Monday, November 5, 2012

Can the Vikings Salvage the Season?

The question that I'm asking this Monday, the day after the Minnesota Vikings were spanked by the Seattle Seahawks is this; can the 2012 season be salvaged? Can they turn this season around? I think that the Vikings are doomed this year. They still have the toughest part of their schedule remaining and they are on a downward spiral. It doesn't look good for our club.

The Vikings sit at 5-4 and are in 3rd place in the NFC North. Chicago is 7-1 and the surging Green Bay Packers are now 6-3. Even the lowly Detroit Lions are breathing down the backs of the Vikings. The Lions are 4-4. It's looking more and more like the Vikings will end the season at the bottom of the division.

That was to be expected heading into the 2012 NFL season but the Vikings did what they are so good at. The toyed with Vikings fans emotions and played a little game of gotcha. For a few brief weeks, fans were thinking that maybe this season would end on a positive note. The defense was playing much better and keeping the team in games and 2nd year QB, Christian Ponder looked like he had made major strides from 2011.

Then it all came crashing down. Ponder has regressed in the past 5 weeks. He looks like he lacks the confidence that is needed by a starting NFL QB. He is making poor decisions and seems to be rattled. He doesn't react quickly enough when receives are actually open and he panics when facing pressure.

It would be easy to say that this is a sophomore jinx but Ponder's playing or lack thereof is concerning. I think we now know what we have in Ponder. He might be a capable backup who can come into a game when the pressure is not on the line but when the pressure is there, Ponder seems to shy away from it and react poorly.

Folks, that's the hand that the club has inherited but as I asked above, can the Vikings reverse the trend of past couple of weeks? It's not like they have a backup that exudes confidence. They have Joe Webb but the jury is still out on him. It isn't likely that things will get better. I think they will get much worse.

It seems that the best approach is to start Ponder for a few more games. See if he can make any strides and see if he can turn things around. If it's looking like Ponder isn't making the necessary strides that the coaching staff would like to see, it might be a good opportunity for Joe Webb to get a few starts. Let's see what we have in Webb.

The longer term requirement for management, in my opinion, is looking for a QB that can lead this team. This is one of the areas that Vikings management has failed miserably in the past 5 years. The team needs to solve this issue and solve it soon.

It's one thing to blame the defense for giving up 30 points and allowing a team to run all over them but when they are on the field for 36 minutes a game, there isn't much they can do. Yes, the Vikings offense possessed the ball for only 24 minutes on Sunday. The problem with the Vikings rests with their offense.

The Vikings offense needs to solve their QB dilemma and also find a couple of capable receivers. No matter how bad Ponder has been and he has been atrocious, it's not like he has any weapons to go to. The only bright spot on the offense is Peterson who accounted for almost all the offense against Seattle. That's not good enough. One guy can't be the whole offense.

The Vikings have a number of areas to address on their offense. The first one has to be Christian Ponder and the QB position. They need a true leader, a guy who can face adversity and pressure head on. They can't have a QB who is scared of pressure and adversity. That kind of QB isn't successful in the NFL.

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