December 21, 2009
The Minnesota Vikings suffered another embarrassing loss against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. This coming just 2 weeks after a jolting loss against the Arizona Cardinals. For this once Super Bowl hopeful team, it seems that individual recognition has stepped forward in front of the team.
How many Jared Allen spotlights did you see on television in 2008? How about Adrian Peterson? How many times did you hear the name Sidney Rice or Visanthe Shiancoe? Did you know who Ray Edwards was prior to his season ending injury? Did you know Coach Brad Childress had the nick name "Chilly"? Chances are you didn't.
After losing 26 - 7 to Carolina, the blame hat will be passed around. But is veteran quarterback Brett Favre to blame? The media, skeptics, and those scorned by Favre leaving Green Bay will all say he is to blame. However, the Vikings defense appears to be star struck with their recent success and high ranking in the NFL. Jared Allen and Antoine Winfield have much to account for the 26 points they allowed a mediocre offense to easily score.
Is it realistic that Minnesota would have won this game with only 7 points on the board? Not really. In fact, not many games played in the NFL this season have been won having a mere 7 points or less put up by the winner. There have been 2 wins with 7 points or less scored for the victor; Dallas vs. Washington 7-6 on November 22nd, and Cleveland vs. Buffalo 6-3 on October 11th. The odds are that the Minnesota Vikings would not have won without more points on offense.
After the win last week against a frail Cincinnati Bengal team, Adrian Peterson egotistically said: "We wanted to come out and show to ourselves that this is the Vikings team you have seen all year". What will it be after Sunday's performance? Peterson was held to a mere 35 yards with an average of 2.9 yards per carry. He did get his 15th touchdown after a 3rd and 4 yard conversion by Chester Taylor and a go ahead catch by Rice. It seems that both the fans and the media are wanting some answers from specific Pro Bowl quality players as to why they are not together enough to lock in the wins.
Right now, the focus is on Childress and Favre having a conversation, in the midst of a tense game, which may have led Childress to suggest Favre sit while Jackson goes in. Number 4’s audible play calling may have led to some words between him and Chilly. Childress commented that he was concerned that Favre would get injured from being pummeled by the defense. We’d all be naïve to think that these conversations do not happened in the NFL.
There's no doubt that, with Brett Favre at the starting quarterback position for this team, the excuse train is over. For this team to make inroads during the playoffs, the offensive line and the defensive backfield need to step up and do their jobs like men who make millions do. And the marquis talent on the Viking squad needs to become part of the team again. There are no "I's" in TEAM. The Minnesota Vikings are going to have to want and work for everything they achieve in the post season.