Monday’s are never quite as fun after a loss like the one the Vikings suffered yesterday. Your boss being a Packer fan and informing you that the football universe is now back in alignment after their hearty win over the Texans (and the Vikings loss) makes it all the more worse.

But it’s okay – today is a new day separate from the angst and irrationality of last night. I’m not quite ready to start sipping the purple kool-aid again but Adam has some notes from yesterday’s game that I promise are more level-headed than mine.

For whatever reason, he wasn’t able to post them himself. So, on his behalf, here are some of our favorite Vikings blogger’s opinions on last night’s travesty.

Mobile Quarterbacks

I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe Erin Henderson should have replaced Jasper Brinkley on nickel downs. Maybe Jared Allen needed to ease up on his pass rush and focus more on containment. Maybe Everson Griffen needed to take more snaps. Whatever the issue, this Vikings defense struggles with mobile quarterbacks, and that could prove to be an issue down the stretch. Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler are both on the schedule, twice each, between now and the end of the season.

I Hate Those Penalties

I have said it a few times that the week two performance against Indianapolis was one of the worst games the Vikings have played in recent memory. A huge part of that reasoning is the disdain I have for penalties and this most recent game against Washington had that same feel. Too many penalties, too undisciplined.

A Whole New Appreciation For Harvin

The Vikings performed better against Washington than they did against Indy earlier this season, and had some better individual performances, but once again Percy Harvin is the biggest silver lining following the “L.” I want to make a fresh point about Harvin, however. After watching Matt Stafford flip the football, Victor Cruz salsa dance, Jared Allen rope a cow when his team is losing, and RGIII act like he is auditioning for Glee, I love how professional and sensible Harvin is during his moments of dominance. After a big play, it seems to take him about a nanosecond before he is focused on making the next big play. Chris Kluwe called Harvin the hardest working player in football following Sunday’s loss, and I believe him, because he is all business for 60 straight minutes.

“Lack Of A Deep Threat” Is A Myth

I keep hearing that Jerome Simpson is the Vikings only deep threat. If that is truly the case, then the Vikings front office and coaching staff have pinned themselves into a corner that is inexcusable. If your only way to stretch the field is a street free agent beginning the year on suspension, then you have screwed up.

I don’t think that is the case, however, so it frustrates me to see Bill Musgrave act like the Sunday morning pre-game shows know what they are talking about in the way he calls plays. The Vikings begin the game by finding great success in the run game, Washington adjusts to stop the run, and then the Vikings fail to adjust their own plan and take advantage of them stacking the box. That is not a good blueprint to have on tape.

Luckily, however, the Vikings do have deep threats besides Simpson and soon they will have to realize it. I have seen Percy Harvin be successful downfield with Brett Favre throwing him the ball. I know John Carlson and Kyle Rudolph can be dangerous running streaks down the seam. Heck, even Devin Aromashodu has made plays deep every year since joining the Vikings. If Michael Jenkins can’t get there, then how about giving Stephen Burton a chance to show us what he can do? The options are there but Musgrave has to acknowledge them and Ponder has to take advantage of them.

No matter what, though, put receiver at the top of your offseason priority list for the Vikings in 2013.

Loadholt Extension

I have always thought that mid-season contract extension should be used as a way to reward excellent play and motivate others on the roster. Last week, news broke that the Vikings had begun negotiating with starting right tackle Phil Loadholt whose contract expires after this season. I didn’t get a chance to give my opinion on the matter, so I’ll take the opportunity now.

Does Phil Loadholt deserve a reward for his play this season? Is he easily enough replaced or upgraded via the Draft or free agency? Will cheaper options be available?

I like Loadholt okay. He is serviceable. I just don’t see him, as he gets older, somehow becoming more athletic and quicker on his feet, however. I’m just not convinced he is worth a larger, long-term investment at this point. If I had a vote (which I won’t and never will) I would say to leave it be until January and then see where things stand.

Injury Free And Rebound Opportunity

The Vikings fell to second place in the NFC North with their loss on Sunday, but they came out of it largely unscathed and have a chance to get their confidence back against a pair of lesser teams. Leslie Frazier indicated that the team suffered no major injuries on Sunday, so that is great news moving forward. The Vikings had back to the Metrodome to host the atrocious-looking Cardinals and then get to play the lackluster Bucs. It is possible, if not somewhat likely, that this Vikings team will soon be 6-2.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Brett,
    I,m not one for the penalties myself ! Percy is a hard worker and his attitude reminds me of Robert Smith a classy guy… I agree with You and Coach. 6-2 is very believeable…

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      • No problem PC, I was the one that made it confusing by having Brett psot my notes. :) That is my favorite part about a Percy Harvin TD… no damned dancin’!

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  2. I couldn’t agree more on Loadholt, Adam. I would like to see them rotate Schwartz in at RT once in a while just for the hell of it.

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    • I just feel that he is replaceable and upgradable… they could do worse, yup, but they could do better, too.

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  3. I guess the Loadholt situation really depends on how much money they’re are going to give him. I’m ok with a long term contract as long as it doesn’t involve a lot of money. How about reward Percy with a new contract. Not sure there is anyone more valuable to a football team than he is to ours.

    BJohnny – I think Schwartz needs some time at LG if anywhere. Not sure his experience on the left side but if Charlie Johnson continues playing the way he is in run support, i’d be willing to try Schwartz over there.

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    • I hear you Randy. I dont know how many times this year I’ve said wtf are you doing Charlie Johnson? So much for him being better at LG than LT geez.

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      • I agree that it will completely depend on the contract they give to Loadholt. If he signed a deal with a $4 million average or less I would applaud the team, but it’s more likely that he’s going to be in the $5-7 range and I don’t really think it would be a great idea to sign him to that type of a deal before checking out some options. You could certainly do worse than him, but he does have limitations against speed rushers.

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    • 100% agree (and good to see you Randy!) that the money is a huge factor. But there is no way Loadholt signs for anything less than starter-money… and starter-money means the Vikings will not aggressively pursue an upgrade for at least a few years… which worries me.

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  4. Man! I really thought we would’ve done better. The main reason for the hunch was how we handled Philly last year. I thought they’d come-up with something better against that offense, which they did, in the first qtr at least.
    Time for Ponder to start developing with more consistency and the coaching staff to work on in-game adjustments. imho

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    • I’ll be working up my preview a little later in the week PC. Haven’t drawn any conclusions yet, other than you can take it to the bank that I will be predicting a Vikings victory. :)

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    • Cslinde,
      I like yours better, Hope your right !
      PS: I think Ponder still has some growing pains to go thru. The team is alot younger, As long as there is improvement over the season…

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