December 13, 2013

Vikings quarterbacks since 2005

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 14:39

The Vikings are the only team in the NFC North who don’t have a franchise quarterback. This is not a new situation, as the last player aside from Brett Favre in 2009 who fits that description was Daunte Culpepper. 1500ESPN‘s Phil Mackey says that Minnesota fans have become so inured to the Vikings’ quarterback woes that they no longer even recognize what a great quarterback can do:

The last time the Minnesota Vikings had a quarterback throw for 300 yards and zero interceptions was Week 17 of 2009 — nearly four years ago. There have been 41 such performances in the NFL this season alone.

Let that sink in.

We see Christian Ponder throw for 233 yards and a touchdown in a Week 12 game against Green Bay and we say, “Hey! That was pretty good! We want more of that!” We see Matt Cassel outperforming Ponder and say, “See? Look what this offense can do with Cassel at the helm!”

Meanwhile, 16 quarterbacks threw for more yards than Ponder that week. Nine threw multiple touchdowns with no interceptions. And, meanwhile, 23 quarterbacks have a higher passer rating than Cassel (84.9) this season, and 27 have a higher QBR.

I’m convinced our recent quarterback famine here in Minnesota has led us all to become football masochists.


Now, I get it. The 2009 version of Brett Favre isn’t walking through that door. Josh Freeman probably won’t help either. The Vikings can only shuffle cards that are in the deck. Yet, in our world — a world filled over the past eight seasons with a chubby Donovan McNabb, a brittle Gus Frerotte, a nervous Tarvaris Jackson and a thankful Brooks Bollinger — 265 yards and two touchdowns from Cassel looks like Air Coryell.

Outside of Favre’s last hurrah in 2009, we’ve been entrenched in quarterback purgatory since Daunte Culpepper shredded his knee in 2005. Forget about the Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings. We’ve become so far removed from what quality QB play looks like that we’ve lost track of what an average quarterbacking performance looks like on a weekly basis.

You need to look no further than Green Bay to see what happens when a team that’s used to consistent star performance at the quarterback position suddenly has to rely on backups, third-stringers, and waiver-wire pick-ups.

March 7, 2012

Perhaps the NFL doesn’t want too many people watching the 2009 NFC championship game right now

Filed under: Football, Media — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 00:03

I retweeted a post from the Daily Norseman yesterday to the effect that the NFL Network had, without warning, pulled a scheduled re-broadcast of the 2009 NFC championship between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings. Gregg Easterbrook perhaps explains why:

The Vikings-Saints NFC title game two years ago may have been where the Saints’ deliberate rule-breaking was worst. Immediately after that game, I wrote, “Saints players came after [Brett] Favre so hard — four times slamming him in ways that invited late-hit or roughing penalties, only two of which were called — Williams [seems to have] told his charges something along the lines of, ‘Pound Favre every time you can; we will take a couple of roughing flags in return for making an old guy worry about the next hit.'”

So did I do a good job by noting two years ago what is suddenly considered obvious? No, I did a terrible job. Yesterday I watched every New Orleans defensive snap of that game and found four, not two, instances in which unnecessary roughness should have been called against the Saints but was not. In retrospect, my column should have led with dirty play by the Saints. The four unnecessary roughness penalties that were not called:

  • On the game’s first snap, Favre handed off, turned away from the play and was hammered with a forearm to the chin by New Orleans linebacker Scott Fujita. Not only should a personal foul have been called — Fujita should have been ejected on the game’s first offensive snap. Instead, no call. Scott, were you paid for behaving like a street thug?
  • At 6:14 of the first quarter, after Favre released a pass he was hit with a forearm to the chin by safety Roman Harper. No flag. Roman, were you paid for delivering that cheap shot?
  • At 4:15 of the first quarter, Favre released a pass and then Darren Sharper slammed him in the chest with a foreman. No flag. Darren, were you paid for having low standards?
  • At 13:29 of the second quarter, Favre released a pass and then was hurled to the ground by Bobby McCray. No flag. Bobby, were you paid for doing something you should be ashamed of?

Reviewing the tape, another aspect of the game jumped out at me that I missed when watching live, and so far as I can tell, all sportscasters and commentators missed, too. Beginning midway through the first quarter, whenever Favre handed off, he immediately ran backward 10 yards — to get away from New Orleans late hits.

And the assistant coach who ran the bounty operation? What a piece of work he is:

Gregg Williams has a classy first name, but may be a man of twisted values. Monday on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Mike Pesca dug up audio of Williams speaking after the Saints’ Super Bowl win. Williams says, “My whole life … I’ve been trying to get people to play nastier.” Can he seriously think lack of aggression is a problem in football? Williams also had this to say about his two sons’ youth football days: “I told their little league coaches my kids will play fast, they’re going to play nasty, they’re going to play tough. Tell the rest of the babies around them to speed up.”

What kind of a man boasts that his sons are nasty and denounces as “babies” 10-year-olds who want to participate in a sport safely? Williams needs to take a long look in the mirror — and by his distorted values, he has forfeited any claim to a leadership role.

The NFL has a bigger problem than figuring out how to discipline the New Orleans Saints players and coaching staff. Perhaps that is why no penalties have yet been announced. The bigger problem for the NFL is that they need to retain the aggression and the passion, yet clearly enforce and be seen to enforce the rules against deliberate attempts to harm other players. If they miss this opportunity, expect politicians (in an election year where media exposure is even more important than usual) to jump in and start trying to do it for them.

March 3, 2012

New Orleans to rename NFL team after “bounty hunting” revealed

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 11:05

Football is a fast, hard, dangerous game. But the New Orleans Saints made it that bit more dangerous for their opponents by offering head-hunting bonuses for injuring players during the game. This is against NFL rules, and it’s rather surprising to find that players earning hundreds of thousands per year could be motivated by such relatively trivial sums ($1,000 to $1,500 for knocking players out of the game):

The National Football League on Friday found the New Orleans Saints guilty of a wide-ranging system of bounty payments to between 22 and 27 defensive players from 2009 through 2011, and player-safety-conscious commissioner Roger Goodell could bring the hammer down very hard on the franchise.

The most alarming finding by the league, according to one club source who was briefed on the investigation late Friday afternoon, was this: Before the 2009 NFC Championship Game, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered any defensive teammate $10,000 in cash to knock then-Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the game. Favre was hit viciously several times in the game. Favre told SI.com Friday evening: “I’m not pissed. It’s football. I don’t think anything less of those guys.”

The details of Vilma’s offer were in a report to the 32 NFL owners, sent out by the league to detail further what the league’s 50,000-page investigation found.

Early indications late Friday afternoon were that the sanctions against the Saints and their former defensive coordinator who the league said administered the bounties, Gregg Williams, will be severe. The league said the penalties could include suspensions, fines and loss of draft choices — the latter of which could be particularly damaging to the Saints, who do not own a first-round pick this year. Their first choice will be late in the second round, the 59th overall … unless Goodell takes the pick away.

Football is a rough sport, but Goodell needs to crack down on this with enough force to send a message to the entire league. Taking away New Orleans’ draft picks would certainly be a punishment of that magnitude.

August 8, 2011

ESPN’s new attempt at a more accurate Quarterback rating system

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 17:25

The existing quarterback ranking is hard to understand and concentrates on the “passing” side of the quarterback’s job. ESPN is introducing a more broad-based ranking system:

The Total Quarterback Rating is a statistical measure that incorporates the contexts and details of throws and what they mean for wins. It’s built from the team level down to the quarterback, where we understand first what each play means to the team, then give credit to the quarterback for what happened on a play based on what he contributed.

[. . .]

Total QBR Basics

A quick primer on the fundamentals of Total Quarterback Rating:

Scoring: 0-100, from low to high. An average QB would be at 50.
Win Probability: All QB plays are scored based on how much they contribute to a win. By determining expected point totals for almost any situation, Total QBR is able to apply points to a quarterback based on every type of play he would be involved in.
Dividing Credit: Total QBR factors in such things as overthrows, underthrows, yards after the catch and more to accurately determine how much a QB contributes to each play.
Clutch Index: How critical a certain play is based on when it happens in a game is factored into the score.

Under the new ranking, Brett Favre’s performance gets a lot less impressive (if an average QB would score 50 points):

  • 2008 – New York Jets – 41.7
  • 2009 – Minnesota Vikings – 63.1
  • 2010 – Minnesota Vikings – 25.8

August 1, 2011

Since 1992, the Vikings have made AARP stand for “Always Available to Retire in Purple”

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 11:01

I think it’s safe to say that Jim Souhan has missed football during the lockout. Here he is, discussing the Vikings’ long-term habit of bringing in older quarterbacks:

Our local football franchise has become the Mystic Lake Casino of NFL quarterbacks, bringing you the biggest names of the ’80s and ’90s today.

While other franchises roll the dice on unproven talent, the Vikings would rather comfort you with the football equivalents of Stevie Nicks and Foreigner.

[. . .]

Since Denny Green wrongly benched promising young Rich Gannon in the middle of the 1992 season in favor of the always regrettable Sean Salisbury, the Vikings have made AARP stand for “Always Available to Retire in Purple.”

[. . .]

Randall Cunningham won the Player of the Year that season, taking the Vikings to the NFC title game. That’s when he should have retired, again.

In ’99, Cunningham quickly lost his job to Jeff George, who coined the term “Slappy” for backstabbing backups, rallied the Vikings to the playoffs, and then was banished by Green.

In 2000, For the second time since Gannon’s benching, the Vikings gave the starting job to one of their own, Daunte Culpepper, who took them to the NFC title game and might have won it if not for the New York Giants stealing the Vikings’ plays and asking nicely that Wasswa Serwanga not cover their receivers.

[. . .]

Brad Johnson bridged the gap to another Vikings draftee, Tarvaris Jackson, who, understanding the Vikings’ role as a nursing home for decrepit quarterbacks, helped find playing time for Kelly Holcombe, Brooks Bollinger, Gus Frerotte (again!), and finally Lord Favre, King Of The Undead.

Since Brett Favre started his first game, Green Bay has used three starting quarterbacks (including Matt Flynn’s cameo). The Vikings have used 16, with the likes of Johnson and Frerotte serving multiple tours.

December 21, 2010

Bears beat Vikings to claim NFC North division title

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:06

The last time the Vikings gave up this many points was a previous game against the Bears, but at least that one was close (48-41 in 2008). This game wasn’t close at all:

Vikings executives spent last week working diligently to make sure Monday night’s game was played in front of their home fans in part because it was meant to serve as a celebration of the franchise’s 50th season in Minnesota.

That was their first mistake.

Given the team’s performance in its 40-14, five-turnover loss to Chicago at TCF Bank Stadium, those execs might have done their fans a greater service by having shifted this game as far away from snowy Minnesota as possible. That way, many in the announced crowd of 40,504 wouldn’t have had to witness a second consecutive listless performance from a team that might have played in the elements but mentally appeared to be in Maui.

The game was supposed to be rookie Joe Webb’s first NFL start, but mirabile dictu the status for Brett Favre was upgraded from “out” to “questionable”, and he somehow managed to get healthy enough to start. It didn’t last too long, though:

Favre’s NFL record consecutive-starts streak had ended at 321 the previous Monday against the Giants because of an injury to his throwing arm and at that point it appeared his career might be finished. But Favre, who has said numerous times this will be his final season, wanted to give playing another shot.

It proved to be a poor idea.

Favre was left lying motionless on the field after taking a crushing hit from defensive end Corey Wootton in the second quarter. He suffered a concussion and was replaced by rookie Joe Webb, who had been scheduled to start in the first place.

Photo from Viking Update.

Webb completed 15 of 26 passes for 129 yards with two interceptions and a 38.8 passer rating and also scrambled six times for 38 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown. But it mattered little against a team that completed a season sweep of the Vikings.

Jim Souhan sent a couple of Twitter updates during the fourth quarter saying that fans were pelting the Vikings bench with snowballs. The quarterbacks were throwing them back, but the Bears players kept intercepting them.

December 17, 2010

Bruce Arthur: “It all falls down”

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 09:37

A lengthy, but pretty accurate, summary of the Vikings 2010 season of futility:

There was no easier metaphor with which to work this year than the collapse of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Well, technically, it’s not called the Metrodome anymore — the naming rights to the field were bought by Mall of America, but naming rights to fields are about the dumbest thing in sports, other than catering endlessly to Brett Favre after the age of 40 and trading a third-round pick for Randy Moss only to cut him after he complains about the buffet.

So when the great white marshmallow Metrodome roof caved in early Sunday morning in epic disaster-movie fashion, caught by the Fox cameras that some enterprising person left rolling all night, the analogies practically wrote themselves. The Vikings were one play from the Super Bowl last season until Brett Favre remembered that interceptions are his business, and business was good. They were that close.

[. . .]

Of course, the weather thing caught up with the Vikings last week, and their game against the Giants had to be moved to Detroit, where fans got in free and did the wave as Favre’s record consecutive games streak came to an end at 297 due to a numb throwing hand. He can still text-message with his left, presumably.

So this week’s game on Monday Night Football will be held at the University of Minnesota’s stadium. Which sounds great, right? Everyone can drink and laugh and wear scarves and toques and have a blast, college-style!

Well, except the seats are general admission, which means there’s going to be a hell of scramble when the doors open, and it’s going to be pretty cold at night in Minnesota, and oh by the way there’s not going to be any booze. So by my watch, the tailgating should begin right about . . . now.

Oh, and the field isn’t built to be used in these kind of conditions — there is no mechanism to heat the field and melt the snow, for example — so expect a skating rink. Plus, Vikings backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is also hurt, so a rookie named Joe Webb will don the ice skates Monday, plus maybe Patrick Ramsey, formerly of Washington Redskins, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins non-fame.

So it’s official: No fan base — not Panthers fans, not Bengals fans, not Broncos fans, not Dallas fans, not Washington fans (never Dallas and Washington fans, never), not even Detroit and Buffalo fans — has had a worse year than the poor boozeless purple suckers who will freeze in the dark on Monday night in Minnesota. Condolences, guys.

Like everyone else, the Two Scotts go for Chicago to win

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 00:06

They’re both so positive, I don’t think they’d change their minds even if Scarlett Johansson was playing quarterback:

Chicago (minus 3) at Minnesota, Monday night

Reid: After 297 consecutive starts, Brett Favre stood on the sideline last week for the first time since 1992. Tarvaris Jackson, a bit more modestly, will see his most recent streak end at exactly…one game. He’ll be back on the sideline for the first time since December 5th. Who will start? Creaky old Favre? Third string quarterback Joe Webb (of Dragnet fame) would be an interesting choice. He’s played a total of one series in the NFL but, on the upside, he is able to operate his body. Did we mention this game will be played outside at the University of Minnesota? Pick: Chicago.

Feschuk: Quite a debut for Tarvaris Jackson last week. I really admired how he would drop back in the pocket, look left, look right, look terrified and then scamper about the backfield in manic slapstick desperation. Had the Giants been dressed as British bobbies, Jackson would have been immediately sued for copyright infringement by the estate of Benny Hill. Pick: Chicago.

December 14, 2010

Jackson fails to impress in relief of Favre

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 07:16

It may have been Tarvaris Jackson’s best chance to prove his value to the Vikings, but he was unable to generate much of a passing game:

It would be nice to say that the transition from Brett Favre to Tarvaris Jackson was smooth and seamless. It also would be untrue.

Finally getting his chance to lay claim to the quarterback position, Jackson played poorly against the New York Giants on Monday night. Save for an early first-quarter drive that resulted in the Vikings’ lone three points, Jackson was terribly erratic, and the offense seemed helpless virtually all night. There were fumbled snaps, trip-ups in the backfield and the usual ghastly interception.

Overall, Jackson completed 15 of 30 passes for 118 yards. He was sacked four times and finished with a 46.2 quarterback rating. The worst part of it was that the Giants were daring him to throw. They were putting eight men up front in an effort to stop Minnesota’s running game. That often left single coverage on the wide receivers.

“We all would have liked for him to play better,” coach Leslie Frazier said gingerly.

It would be unfair to put all the blame on Jackson, however, as the Minnesota run defence allowed two running backs to gain more than 100 yards (after allowing only two 100 yard rushing games since 2006). Between no rush (Adrian Peterson was held to 26 yards on 14 carries), no passing game, and no run defence, the game wasn’t much of a challenge for the Giants.

The roof of the Metrodome turns out to have been a harbinger of the whole Vikings 2010 season: caving in.

December 13, 2010

Favre’s Iron Man streak ends at 297

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 18:07

Just saw an update from the Star Tribune‘s Jim Souhan saying that Brett Favre isn’t on the Vikings’ active roster for tonight’s game. Others on the inactive list are Percy Harvin, Hank Baskett, Tyrell Johnson, Chris Cook, Steve Hutchinson, and Ray Edwards. That’s a lot of talent sitting on the sideline.

Says SouhanStrib: “Does that mean he’ll wear Wranglers and cut-off t-shirt on sideline, with a sweaty golf cap? Maybe a piece of grass between his teeth?”

December 9, 2010

The Two Scotts say thumbs down on the Vikings

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 12:51

Not surprisingly, the two Scotts think that the Giants are going to win their matchup with Minnesota on Sunday:

New York Giants (minus 2.5) at Minnesota

Reid: Favre is listed as questionable for Sunday after being knocked out of last week’s game on his first passing attempt. Of course, no one really expects the Vikings to bring Brett’s crusade for 300 straight starts to an end — so Tarvaris Jackson has, once again, been sent out to pick up smokes. In a sad effort to convince the coaches he was ready, Jackson even pretended last week to be Favre by tossing three interceptions. No luck. This streak ends at season’s end or with Jenn Sterger moving into Favre’s bungalow. Pick: New York.

Feschuk: Brett Favre is having an annus way more horribilis than that one the Queen had. With Dong-gate now in the hands of the Commissioner, it’s worth reflecting on the details of the poorly understood NFL Code of Conduct policy. Exactly what does it demand of players like Favre? Here are a few excerpts of note:

     * Players are expected to report ON TIME for all meetings, scrimmages and police lineups.
     * Mandatory snickering in the huddle when the quarterback calls for a “two-minute drill.”
     * If you’re buying prostitutes, make sure you bring enough for the whole team.
     * When getting dressed for a public appearance, players are asked to remember that the penis goes on the inside.

Pick: New York.

December 6, 2010

Vikings win in Turnover Bowl

Yesterday’s game in Minneapolis wasn’t expected to be very entertaining: a 2-9 team visiting an out-of-conference 4-7 team isn’t quite ratings gold. The turnovers started early in the game, as Brett Favre went down to a backside hit while throwing, putting the ball up for grabs. Buffalo got the ball and, at least for a few minutes, the momentum.

Favre was injured and Tarvaris Jackson came in to start the next series. Jackson threw an interception that Buffalo ran back for the first score of the game.

After that, it got entertaining — if you were a Vikings fan, anyway.

A month ago, the play that transpired with 4 minutes, 43 seconds left in the first quarter Sunday would have led to the Vikings’ undoing.

Tarvaris Jackson, in place of injured Brett Favre, threw a pass that Buffalo cornerback Drayton Florence stepped in front of and returned 40 yards for a touchdown and a seven-point lead. Under Brad Childress, that would have been a “here we go again” moment.

But under interim coach Leslie Frazier, Florence’s touchdown ended up as a footnote following the Vikings’ 38-14 demolition of a Bills team that looked every bit a bad as its 2-10 record at Mall of America Field.

Favre’s injury was reported as a sprained sternoclavicular joint and he’ll undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the damage. Interim head coach Leslie Frazier said that if Favre could play next week, he’d play — that is, there’s no quarterback controversy here.

Rookie Chris DeGeare made his first start, replacing Steve Hutchinson, and only got mentioned for a false start penalty. That’s good: when you don’t hear the names of your offensive linemen, that usually means that they’re doing a good job. Also on the injury list were Percy Harvin and Ray Edwards. Adrian Peterson was a game-time decision with his sprained ankle from last week (he played, gained 107 yards and scored 3 touchdowns).

Sidney Rice played a great game — he’s finally back in 2009 form, going over 100 yards receiving and scoring two TDs. He clearly was the missing element in the first half of the season.

Joe Webb, the Vikings’ third string quarterback was on the active roster for the first time this season, as a receiver/kick returner, but injured his hamstring and left the game. Running back Toby Gerhart was the replacement KR (replacing Webb, who was playing in place of Harvin). This might have created a problem if Jackson had been injured, as neither Favre nor Webb could go back into the game. Luckily, the issue didn’t arise.

It seemed like a good idea, but Webb’s day ended in the first quarter when he suffered a pulled right hamstring while playing on a punt return.

“I was expecting a lot” of action at receiver, Webb said. “The coaches told me during the week. We had a couple of banged-up guys and they were going to need me to lineup there. I just had my chance to do a couple of things. My [hamstring] just gave out on me but it’ll be all right.”

Frazier acknowledged the Vikings had a “package” of plays for Webb.

Webb’s athletic ability is such that the Vikings decided to give him his first-ever reps on kickoff returns Friday and then trusted him enough to have him return Sunday’s first kick. Webb took the ball 30 yards to the Vikings 35.

“I was trying to pop it out,” he said. “That was my first time ever running a kickoff return. Now that I’ve got a chance to see it and know how I can read it up, I’m sure the next one will be a lot different.”

November 29, 2010

Vikings get first road win since November 2009

It was the second-longest losing streak on the road, after Detroit, and now it’s broken. The Vikings won in Washington yesterday, 17-13, without the services of Adrian Peterson who was injured in the first half and did not return to the game. Peterson was replaced in the lineup by rookie Toby Gerhart, who did a good job on the ground (22 runs for 76 yards and a touchdown).

Three other factors were a change from the rest of the season: it was into the fourth quarter before the Vikings had a penalty assessed against them, they had zero turnovers, and they scored on their first drive of each half. Even with all of that, they were lucky to get a Redskins special teams TD called back on a block-in-the-back penalty.

Judd Zulgad wrote:

Frazier indicated there would be tweaks in the offense and defense in the week leading to his first game as an NFL head coach. Quarterback Brett Favre appeared to roll out more often, and Fred Pagac, who is serving as de facto defensive coordinator, called more blitzes than Frazier had when he was coordinating that unit. McNabb was sacked four times.

Favre passed for only 172 yards, but one of his most important plays came with his feet late in the game. That’s right: A 41-year-old playing with a stress fracture in his left ankle, another fracture in his heel and a head and chest cold he speculated might be pneumonia took off on a 10-yard scramble that produced a first down at the Redskins 14 with two minutes left and effectively secured the game.

“That’s always the best play in the playbook,” Favre said after taking a knee three times to run out the clock. “It felt good to be able do that. [We] did that a lot last year. This year we haven’t played with the lead. We had the lead most of the game, but it didn’t really seem like it. We were up, but we’re just missing that knockout punch. Once again we hung in there [and] collectively each and every guy had a part in it.”

November 24, 2010

Sexting . . . or was it attempted extortion?

Filed under: Football, Law, Media — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 15:02

A report at Viking Update may explain why the NFL’s investigation into the Favre-Sterger “sexting” situation has taken so long:

Reese told The Associated Press that he called Bus Cook, Favre’s agent, to let him know about an Internet story — first thrown out by Deadspin.com — that was going to purport that lewd photos had been sent by Favre to Sterger. Apparently, Reese was doing a pre-emptive professional courtesy.

However, Reese said that Cook’s response was to ask “if there was a specific figure that could make this go away.”

Asked about that, Cook responded with a statement claiming that Sterger’s manager and lawyer have made “numerous overtures to me” — claiming six such calls between the two of them. Cook said there was never any intention of paying them because there is no reason to pay them, adding that “their attempts to negotiate privately and through the media have failed.”

If it can be proved that Sterger’s people were seeking out some form of cash settlement, extortion is a crime that is investigated and prosecuted. It would seem the truth lies somewhere in between the polar opposite stories being told by the agents. But, if there is a case of hush money being thrown around or blackmail being requested, this story may have more legs than anyone could have imagined.

I had wondered why the NFL’s investigation — which should have occupied a few days at most — still hasn’t come to any conclusions.

November 22, 2010

Seventh worst home loss in Vikings history

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 08:44

Has the team given up? I’d suggest that letting your biggest rivals whip you by a score of 31-3 on your home field is pretty strong evidence that the team is no longer viable. I didn’t see the game, but the score was 3-0 Vikings as I left the house. I had no idea that was the high point of the game . . .

It was apparently no party on the sidelines:

As if a 31-3 loss wasn’t bad enough, the Vikings’ tensions boiled to the point that heated exchanges were considered normal on Sunday.

Brett Favre and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell argued after a Favre interception late in the first half.

“We’re fine. I was mad at myself,” Favre said.

Defensive end Ray Edwards barked at rookie cornerback Chris Cook by consistently getting burned on the left side. Cook got benched in favor of Asher Allen, who didn’t fare much better as a facilitator of quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ 301 yards and four touchdowns.

The defensive linemen had beef with Cook and Allen giving up several big gains from the sideline on fade routes.

“I never thought we’d get beat on four fade (routes),” defensive tackle Kevin Williams said.

Williams and cornerback Antoine Winfield both said they talked with Edwards about keeping such conversations in-house instead of on the sidelines.

To make the soap opera complete, Brett Favre didn’t answer reporters’ questions about whether he’ll finish the season (that is, whether he’s now considering retiring immediately).

If Zygi Wilf was thinking about firing Brad Childress, as the home fans are demanding, yesterday’s game would give him a good reason. I don’t know if the Wilfs are willing to do that, as they’d still owe Childress for millions on his contract, but it would certainly please the fans.

Update: Childress has been fired.

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