Lessons Learned: Injuries Expose The Rebuild

When the Vikings got walloped by the Chicago Bears on Sunday, I found myself really missing two players:  Percy Harvin and Chris Cook.

Harvin has been the difference maker in a number of games for the Vikings this season and was in the MVP discussion prior to the ankle injury that knocked him out three weeks ago.  The sure-handed juggernaut was greatly missed in a game that featured far too many drops and not enough explosions from the Vikings receivers.

Harvin’s direct replacement, Jarius Wright, had a decent day while hauling in a team high seven passes for 49 yards.  However, the nice birthday performance for the rookie was overshadowed by an inexcusable drop in the back of the end zone.

In week four Calvin Johnson was held to five catches and 54 yards, thanks in large part to efforts of Chris Cook.  The following week Kenny Britt had two catches for 23 yards.  No Washington receiver topped 50 yards in the next game.  Larry Fitzgerald was then held to 29 yards.  Vincent Jackson had only two catches for 40 yards on Thursday Night Football.

Cook got hurt in that game.  Since then the Vikings have faced Sidney Rice, Calvin Johnson, and Brandon Marshall.  They have combined for 28 receptions, 353 yards, and two touchdowns.

The Vikings secondary wasn’t perfect when Cook was on the field, and it isn’t absolutely disastrous without him, but it is tough to argue that they are a better unit with Cook on the field willing and able to go toe-to-toe with the NFL’s best receivers.

The injuries to Cook and Harvin have exposed what we all know the Minnesota Vikings are: A young team with consistency and depth issues that will take some time to correct.

Until then, the phrase “Next Man Up!” is a scary one for Vikings fans.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. Both lines were terrible today. Jerry Allen got run over, run around and took himself out of more running plays than one could think possible. How in the hell, when we face a Bear’s offensive line that terrible can we not beat them on pass rush or stopping the run? Either would have been a big help.

    Cutler is the biggest richard in the NFL. Freds feels about Cutler like he used to feel about the Brett Banjo.

    Always next week!!

    1. I almost forgot about Banjo…wonder what the old boy is up to?
      Hey, you know we play Green Bay next week…bet he would love another shot at those guys.
      I wonder if…

  2. I was worried before the game that the d-line would lay an egg in this one. Our pass rush on natural grass is never very good and we were due to make an opposing teams weakness look like a strength. As far as the o-line goes I think it’s time to end the Brandon Fusco experiment and let Schwartz take over the starting job. It’s hard to blame Ponder for not stepping up into the pocket when there’s normally a DT or free blitzer blasting through right up the middle because Fusco is confused. The guy still has potential to be a good starter once he gets the mental part of the game figured out but he’s become to much of a liability in pass protection for on the job training. I’ld really like to know how you come off of a bye week and fail to find a creative way to feed your NFL leading running back the ball in the first half. They set themselves up to fail with that early game plan. This should have been a classic establish the run, don’t turn the ball over, get after the QB game, but they wanted to throw the thing around and it got them in an early hole.

  3. we miss harvin and cook, but not sure it would’ve mattered today. the bears had just lost two in a row, they played harder than we did, and they got some TOs. we didn’t have their sense of urgency or something, not much emotion. young teams are inconsistent

    should’ve blitzed, being on grass. send winfield, he’s good at it, and cutler is no vick, either

    musdiggrave, he’s not good enough and has to go. 2 yds., and pass, pass? is he helping develop ponder enough to compensate for being a poor OC? nope, ship him out after this season, we’re not going to be 11-5

    we try to take what’s there, but teams know AP is a bigger threat than ponder, so they dare us to pass, and our passing game sucked today. ponder wasn’t terribly bad early, but he didn’t have much to throw to, he needs time from the line and WRs to get open. ya just can’t keep going 3 and out, even to the bears’ D. to give him a fair shot at developing as a QB, ponder needs some decent WRs out of the draft. we’ve seen ponder play much better earlier this year, so we know he can do it, but he’s not consistently making plays, and when a guy handles the ball that much, as a QB does, he’s gotta make things happen. he might just ‘get it’ one of these games, but next year is about it for him, or he gets the bench

  4. krugjrNovember 26, 2012, 12:04 pmReply

    showed the game here but switched coverage for second half because the Vikes were not only a local embarrassment but a national embarrassment as well…..what little I did watch I saw a defense that tired early and lacked intensity ( offensive turnovers and “3 and outs” will do that) and on offense I saw a game plan that was predictable (everything short)….I swear our OC believes a football field is 10 yards long…..when you are out manned it seems “everything” goes against you in a game…..but it looked to me that Winfield got pushed off in the endzone…but why would he stand behind the guy waiting for the ball….yeah, the big question mark is still Ponder…all around the league every single week I see these young QBs dropping back or rolling out and throwing a 50 yarder…..ok, so what is it, guys, we really don’t have anyone on our roster who can sprint down the field????? so Ponder can’t really throw a deep ball????? if so, I guess it’s on to the draft…but wait, we already did that…every year we do that….that’s for another day……switch subjects: tell me coach if I’m crazy….the league shows me more and more success with the “athletic” QBs…SF, Wash, TB, Car, etc…….Ponder was supposed to be athletic AND smart and most of us don’t see either…so is it our QB, or is this whole mess still upper management and coaching? I continue to see success in teams with less talent and I think that is because some coaches find a way to win with the talent they have….they don’t have to wait until the dream roster is in place to be a winner…..I’m rambling…my usual post Vikings game funk….sorry, freds, I know, I know, I know…I should just bow out, check in at the end of the season and take in all the pain at once, instead of this one week at a time stuff…hope you all had a great Thanksgiving…after all, that is what is important!

    1. freds… know I’ll check in each week…hard not to after 40 plus yrs of watchin’…..mostly because I know these players give a hell of an effort and deserve my respect, they can only do what they’ve been coached to do…..where the disappointment kicks in is my lack of faith in spielman and frazier to run a frtanchise…can’t help but feel this is a “lame duck” 2012 & 2013 for those two, then the wilfs attempt to take it to the next level…to prepare for the new stadium…IMHO….I see the team being somewhat competitive these last games but probably lucky to win one more…..I’ll check in mostly to see what you guys write about and to see who makes fun of the krugster…..bleedin’ Purple and buyin’ my 3 yr old grandson a Christmas jersey………………….GO VIKES!!!!!