With all the news about the possibility of the Minnesota Vikings moving to a new city, the state of Minnesota sure doesn't seem to care. Governor Tim Pawlenty won't give a penny to help the Vikings build a new stadium, and we're starting to see why.
Over the past few weeks, we've seen one of the NFL's juggernaut teams get obliterated by the Arizona Cardinals and, more recently, the 5-8 Carolina Panthers, who were missing both starting defensive tackles and starting a backup quarterback.
Neither of these games was even close. They were down right embarrassing.
These two losses can be attributed to the many weaknesses this team has. Let us take a look at just a few of them.
The offensive line is atrocious. Go ahead and try to tell yourself differently. Adrian Peterson has nowhere to run and Favre barely has two-and-a-half seconds to get rid of the ball. Steve Hutchinson is showing extreme signs of aging, Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt can't stop opposing defensive ends, and God only knows why John Sullivan and Anthony Herrera are starting.
Watch John Sullivan snap in a shotgun formation. It's the ugliest snap I've seen. It takes forever to get to Favre, and half of the time, it's near his ankles or a foot over his head. I guess getting rid of Matt Birk hurt us more than we thought it would.
It's different than what we're used to, but face it fellas, this line is simply awful.
The defensive safties are repulsive. Tyrell Johnson was supposed to be a great tackling safety, but looking at the ground and throwing your body forward isn't the best way to tackle. He is terrible in coverage and is never anywhere near the ball.
His counterpart, Madieu Williams is simply a placeholder. After signing a six year, 33 million dollar contract, he was supposed to save the Vikings' passing defense. After a full year of starting, I'm still waiting to see what he can do. He dives at the ball hoping the ball carrier will simply fall over. He can't cover faster wide receivers and finds himself out of place too often.
When it comes down to it, if a running back or wide receiver gets to the second level, you can assume that these two will fail to save your defense.
The linebackers are clueless and injured. Ben Leber is supposed to be great in coverage, but too many times he's getting outrun by tight ends and wide receivers. He's 31 and doesn't have the speed he used to. His tackling has gone downhill in a hurry.
E.J. is injured and Jasper Brinkley can't cut it in his place. Brinkley tries to go for the big hit rather than wrapping up and making a tackle. Can we please see what Heath Farwell can do?
The other linebacker, Chad Greenway, is actually pretty good, as is the defensive line, so no need to address this.
The coaching has become yet another reason that this team is spiraling downwards. If an average Joe can sit his chair and call off what plays are going to be run beforehand, I would think opposing defensive coordinators could as well.
Also, if your rookie running back averages 5.6 yards per carry, why would you tell him he needs to fix his running style? Why would you tell him to be more patient and wait for holes? Ever since Adrian Peterson was told this, his play has declined.
Tell me how Brad Childress got an extension?
Finally, there's Brett Favre, our "savior." He's taken a 10-6 team from a year ago and has brought us to an 11-3 record. That's a massive improvement.
Too bad Favre has started his historic December downfall, throwing more interceptions in a three game span than he had all season. Although this isn't nearly as bad as other seasons, it's not encouraging to see your quarterback coughing up the football.
The Vikings need to fix these issues fast. They are in danger of losing the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and if things continue, they could very well find themselves with yet another early exit from the playoffs and well on their way to finding a new place to call home, Los Angeles, California.