Determining the 5 Minnesota Vikings Most to Blame for Disappointing Season

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IDecember 14, 2011

Determining the 5 Minnesota Vikings Most to Blame for Disappointing Season

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    This was a rough season for the Minnesota Vikings and their fans, but who exactly is to blame?

    While pointing fingers isn't exactly the way we figure out who is at fault, it surely is a good starting point, and today I have a few select individuals who I believe shoulder the most blame for a terrible season.

    So let's find out who the culprits were and why, shall we?

Bernard Berrian

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    In the grand scheme of things, this guy should not have even been in the starting lineup from Day One this season, and he was clearly one of the main reasons for the Vikings' demise.

    Berrian never truly lived up to his hype of cost, and played about as poorly as a player could, clearly showing he was giving much less than his all. When you play like that, it never bodes well for the team.

    Even ESPN 1500 Twin Cities confirms this notion, saying Bernard Berrian was released by the Vikings because not only did he not care about improving, he never even had any interest in the team.

Fred Pagac

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    Say what you will, but defensive coordinator Fred Pagac deserves to shoulder a great deal of the blame here.

    Pagac, at times, dialed up some of the best defensive plays I've seen this year, but that was mainly in game-time situations only.

    When it came to actually preserving a lead, or even preventing a team from nabbing that crucial first down, he simply came up short more often than not.

    The Vikings played competitively in nearly every game this season, with at least six or seven of those games being lost by a last-minute defensive collapse...sorry, Fred.

Donovan McNabb

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    This one's a little tricky.

    In the grand scheme of things, perhaps it wasn't totally McNabb's fault the Vikings suffered this disappointing season, but he does have his slice cut away, too.

    McNabb showed flashes of his old self, but did so in such an inconsistent manner, that it never really amounted to much while he was a quarterback in Minny.

    Yes, McNabb did not have a lot of time to learn an offensive style that he had never played in before, and perhaps that is a big reason for his lack of success, but as the adage goes: if the shoe fits.

Anthony Herrera

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    Yeah that's right, pal, I'm talking about you.

    Herrera has been absolutely miserable this season, playing well below his own watermark, and subsequently shouldering some of the load here for this terrible season.

    Herrera not only played poorly, and showed horrible inconsistency blocking for the QB, but he he was never able to stay completely healthy, either, making him a natural liability all season long.

    If Herrera doesn't turn the corner next season, it will be time to fork over the pink slip.

Leslie Frazier

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    Again, pointing fingers doesn't get anybody anywhere, but when you're the head honcho, the blame always falls on your shoulders.

    The shortened offseason, and CBA debacle obviously had its effect on this team, but all 32 NFL teams went through the same issue, so we can't really isolate that reason as an excuse.

    No, the old saying is true in that you win as a team, you lose as a team.

    For Frazier, however, there were a few idiosyncrasies that defined his 2011 season which included poor player management, and terrible in-game management which was a huge reason for the Vikings disappointing season.

    Frazier, however, deserves at least one more chance, in my opinion.

    Between the shortened season and not having the greatest skill players at certain positions, the Vikings still played nose to nose with nearly every team this season, and with a few tweaks, this team could very much be in the hunt for a playoff spot right now.

    There's enough reason to sort of pinpoint whose "fault" it was for this season, but there is also enough to suggest the Vikings are not only better than their record suggests, but certainly on the right path.

    Every dark cloud has a silver lining.