A hot start and a flat finish; something that was a common in the Vikings' Week 1 contest, but from this situation comes a plethora of educational material that will help all of us understand what we are seeing.
Now that the dust has settled, it's time to take a quick run through today's game, and see what we did in fact learn.
I know this team, and I know I have to be judicial as a writer, but whenever Fred Pagac wants to adjust after halftime just let me and the Minnesota faithful know.
Eerily similar to the Chargers game in Week one, the Bucs themselves adjusted by not even targeting their outside receivers in the opening drive in the third. Instead, they chose to go underneath to the backs, slot men, and tight ends to move the chains.
The problem was, the Vikings—again—never adjusted!
The buck HAS to stop here, Minnesota, or this will be a much longer season for a team who is better on the field than they are on paper.
I said at the halftime adjustment that if you let josh Freeman lurk around he will find ways to win (paraphrasing, of course).
I also said that Tampa Bay is a team that is very young and built on utilizing momentum. Put the two together, and you have a second half collapse that should not have happened.
Which leads me into my third point...
I know it's only been two games, but doesn't it seem as if the Vikings' coaching staff doesn't seem to have a full 4 quarter grasp on their competition?
It's as if the team comes in, realizes—initially—what the competition is doing and molds themselves around that notion.
Minnesota has to have a full set of eyes on the competition for four full quarters in order to finish out a game.
Speaking of which...
It is clear that the Vikings have a distinct issue with closing out a game and preserving a win.
Whether you feel it to be the team getting complacent, or just making a lot of bad calls, it is still a problem. It doesn't matter if you are winning by 30 points; you still need to know how to close a game properly.
The Vikings either fix that right now, or never.
Let's make no mistake here, the Vikings showed that they are in fact a team that can play ball, move the chains, and otherwise shed the stigma that they are a team that isn't going anywhere.
But they have thus far, shown that they can't shake that monkey.
The Vikings need to realize that they do have enough talent to win, but until that happens, they will show the preseason analysis to be true.
The Vikings, again, showed that they cannot close out a winning contest, which is a problem. But the Vikings also showed that they have more than enough talent to close out a winning contest.
It's just a matter of four quarter execution.