Sunday, April 19, 2015
Blog Page 161

With Harrison Smith being placed on Injured Reserve (designated to return), the Vikings have signed cornerback Jacob Lacey.  Andrew Sendejo will start at safety in Smith’s place.  Desmond Bishop also was placed on injured reserve this week and Rodney Smith was promoted from the practice squad to take his place.  Meanwhile, quarterback Josh Freeman will be rushed into action Monday night as the starter, with neither Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel showing the organization they have what it takes to command a championship-quality offense.

The mess is widespread.  There are clearly more problems than there are viable solutions.  With four losses to their one win, and the toughest part of the schedule yet to come, things are worse than bleak for the Vikings in 2013.  We are no longer witnessing a slow start, but instead are witnessing a quick death, and their final breath could end up coming on Monday Night Football against the winless Giants.

With nothing less to lose, however, the Vikings can really only win from this point forward.

Perhaps Josh Freeman jumpstarts this team.  Maybe they make a very interesting run at a wild card spot.  Maybe his height and strong arm will finally open up the running game in a way Adrian Peterson’s biggest fans have only dreamed of.  Maybe he knows what it takes to win, to lead a group of winners, and maybe the Vikings have one of the biggest free agency steals of all time on their hands.  Maybe they finally have a franchise quarterback.

Of course, maybe not.

Maybe Freeman doesn’t show us anything special and serves up more of the same.  Maybe the defense struggles even more than they already are with their stud safety sidelined with an injury.  Maybe the coaching and scheme are just not going to get it done.  Maybe this team continues to spiral further into the abyss.  Maybe the are destined to be one of the NFL’s worst this year.

Either way, it is hard to see the downside for this team as the season progresses, outside of (knock on wood) devastating injuries.  Either they get their collective act together and see some promise out of their new, young quarterback or they get closer and closer to securing one of the top picks in a very quarterback-heavy Draft.

We would all prefer they win games.  But, they haven’t been able to do that, and I don’t think it is too early to start eyeballing those consolation prizes.

Kyle Rudolph TD Carolina
Photo provided courtesy of Vikings.com

Finding a positive word to write after the Vikings were embarrassed by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday is a daunting task, even for an optimist like me.

My mother taught me; if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.

Well, I can’t just leave this blog blank, can I? No, I need to find a ray of light in this dark Vikings’ cellar I am stuck in. It’s a deep, damp hole for sure, but I do see a glimmer of light shining down on the Vikings’ 6-foot-6 TE, Kyle Rudolph.

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As is getting destroyed at home by the 1-3 Carolina Panthers didn’t hurt enough, the real salt in the wound was three substantial injuries to defensive players.

Desmond Bishop suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Panthers. Despite being to limp off the field, the Vikings announced today that Bishop’s season has come to an end with a torn ACL in the right knee. The game against Carolina was Bishop’s first and last start of the season. Bishop, who struggled to get on the field at linebacker despite it being one of the Vikings [many] weaknesses likely means it was his last game in Minnesota. Desmond Bishop, 29, was only signed to a one-year deal and will be a free agent after 2013.

The Vikings were once again embarrassed at home by a team that, on paper, should have been very beatable.  The 35-10 beatdown delivered by the Panthers was frustrating to watch and served as a loss of all hope for many Vikings fans this season.  The mess that is the 2013 Minnesota Vikings has so many problems that are so widespread, it is difficult to sift through it all and diagnose any problems, but here are eight things that have stuck out to me through the first five games of the season.  Sorry for focusing solely on the negative, but even hack bloggers need to vent.

1.  Musgrave Is Tripping Over Himself

Bill Musgrave made a Monday Night Countdown appearance on the “C’mon Man” segment thanks to his incredibly undersized play card.  I think ESPN deserves the award, however, as there are about 99 other things that Musgrave should be called out on before the size of his playbook.  For starters, how is it that Adrian Peterson only gets 10 carries against Carolina?  Think about what the acronym “MVP” stands for and then tell me that it is truly, honestly, absolutely possible for an opposing team to neutralize him that quickly and that early in a game.  He’s a true game changer and the Vikings should never stop feeding him the ball.  The team abandoning the run game was magnified by the ineptness of Musgrave’s passing game.

Perhaps even worse is the fact that Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton only saw six snaps all game long.  That’s right, the same Vikings team that had no answer for incoming power blitzes intentionally kept a Pro Bowl caliber blocker on the sideline.  I can’t imagine the reasoning here and it is just the latest example of Musgrave, who had already shown an inability to deal with these types of blitz schemes in the preseason against Buffalo, shooting himself in the foot for no apparent reason.

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The Vikings are set to host Carolina this afternoon and I want to remind everyone interested to join us for a Live Chat during the action.

The inactives for today include recently acquired quarterback Josh Freeman, as Matt Cassel will remain the starter, with Christian Ponder playing the role of backup.

The other inactives today are:  Safety Mistral Raymond, Linebacker Gerald Hodges, Linebacker Audie Cole, Defensive Tackle Chase Baker, Defensive End Justin Trattou, and Guard Jeff Baca.

The Vikings are much healthier coming out of the bye and Chris Cook will be welcomed back into this struggling secondary as they prepare to face Cam Newton.

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