Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Vikings Losses - What's to Blame?
During the Minnesota Vikings current tail spin and free fall from top of the NFC North much has been made of the injuries the team has sustained, most notably to the Offensive Line (hammered again and again by injuries),Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater.
To be fair, many teams have been faced with major issues. Some how the good teams find a way to win games. The Vikings weren't complaining too much when they won five games in a row. They seemed to relish in the fact that they were winning despite their injuries.
It's the Offensive Line's Fault for the Losses?
The Vikings have gone 1-6 in their last six games. Now the Vikings world wants us to know that their offensive line has been decimated and been offensive.
The critics of the Offensive line might be on to something. The Vikings have been terrible in the running game all year and Sam Bradford has to be Superman in order to get a pass off before he's pummeled, sacked and knocked around.
So the injuries to the Offensive Line have had an impact but let's go back over the years. Aren't we talking every season and post-season about the putrid offensive line and their lack of protection for their quarterbacks?
How many quarterbacks of years past spent more time on their hiney than on their feet? So, while we blame injuries on the offensive line's problems this season, maybe we should ponder (no pun intended) that there's more at play than injuries alone.
Other Issues to Blame?
Where do I start? There are many issues that have come in to play with the Vikings past 6 losses. Special Teams, defensive breakdowns and untimely mistakes by the offense have all come into play.
It's important to note that the Vikings had a chance of winning four of their six losses (Detroit twice, Washington and Dallas).
Before Blair Walsh was released for stinking up the field due to missed extra points and field goals, we blamed him for the team's losses. He sure had a hand in them but in some of those games, the Vikings still had chances to win those games.
The defense has also blown some games with last second touchdown drives by their opponents and missed opportunities to close out games. Don't get me wrong, the defense has been the star of this team and have kept them in games that they had no place being in but they have also had their breakdowns.
Then there's Adam Thielen's fumble while trying to catch a punt that cost the team last Thursday's game to the Dallas Cowboys. There's also some untimely interceptions that Bradford has thrown. Sam has been great in keeping interceptions to a minimum but with little room for error any interception is a killer for the Vikings, especially if it occurs in the red zone or in the end zone!
I could go on and on but when I have to determine what's to blame for the Vikings losses, I conclude that the whole team is to blame. That may be cop-out but that's how I see it.
There's a lot of blame and bad luck to go around with this team. The Vikings could easily be an 8-4 team heading into week 14. What's kept them from that record is bad plays by many players on both sides of the line!