Adam tells me I’m dramatic. I’m sure he’s got a point… I like to think I’m just passionate. Needless to say, I was in a foul mood today through the Vikings game. I had a feeling this was going to be a difficult team for the Vikings to beat. The primary indicator that we were in for a rough game was this stat: “The Redskins have lost 8 straight games at home.” If you’re a seasoned Vikings fan, you know what that means… Time for the Vikings to be the team allows the Redskins to break that streak. Isn’t that how it always goes? Doesn’t every team that sets some sort of record or breaks some sort of negative streak do so with the aid of Minnesota? You ever notice those old vintage videos on NFL network of some football great having their career game against…? The Vikings. Anyone else notice this? Surely I can’t be the only one…
I predicted the Vikings would win by a field goal this afternoon. But really, that was just because I’m too much of a Vikings homer to predict my team will lose.
Anyway, the Vikings fall to 4-2 today after losing pretty handily to the Washington Redskins. I’m going to dive into some of the details and annoyances of the game… But here’s a warning: don’t expect too much positivity here today. Maybe that will come later in the week… I’ll be able to be more objective – more rational. Right now, though? Now is the time for irrational, angry venting. So join me please as I further ruin your evening.
The Vikings Can’t Score Touchdowns In The Redzone
The Vikings drove the ball effortlessly in the first quarter. Eff-or-less-ly. Seriously! Adrian Peterson was breaking off huge runs. Everybody was open down field. Ponder had ages to sit in the pocket and find whatever receiver he wanted to grace with the pigskin that particular down. Somebody said on Twitter during the game (I can’t find the tweet now) that you could have gotten a Lay-z-boy for Ponder to sit in behind the offensive line in the first quarter. And it was true . There was no pressure.
But, we couldn’t capitalize. The Vikings had to settle for 9 points from those three trips to the red zone. And, again, if you’re a seasoned Vikings fan you know that not being able to get those crucial touchdowns is a recipe for disaster and will undoubtedly come back to bite us in the butt.
Blair Walsh is awesome in the red zone, no doubt. But I don’t want Blair Walsh to be awesome in the red zone. That’s because I don’t want him on the field when we are within the 20. Stay on the sideline, super kicker… We need touchdowns!
And I can’t tell you what it is yet… It is well understood that it is more difficult to move the ball, and, more specifically, throw the ball, in the red zone. But somehow, someway, we need to make it happen. The team has too many weapons to stall out after flying full-speed down the field.
I will put some of it on Musgrave, though. Today it was like he was a genius before the 20-yard line. And once we crossed that threshold he summoned his inner Brad Childress and just blew it.
Okay, where to next…? Aw, yes. Let’s talk about Percy Harvin and kick returns for a moment.
The Vikings Continue To Have Harvin Return Kicks Regardless Of The Fact That He Is Injured And Is Our Biggest Offensive Weapon
Seriously? Look, I understand that Percy Harvin is the best kick returner in the NFL. I get that… And I understand that when your team is down you are looking for anyway to jump start your squad back into contention. And one of the best ways to do that is to have #12 rocket through the opponents special teams to put six points on the board.
But (and this is a big but) Percy Harvin is by far your biggest offensive weapon right now. And he’s been limping around since the game started. Are we really going to risk not having him the rest of the game just to return kick offs? I really don’t understand it. Am I alone on this one?
If Harvin goes down during the game we essentially have no shot. Yet we’re going to put him out there on kick offs and risk him not being able to contribute the rest of the game? I just don’t get it. I mean, I guess there will be some people out there that say “You play to win the game, not to get injured.” But I’m not saying we should remove Harvin from the game… I’m just saying let’s take some of the load off of him if he’s limping every time he gets up from being tackled so he can potentially continue to contribute the rest of the game on offense.
Seems like common sense to me…
All The Other Infuriating Things
- Lame roughing the passer call on Erin Henderson after he pushed RGIII with the force of a new born baby.
- Secondary can’t tackle after John Lynch proclaimed the Vikings were currently the best tackling squad in football. (Side note: I hate when guys say stuff like this before a game. Just another indicator that we’re about to miss a boatload of tackles.)
- Ridiculous chop block penalties.
- Offensive line going to complete crap after the first 16 minutes.
- Ponder’s floating, inaccurate pass well over the head picked off by……
- MADIEU WILLIAMS RETURNING A FRIGGIN’ INTERCEPTION FOR A TOUCHDOWN. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! REALLY?!
- The secondary being effortlessly picked apart by RGIII.
- The defense not being able to stop the run which set up the play action that allowed RGIII to effortlessly pick apart the secondary.
- Ponder’s interceptions… I don’t think Ponder had a horrible game but we can all see what happens when the Vikings are down and Christian feels the need to become a gunslinger. I don’t know what happened on the throw to Percy that was picked off by Madieu. I think the ball just got away from him… The fumble/interception where Peterson was blown up on the right wasn’t really his fault. And the interception in the end zone was just a desperation throw. Still, though… that’s 4 interceptions and 1 fumble in the past two games for Ponder.
- Robert Griffin gashing the defense for a 78-yard touchdown run on third and short when the defense needed to force a fourth down so the offense could get the ball back. Really, though? This guy is near impossible to stop.
- More costly penalties.
- Kyle Rudolph dropping the ball.
Tricked you. Not today, folks.
The Icing On The Cake
The cake is already dry. It sits in your mouth like dirt and just claws at the walls of your throat as you try and digest it. On top of that, this cake has two revolting, stomach churning layers of icing. Here they are:
Layer #1 – RGIII On The Bench
Guess who’s fantasy team has Robert Griffin III?! Guess who’s team had Robert Griffin III on their bench?! Of course I did! Why would I play the #1 fantasy scorer against the Vikings stout defense a week after he suffered a concussion that left him unable to tell you what state he was in?
Because he scored 34 points, that’s why!
Layer #2 – Vegas
I had a five team ticket that was looking amazing today. With the Giants beating the 49ers and the Patriots looking like they were going to cover against the Seahawks, all I needed was for the Vikings to win and I would be $600 dollars more wealthy. The fact that the Vikings were going to cost me my ticket had me absolutely livid. I usually don’t like to bet on the Vikings because, well, it’s just silly to… But this week, the fact that the Vikings were being given points was just too good to pass up.
Luckily for my television, the Patriots blew it against the Seahawks and I can blame my loss on them. Otherwise, this household would have been one 40-inch Samsung television short for next week’s game.
Oh yeah… The Packers are beating the Texans. Have a wonderful night…