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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offense

    [size=18px]New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offense[/size]

    Posted on Wed, Nov. 23, 2005
    TOM POWERS
    St. Paul Pioneer Press


    What should we make of all this? A month ago, the Vikings were in shambles. Now they seem to be OK.

    They are back in the playoff hunt. They are winning on the road. They have a code of conduct. They are keeping their pants on.

    "Not long ago, everyone was bashing the Vikings," guard Anthony Herrera said. "They were saying coach Tice couldn't coach. But look at what he's done. He had a 1-4 team, and now it's 5-5. I'd say that's pretty good coaching."

    The owner no longer walks around looking as if there is too much starch in his shorts. The coaches have stopped wearing wigs and fake beards in public. The fans gesture dismissively at the mere mention of the Love Boat incident.

    They went from "This is an outrage" to "Quit picking on our guys." Many of them have, anyway. A winning streak will do that.

    Was I surprised the Vikings won in Green Bay? No. Would I be surprised if they lose at home to Cleveland on Sunday? No. Nor would I be surprised if they decided to skinny dip in Leech Lake. This is a very unpredictable group.

    "We have more guys buying into what we are doing," Mike Tice said. "We have more guys believing we can win.

    "Young guys are stepping up and playing well. It's just growth, the growth of the team."

    There probably is some growth and maturity. But perhaps the most significant factor in the turnaround is the new formula for success. The Vikings no longer are a high-powered offensive team. For the first time in many years, they don't have to run up a big score to win.

    "We're not going to score 35-40 points," Tice said. "Times have changed."

    Said quarterback Brad Johnson: "You've got to let last year go. Just let it go and move on."

    These Vikings, at least during their current period of good fortune, are relying on defense and special teams while hoping to eke out just enough offense. That is exactly what it takes to win on the road.

    The shocker is that it has taken the Vikings so long to figure it out.

    "I kind of like this new way," Tice said. "It works on the road."

    Can you see the light bulb going on above the head of every coach, scout and front-office employee in the organization?

    High-risk, pass 'em dizzy football is very entertaining. It also leads to a lot of mistakes, the kind that kill a team on the road. Interceptions, fumbles from the quarterback holding the ball too long, penalties from having to protect the passer for too long, injuries from scrambles and broken plays …

    Heck, it's great if you can do it. But a team needs a terrific offensive line and an extremely talented group of wide receivers to play that way. The Vikings don't have any of that.

    So the running game has become much more important. Possession time is increasingly looked upon as a key stat as the offense grinds toward the end zone.

    Tice understands that his team isn't going to get "huge chunks of yardage downfield." He says he would like to mix in several longer passes, but he isn't going to mess too much with the current blueprint.

    "We've got to make sure we don't become too smart in the next couple of days," he said.

    I wouldn't worry about it.

    Johnson cautions that the team's turnaround should be considered a work in progress.

    "It's not over," he said. "There's a lot of football to go. I was part of an 8-2 team that ended up 9-7."

    That would be your 1997 Minnesota Vikings.

    "Crazy things happen in this league," he added.

    None crazier than the Vikings crawling back into the race via tough defense and a stone-age offense. Maybe that latter term is a bit harsh. We'll call it a more economical offense, a more traditional offense. Suddenly, the panic button has been disconnected.

    "It was just a matter of us all getting on the same page," defensive end Erasmus James said.

    Three weeks ago, I did not think Brad Johnson was the answer because I didn't think he could stay healthy behind the leaky line. Tuesday at Winter Park, Johnson was walking around telling everyone how fresh his legs and his arm felt.

    He's a tough old buzzard. As long as he can keep all his limbs attached, he definitely is the guy to operate this new, more conservative system.

    A month ago, chaos reigned. Today, the Vikings appear to be working efficiently.

    But don't worry. There are no plans to celebrate their most recent success with another team party.

    Tom Powers can be reached at [email protected]

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offens

    Good article.

    Our "D" can no longer count on the offense putting up huge numbers to win the game & giving up a lot themselves.

    They need to play tougher & smarter so they can shut-down the opponents
    rushing, passing & scoring games, so we can win without scoring a ton of offensive points.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  3. #3
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offense

    Singer, did you just tell yourself that you had a good article? :lol:

    Anyways, it's nice to win with defense for once! It's a shame we weren't able to have that with Daunte play QB, but if this lasts for the rest of the season, we could make the playoffs.

  4. #4
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offens

    LMAO

    I was wondering that myself.

  5. #5
    sunny's Avatar
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    Re: New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offense

    singer they may have to change your title to Rodney Dangerfield. You get no respect. :lol: I for one apriciate the articles and yes it was a good read
    I.B.O.T. #213

  6. #6
    C-PepNSalt is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offens

    haha, when a man is right...he's just right
    it is a good article

    sometimes we have to let ourselves know the truth!
    "Johnson, we will keep on beating them until morale improves."

  7. #7
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    Re: New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offense

    "ltrey33" wrote:
    Singer, did you just tell yourself that you had a good article? :lol:

    Anyways, it's nice to win with defense for once! It's a shame we weren't able to have that with Daunte play QB, but if this lasts for the rest of the season, we could make the playoffs.
    Ha ha! He slapped himself on the back!

    Anyways, we should all be slapping sing on the back. He does an excellent job of keeping us informed.

    Thanks buddy!

  8. #8
    V4L's Avatar
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    Re: New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offense

    I saw an interview with Tice.. He said we need to get used to seeing us not get ting 30 points a game

  9. #9
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: New-look Vikings find success without high-flying offense

    "ultravikingfan" wrote:
    "ltrey33" wrote:
    Singer, did you just tell yourself that you had a good article? :lol:

    Anyways, it's nice to win with defense for once! It's a shame we weren't able to have that with Daunte play QB, but if this lasts for the rest of the season, we could make the playoffs.
    Ha ha! He slapped himself on the back!

    Anyways, we should all be slapping sing on the back. He does an excellent job of keeping us informed.

    Thanks buddy!
    No, I said it was a good article, which it is. I'm patting the writer on the back!

    Now had I said good post, then I would have been patting myself on the back!

    [size=7px]It was a good post as well, nevertheless. [/size] :wink:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

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