Path to Victory

My future in graphic art is not bright

My future in graphic art is not bright

In the past four night games, regular and post season, the Vikings have lost by a cumulative score of 127-65.

Seven of the team’s Week 1 starters look set to be in street clothes.

Last time we played the Redskins, this happened:

Then why am I feeling optimistic? Perhaps because this game offers a win-win situation no matter the result. Firstly, the team has a decent chance to break that duck in night games. That would make me feel warm and fuzzy on my insides. Secondly, losing gets all of us in the melancholic Vikings Nation closer to a shiny new quarterback, with my preference being Johnny Manziel. Seeing as half the season is still yet to unfold, I will be concentrating my efforts on feeling warm and fuzzy.

Cream Filling

For once, I will not be writing about the Vikings’ own defensive frailty; in all fairness until the coaching staff decided to abandon the game plan and play prevent they only conceded 13 points against a Dallas team that has at times looked like an offensive juggernaut. But I digress.

London Fletcher: Looking his age

London Fletcher: Looking his age

Washington has ranked 29th in yards per play allowed this year. In the past 3 games, that ranking holds steady. Now they definitely have a bunch of brand name players on that squad. Some of them have actually performed beyond their reputation. Mostly, I am thinking of Ryan Kerrigan. He takes over three quarters of his snaps from the defensive left, and will thus be lining up across from second string tackle J’Marcus Webb. Sorry, back to the optimism.

Washington’s team defense has looked soft. They rank second to last in “2nd Level Yards allowed per carry” (yards between 5-10 yards of the line of scrimmage).  At 97.7, their passer rating conceded ranks 27th in the league. Who are the culprits for such yucky (official statistical jargon) numbers?

Of inside linebackers that have played 60% or more of their team’s defensive snaps, London Fletcher and Perry Riley have the second- and fifth-lowest grades, respectively per Profootballfocus.com. Running backs like Danny Woodhead and Knowshon Moreno feasted on them in coverage, with both having nice days catching the ball against the Redskins.

 

Aside from getting fined, Brandon Meriweather has looked pretty ineffective this year. Cornerback David Amerson was highly touted out of N.C. State, but is still a rookie. The likes of Keenan Allen and James Jones have already taken him to school this season, and if Ponder leaves his blinders in the locker room, Greg Jennings could be primed for a big day.

It is upsetting that Kyle Rudolph is missing this one. Not only is the Cincinnati native Ponder’s security blanket, but he would also be perfectly adept to take advantage Washington’s poor inside linebackers and safeties. I really want to believe in John Carlson, and this is as good a stage as any on which to have a career revival (anybody else thinking ‘The Master of Disguise‘?) Unfortunately, the preponderance of evidence suggests he offers little threat down the seam, but here is to hoping.

Combine all this with a running defense which is mediocre by conventional statistics (17th in rushing yards per carry allowed) and brutal by certain advanced statistical measures (second highest expected-points-added per opponent carry), Minnesota has the potential to build on the offensive performance they showed last week.

Mitigating Factors

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Christian Ponder will still have to see open receivers. The defense will have to go against their tendency of being awful on 3rd downs (no. 32 in the league, allowing opponents to convert a whopping 49.15% of the time). Talking about the defense, if you hit the link before the last one (on advanced statistical measures) you may also notice that the Vikings are 31st in the league when it comes to expected-points-added per play by opposing offenses (pass and running combined). To boot, Washington averages over 5 yards per carry, coming in at number 3 in the league.

RGIII, aka RGIII & out from weeks 1 & 2 of the 2013 season, continues to struggle when forced to make multiple reads which poses a problem as his recovery from injury and faith in the reconstructed knee ebb and flow. It looks like staying in eight man zone coverage will cause him to hold the ball too long, and that should aid a defense that has looked helpless against the dink’n'dunk. However, that is a relatively nuanced criticism that has more to say about the long term. The former Baylor Bear is still perfectly capable of making one read and tucking it in if need be. Griffin’s new toy Jordan Reed should also cause some worry, given the Vikings’ struggles against the likes of Martellus Bennett, Jordan Cameron, Jason Witten.

At least our side should have karma with it, given that the Vikings takes its ethnic-based name from a less aggrieved group.

Skol!

 

 

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11 Responses to “Path to Victory”

  1. Fisher says:

    I’m hoping karma is on our side and the Vikes squeak out another (semi)honorable loss. They need to hit a high draft pick. Any wins in this remaining year, wins for the sake of pride, mean nothing (well, except against the Packers).

  2. Fisher says:

    Alright, alright.

    I do like seeing the Vikings win, especially when they actually come out and play like they mean it and actually earn the win.

    SKOL

  3. purplereign57 says:

    I like seeing the Vikings win, too, Fisher, especially against the Peckers. No, that’s not typo, I MEANT to write Peckers. Seriously, though, they could DEFINITELY use a very high draft pick or two, so SOME DAMN BODY can draft YET ANOTHER€ quarterback, but FINALLY get THE RIGHT ONE this time. A QB that will become a franchise quarterback, and at the very least, take the Vikings to more wins than losses, and most importantly, one that will be able to lead the Viking offense downfield with the precision of a surgeon, on the games’ final drive, while being instrumental in a beautiful go ahead score, leaving their opponent with only a few seconds, and needing a miracle to tie or win, and of course, it doesn’t happen, and our new QB becomes the man of the hour…again.
    That all being said, we fans, AND THE TEAM, need nothing short of a miracle to make this perfect scenario come to fruition. I, for one, believe that to start the gears turning in the right direction, the first step should be for the owners and upper management need to clean house, and begin again with new coordinators, new assistants, a new head coach, (if it were me, I’d make a mountainous offer to Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden that neither one absolutely could not refuse.) Something like the deal Seattle gave Mike Holmgren to leave Green Bay several years ago. I don’t recall EXACTLY the terms, but I DO RECALL that Seattle pretty much gave him the farm. I think they even made Holmgren GM or President…something like that. The Browns did the same thing to get Holmgren to come THERE from Seattle. Anyhoo, the Vikings just need a fire lit under them, by a staff and a head coach that come to Minnesota for ONE THING…to WIN…AND KEEP ON WINNING. Viking players AND Viking fans DESERVE THAT. Lots of NFL fans don’t realize how deep the passion goes with Viking fanatics and their team. It’s been far too many years since the Vikings were a truly feared championship caliber football team…far too many years since they’ve been to the BIG SHOW. And to have been there FOUR TIMES and come away empty, has surely left a bad taste in fans’ AND players’ mouths.
    All I’m saying is this: There are plenty of NFL teams that have really, really good, and some even great, potential HOF quarterbacks. Most of those teams win more than lose, and are generally looked upon as dangerous to play, and are usually consistent winners. Minnesota Viking fans and players deserve that too.

  4. FIsher says:

    November 7th

    So it’s been almost a month since this site was updated. Did everybody quit and pack it in? The Vikings have gone 2-1-1 since this, the last newly posted article was scribed. Though you might take that as cause for celebration, I am not happy about it. Trading up to get the likes of Bridgewater (or maybe Mariota) is going to be more difficult than just having earned the spot in the draft. These wins mean nothing elsewise for the Vikes.

    Oh, and write something already, VikingsGab.

  5. purplereign57 says:

    Hey Fisher, I read where Mariota is staying in school. I don’t know much about him, nor any other college QB that’s supposed to be coming out in the next draft. I need to go surfing and delve into these guys. I’m big enough to admit it…I’ve heard “Johny Football”, “Johnny Football” ’til I’m blue in the face, and don’t know who the hell that’s supposed to be. I’ve heard Manziel, Mariota, Bridgewater…that’s about it, so I’m going to go looking at ‘em, see if I can find some stats and you tube video on some of them. BUT, YOU KNOW SPIELMAN…if he’s still around then, God help us all. How long can that dark cloud hang over Minnesota’s QB spot? Well, with some luck, (unfortunately, not Andrew), and Grace of God, we’ll draw a GOOD QB this time around. Anyhoo, I’m gone to surf and check out some of this QB talent that’s supposed to be coming out. SKOL!

  6. Fisher says:

    If the VIkings draft Johnny “Football” Manziel, I’m going to have a f#*king aneurism. He’s a flakey, drama-queen, hair-trigger, megalomaniac. That’s just off the field. On the field, he’s helter-skelter, unrefined, has a huuuuuuge wind-up, and has made his name off of converting success from the ugly scramble plays that will only work in college ball. He’ll never make it to big-time success in the NFL. Mark my words. That kid is a bust. He’s the inverse of Tebow. A little athletic guy that has none of the requisite NFL fundamentals but makes crazy plays work in college and brings with him a pile of off-the-field drama and attention for negative reasons. Like Tebow, he will not translate to the NFL.

    Mariota has the size, athleticism, and (most importantly) the poise and potential savvy paired with the big, accurate arm to be prepped to be groomed (if developed properly) into a real-deal NFL quarterback. The current Vikings’ coaching staff couldn’t do it, but the right group could make this kid a real star. Bridgewater’s merits speak for themselves. The kid is just touched by the football gods. I hope Mariota declares for the draft, because if the Vikes pick up Manziel while the Texans snag Bridgewater and Mariota holds off until next year and goes elsewhere to become great, I’m gonna have to buy a new TV or two. I’ll have smashed the s#&t out of the few I have now on game-day Sundays by then if that’s the case.

    And isn’t it awesome to read about Peterson saying he’d be happy to finish out his career in Dallas or Houston? He wants a ring, he knows MN is in reboot mode (again) and he doesn’t care any more. With his newfound mentality, I’m ready to say it’s time to trade him. I just think it’s too bad that the Texans have considerably less to gain from trading for him than they do in drafting Bridgewater, because they’re clearly going to get the number one pick in April.

  7. Fisher says:

    Still no new articles, updates, write-ups, or even single-word posts declaring “skol!”? I guess we’ve given up on this site for the season.

    • purplereign57 says:

      Personally, Fisher, I haven’t given up on the site. True, that the writers here have been dragging their feet lately. You may be right in saying that they have given up on the season. That’s NOT how you play the game!! NEVER GIVE UP!! Viking fans, (and writers), are some of the most finicky, wishy-washy fans in the whole NFL. They’re ALL on the bandwagon when Minnesota is winning, but when it’s the other way around, man, they scatter, head for the hills, and start posting comments about what a sorry excuse for a team they are. I have ALWAYS BEEN DISAPPOINTED with the decibel level from crowd noise there. You pay attention to other teams’ domed stadiums, even some of the outdoor venues, and the difference is night and day. Viking fans seem to be purple-bleeding fanatics when you talk to them, but they sure don’t sound like it in the Metrodome. I haven’t heard yet what they are going to name the new stadium, but I will say this: Viking fans that have filled those seats better be ready to literally raise the roof on that place. You look at the Patriots, the Seahawks, ( I mean, for crying out loud!!), teams like the Chiefs, (Arrowhead), the Cowboys, (even when their season isn’t going so well), Redskin fans are some of the loudest, most loyal fanatics around. There are more teams that I could name off whose fans seem to be more enthusiastic about their football team(s) than Viking fans. Remember, I’m only judging the crowd noise level in their home stadium, and NOTHING ELSE. I just think that Viking fans need to whoop it up more, (and more often) when they’re at the Met. I know that very soon, Viking games at the Metrodome will be a thing of the past, but I’m also certain that the vast majority of Viking, (and NFL) fans have heard how loud it can get, even outdoors. So, LET’S GIT IT ON IN 2014, VIKING FANS, AT TCF BANK!! It’s gonna be kind of like the old, glory days of Viking football…outdoors in the frigid winter, (with NO HEATERS), just like Bud Grant used to do on the Viking sideline.
      Well, as usual, I’ve been rambling on and on, which SHOULD give some of the writers here a small amount of incentive to post an interesting article or two. personally, I like it here at Vikings Gab, and surely do not want to see the site die. I have no clue as to why SO MANY of the regulars that came here at one time, have disappeared, but I would like to see them return. I’m sure that there would be much more dialogue than there is now. Well, anyway, SKOL VIKINGS!!!!

      • SDViking says:

        I tried to offer writing for this site and never got a response a few years ago…so that could have something to do with the lack of new articles. -SDV

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