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Vikings Lost Ground At Midway Point

As if Thursday night’s loss to the Bucs wasn’t painful enough, every other team in the NFC North snuck out wins on Sunday which puts the Vikings in a much less enviable situation than they looked on Wednesday.

The 5-3 Vikings are tied with the Packers for second place.  The Bears are atop the division with a record of 6-1 and the league’s most solid looking defense.  Meanwhile, the Lions are struggling at 3-4, but are talented enough to not count out of the race quite yet.

Minnesota has a chance to see their playoff hopes live or die at the hands of their divisional foes, however, and things will be quite interesting in the second half of this season.  Here is their remaining schedule:

At Seattle


Bye Week

At Chicago

At Green Bay


At St. Louis

At Houston

Green Bay

How does that look for drama?  I think it’ll be a fun ride, and I really hope that the weather helps us out a bit when it comes to stopping the passing attacks of Chicago and Green Bay after the bye.

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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. Today the Packers, Bears and Lions all squeaked by teams not as good as the Vikings. There is no game on the remainder of our schedile that we should be fearful of. If our defense doesn’t fall asleep like we did against Tampa, we can win any of rhose gcames.

    1. I love the optimism guys but try to look at the vikings if they were a random team. Offensive struggles are our main problem all the remaining defenses are in the top 10 besides the packers(14). Chris Cook is gone now leaving us with another decimated secondary for the 2nd year in a row for teams with stud wr’s to take advantage of(we still have Jennings, Nelson, Rice, Marshall, Megatron, Andre Johnson, and Amendola left) while I like Robinson and think he can be good eventually he will get rocked by those WR’s right now.
      I think we can win another 2-3 games(Detroit, Seattle & St. Louis). If we can somehow play like week 3 we could take down anyone but that seems unlikely. I am not being a bandwagon jumper here I have been cautious all season as I felt we were walking a very fine line. My Prediction is we win 2 games more.

      1. …and if you consider we really are in a rebuilding year, haven’t we already overperformed?

        Try to enjoy the ride with minimal expectations. Truth is, even if we did make the playoffs, we are one and done. Don’t let the relatively fast start fool you.

    2. schedile

      …it’s this kind of sloppy blogging that’ll cost us some games. Pay attention to the details, mind your gap assignments, tackle as you’re taught, and maybe we’ll get through this thing.

      1. Sorry Tomb. You’re right, and that kind of posting falls short of the expectations I know you have for me. I needed that chewing out, and hopefully I can learn from my mistakes and from your wisdom. I know you’re in my face because you want me to reach my potential, and for that I thank you. (…and I should avoid blogging from my cell phone.)

  2. It’s time we held the defense responsible for their large part in Thursday night’s loss. Going into Thursday night’s game, the Vikings’ were scoring 24 points per game and giving up 19. While the offense did indeed fall short of their average, and played poorly as a whole, the defense nearly doubled their average in points allowed (none of Thursday’s 36 came from the opponents’ defense or special teams). It was the second most points allowed this week heading into the Sunday night game. They gave up over 400 yards of offense, 150 yards rushing, and did not force a single turnover. They consistently allowed conversions on 3rd and long, and tackled as poorly as they have all season.

    I don’t want to hear about short fields or spending too much time on the field. They spent too much time on the field because they didn’t make stops. They dropped interceptions and missed chances to recover fumbles. Allowing a 9 minute drive cannot be blamed on your team’s offense. While I know that a defense’s best friend is a ball control offense, the fact is this team needs a strong defense to win, and no one should expect this team to win when we allow scores in the 30’s. Yes, the Viking offense played poorly Thursday night. The Viking defense played every bit as poorly, and we better adjust to the fact that we must hold teams in the teens or low 20’s to have a chance to win.

  3. The team outperformed most peoples expectations the first month and a half this season. They have come back down to Earth the last couple weeks and still got a win against the Cards, but the remaining schedule is brutal. I was never thinking playoffs for this year anyway, so the win total isn’t really something I’m interested in at this point. What I do wonder about is how the fast start is going to play into coaching decisions as the season goes on. If the team only wins 2 out of the final 8 and has a few double digit losses to division opponents sprinkled in there, does it cost the coaching staff their jobs? Even if they only win another 2 games that would put them at 7 wins, 4 more than they had all of last year which is a significant improvement. My feeling right now is that Frasier is likely safe barring a complete colapse the second half of the year but Musgrave could be coaching for his job the rest of the way through. If the offense continues to play as poorly as they have the last couple weeks despite the presence of Peterson and Harvin, they will have to take a look at making a change on that side of the ball. I’m hoping things come together and the offense shows some consistency and an ability to adapt to what teams are bringing defensively, but I have doubts after these last couple games and it’s not just because of Ponder and a missing deep threat.

    1. I hope they fire the entire staff, it is the worst in the NFL. Personally I like musky over Frazier which pang saying much.

  4. Coaching staffs who have clearly led their teams on a path of under-achievement through 7 or 8 games… Dallas, Philadelphia, Jets, Saints, Detroit, Carolina, San Diego. Then you’ve got the perpetual losing in KC, Cleveland, Tennessee, Buffalo and St. Louis. There’s a dozen staffs you could be stuck with Skol, before we even start serious comparisons.

    1. I’d rather have Garrett, Turner, Ryan, Reid, and Schwartz than Leslie (saints don’t have Payton so can’t judge them). Cleveland, Buffalo, St. Louis, and Tennessee all have first/2nd year coaches who from what i’ve seen can out coach Frazier. Only thing Leslie has going for him is that he’s likeable.

      1. The Tennessee guy can outcoach Leslie? Did you watch the game between the two teams? He had the veteran Hasselback, while I hear we have this clueless, hopeless kid named Ponder. But still Leslie got outcoached in winning 30-7? How can you make that statement, Skol?

        1. Simple. the amount of talent on Minnesota and the fact that we still cant win on a regular basis. We have the best RB and one of the top 5 WRs in the NFL. We also have the best DE, a top 5 DT, a top 10 LB, a phenominal rookie safety and a top 5 corner.
          We have 5 players in the top 5 at their position, another 2 in the top 10, and an outstanding(yet unproven TE). Look at the Titans, they don’t have a top 10 player at any position on offense or defense. Go down the roster and I would prefer our player to theirs with about 3 exceptions(heres looking at you Charlie Johnson). Heck I think I could have coached them to a 30-7 win.
          On paper the Vikings have some of the most talented players in the NFL.

          1. Well, then I guess Leslie should have beaten them 50-7. I’ll say without a doubt that there are likely about 25 teams in the league who would trade their top back for Chris Johnson, and this “top 5 DT” has 17 tackles and one sack in 8 games. In addition to all these top players we have, we also have the nucleus of our team in their 4th year of play or less.

  5. I only see 1 likely win on the list (Rams). Vikes offense can probably score a few point against the Packers but not much chance the defense can stop GB’s offense. Bears could realisticly shut them out both games. Texans? No way. Even at Seattle I’m not feeling any good vibes.

  6. Geez, johnny, sorry to see you so down on our Vikes. 1-7 the rest of the way, huh? You’re even conceding a home loss to the Lions? Mark me down as picking our guys to win the next two games. I’m not drinking kool aid or being a homer. Those are both good match-ups for us. We can beat the Pack and the Bears at home, too. I admit that we’ll have tough road games at Chicago, Green Bay and Houston (although that Houson game might be more winnable than some would think.) 9-7 very doable.

    1. Sorry Coach but I’m just being realistic. I really hope your predictions are right and I’m wrong. If the team was getting better instead of worse I’d be alot more optimistic. Losing Cook is gonna hurt the defense, especially against GB. I hoped Charlie Johnson was gonna be the answer at LG but it’s becoming clear that he’s not. I do feel better about next year tho, with another draft and offseason I think they’ll be pretty complete and ready to challenge for the division.

    2. buds, when you lower your glass from your mouth, what is that purple stain around your upper lip?

      1. Shame on you, Cal, for even making such an accusation. You know Gatorade comes in purple, right?

  7. I guess we’re just a long ways apart on our anaysis of coaches, Skol. I wouldn’t bring Norv Turner in here as a volunteer coach, and for the life of me I just can’t figure out the love affair with Garrett. He can’t take one of the most talented teams in the league beyond (or maybe even to) .500. Andy Reid is doing the same thing with this Dream Team in Philly. And what has Schwartz done so impressively? I must have missed something.

    I guess the bottom line is you have some sort of major disdain for Leslie, so the rest of the discussion is a moot point. That’s fine, certainly your right, Skol, and who knows, maybe you are right. All I’ll say is that how a coach “looks” on the sideline has nothing to do with his ability to run a football team. They used to say that Bellicek looked like a lost street bum on the sideline, but he seems to know a little about coaching. I happen to think Leslie is going to be a good one, but only time will tell.

    1. I do have a bias against Leslie, actually two. First is that he worked under Childress, and some Chilly has rubbed off on him. Second is the fact that we hired him with countless better coaches on the market. Off the top of my head… Jim Harbaugh(that one bugs me the most I really wanted him), Gruden, Cowher, I believe Fox was hired around the same time, and even college coaches like Chip Kelly, Nick Saban, Les Miles, Lane Kiffin ect… I know most wouldn’t want to come to Minnesota but we didn’t try for any and I am sure atleast one would want to come here and be better than Frazier. I think Saban could be the next Bellichek

      1. Saban is a POS and will never coach in the NFL again. Fox is the only guy on that list that I think the Vikes even had a remote chance at landing as a head coach. We had a roster full of declining veteran players and a huge question mark hanging over the future of the team in the state of Minnesota. Hiring Frasier made a lot of sense at the time, I really can’t fault the Wilfs and he was worth taking a chance on. His game management was much better earlier this season, the last couple weeks has me worried but I truly feel biggest problem we have with coaching right now is on the offensive side of the ball with Musgrave who was a questionable choice to begin with as the new OC (and that of course falls on Frasier for selecting him). It’s hard to say how much of the trouble the offense is having right now is Musgrave and how much is on Ponder, but to me the coaches need to do a better job of putting Ponder in a position to be successful.

      2. Lane Kiffin? Really? Norv Turner? The guy who may not survive the year, and should finally be done embarrassing teams who hire him? And is that the same Harbaugh whose team got handled by Leslie’s team earlier this year? Ask the people in Miami about Saban being the next Bellicek.

        If Frazier had been “out there”, Skol, I bet he’d be on your wish list, but because he’s known by us and worked under Chili, he’s a POS. Maybe Tony Dungy and Mike Tomlin won’t happen again.

        Fair enough, Skol. We agree to disagree, and I don’t imagine I’m in the majority, but I gotta tell you I’ve neither seen nor heard anything to change my opinion of Frazier, and I’m sure you haven’t either. Looking forward to the rest of the season, and let’s both hope I’m right.

        1. Did someone actually mention Norv Turner as a good coach?

          Now that’s some funny stuff. The guy’s name has become its own noun for ‘snatching defeat from the jaws of victory’….as in:

          “The Charges really got Norv’d in the second half of the Broncos game.”

            1. Tomb, I’ll share with you a comment I got from this guy one time when I made a couple blogging errors. He really knows his stuff, and I’m sure you will benefit from it as did I.

              “…it’s this kind of sloppy blogging that’ll cost us some games. Pay attention to the details, mind your gap assignments, tackle as you’re taught, and maybe we’ll get through this thing.”

              Keep blogging, my friend – and don’t Norv your confidence.

              1. I’m glad you didn’t notice I wrote “Charges” instead of “Chargers,” by the way.

                In any case, this guy you are quoting sounds brilliant. I don’t mean sort of smart, I mean like pure genius.

                I will heed the words imparted upon you by this intelligent bastard with the utmost diligence, and will try not to Norv my comments from here forward.

  8. I’m with SKOL and Johnny…..I know, I know, big surprise right, freds? 1 or 2 more wins would be all that I would expect with where we are at… of those when offense and defense come together and the other win only when the other team loses a QB or tanks at the end of the season when they miss the playoffs…..that doesn’t make me less of a fan….I’m one of those who has seen nothing from Frazier to think he will be a long time head coach in the NFL….and the jury is out on Ponder, but for the second year, when the pressure mounts to “produce”, he gets worse…..all that coaching discussion earlier: another factor is front offices that find talent somewhere other than the first round…..AND, some of those coaches take a roster that lost 10 games for 2-3 years, and in their first year they win 10 games with the same roster….that is coaching…..we get Childress and Frazier and they lose with above average roster….maybe I’m the only fan who believes Frazier got hired so the Wilfs could go “cheap” in case they didn’t get their stadium….now that’s done, so get by this playing at the gopher stadium etc, then hire some real talent at GM and head coach…..evaluating this franchise is just like politics, right? we all get to have an opinion….and most of you already know mine…….Coach, if only I was a betting man…(your next two games prediction)

  9. We are 5-3…right? I’m not sold on Denzel, but I agree with what Dan said- ” We had a roster full of declining veteran players and a huge question mark hanging over the future of the team in the state of Minnesota.” Last year was a matter of changing things…He has us at 5-3, with two impressive victories. What would be good enough? 7-1? It takes a couple years to build a team that’s gonna contend for a while.
    Lets see what happens. If we go into Seattle and get a win, would that change your mind? How bout winning the next two?
    I say Vikes will get at least 3 more wins this year, I’m with Coach…9-7 is very possible. 10-6? Well, that mostly depends on Ponder…He needs to step up in the pocket more and fire some bullets in there, I think he can do it…but don’t know if he will.

    1. i’m afraid ponder will struggle the rest of the year. like last year, he is declining as the season goes on