Rich Gannon's column
This is another of Rich Gannon's articles on the Vikes.....
BAD, BAD, BAD!!!!
No excuse for this team to go to Chicago and play that poorly especially when you consider all that was on the line. A lot of heat has come down on Mike Tice and rightfully so, but I am more disappointed with the players who refused to accept ownership of this football team. When I played there were times when the coaching wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the best, but as players you have to be able to overcome that with your collective performances on the field. Nobody is stepping up for the Vikings. NOBODY! You have to ask yourself if there is enough leadership in that locker room to pull through this difficult period. I think this might be the Vikings biggest problem.
As bad as things are for the Vikes they are still only 1 game out of first place in the NFC North. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not too late for them to string together some wins and get right back in this thing. But do they have the toughness and determination to do so? Only time will tell.
The one bit of good news for the Vikings is the fact that the Packers arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exactly lighting things up either. Defensively, the Packers have struggled with consistency. The loss of guards Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera to free agency was significant as was the loss of wide receiver Javon Walker to injury earlier this season. To stop the Packers offense, you need to get after Brett Farve. If you give this guy time to get comfortable back there in the pocket, he will pick you apart. It will also be important for the Vikings to keep #4 in the pocket. He has a tendency to make some big plays when he gets out on the edge and scrambles around.
Defensively, the Packers are a mess right now. They have been slow to pick up the intricacies of new defensive coordinator Jim BatesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ system. The defensive line has been less than spectacular thanks in large part to the lack of productivity from nose tackle Grady Jackson. He looks heavier and it seems like he is back to taking plays off, like he did back during his stay with the Raiders. Their linebackers and secondary play hard but they lack speed and playmaking ability. None of this will matter if the Vikings canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hold on to the ball and MAKE SOME PLAYS ON SUNDAY!
Whaddya think? Do we have no leaders in the locker room?
"From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord, save us!"
-- From a monestary in Ireland.