As the Vikings get deeper and deeper into the 2013 season their losses are becoming more and more embarrassing. A playoff team one season ago, the Vikings of today are putting some of the most putrid displays of football on the field that I have ever seen, and I’m counting the high school competitions I’ve watched… including junior varsity… in Alaska.
This team has been so awful in so many ways that it is difficult to diagnose any individual problems. There are some obvious players to pick on, guys that lack certain skill sets, but all 32 teams in the league have guys like that. There is something different about this Vikings team. Something that just isn’t right. Something that can’t be explained away by citing an overall lack of talent. This team isn’t old, but it isn’t so young that it should be this bad. In the past I’ve talked about Christian Ponder just not seeming to have that elusive “it” trait, which is a hard thing to explain about an individual player, but now I venture to say that this entire team just doesn’t have “it” this year. How that happens to a collective group is even harder to explain.
Still, I have to do something other than pretend my website doesn’t exist. I can’t just let you guys down and stop writing, no matter how much of a chore it feels like these days. I can clean my gutters before I write, however, which is exactly what I did. Despite the dirty task, Tuesday night has already been more of a success (and more enjoyable) than Monday night was.
There were no hidden treasures in my gutters tonight and, homers be warned, there are no hidden treasures in my analysis of last night’s debacle. Here are 10 things that the Vikings need to fix prior to 2014 and I attempted to prioritize them:
10. We Need A New Guard
Whether their regression is permanent or an anomaly, the Vikings will go into the future with their current starting tackles and center on the offensive line. The guard positions are a different story, however, and if this team is going to make a move along the O-Line it will come at these spots. Brandon Fusco hasn’t been too terrible this season, but Charlie Johnson should not be starting in the NFL, and these guys collectively need to be held accountable for their share of the Vikings struggles both running and passing. It is once again time for the organization to bring some serious competition to the line and make a statement: Continuity within the unit needs to be earned, not gifted.