also responsible for his poor play. That’s part of being a quarterback in the NFL. If the offense fails, you are responsible. If Christian Ponder is going to be this team’s long-sought QBotF, he has to make things happen when they are not there. If you see two linebackers and a safety on the line bringing the blitz pre-snap, you have to audible to a play where you can get a tight end out and open quickly. If you are going to be the QBotF, you can’t float passes on the run and turnover the ball. If you’re going to be the QBotF, you can’t be horribly inaccurate on throws a few yards to your right or left.
The play calling was bad. The protection was bad. The receivers were bad. And, yes, Ponder was bad too.
Does that mean he’s not the Vikings quarterback for years to come? I don’t know. I truly hope he is and that he can turn things around (with the help of his line, his receivers and his coordinator, of course). But I do know this: I am much unsure about #7 than I was four weeks ago.
The Play Calling
Where are the adjustments. Where are the adjustments? Why is this coaching staff completely inept when it comes to evaluating what the opposing defense is doing to stop you and adjusting your play calling to put your team in a better position to have success?
How do you do that? I don’t know, I’m not an offensive coordinator. Do you know? If so, please drop off your ideas in the suggestion box, sweetheart. I am not paid to know that if the defense is blitzing your quarterback over and over and over again that you might want to try some sort of screen or draw play to, I don’t know, the toughest running back in the NFL. I’m not paid to know that Ponder struggles throwing when he rolls out of the pocket so maybe I shouldn’t design plays where is to do so. I’m definitely not paid to know that you should design plays that have receivers catch the ball after the first down marker instead of ten yards before. I’m not paid to do those things. Bill Musgrave is. Figure it out.
The Offensive Line
Where. Are. You?!
Chris Kluwe was a major contributor to the failure of this team very early in the game. Obviously, he’s not the only one. But his punts put the Vikings defense in an even more difficult spot after the Vikings offense couldn’t move down the field.
(Hold on, side note: NFL Network just gave me another little nugget during their awesome post-game extravaganza. Can you guess the last team that the Buccaneers won an away game against ten games ago…? Are you friggin’ kidding me? Seriously? Are you joking right now? I don’t even have to tell you. You know. YOU KNOW!)
I’m going to make this quick. Kluwe has regressed every year. I don’t have some sort of Football Outsiders stat to prove that point. I don’t need it. It’s obvious.
And you know what, I’ll be honest. I am being a little harder on Kluwe. Want to know why? Sure, I’ll tell you. It’s because if you are going to be active off the field in an array of activities that are non-football related and make headlines that way, you sure as hell better be stellar when you’re on the field.
I don’t have anything against Kluwe’s political views… Honestly. I don’t think he shouldn’t be allowed to be in a band. I don’t think he shouldn’t be allowed to write editorials on controversial social topics. I don’t think he shouldn’t be allowed to be a World of Warcraft stud.
But if you’re going to spend allllll thaaat tiiiime off the field making headlines for everything other than focusing on making yourself a better punter, then you should be a punting stud. Stop debating chairs. Stop challenging other people to debates. Stop calling out politicians.
On the rare occasion (I kid) the Vikings used to have to punt, you knew Kluwe was going to pin the opposing team back within the ten. You knew he was going to BOOM the ball across the field. Can anyone honestly say they think Kluwe is still playing that well? If I’m the coach of this team, I would find a replacement punter for Kluwe if he cannot focus on making himself better.
And for anyone that says “Well, Brett, Kluwe obviously isn’t the only player having issues so should we just find replacements for everyone?”
No. Chris Kluwe is a punter. I repeat, Chris Kluwe is a punter.
- The defense looked really bad at times tonight. I still can’t get that angry with them. What? Angry Brett can’t get angry with a defense that allowed 36 points. Yeah, I know… I’m kind of stunned too. But really, I feel like they were kind of set up to fail tonight. Horrible field position, turnovers, no time to rest (see: offensive ineptitude), etc… There were times they looked really solid and gave the offense opportunities to redeem themselves. Didn’t happen. This defense has bailed out our sorry offense all year and they just weren’t able to do it tonight.
- I’m kind of at a loss as to how a guy can blatantly throw punches at Jared Allen and not get ejected from a game when Harrison Smith can sidestep a ref who has his arms in his throat and be sent to the locker room.
- Jerome Simpson. Jerome 60k Simpson. I wonder if the Vikings would have paid him 60k to not play tonight. Would have had one less turnover… So much for this guy being the downfield threat the Vikings need. One of our readers was right. (And I was wrong. Surprise!) I’m starting to see how this could turn into a Berrian Part 2 sort of thing… Sucks because I was pumped pre-season about what Simpson could bring to this offense.
- At least the Chris Cook, who’s had a great year so far, didn’t suffer any serious injuries like a broken wri…
- At least the Vikings don’t have to travel to play in a brutal stadium against a solid defe…
- At least the Packers aren’t back to winni…
- At least you didn’t have to read an irrational post-game post from Angry Bre…
Away From The Ledge
I’m sure Adam will provide some more rational, positive thoughts tomorrow regarding this team. And I’m sure there are still some positive things to look forward to and to find solace in. But tonight, my friends, we sulk. Tonight, we are angry. And we have every right to be.