Vikings vs. Bears: 5 Things We Learned from Minnesota's 39-10 Loss
After an uplifting victory a week ago, the Minnesota Vikings fell in a monumental way, leaving many questions on the table, and a few lessons to be learned.
The game against the Bears was an important one, not only because it was a divisional match, but also it was supposed to be a game in which the Vikings were going to build momentum.
So much for that.
Let's see what lessons came out of this nightmare.
Chrisitian Ponder Looked Pretty Good
He moved the chains, picked up first down after first down, and otherwise looked a lot sharper than Donovan McNabb.
The keynote to mention here is how fast the ball came out of Ponder's hand, and how accurately it made its way to the intended receiver.
At this point, it's time to let Ponder try his hand at winning.
Donovan McNabb Needs to Be Sat
Earlier this week, there was some speculation that McNabb was throwing with a tired arm, and that was the reason for his inaccuracy and lack of velocity in his throws.
But there is still little talk that discusses McNabb's tendency to hold the ball way too long, and his penchant for making terrible decisions in play.
There is no longer a reason to have McNabb leading this team.
Peterson's Void Was Felt
The Bears eliminated Peterson right off the bat by jumping on the Vikings and it worked wonders.
But it once again showed that when you don't run Peterson all that much—in this game 12 runs...that's it—the offense struggles to win games.
It was just one week ago that the Vikings let Peterson out of the gate, and it worked wonders, but against the Bears this week they did the complete opposite...which leads me to my next slide.
A Pending Coaching Change?
The time has come for the organization to consider a change in their coaching because Frazier isn't getting the job done CONSISTENTLY.
Frazier has kept McNabb in way too long, mismanaged his own player personnel and has been unable to get his other coaches to repair their own issues.
A good captain will right his ship at some point during the voyage; a bad captain will be the reason the ship is sinking.
Frazier is just a bad captain.
Small Ideas Work Wonders
I'm not an NFL coach, but it doesn't take one to understand where a team is going wrong, or how a team can improve.
More often than not, it is the little things and tiny changes that can fix a growing problem and I have discovered just a few:
- Don't blitz on the opening drive against a team with a lot of speed down-field. It has hurt you in the past and learning from one's mistakes is paramount.
- Run more, block less. This is a team that can open holes for the best RB in the NFL, but couldn't block a B squad out of their local high-school. Play the run first, and the O-line doesn't have to block as much, and the TYPES of plays you get to utilize with a successful ground attack, changes the blocking schemes.
- If you continue to play as a divided team, then you will eventually separate and fail individually without ever being able to piece things back together—play unified.
We all know that the Vikings have plenty of talent, and have played in many winnable games this year, but it has been a rash of idiosyncrasies, and a few reoccurring problem that have stood in their way which can be resolved with smaller solutions.
The Packers are the next team on deck, and if something doesn't happen soon, this team will be reeling before it knows it.
Stay tuned later this week for an official extended breakdown of the Packers and Vikings.