2013 Team Retrospective: The Minnesota Vikings

Need an explanation why the season sucked? Look no further!

Need an explanation why their season sucked? Look no further! (photo credit: ESPN.com)

You have to make a choice: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, or Josh Freeman? WHO DO YOU CHOOSE?

If your answer is “GARGH,” because you’re trying to kill yourself by swallowing your shoe, then DING DING DING you win! Step right up, because you’ve just won an all-expenses-paid prison sentence to a franchise as stable as its stadium.

Welcome to Minnesota. We hope you survive.

It’s not hard to see where it all went wrong with the Vikings, just look at anyone not named ‘Adrian Peterson’ or ‘Cordarrelle Patterson’ and you have your answer. Losing Harrison Smith, Erin Henderson and other players to injury and/or bad decision kept the Minnesota defense at the bottom of the pack. And when your top receiver, old ass Greg Jennings, only amasses 800 yards in a season, there’s obviously something wrong with your passing game.

But let’s stick to the script and take a gander at the team’s few notable moments last season.

Team Highlight

No one likes the International Series. Not you, not me, not the teams or staff working, not the assholes across the pond who might have been confused by false adverts of ‘footy,’ no one. Except Roger Goodell  and the goddamn Vikings, who might not have had a win this season otherwise.

It was arguably the Vikings best game of the season, and all they had to do was beat the jet-lagged Pittsburgh Steelers to do it. Cassel hit Jennings with a deep ball early in the 1st quarter, A.P. took a 60-yard run to the house, and the defense held Pittsburgh down throughout most of the game.

‘Most of the game’ being the key phrase. In the 4th quarter, the Vikings took their foot off the gas and allowed their defense to close the game. Did I mention that the Vikings were among the league’s worst defenses last year? No one was surprised when the Steelers made it a close game and came within a touchdown with 3 minutes left. But despite Blair Walsh missing a field goal, the Vikings ended the game with a nice hit from Everson Green on Ben Rapeyfingers, knocking the ball loose.

Runner-up goes to the Week 15 win against the Eagles. But I’m not going to say shit about a game where A.P. didn’t even touch the field.

Team Lowlight

Do you know there are ties in football? Of course you do, because you breathe through your nose.

It baffles me that this still happens in pro football, but I’m glad it happens. It’s a like litmus test to see who gives a shit, who doesn’t, and who doesn’t know the rules.

The Vikings went to Lambeau on a generously modest Sunday, weather-wise, and faced the Rodgers-less Pack in the midst of a losing streak.

Blair Walsh hit his third field goal of the night at the opening of the 4th quarter, putting the team up 23-7, and for a second the Vikings thought they had it in the bag. So, of course, they quit playing. I mean, who finishes football games these days? Champions, not Vikings, that’s who.

Matt Flynn replaced the impotent Scott Tolzien, coming full-circle in his whole fucked up career trajectory, and brought the Packers back to tie the game with less than a minute left.

A meandering Overtime with little sense of urgency followed, both teams ended up kicking field goals, and blah blah blah why am I still talking about it? Fuck that game.

This isn't even a tackle attempt, just some asshole trying to worship AP as he walks by.

This isn’t even a tackle attempt, just some asshole trying to worship AP as he walks by. (photo credit: foxsports.com)

Team MVP

Don’t be surprised. Adrian Peterson only missed one game, which was an inexplicable Vikings win. But with the best running back in the game showing no signs of slowing down, the Vikings rush attack was one of the NFL’s best this year.

Though Matt Asiata was a surprising help, A.P. carried the bulk. He netted 1,266 yards on the ground, 11 TDs, and only three lost fumbles.

But you can only ask your franchise player to do so much. The issues in the passing game and the anemic defense plague even the best running games, and until they add more to that single dimension they’ll be a middling team at best.

What was a drunk Vikings fan was yelling this season?

Something along the lines of “PEEEETEERSOOOH FUCK FUCK SHIT FUCK OUCH. I NEED ANOTHER BEER.”

Forced Pop Culture Comparison

If Adrian Peterson is Justin Timberlake, that makes the rest of the Vikings NSYNC. Yes. NSYNC. Think about how inept every other member except for JT is, how little they bring to the table, and how much they suck even with Timberlake a part of the equation.

Let’s hope A.P. too goes solo, clones himself 52 times and starts a franchise of Peterson’s in Los Angeles.

Needs

Mike Zimmer is likely to keep the 3-4 defensive schemes similar to what he ran in Cincinnati, which means they’ll likely draft a capable pass-rushing linebacker. But that’s not all they need. They need better DEs to help. Xavier Rhodes needs time to develop, and meanwhile they need a corner that can actually cover their man. Essentially, they need a lot.

Plus there’s that whole issue at quarterback. And they still haven’t filled the void left by Percy Harvin, though Cordarrelle Patterson should improve with a second year. This is a Vikings squad with too many holes to fill in one off-season.

An Entirely Too Early Prediction for 2014

Is it mean to say they will probably be one of the worst teams in the NFL next year? A wise man once said, I’m a realist but you might call me a pessimist.  With a temporary home and growing pains under new coaching staff, there’s not much about the Vikings to look forward to this year. But it’s the NFL, and those pro athletes are always going out of their way to make us douchey bloggers look even stupider.

Editor’s note: Oh, hi there. It’s me Ben, and I’m just finishing up my post Vikings retrospective cigarette because reading about their failures is like sex to me. Chris will be along tomorrow to make fun of the Lions.

About these ads

1 Comment

Filed under Articles, Ramblings, Retrospectives

One response to “2013 Team Retrospective: The Minnesota Vikings

  1. Pingback: Day 25 | Every damn day.