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vikings.com Mailbag - 10/23

Posted Oct 23, 2009

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Friday we’ll post several comments or questions as part of the Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to Mike Wobschall at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

During the Baltimore game, the Vikings continued to try and run the ball while in the red zone, and failed every time, settling for a FG. Why didn’t they let Brett Favre throw for a guaranteed TD? They ran on 1st and 2nd down, giving Favre only 1 shot! I feel that the play calling in the red zone almost cost the Vikings the game. The Vikings want to be a running team, however, in the red zone they fail to get 6 points!

-- Jim Ziegler, vikings.com Blog commenter

Not counting FG attempts, the Vikings had 15 red zone snaps against Baltimore, 9 of which were running plays and 6 of which were passing plays. So the Vikings didn’t try to run the ball every time in the red zone, nor did they fail every time they reached the red zone. The Vikings had 6 red zone possessions and scored 3 TDs and 3 FGs.

In fact, the Vikings have the NFL’s #1 ranked red zone offense, as they score TDs on 65.2% of their red zone possessions.

So Jim, while I’m sure your frustration with the Vikings red zone offense stems from head coach Brad Childress’ decision to run 3 times on the final red zone possession and settle for a FG instead of passing it, especially on 3rd and 9, you also have to keep the facts in mind and not make false claims.

Lastly, as fans you have the right to be upset that the Vikings ran 3 times in that final red zone possession. Personally, I would’ve run on 1st and 2nd down and thrown a pass on 3rd down. But you should also acknowledge that this is a matter of opinion and it was a judgment Childress had to make in a split second and without the benefit of hindsight, which we all are able to use in second-guessing his decision. He wanted to force Baltimore to use its final timeout and put the game in his defense’s hands. You might not like it or agree with it, but you have to at least respect the decision and understand the reasoning behind it. Coaches are paid to push the right buttons and, in the process, win games. So far, Childress has done both of those things well.

I have been a Viking fan my whole life, but please tell me that it’s not true that the Vikings are coming to CA! Minnesota will be a sad place without Vikings football.

-- Justin, Long Beach, CA

It hasn’t quite gotten to that point, but if the Vikings don’t get a new stadium a move to California is not out of the questions. Again, we’re not to that point yet because the Vikings still have a lease with Mall of America Field at the HHH Metrodome, but time will continue to run out and it’s important that our state leaders tackle this issue and find a solution that will keep the Vikings in Minnesota.

What can the Vikings do to stop long pass plays?

-- Vikings Fan From Afar, vikings.com Blog commenter

This commenter is right in that giving up big plays is an issue for the Vikings defense, and, specifically, giving up big passing plays is of concern. The Vikings have allowed 26 plays of 20+ yards, which is the 3rd most in the NFL. Of those 26 big plays, 24 of them are passes, which is tied for 2nd most, and 6 of those 24 big passes have gone for TDs, which is 4th most in the league.

So, it’s an issue for the Vikings and it’s an issue you can be assured assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is working on right now. He said during his press conference on Thursday that he knows his unit can play better and that he’s confident they will improve.

One of the factors, in my opinion, is poor tackling. I can think of several instances where missed tackles have allowed opposing ball-carriers to break big plays.

We’ll close out today’s mailbag feature with a comment from a member of our Armed Forces. Thank you, Kristopher, for your service.

“I am in the military and currently in Afghanistan. I grew up in Minnesota and have always been a fan of the Vikings. Seeing the Vikings play on Sundays is definitely one of the only things I look forward to all week. I just wanted to share that information. The Vikings are doing great and in many cases (like my own) it has been one of the greatest things to look forward to every week. Skol Vikings!” -- Kristopher Janke

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