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.