My apologies to start as I have failed to comment on the past few games — travel for work, office relocation etc. Great game to come back to the boards with, though……..
- Un-Zimmer Like: This is perhaps the most un-Zimmer like played game ever. The team started flat and I have gotten use to that though I don’t understand it. But usually pride rises up, especially in the defense, and the games are always close. Not in this case. The tackling was poor the effort non-existent. I don’t need to go on, we all saw it. But why is the important question. There has to be something behind the scenes totally screwing with the player’s mindset. We have heard rumors about infighting on the offensive coaching staff but this seeped deep into the defensive team. I am somewhat worried that Zimmer has begun to play favorites on who he plays. There is something behind the scenes that lead us here.
- Underachieving Players: It is startling the number of players who are underschieving this year as compared to overachieving. Start with Barr who looks like a shell of his old self. It is amazing seeing how easily he is blocked this year, he simply cannot or will not shed blockers this year. Last year, remember how he would catch players from behind and cause fumbles. I can’t think of one stellar play by Barr this year. Boone is below average in everything. I would also say Griffen has taken a step back. Berger has gone back to average (which is where he should be anyways). Fusco no longer has the promise of his younger years. Look at the players who have stepped up this year and you are looking mostly at the DBs such as Captain, Sendejo, Rhodes, Waynes. I only other players I would add are Sirles and Patterson — but Patterson is largely due to them writing him back into the playbook.
- Oline. The Vikes need to get an 100% Oline coach. Look what the Colts did starting three rookies yesterday. Sparano has been a disaster. I am blaming him for the Boone pick-up and the Beaver draft. Yes, you can blame Spielman also but Spielman has done quite well when given good input by the coaching staff in selecting the right players. Yes, there have been injuries but the Colt’s oline performance yesterday proves the value of great Oline coaching. I would fire Sparano in the offseason.
- Stupidest Penalty Ever. I don’t think I will ever see a stupider penalty in my life time than a 320+ pound dlineman trying to jump over a center to block a short kick. Which leads me to my next, most import point.
- Playing Within Yourself and the System. One of the things about a Zimmer coached team, until yesterday, is everyone plays within themselves and the scheme. When you have a Joseph trying to jump over the center, you are no longer playing within themselves, instead they are trying to be the hero in a heroless system. It happened throughout that game, especially on Bradford’s interception and AP’s fumble, players were trying to do too much and not playing within the system. It is what Captain did in Zimmer’s first year. You start to freelance in a Zimmer system to make big plays and you are going to be exposed. Yesterday you could see it on both sides of the ball, players trying to make the big play and getting burned.
- AP. Of course AP fumbled. He was destined to fumble. AP is probably the ideal example of someone who always wants to be the hero and prove he is indispensable. That is why the Vikes have lost big games, AP tries to be the hero and fumbles. He so desperately wants to carry this team that he takes gambles and against good teams, gambles rarely pay off. I am done with AP as think he becomes more of a detriment as the games grow more important.
- Vikings Pee: The kicker and punter.