Vikings in need of a more explosive offense
In the movie "Moneyball" Brad Pitt's character uses the silence he has just created by a club house tirade to describe losing.
"That is what losing sounds like," Pitt says.
If that is the case it has to be very, very quiet in the locker room at Winter Park this week.
The Vikes are the fourth-best team in a four-team division and that does not bode well for the future employment of most of the players and all of their coaches.
You can say that Chad Greenway, Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen and Percy Harvin are on solid ground but Donovan McNabb is not. Bernard Berrian is definitely not after his Twitter exchange with an Iraq war veteran who has co-authored the Vikings' stadium bill.
What is so odd about the Vikes is that this team could be 4-0 instead of 0-4. What has been missing is the execution of big plays in key situations. The mistakes have been there all right, especially the penalties, but not the big plays.
So bring in some big play guys and let's get rolling!
Ah, not so fast, we've tried that, remember?
The Vikings brought in what was once a big play receiver about this time last year when they grabbed Randy Moss. That move had a smidgen of logic behind it, given that Sidney Rice was out, but look at what happened - Moss made a jerk out of himself, which did not surprise some of us, and adding him to the roster did not turn the season around. All it really accomplished was to get rid of Brad Childress and take us back to a time when Chester Taylor was the most dangerous offensive weapon the Vikes had.
The Vikes have one of football's best backs in Adrian Peterson but they need more explosiveness on offense. McNabb was one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL after the Eagles went out and found some receivers for him. The McNabb-Terrell Owens connection was a strong one and it helped put the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. The Eagles lost that game 24-21 to New England and the "choker" tag that has dogged McNabb was used to explain the loss.
The guy was the second pick in the NFL draft in 1999. He finished his days in Philly in 2010 with a boat full of club records and six Pro Bowl appearances to his credit.
The Vikes have never made it a secret that McNabb was brought in to keep the fans interested until Christian Ponder can start. They rolled the dice with McNabb, who was basically fired by Washington last year after a sub-par season, and they are 0-4. McNabb has not played like a guy out to ignite an offense that fell apart last year and he is 34 years old with his share of physical ailments
Quarterbacks are a lightning rod for criticism or praise, depending on the standings, but one thing has to happen if the Vikes are going to start winning games -- they are going to have to score more points. After four games they have scored just 77, 13th best in the 16-team NFC, and if nothing changes, will score 308 for the season - which just 27 points more than they did in their lackluster 2010 season. That is not good enough.
How they come up with those points is going to make all the difference as the season goes along. Do you make a trade? Put Ponder in at quarterback? What is the answer?
Head Coach Leslie Frazier has begged the fans for patience. He has certainly come to the right place. In this state patience is measured by the decade.