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  1. #1
    Eyedea's Avatar
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    Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    Here is a paper I did for school. The assignment was to do an informative paper. I wanted to talk about the defense aswell, but it was 'recomended' to be only 2-3 pages, and it was already over 4.


    Vikings plummet should have been predicted
    Super Bowl XL was the most watched game in nearly 10 years. As millions of American tuned into the game, so did the Minnesota Vikings. After a slew of on and off the field issues, the Vikings missed the playoffs, due to a slow start. This downfall came to a surprised to many close followers of the game. Of the twelve ESPN experts who predicted the 2005-2006 season, four picked them to go to the Super Bowl, while all twelve thought they would win the NFC North. No one predicted the problems of Minnesota Vikings.
    Although no one did predict the problems, we all should have. There were problems at nearly every position and every facet of the game. The major issues they had were at quarterback, lineman, running back, receiver. Each of the problems of each position was present at the beginning of the year. So, it should have been predicted that the Vikings would miss the playoffs.
    The most publicized fault of the Minnesota Vikings was the awful play of Daunte Culpepper. Coming of one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback, the Vikings had extremely high expectations. However, Daunte never got into a rhythm, and seemed lost most of the year, before tearing all three ligaments in his knee. It appeared as if he reverted back to his rookie form as he never looked comfortable in the pocket. He was extremely indecisive, missed open receivers, and held the ball much too long. Who could have predicted his inability to settle down? We all should have.
    Scott Linahan, the main man responsible for Culpepper’s development and running the offensive for the Vikings, departed prior to the season for more money, better job security, and an offensive coordinator position for the Miami Dolphins. Before every play, Culpepper heard Linahan’s voice, giving him confidence, while calming him down. Culpepper had confidence in Linahan’s play calling, shown in his urging of McCombs to keep Linahan. At times this past season, Dante probably was uneasy with the play calling, so he couldn’t focus on his playing. Scott Linahan’s departure before the year should have signaled us not to expect so much of Daunte Culpepper.
    The Viking’s offensive line did not help Daunte Culpepper and the rest of the Vikings offense. In just the first 6 games, they allowed over 30 quarterback sacks and allowed 54 sacks the entire year. The line was as weak run blocking too. Their blocking lead to only two 100 yard rushers the whole year, ending up with averaging less than 100 yards rushing per game. These stats do not lie; their line was awful.
    So, what made this line so bad? Two main factors contribute to answer this question. First, the injury to pro bowl center Matt Birk cannot be underestimated. Before the year started, Birk had season ending surgery on his left hip. Not only was he a great player physically but also mentally. He was responsible for calling out the blitz pickups. Without Birk at center, the Vikings struggled for 16 games at trying to pick up the blitzes, leading to more sacks and less rushing yards. The second main factor was starting rookie second round pick Marcus Johnson. Drafted for his versatility, Johnson was moved around several times this year, finding a place where he wasn’t so much of a liability. Not only did he not help the team with his blocking, he hurt them on several key drives with off sides or holding penalties. We all should have known that the Viking would fold, seeing how many question marks they had before the year at offensive line.
    The next main issue the Vikings at was at running back. Although depth was strength, when the depth is consisted of only mediocre part time backs a team is going to struggle. 27th in rushing, the Vikings averaged only 3.9 yards per carry. Their leading rusher was Mewelde Moore with a below average total of 662. They only had two 100 yard rushers, and were lead by a quarterback in rushing in two games. They only had eight rushing touchdowns by a running back (half by rookie Ciatric Fason). That’s 19 less than Shaw Alexander had by himself. It was a far cry from previous Viking offenses.
    Starting the year off the Vikings thought they had three capable backs of starting. That number decreased to two when Onterrio Smith was suspended the entire year. That left Micheal Bennett and Mewelde Moore. The Vikings must have been fooling themselves in thinking they were set at running back. Although a favorite of Mike Tice, Bennett only had one 1,000 yard season and was coming off a sub 300 yard season. Although he posses that often coveted break away speed, he rarely got a chance to show his world class track speed as he rarely got into the secondary. The other starting quality back was second year back Mewelde Moore. In his first year, Moore showed flashes of brilliance. However, there were only flashes. Due to injuries, Moore only carried the ball more than ten times only three times in 2004. The only other back on the roster was long time veteran and short yardage specialist Moe Williams, who later was put on injured reserve, and fourth round pick Ciatric Fason, who took Williams place as the goal line back. Looking at the backs they had before the year, one doesn’t see super bowl, or even playoff quality running backs.
    Like at running back, the Viking’s receivers were deep, but not that great. They did spread the ball around, but did not have that go to guy. In 16 games, they had seven different leading receivers and no player lead receivers in more than three games. Leading receiver Travis Taylor was never thought of as a threat, totaling 604 yards on 50 catches. Tight end Jermaine Wiggins lead the team in catches, but only had one touchdown and averaged just over eight yards per catch. Marcus Robinson led the team in touchdown receptions with five but only had 31 catches. These receivers led to the Vikings 20th ranked passing offense in the league, a far cry from the years before.
    Evaluating the depth chart before the year should have signaled some problems. Coming into the year, Nate Burilson was slated as the top receiver. After breaking out last year with 68 catches, over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, the Vikings had high hopes for Nate in 2005. They should have known better. His numbers in 2004 were when he was facing single coverage behind Randy Moss. It was wrong for the Vikings to think he could put up the same type of numbers, facing double coverage. There has been case after case of former number two receivers struggling after being promoted to the number one guy. Behind Burilson they had Marcus Robinson and Travis Taylor. Robinson should only be relied near the red zone, where he excels at winning jump balls, using his six foot three inches frame. Although he has put up some gaudy touchdown reception numbers, he hasn’t topped the 50 yard reception mark since the year 2005. With Robinson, Travis Taylor competed for the second receiver position. Drafted tenth in the 2000 draft, Taylor is considered a bust, but the Vikings relied on him to play a major part in the offense. In the previous two years, Taylor failed to pull in even 40 balls. The receiving core was rounded out with rookie Troy Williamson. No one really should have expected much from Williamson in his first year, as most rookie receivers struggle their first year, and Williamson was considered a project when drafted. To sum it up, the Vikings relied on a receiver, who had one good year due to playing behind Randy Moss, a red zone specialist, a first round bust, and a rookie with low expectations. So, why did no one recognize this as a major issue as it really was? It is clear that before the year even started, receiver was a problem for the Vikings, but no one recognized it.
    This past Sunday the Steelers beat the Seahawks. They featured a quarterback who had been poised throughout the playoffs, although he struggled in the Super bowl. They had one of the best lines in league, opening wholes for the running backs, and giving time to the quarterback. They had two very good running backs, who could start on most teams. They had a receiver they could count on to make the key third down reception. All these qualities the Minnesota Vikings lacked. However, no one predicted they would lack these qualities, but we all should have.
    Make love to the present, fuck the past
    --Sage Francis

  2. #2
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    Very informative for the non-Viking fan...and a good recap for the hardcore Viking fan as well! Sentence structure and punctuation could be better though. Could be a little better organized as well...but pretty good!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  3. #3
    Vikes's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    Good Post...Hard to read though. Welcome aboard!
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    The rigors of Spartan life. Leonidas is cast out into the wild, and survives the harsh winter to return to his home, when he is crowned King ....a Viking!

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  4. #4
    Eyedea's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    Ya, I know I havent proof read it yet...
    Make love to the present, fuck the past
    --Sage Francis

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    Re: Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    You musta quoted that from somewhere!!

    It's all true, for sure, but I blame coaching (in most of the cases) not putting these players in position to be successful.

    I still think our receiving corps is amongst the best in the league; if not the best. The flip-flopping of offensive lineman got to be irritating; if Marcus is pulled, LEAVE HIM PULLED AND BENCHED, don't put him back in with 7:00 let in the game.
    Why doesn't Kleinsasser carry the ball like he did as a rookie; what a goal-line threat that is.
    Give a running back a chance to get going; maybe Fason is the answer, we don't know, he never got a chance. Moore didn't either, as far as I'm concerned; he got pulled on goal-line plays. What does that do to your confidence when your the best running back on the roster.

    Tice was lost!

  6. #6
    Eyedea's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    "nogathomasmillarddoleman" wrote:
    You musta quoted that from somewhere!!

    It's all true, for sure, but I blame coaching (in most of the cases) not putting these players in position to be successful.

    I still think our receiving corps is amongst the best in the league; if not the best. The flip-flopping of offensive lineman got to be irritating; if Marcus is pulled, LEAVE HIM PULLED AND BENCHED, don't put him back in with 7:00 let in the game.
    Why doesn't Kleinsasser carry the ball like he did as a rookie; what a goal-line threat that is.
    Give a running back a chance to get going; maybe Fason is the answer, we don't know, he never got a chance. Moore didn't either, as far as I'm concerned; he got pulled on goal-line plays. What does that do to your confidence when your the best running back on the roster.

    Tice was lost!
    for our next paper we have to do a persuasive paper, and i'm doing one that says tice shouldnt have been fired
    Make love to the present, fuck the past
    --Sage Francis

  7. #7
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    Re: Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    good luck trying to prove that tice shouldnt have been fired to most of us here on the site.,
    We're bringing purple back.

  8. #8
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    Re: Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    out of all fairness, tice was never given a fair shot compared to what childress is going to get..im not saying tice shouldve stayed, but he truly never got to reap the benefits of a generous owner who actually cares about winning
    People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    "olson_10" wrote:
    out of all fairness, tice was never given a fair shot compared to what childress is going to get..im not saying tice shouldve stayed, but he truly never got to reap the benefits of a generous owner who actually cares about winning
    I'm glad for the new coaching staff.
    But Tice definatly wasnt given the chance.

    Great Paper!! I'm asuming this for school.
    If so let us know what you got for a Grade.

  10. #10
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    Re: Vikings plummet should have been predicted

    "PurplePumpkin" wrote:
    "olson_10" wrote:
    out of all fairness, tice was never given a fair shot compared to what childress is going to get..im not saying tice shouldve stayed, but he truly never got to reap the benefits of a generous owner who actually cares about winning
    I'm glad for the new coaching staff.
    But Tice definatly wasnt given the chance.


    Great Paper!! I'm asuming this for school.
    If so let us know what you got for a Grade.
    agreed
    People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point.

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