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My Optimistic View Is Getting A Bit Dark And Blurry

Kyle Rudolph TD Carolina
Photo provided courtesy of

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.

Rudolph had 9 catches for 97 yards and a TD on Sunday. He was also just inches away from getting both feet down in the end zone just before halftime. With 22 seconds left in the second quarter, Cassel and Rudolph nearly connected for what would have been a nice score and a game changing moment on 3rd and 1 from the 4 yard line. Unfortunatly, the Vikings had to settle for a field goal to cap-off a 15 play drive that started at the Vikings 20. The Vikings trailed at halftime 14-3.

With 12 minutes to go in the game and the Vikings faced with a 4th and 1 on their own 17, Rudolph made a nice 8 yard catch to keep the drive alive. On the very next play, Cassel targeted Rudolph again for 9 more yards.  However, 2 plays later Cassel over threw Greg Jennings which resulted in an interception.

The Vikings only touchdown of the game came with just over a minute left to play. Cassel connected with Rudolph in the flat on a short dump off. He broke a couple tackles and picked up a great block from Joe Webb to scamper 23 yards for the score. Sure, it was too little too late… but it was nice to see Rudolph and Webb battling to the very end.

Kyle Rudolph and Jerome Simpson are both on pace to have their best year as a pro. Rudolph has 21 reception on the year for 200 yards and 2 scores, while Simpson leads the team with 23 reception for 372 yards.

In a year that seems like a complete loss… it is good to know that the pass catchers are still working hard and fighting for every snap they can get.

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Carl Knowles

Carl Knowles (Contributor) is a former member of the Professional Bowler Association and an avid lifelong Vikings fan. When he is not bowling you can find him on websites and forum pages sharing his creative insight and enthusiasm for the Minnesota Vikings any chance he gets. Carl was a Phoenix Institute of Technology and Purdue University standout who currently enjoys the challenge of being a graphic director in the printing business. You can follow him on twitter @carlknowles_vt.

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  1. we’d pretty much have to run the table now, so it’s all draft positioning from here on out. we do have a new QB to watch for the future, and that is potentially a big development

  2. Most interesting tid-bit from Freeman starting is that Ponder has been named the backup with Cassel dropping to #3, a position that we generally deactivate on game-day.

  3. Carl,
    A lot of problems with the team right now.Hang in there, Things will get better.
    It probably will be a while.

  4. Things get “dark and blurry” with me also when I watch the Vikings. That is probably due to the Johnny Walker kicking in when the Vikes have lost the game by mid 2nd quarter. It does relieve the pain though.

  5. with the short time freeman has had to learn the offense, musgrab will surely get another ‘c;mon, man’ when we see that his play card fits on a postage stamp

  6. OK, for those who say all is lost, team is a mess, Musgrave is a ______, fire everyone on the Viking payroll, etc., etc. etc., a different perspective…

    1. Last Sunday was a debacle. Yes. It happens, and maybe a wake-up call.
    2. The win in Pittsburgh gave all fans some sense of optimism (although it does remain the Steelers highest point game of the year)..
    3. IF… yes, I know, IF… the defense stops the final drives in the Bear and Brown games, we are 3-2, tied for second with the Packers a half game out of first place in the division. That puts us 2 plays away from being very much in the thick of things. That’s not a “mess”.

    My point is that while we admittedly seem an unlikely candidate for the playoffs right now, and while we are coming off a very disappointing game, this is NOT the team some fans are claiming it to be. This will continue to be a team to reckon with, and a team that can reel off some wins. I will also repeat that while offense, and especially the passing game, seems to be everyone’s focus and object of venom, it is that unit that has performed far closer to the necessary level of winning games than has the defense. The offense has had one bad game, the defense has had, well, five bad games. Rail on Musgrave and sign all the QB’s you want from now until the cows come home, but the fact is we will get better as a team when we can defend much better than we have, And (ha ha Tomb) when we do, our offense will be even better.

    1. Have you been hitting the moonshine again Buds?

      ” It happens, and maybe a wake-up call” An excellent point, much like when Freds has a meeting at 9:00 am, leaves a wake up call for 6:00 am and sleeps until 11:30 am. He’s awake now, but still didn’t make the meeting at 9:00am and is screwed. No playoffs for Freds.

      ” IF… yes, I know, IF… the defense stops the final drives in the Bear and Brown games…” Freds gets it! Much like IF Adrian wears a condom we he goes out to “meat and greet”, oh never mind… you know the rest.

      Freds hasn’t railed on Mustgrove, but the offensive line has been bad all pre season and season and the defense just stinks. 4-12 .

      By the way Freds knows darn well you don’t believe that crap you just wrote, you’re just trying to be different and cool. Well, maybe just different.

      Shouldn’t you be having another grandchild pretty soon?

    2. I hear you Coach but I’m of the mind that you could have ended the post after you said;
      “all is lost, team is a mess, Musgrave is a ______, fire everyone on the Viking payroll, etc., etc. etc., a different perspective…”

  7. My point is this gentlemen (and Tomb)… people are reacting as if all five of our games resembled the Carolina game. The fact is in the other four games, Vikes were in a very winnable position heading into the fourth quarter, and were very much in a winnable position with less than two minutes to go in three of the games.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t have issues. We sure do. Our defense is very disappointing right now, our offensive line does seem lost at times, and our passing game is not among the best. You can acknowledge those issues without throwing the coaches and team completely under the bus and into the storm sewer.

    1. bud, i was thinking today of why i don’t feel as bad about williams as i do muskunk, as i do think our D sucks right now. the difference is that our D has been pretty good up until just recently, and musky has been proving he’s poor at being the OC for quite a while. in fact, i don’t remember any considerable length of time that i thought our OC was making good calls

  8. Yeah, that’s probably right, and it is probably true of almost all fans and their teams around the league, don’t you think? Few are sure of how they would run a defense, but everyone knows how to call plays on Madden. I think Jerry Burns is one of the more highly regarded OC’s in Vikings history, but if we had had the blogs and tweets and such in those days, people would have been all over him too. But I do agree that some of Musgrave’s work has been “interesting” at times. Still, it makes me wonder how fans of teams who are scoring half as much as the Vikings feel about their OC.

    Remember after the Bear game when Leslie commented that part of the failure of the defense on the final drive was due to the lack of communication and preparation on the part of the coaches? He was nice enough to use the plural term of coaches, but I read it as an indication that his DC was caught unprepared for that situation.

  9. Coach…..I’ll give ya credit, you’re hangin’ in there with the defense vs offense thing and making a lot of good points this week (you always do)….a while back I referred to you as a patient man and a patient fan, quick to defend a player, a scheme, a gameplan, a coach…..quick to point out other bad to mediocre players and coaches in the league as if that’s an out or an excuse for the Vikes…..and that brings me to my point of the day…..I believe most of us here at VT have been fans for 40-50 years…..we didn’t come aboard with Moss or AD…..I think our patience is all but worn out…..we comment on our franchise and our future, and you bring up the fact that half the league is struggling or under performing right now……and that’s my point, most of us, I believe, don’t really care at this point about that play or that player or that game or that roster change…..we’re frustrated as Vikes’ fans because we’ve had many many of the most talent filled rosters in the league over the years and we’ve never raised the trophy at the end…..we’re tired of being the best at under achieving…..not since you, Coach, have we had a leader of this team that the whole league respected, the face of the franchise… when say fire everyone and start over, we’re searching for that dream team, not of players, but owners, GMs and coaches…..until the Vikes have a front office that can compete with the best, our team will not compete with the best……all the talent in the world at the bottom don’t mean squat if we don’t have talent at the top…..all these years as a franchise and a lot of purple fans are still waiting for that someone who can put this all together and at least have a shot at winning it all…..

    1. Krug, great post and I agree. I have to ask tho, are you under the assumption that B. Grant is THE Bud Grant?
      Com’on Man!

      1. nope…..just adding a little fun to my post, and giving “Coach” the respect that his thought out comments deserve…..that being said, I also really appreciate your hall of fame career, Fran!

        1. Well thanks for the compliment. I wish I could have been there for Coach in Super Bowl 4 but I wasn’t and that dang Joe Kapp didn’t get ‘er done.

          And ‘ol Hank Stram just kept matriculatin’ the ball down the field.
          (I hate Stram too Coach)

    2. I can certainly agree with those thoughts, krug, and I know a lot of us feel the pain. I STILL hurt from the first Super Bowl loss, as I know darned good and well that we were the better team, and would have won that game 8 out of 10 times. (Hank Stram is definitely on my “list”, even as a dead man.) And make no mistake that I am not interested in mediocrity. Never have been, never will be. I just know you don’t get to that highest level over night, and I keep looking for ways that we are moving in the right direction. I really think Leslie has the DNA, but he is running out of time.

      I don’t apologize for being patient and analytical from a coach’s perspective. But I don’t blame the people who are tired of more of the same, either. I have accepted the fact I may “move on” without ever seeing a Viking Super Bowl win, but I will have enjoyed the ride nonetheless. Nothing warms my blood more than seeing a Viking cross a goal line (except for one time by Jim Marshall), take an opponent’s pass the other way, or dump a QB and see the ball trickle away. It will always be that way.

  10. I saw this in the Daily Norseman comment section. So true and so funny…..
    With Musgraves ‘Recipe Cards’ there’s obviously no room for the rookies
    One commenter said it best: Musgrave recipe cards! Hah. Love that one.
    What will Monday nights recipe be ?
    Lots of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, chilli, Adrian P, Freeman to Rudolph & Simpson short passes; simmer on low heat for first half of the game, always punt on 4th down & less than 3 yards. Transfer to large pot & boil Rudolph, Jennings, Wright, Patterson, Peterson until soft mush. Turn off heat by 3rd quarter & run Adrian up the middle until useless, then transfer to fridge & let cool until cold before 4th quarter. When desperate put pot back on stove at highest heat until burning smell. Then serve with continuous long futile passes & overheated defence is toast.
    Also served best the following week with condescending ‘positive’ cliches from coaching staff.

    by AussieVike on Oct 17, 2013 | 4:49 AM up reply

  11. Desmond Bishop officially to IR, team promotes WR Rodney Smith to active roster and give S Brandon Bishop his P-Squad spot. Someone like the Packers must have been sniffing around Smith, probably doesn’t bode well for Childs chances of coming back this year.