Final Quarter Pros & Cons
With four games left to go and much uncertainty about the future for the Vikings I decided to take a look at the possibilities for the Purple & Gold. There are two outstanding paths. The path to a football abyss or the path to the mountain top. So take a look and let me know what you think!
Now onto the game.
The Vikings start a four game run which will make or break their season. It's not news to say that this is the most important portion of their season. It's also fair to say that it may be the easiest stretch of it as well. Can that combination of factors before enough for them to will themselves to a record that many of us thought would have been a foregone conclusion little more then a month ago. Today was the Jacksonville Cubs err Jaguars...no, Cubs.
Goal Line Offense - I'm taking this down from 10 to 8 stars because the offense still managed 25. Cracking 40 points was not only possible, it was probable and that they came up empty on the goal line like they did is a huge red flag. I'm not putting all the blame on Asiata for how it worked out but it's more then just bad luck.
Goal Line Play Calling - Matt Asiata is a short yardage back. The Vikings have regularly utilized the wildcat offense. Why those two facts were not combined at the goal line is beyond me. A shot gun snap could have been disastrous but put your power back under center with a full back behind him and just push. Easier said then done but come on!
Injuries - No "serious" injuries that I'm aware of but a couple concussions are like a whipped cream of insult on top of the injury sundae that the team keeps eating.
Field goals instead of TDs - I'm reaching a little bit on this one but 12 - 9 is a gross football score. Credit the defenses for both teams for preventing touchdowns but having to settle for that many field goals is a losing proposition. Each team figured it out but I'm still not a fan of the way the early scoring played out.
Winning - It was a closer game then I thought it was going to be or should have been but getting #7 is important. The hole may be too deep for the team to make the playoffs but winning to push that first round pick down is an acceptable secondary outcome.
Deep Passes - During the broadcast it was mentioned that the Vikings only had four passes of 40 yards, I think it was 40 yards. At that point in the game they had three in the game. LOVE IT!!! Merely trying them is nice, actually completing them takes it to a whole nother level!
Jaguar Hunting - Everson Griffen may have had the most impactful individual performance but I couldn't think of a word play for his name. Add that to Danielle Hunter just being a force over the last few weeks and he gets the nod. Fact is that the whole defense was on point today. Allen Robinson was contained. As was the scrambling ability of Blake Bortles. This was an extremely replicatable outing for the defense, even without the best Safety in the NFL and bodes well for the stretch run.
The Maligned - Get the word play? (muh-lined) Yeah I'm talking about the offensive line. Mash unit though they are, I came out of yesterday not even thinking about them, which is ultimately the goal for the offensive line.
Adam Thielen - He came back from last week's fumble with a flurry today. Only four catches but totaling them for 101 dalmatians works every time! Man, if Treadwell manages even just the same level of improvement that Waynes has made this year, by next season, this receiving core will be AWESOME.
The Pirate - Not making light of Zimmer's eye issues and I wish him the best in his recovery from the latest surgery. I couldn't help but picture Zimmer as a pirate while on the sideline. Rockin a fancy eye patch would have only enhanced the perception! The Pirate Viking leader.
For those who may wonder, it's not an intentional Christmas theme. It was actually an accident that I hadn't identified til today. Now that that's out of the way.