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Do you think with the addition of
I can’t speak for individual players or the team as a whole in terms of whether they were distracted, but from my observations last week of the team and its individual components during practice and around the facility I can’t use either the Freeman acquisition or Peterson’s off-field situation as an excuse for what transpired against Carolina on the field. I didn’t have a problem with the Vikings energy level or effort, particularly in the early stages of the game, and that’s where a distracted team (or players) would be exposed. What I saw was a Vikings team that was simply out-performed on the field in nearly every way by their opponent. Carolina was the better team on Sunday and the Vikings must respond to that this week by getting past this loss and moving forward to prepare to travel to New York to face the Giants on Monday Night Football.
What could make such a big difference in the team in one year? Especially the defense because it looks like other teams have the confidence to score at will. And teams are also confident they can stop the Vikings offense. What's up with the Vikings this year? It's impossible to point fingers. It's a team game.
-- Gary R.
If I could put my finger on exactly “what’s up” with the Vikings this season, I would march up to the front office and share that knowledge. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as identifying one or two issues, correcting them and then watching things unfold favorably the rest of the way. At various times this season, different aspects of the team have performed well while others have struggled. Then it seems at a different moment the performances are flip-flopped, and the Vikings just can’t get everything going in the right direction at the same time. That is a vague explanation but I think it’s also true. For example, the Vikings defense did a great job early in the season of taking the ball away – they were tied for third in the NFL with 12 takeaways after their Week 4 win against the Steelers. At the same time, though, the Vikings defense struggled with containing opposing running backs and that issue helped lead to defeats at the hands of the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears early in the season.
The bottom line is this Vikings team has the talent to win games and get back in the mix this season. This year’s roster is more talented than last year’s roster, and last year’s roster put together a 10-win season. In order to turn things around, the Vikings must improve a lot of areas and become a more consistent team that is capable of putting together a complete performance.
When will the coaches see that
-- Terrel T.
The coaches understand who is playing well and who isn’t. They watch the games, they break down the film, they conduct practices and break down the film of that, and then they meet together to discuss personnel and strategy. I can assure you they have a good grasp of which players are playing well and which players aren’t. Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier was asked specifically about Robinson during his post-game press conference on Sunday. Here’s what he said:
“There are some things that we want him to do better. We rotated Marcus in there with him some and we’ll evaluate it this week and just see what’s going on at that position.”
That affirms to me what I wrote above – that the coaches are aware of Robinson’s (and everyone else’s) performance. We’ll have to wait and see what happens this week and how next week’s game plays out, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Vikings continue to experiment with the idea of playing Sherels a bit more on defense.
The one caveat to this is the injury to
We should be more creative with our offensive plays. When I heard
-- Ben H. (age 15)
Rochester, MN (Go
This is a fair viewpoint and a suggestion I hear a lot from fans. But I would also submit to this discussion the idea that at times the Vikings struggle to execute some of the basic elements of their offense, such as the running game on Sunday against Carolina. The Vikings bread and butter is the power running game, with Peterson running behind fullback
Do you feel the rest of the season will simply be to determine if we have a future quarterback or plan on looking to the 2014 draft to find one?
-- Charles D.
That should be part of the team’s long-term plan, but I don’t believe that should be the singular goal for the rest of the season. I understand sitting at 1-4 at this point is discouraging and is far from where we all envisioned the Vikings being, but it’s not time to fold up shop, give up on 2013 and look to next season. Now is the time for the Vikings to look at what’s led to four losses in five games, correct the errors and find a way to improve and start winning games. There were plenty of moments last season when people counted the Vikings out, yet they ripped off four consecutive wins to close the season and make the playoffs. Going back to 2008, there were plenty of moments when people counted the Vikings out, but they finished the season well and wound up winning the division. There is no place in the NFL for teams and players that give up, and I don’t expect this Vikings team to fall into that pitfall.