Minnesota Vikings: Time to Panic?

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Vikings dropped their second straight game to the inferior Chicago Bears. After two consecutive ugly performances, is it time to panic?

Mike Zimmer was right when he said the Minnesota Vikings are not as good as they think they are. The Vikings and Bears were disguised as each other for Halloween in another floor performance for Minnesota.

After riding high on a dominant streak through the first five weeks, the Minnesota Vikings have stumbled out of the bye week with two terrible losses. Coming down to earth hurts, and these two losses are no longer in consideration for fiction.

Yes, this team has real problems. It’s one thing to have a bad offensive line. It’s another thing to have an offensive line that cannot hold blocks for more than one second–check the tape. To make matters worse, Alex Boone left the game with another injury. Ironically, the Vikings had their best drive when another injury plagued the offensive line.

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Somehow, reinforcing the line with Jake Long made the offense worse. The Long signing was hopeful, but the tape shows his feet are too slow on every single play. The only plays where Long had a successful block were when the opposing pass rush elected to go inside. After watching that tape, any defensive coordinator with a brain will know that trying to beat Jake Long around the edge will work every time.

On the other side, T.J. Clemmings’ bane is the bull rush. Simply line up any defensive player with powerful legs and get a guaranteed sack on Clemmings.

The worst part about the offensive line is knowing that Norv Turner and company made it work the first five weeks. Injured Matt Kalil and completely aloof Andre Smith can barely be considered better than the current tackles. The line has been bad all year, but this team made it work against opponents with far-better pass rushes than the Bears’.

Frustration is far too weak of a word to describe watching the sudden collapse of offensive ability. Anyone who has watched the Vikings for years recognized the product put out the past two weeks from years past, but to see this from Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer is simply grotesque.

If the poor offensive play wasn’t enough, the defense does not deserve pardon either. In their defense (no pun intended), the Purple Reign were stuck on the field for a large chunk of this game. Still, allowing 158 rushing yards to an average running back behind an injured offensive line is inexcusable. On top of that, the Vikings had an opportunity with six minutes remaining to come back. Knowing that the Bears were going to run, the Vikings allowed over five minutes to be chewed off the clock before stopping them. Game over.

With all of that in consideration, it is still not time to panic. Before the season started, with Teddy Bridgewater healthy, the expectations were anywhere between 10 and 12 wins. After the injury, it was anywhere between a lost season and 10 wins. After the Bradford signing and a couple of wins, the expectations suddenly sky-rocketed as if the Vikings had fixed any of their pre-season problems (admittedly from myself included).

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It is not time to panic. The season is not over. This exact team went 5-0 to competition equal or better than the last two teams. Somehow, the mental wherewithal needs Mike Zimmer’s restoration. The offense obviously needs proactive tweaking and an in-game back up plan. This was never a 16-0 team, but the rest of the schedule is in Minnesota’s favor and playoffs are still likely. Stay strong, Vikings fans. Skol.