Week 13 for the Vikings was an eye opener for most Viking fans and put the same pit in our stomach that we have felt every year but this year so far. We all realized that Brett Favre is human after all, and now Packer fans are trying to tell us Viking fans, "we told you he wasn't everything you thought he was." Now naturally when a game ends with a team losing by more then 1 possession the two top people who get blamed are the head coach and the quarterback.
Lets put this into perspective though of the type of condition our team was coming into University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday Night Football. Antoine Winfield was of course out and already we were at a disadvantage with the talented receivers of Arizona we needed all of our secondary healthy. Offensive Line problems were Hicks starting for the injured Anthony Hererra and Loadholt who was playing with a slight injury. In the first half both Loadholt and McKinney of the O Line came off the field because of injury and went back out on the field playing with the injuries.
Now look at Favre and the two picks he had that should have been four picks but two were dropped by Adrian Wilson. The Cardinals did something no team has done to us all year and that is being successful at sending only 3 or 4 guys and getting pressure on Favre. When you have 5 or 6 guys blocking and only 4 rushing the quarterback and the pressure is getting there, then it is clear you have a problem. With 3 or 4 rushing it results in them having and advantage covering our receivers with almost a double up on every man causing Favre to try and make something out of nothing. If the offensive line would have been healthier it would have resulted in the Cardinals trying to send more guys to get pressure on Favre and therefor opening up the secondary more for Vikings receivers. With a strong pass game it would force the cardinals to draw attention to that category and in result would open up the run. This is why the Vikings have been so successful to this point by that exact strategy. I'm not saying that Favre is excused for the interceptions because he isn't. If there is nothing then he shouldn't throw it. I'm just saying Favre was put in a position Sunday night of trying to get something out of nothing in which he just didn't succeed in this game.
The defensive side of the Vikings also had a fair share of problems injury wise and missing assignments. Madieu Williams had a missed assignment on Larry Fitzgerald where he got caught and let Fitzgerald get behind him. Injury wise the Vikings had Cedric Griffin leave with a head injury, and Tyrell Johnson left feeling nausea. The biggest problem was the serious loss of Team Captain and Middle Linebacker EJ Henderson to a left fractured femur. No doubt a season ending injury which will result in the starting of 5th round pick Jasper Brinkley. He definitely has big shoes to fill and it will be the second season in a row that Henderson has had a season ending injury.
Sunday Night's game was a disappointment for anyone involved with the Vikings whether it be a fan, staff, or player. There are serious issues that have to be addressed for the upcoming weeks...especially if the Vikings want to make a push for the Super Bowl. This is also a thing that is better to happen now then to happen later in the play offs or end of season if we are fighting for either First round bye or home field advantage. One thing is for sure the Vikings will have there hands full next Sunday at the dome in Minnesota when the Bengals come to town. Lets hope that we see a different team in week 14 then in week 13.
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