Most Disappointing Viking So Far – Coach Frazier!
There is no question that the play of Donovan McNabb has been iffy, at times so far this young season. Penalties have hurt the Vikings, as well. The defense has given up touchdown drives at crucial times. There is a lot of blame to go around, for sure.
And most of it should fall on the shoulders of Coach Leslie Frazier. I will explain.
Coach Frazier has a record of 3-5 as Vikings Head Coach. 3-3 last year, and 0-2 so far in 2011. The Vikings had a halftime lead in six of those eight games. NFL teams win an average of 73% of the time when leading at the half, no matter the margin. Minnesota has won two of those eight games – you do the math.
A big part of coaching football on any level – is the ability to make adjustments at halftime of a game, or even on the fly – during the game. It’s the ability to RECOGNIZE where the gameplan might need to be tweeked a little bit, changed, updated, revised.
You simply cannot stick with something that doesn’t work.
For two straight weeks, the Vikings have blown a big halftime lead, and lost games they could’ve won – especially last Sunday against Tampa Bay. The Vikings have only scored three points in 2nd half action this year, while giving up 41.
That means that the Chargers and Buccaneers, were each able to ADJUST at halftime to what the Vikings were doing. It is a constant game of cat and mouse.
In San Diego, the Chargers started the second half by loading the box to stop Adrian Peterson. They played man-to-man coverage on ALL Vikings receivers, and focused on stopping the run. What did the Vikings do? They kept giving the ball to A.P.
Not very creative.
And with a 17-14 lead going into the 4th quarter, things got suspiciously MORE conservative. The Vikings ran a total of six offensive plays in the 4th quarter. Pitiful, horrible, embarrassing; you pick the adjective to describe that.
It was a grave and mysterious lack of DEFENSIVE adjustments, that cost them the game Sunday against the Bucs. It was as if the Vikings DID NOT expect Tampa Bay to come out of the half aggressively. As if we were surprised they started throwing the ball more, and taking more chances.
The last two coaches in Minnesota were also bad at making adjustments, especially Mike Tice, who is a man that is barely literate. But this is shaping up to be a long season, and the Vikings let two wins get away already.
And I don’t expect a whole lot of sympathy from the Lions this Sunday. The fact that Detroit is FAVORED to beat the Vikings AT THE DOME – says a lot about the immediate state of things.