Change Needs to Happen in Vikings, Will it?


The Metrodome is as loud of a place as they come. So on Sunday when you all heard was silence; you know there is a problem. And boy is there huge problems. And these problems can’t be swept under the rug or ignored anymore, they need to be addressed and fast. I’ve said this before and it is especially worth repeating now after the debacle on Sunday against Carolina, this is top down problem.

Oct 13, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier watches as his team plays the Carolina Panthers at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Panthers win 35-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

If you can fix the top part of the problem i.e. management and coaching staff, the bottom part can fix itself i.e players.

One interesting fact that kept coming up after the game on Sunday was that On November 21, 2010, the Green Bay Packers came to the Metrodome and beat the Vikings 31-3 and, then one season after barely missing the Super Bowl, Brad Childress was done.

Then On October 13, 2013, a mediocre Panthers came to the Metrodome and beat the Vikings 35-10— one season after making the playoffs no less. And now here we are again experiencing a bad case of déjà-vu, but no one in the decision making role at the Vikings should feel safe.

The Vikings had everything going for them. The team was overall healthy, we won the game before and we were coming off a bye week. All of those things usually add up to win for most teams.

But instead, the Vikings just failed. This was an embarrassment for the team as a whole, the players and the fans.
Jared Allen said it best, “I think it might be the worst home loss I’ve experienced in my career, we got our butts kicked.”

Once a proud team whose line play was tough and had great old-school style, the Vikings on Sunday were crushed. They were outrushed 131 yards to 75.

At 1-4 during the easier portion of their schedule, they now can be declared one of the worst teams in football.
Sunday’s game against Carolina has left everyone asking where it all went wrong. The Vikings of last year were a team that made the playoffs and in the off season looked like they were building a first-class operation.

Dec 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield (26) tackles Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) during the first quarter at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The first misstep was allowing cornerback Antoine Winfield to depart, leaving the Vikings with one of the worst sets of cornerbacks in the league.“Winfield is a huge part of our defense,” Allen said. “Always has been.”

The Vikings now have to rely on Josh Robinson, a second-round pick who might be one of the worse cornerbacks in the NFL, cornerback whom has the full support of Frazier no less.

The team invested more faith in former second-round cornerback Chris Cook. His inability to stay healthy and creating turnovers is something that is coming up again and again.

To develop a theme, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman, who has excelled with most of his first-round picks, reached for Christian Ponder in 2011. And yes Ponder had nothing to do with Sunday’s “game”, uncertainty at the quarterback position is one of the Vikings’ most important problems.

And Leslie Frazier isn’t blameless here either. The head coach is always at fault when a team doesn’t play hard. But perhaps the most important for Frazier, as a first-time NFL coach he needed to build a strong staff. So he hired three coordinators — Fred Pagac and Alan Williams on defense, and Bill Musgrave on offense. And all have failed.

The Vikings were simply out coached on Sunday in all areas, and have consistently been this season.

“I don’t judge that,” Allen said when he was asked about the Vikings’ in-game coaching. “I just play the call that’s called. The head coach will have to look at that, and ownership and the GM will have to focus on that.”

Let’s face it the competitive hopes the Vikings’ had this season died on Sunday. So we have to start looking to the future, if Josh Freeman can establish himself as the Vikings quarterback of the future, then at least the Vikings can invest in a high first-round draft pick on their defense in the 2014 draft.

But I think Jared Allen said it best, “When you lose, heads roll, that’s just the way it is.” Which leads to the next and most important question… whose head will roll first?