Jared Allen is not signed beyond this year, and I think that has a direct relationship to the lack of a leader on the DEF. When you don't think the team wants you, and you might be elsewhere soon, its hard to buy into the system and inspire your team. You instead become obsessed with looking good to entice other teams. With this DEF, playing for yourself doesn't help anyone. If the Vikings plan on keeping Allen, we need to sign him NOW and tell him to LEAD his team, no excuses.
I asked in another thread if there is anything we can expect on the good side from Ponder, and even those not ready to cut the guy had very little upside in his future; he might catch on and fix his problems, but he won't do that with the Vikings. As such, its time to see if Cassel is just another punk, and if so, look to next year's draft. My point here is we know what we have currently with Ponder; it will NOT get better. Lets salvage what we can from this season and see if Cassel can at least get our OL to block for AD.
BTW...this is the second week in a row where we had the lead with less than 4 minutes on the clock, and should have been running the ball and the clock out; instead, we were passing and CALLING TIMEOUTS!! I've never seen such time-mismanagement in my life.
So I'm trying to analyze this game the morning after with an open mind, and I am struggling to pin point any one problem...in fact, it seems the whole team has problems and its such a mess that fixing it looks impossible at this point.
The OL may be the worst of it. WTF!??? How the hell did they regress so much in one off season? This was a strength last year and they've already allowed 10 sacks (tied for 6th worst) not to mention pressure on almost every single passing play. Ponder is far from perfect, but he could sure use a lot less pressure in his face consistently. As if that wasn't bad enough, even Peterson is struggling to find an open lane as evidenced by his lowest averages both rushing and receiving in his entire career. On top of that, he has already matched last year's lost fumble total.
Back to pondering the Ponder, his QB rating is worse than all but the Jets, Bucs and Jags...thanks to yesterday, even the Browns have a better team QB rating through 3 games. He can throw a beautiful, accurate pass from time to time but is super inconsistent and way off more than not. Tho he is still completing about 60% of his throws (thanks to incredible catches of off target throws by our WRs), and has improved his average yards/pass play to the middle of the NFL, it is clearly not enough.
Three games in a row, the defense has gotten us turnovers and given us the lead late in the game only to suffer 3 and outs and redzone stops on offense, putting our Defense back on the field with their backs against the wall, over and over and over. On a side note, Marcus Sherels actually played a hell of a game, doing his best Winfield impression a few times on big stops. But a 5'10" DB won't be able to stop a 6'4" TE every down.
In short, it looks like this team wants to do just enough to keep it close, but isn't willing to put it all on field and make a 'W' happen, and that points to the coaches not doing enough to rally the troops. Maybe we would be better off with a more in your face guy like Singletary, but I feel more of the problem is offensive where the play calling is too boring, too predictable, and really, too old school to succeed in today's NFL. Mostly, I think we need some new ideas on offense and it sure don't look like its going to come from Musgrave.
"So my daughter is laying here under me and just out the blue she says...I can't believe you lost to the Browns Daddy! Smh" Tweeted by AD Peterson last night. 'Nuff said...
I'm still trying to get over the fact that we lost to the Browns at home!
Anyway.... I know it's easy to blame Ponder for everything. But in my opinion we are simply giving up too many points. We're giving up 32 points a game so far this season. Our team is not built to win high scoring games. Scoring 27 points against the Browns should have been enough to get a W.
We used to have a team full of criminals and apathetic ownership. Now we have owners who are criminals and the team is apathetic.
Losses like this used to eat me up inside when they happened. now I pretty much expect they will happen and at this point when they do I find myself not caring one way or the other. When the Browns were driving at the end of the game I knew we would lose the game and to be honest it didn't bother me any more.