Hello. How are you? Not good? Me Neither.
I am just going to come out and say it. The season is over. The Vikings are not making the playoffs. We had to win this game versus the Cowboys and looked as if we had multiple games to give, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
There are many things that I could pick apart in watching this game, but I want to focus on two of the main issues that I am seeing. The first is the play calling when the Vikings have a lead with less than five minutes to play. We saw this two weeks ago in the Bears game. They were able to get a first down, then played conservative, giving the ball back to the Bears. The Bears then marched down the field and Foles missed the game winning touchdown by inches on an overthrow.
In today’s NFL there is no lead that is sacred, let alone a one possession lead. When the Vikings got the ball back for their final drive with 5:54 on the clock and got one first down, then three and out, I knew the game was over. Dallas had the ball with four minutes left and we hadn’t been able to stop the run at all. For God’s sake, Dallas rushed for 180 yards. The play calling seemed stagnant and with two incomplete passes didn’t even take two minutes off the clock. Then, after getting gashed on the return, which basically cut the field in half, the defense gives up a 18 yard gain to Elliott and couldn’t make a stop on 4th and 6 at their 29.
I know that’s why the game is played, but it seems as a fan who has watched this happen countless times, that we have the ball towards the end of the game, with a lead and BLOW IT. I understand scoring and making it 28 – 24 and the other team marching down for the win, that happens. But to have the ball with 5:54 left and only get one first down and not bleed the clock is INSANE.
I am unsure of the root cause for my second point, which is the defense. I think it’s the play calling, but I am not sure. I think the play calling has been too conservative. Quarterbacks are able to have too much time to let receivers find the holes in our zone schemes and it’s killing us.
Either way, it was a fun three game ride. Fuck the Packers, Bears and Lions, I am glad we beat them all once. At 4-6, I think 9-7 would be the cut off, but no way we only lose one more game this season. A lot of questions to answer this off season to see what direction the team decides to take. Right now, it seems like we are in limbo, not quite good enough to be in the hunt, but not shitty enough to not have any expectations every Sunday. Expectations for next Sunday? We will probably get blown out as -4.5 point favorites.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, I am Thankful that Hockey season starts soon.