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Despite Win, Issues Still Exist

I tried to keep it fairly positive around here following the Vikings three point victory against the Cowboys, but there is no doubt that there are still some issues, negative in nature, that plague this team.

The Vikings made some unusual moves when deciding who would be active for the game.  They had Fahu Tahi inactive and instead Albert Young suited up.  The idea seemed to suggest that the Vikings would protect Favre to the max with multiple tight end sets and having Young in there to pick up blitzes and take some third down duties.

Additionally, Jon Cooper became the third different center to start for this team this year.

I can’t honestly say that despite the effort in shaping the active roster, the pass protection did not seem to improve and the run blocking may have declined.

Favre was hit many times, especially early in the game, and the Vikings gave up three sacks.  Anytime Favre tried to extend the play by holding onto the ball, it seemingly ended in disaster, which is why the longest pass play of the day was a 20-yarder to Jimmy Kleinsasser of all people.  On a number of occasions, the Cowboys defense was daring Favre to go deep but even if his injured arm could chuck it down the field, he never had the chance to show it.

Peterson, on the other hand, was given his biggest opportunity of the year to be “featured” with 24 carries.  It seemed like Peterson was constantly hitting a wall on his way to 73 yards, a three yard average per carry. 

Peterson was able to break a fifteen yarder, but it seemed like every other time he broke a long run, it was negated by a penalty along the offensive line.

The Vikings only ended up having five penalties for 45 yards, but they all seemed to come at inopportune times (as if there is ever a good time for a penalty). 

To make Peterson’s day even rougher, he came up limping after one play and was the self-proclaimed culprit of the bad exchange that resulted in the Vikings only turnover, despite Favre being credited with the fumble.  Peterson’s only catch went for negative two yards.

Presuming Favre’s arm is hurting him, and considering the leaky offensive line, he did a decent job of not throwing the game away.  He was pretty darn accurate as he went 14 of 19, but the type of game played is shown by the fact that he only gained 118 yards on those 14 completions.  Seeing Favre manage the game was a positive, but seeing him so utterly ineffective only furthers the already existing worries that he is declining rapidly this season.

However, with every week that goes by, Favre can really only develop better chemistry with his receivers and guys like Sidney Rice are only going to get healthier.  Speaking of injured pass catchers, Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) was once again nearly invisible, and his name was only really called on a penalty that negated an Adrian Peterson run.

In the end, the Vikings offense only managed 188 total yards, and it seems that most of the problems begin and end with the offensive line play.

It is kind of difficult to be too picky about this defense, as they played really well overall, yet again.  They held the Cowboys potent running game in check, and Romo’s 220 yards passing was his lowest of the season so far.

Despite the victory and solid performance, there are always areas which can be improved on.  The pass rush was better this week, in my opinion, despite the absence of any sacks.  Jared Allen and Kevin Williams were able to be disruptive enough to cause at least one turnover, and Romo seldom was able to set up a long pass to his main playmaker Miles Austin who was held to 12 yards. 

Perhaps Austin’s lack of production can be explained by the fact that he was never lined up against Lito Sheppard.  Sheppard was a nightmare after playing somewhat solidly this season.  All three touchdowns, two from Roy Williams and one from Dez Bryant, were the result of poor play from Lito Sheppard.

Asher Allen was almost the victim of a long touchdown caught by Austin Miles.  The play was negated by offensive pass interference.  By all appearances, however, Allen may have gotten lucky as the contact was quite minimal and the Cowboys may have had good reason to be upset about the call.  Allen also got picked on a few times, and when it came time to end the game with an easy interception, he let it go right through his hands.

Husain Abdullah left early in the game with a concussion and was replaced with Jamarca Sanford at the strong safety position.  There was no real notable drop off, and solid tackling all around for the Vikings made up for other shortcomings. 

While there are always things to improve on, and the Vikings have their share, Sunday was a day to be celebrated.  After all, the Vikings (who we love) beat the Cowboys (who we hate), and were the only team from the NFC North to win on Sunday.

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32 Responses to “Despite Win, Issues Still Exist”

  1. Jughead says:

    anyone have a clue when Chris Cook should return?….I feel once he comes back and everyone can stay healthy our secondary will be pretty solid

  2. Nume says:

    Hopefully this week. He practiced at least on a limited basis most of last week and was listed as questionable for this game, so I’d think with another week of practice hopefully he’ll be good to go.

  3. vk4life says:

    We need C. Cook, Rice healthy. Also Need our 2 monster sized tackles to play at this point I will take (good) consistent football. While our D has kept us in games I would like them to be more aggressive in the secondary and fight for balls, and more physical at the line with receivers. Lets go Vikes and keep it going against the Pack, gotta step it up and play to our potential!

  4. vk4life says:

    D-Line needs to get hungry for sacks this week and put some hard hits on Rodgers. We cannot let him set up in the pocket.

  5. B. Grant says:

    Adam, here’s my biggest issue (as you might guess)…, it is Chili’s response to the hits Favre was taking yesterday:

    “We’re paying him enough every game. He’s going to get hit.”

    15 TIMES A GAME? This comment really honks me off!! This speaks volumes about my optimism for the remainder of the year. In other words, the OL is not going to be held accountable for performances like yesterday, we’re not going to address blocking schemes, and its the job of Favre and AP to figure out how to manuever around all those free running defenders. Our passing game will be predicated on 3 second patterns, and the progression to options 3 & 4 on a pass play is basically history. The new progression is: drop back quickly, heave it quickly, take a shot to the chops, and cross your fingers. Childress is telling us it will be business as usual in terms of the expectations of our offensive line.

    There you have it folks. An offense starts on the line, and apparently what we have been seeing is what we are going to continue to get.

    • Fragile Freds says:

      What do you recommend Buds? Should we bench some of these danish eaters and hope their back ups can do better? What kind of accountability? I don’t disagree the line sucks, but at this point what do you do?

      • B. Grant says:

        Understood Freds. It’s the attitude that “everything is OK” that bothers me. I want to hear him say something like, “We cannot continue to let our QB take that kind of beating.” That tells the line that we expect improvement, and/or blocking schemes need to be re-evaluated. I also heard Herrara pretty much say last night that those hits are OK. No they are not! Tell me how often a Brady or a Manning or a Brees takes those number of shots in a game. I just want to hear our head coach say something other than “its OK”. Give us your “a work in progress, fluid thing, whatever” line, but not that we pay our QB to get treated like that. Its not OK that three passing scores happen over the same DB, and its not OK that our QB takes 15 hits. Say that Chili! Please! Say this isn’t what you expect from your OL, this isn’t what you want in a passing game.

  6. B. Grant says:

    By the way, you may be interested to know what my sources tell me about the Favre investigation. Deanna is going to come to her husbands defense. She has told investigators that Brett’s sexts were actually meant for her, but as with many of Brett’s passes, this one was also intercepted

  7. Fragile Freds says:

    Implement the TJizzle cat!

  8. Zag says:

    After watching the Colts O-line last night… I would murder someone to have Jeff Saturday on our team.

  9. fozz44 says:

    Wonder what life would be like with Matt Birk in there instead of the 3 stooges.

  10. Viking John says:

    I agree with zag, watching the colts is something else. The one series was so fast and smooth. Manning ran the no huddle to a tee.
    The colts line never missed a beat. Must have been 7-8 plays without a hiccup. Maybe someday for us.
    Go Vikes

    • B. Grant says:

      This is what I’m sayin’ guys. You don’t let your QB get treated like a pinata and not admit it’s a problem. There won’t be improvement on offense until we find some way to get improvement up front. It just will not, can not happen. That’s how football works.

      (Sorry. The horse is, indeed, dead. I will say no more.)

    • Fragile Freds says:

      It helps that the Colts have a QB that works in camp with their o line and receivers. The Vikes sold their souls and credibility when they settled for Banjo Farve. There is more to playing QB than just being “the sexting gun slinger”.

      • B. Grant says:

        Can you just ONCE not blame something on our rented QB? He has a sore arm, a surgically repaired ankle, is a recovering addict of lord knows how many substances, and has now been caught with maybe having his hand in someone else’s cookie jar. He’s old, and he’s here because three very big and convincing young guys kidnapped him a couple months back due to the fact that we have no other options. LET IT GO, MAN!

  11. Fragile Freds says:

    Let go old man…..LET IT GO! For the love of Pete! Let it go!

    Freds is ready to jab his eye balls out with his #2 pencil so he doesn’t have to read even one more sentence about the damn offensive line. Freds begs you….let it go!

    • B. Grant says:

      Although that asks a lot of me, my non-tackling corner, for the sake of your visual health, consider it gone. I vow to do nothing more than silently shake my head on this topic as we wonder why our offense resembles a middle school cafeteria at 12:05 PM.

    • Fran the Man says:

      Hey, someone has to say it Freds. Might as well be “our” Coach cuz sure as hell, you won’t hear the Vikings coach admit he has a problem on the O-line.
      Obviously he feels fine with the way the guys up front are playing.
      I’m thinking he’s so afraid of Favre making him look stupid (Pretty easy thing to do really) he’s trying to get him killed.

      I will say this though, it sure gets to me when I see Favre hold on to the ball when he has the opportunity to get rid of it, time after time.
      So many times I’ve seen him pump-fake the ball then take a sack.
      If the time is there to pump fake, the time is there to get rid of it.
      Favre HAS to know that he has a leaky O-line. Forget the 5 and 7 step drops. If he doesn’t have an open receiver by his 2nd read, THROW THE FREAKING BALL AWAY!

  12. Fragile Fred says:

    No 5 or 7 step drops means no deep ones to Moss.

  13. c.carterhof says:

    Adam, I think the PI call on Miles was an obvious one. He stuck his arm out, pushed off, Allen fell down…

    Didnt look minimal to me.

  14. bigjohnny84 says:

    Thanks for the links CC, really gets the juices flowing. And I can assure you Freds and I are not related in any way, shape or form. Sorry Freds! lol

  15. B. Grant says:

    Yeah, thanks cart. Harvin was already “gone” at the 35 yard line. Never seen anything like that before. ‘Saucer got the final victim and that was it.

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