The Vikings Preseason
Destroyed by Houston
Spanked by Buffalo
Crushed by San Fransisco
This is the Vikings without Adrian Peterson. They have one of the worst offenses in the NFL. They either have very little depth, are coached poorly, or both.
I do not usually put too much into preseason, but when the Vikings first string offense does poorly against second string and third string players, it is difficult not to become worried. The starters have been manhandled by starting defenses. I guess the Vikings coaches only want to show generic plays in the preseason, but there is a point when it becomes ridiculous.
Can the Vikings top two quarterbacks on their depth chart even hit a moving receiver five times out of ten with no defender and just a pass rush? Can the Vikings offensive line block any blitz or maintain blocks for more than two counts. Even Kalil and Sullivan have looked bad.
The Vikings cannot afford to come out of the gate slowly this season. The NFC has too many good teams to give a team with a poor start much of a chance.
I honestly don't think this preseason tells us too much about the offense. Now if AD was playing and we were doing this bad I would definitely be worried.
AD is a game changer and leader. You see a different defensive look when AD is on the field. He has much to do with the success of the passing game and entire offense as a whole with his presence on the field. Look at the Colts back when they first lost Manning. That entire team was no where near the same, including the defensive side of the ball.
If Ponder can just be a decent "game manager" while making little mistakes or turnovers, I think the Vikes have a shot at winning any game in front of them. We know Ponder isn't going to light up the scoreboard or have crazy stats. It's making those 3rd and short passes on a consistent basis that we need to see.
On a side note, he didn't play all that much this preseason and didn't seem to have tons of time to throw the ball the times he was on the field. I think the O-line will need to step up the pass blocking as well. Loadholt seems worthless going against a quick edge rusher. But once again, we will see totally different defensive looks during the regular season when the BEST player in the NFL steps on the field for the entire game. When AD is rushing at will down the defenses throat, very little will be on Ponders shoulders besides NOT TURNING THE BALL OVER. AD is any qb's dream.
But anyway my preseason rant is finished. SKOL!
Jesus Christ.. It's PRESEASON and PRESEASON isn't even over yet. Remember the 0-16 lions? they went 4-0 in preseason. Remember the 16-0 pats? they went 2-2.. I'm not even going to flinch till it's the first game of the season where it really matters.
Originally Posted by Minniman
Amen to that culpepper, I tend to look at preseason like the pro bowl.
Originally Posted by Culpepper_4717
And there in lies the problem with most Ponder apologists. They blame his mediocrity on the fact that AD isn't in there.
Originally Posted by idahovikefan7
What does that tell you about your QB? It tells me that he isn't a leader & he struggles with out an MVP RB in there to carry the team.
I know of 31 other teams out there who don't have AD on there team & guess what? Many of them have great or damn good QB's that can win games without them.
To many fans believe all we need is a game manager for a QB. Bullshit! Game managers work once you have a comfortable lead and all you need to do is manage the game. What you need is a QB that can get you that lead in the first place. That takes more than a game manager. That takes a QB who can put a team on his shoulders and complete passes consistently in the 10-20 yard range when he has to to score points when the team is behind to put them in the lead.
We don't have that. We need a QB that can be a proven winner with an average RB. Then if you insert AD into that fold, you have what you're looking for in a QB.
For Gods sakes people, quit saying Ponder is good because we win when AD is in there. That's speaking more of how bad the QB is without AD in it.
If we had to play the regular season with an average QB like Gerhart due to AD getting injured, how good is your QB then?
The Vikings Preseason
Who the heck is apologizing for ponder any more? I just don't see people jumping to defend him and call for more years like you did with TJ.
Publish your list of Ponder apologists and what makes them such.
If you have that, then you don't need AD and you won't focus so much on the running game. AD would not be happy on a team that is a pass heavy offense, his value goes down. Your money would go to the QB and the receivers and you would focus more on pass blocking than run blocking. You would take what you can get with the running game, but it would be an afterthought. Because we have AD, the Vikings staff believes they can have success by running the offense through him not the QB. That is what Leslie has said time and time again. It may not be what you want, but it is who we are.
Originally Posted by singersp
Now, on the QB. Everybody wants to see better play from this position, everyone on this forum and everyone on the Vikings staff. If Ponder doesnt' improve, he will be gone. No need to keep jumping on his ass every second you get, his play will determine his future. For some, that means they will get to see if their preferred choice (Cassell) can come in and improve the play. If Cassell can't do it, then next year we will most likely be looking once again for another QB.
IMO, with this staff and this team, the only QB that can come in here and have a significant impact is an elite experienced QB. It's what they've built. Why do you think that every QB that comes in here looks like shit. We are not a team conducive to elevating the play of a QB. You could probably take one of these athletic read option guys and have some success (at least for a while), but to get a true pocket passer and have success, it will take a proven vet IMO.
Losing preseason games is one thing; getting manhandled is another. The Vikings starting offense looked bad against first, second, and third string players in game three. That is the tune up game, and the Vikings still have to replace a timing belt, plugs, and oil.
Originally Posted by Culpepper_4717
Bud Grant liked his teams to do well during the preseason. He believed the games to be a gauge of progress and that winning and losing get to be a habit. That was a different era, but the Vikings have not only lost games in preseason this year, they have played poorly while doing so. Off target passes, missed blocks, faulty line calls, blown coverage, missed tackles, and that is the starters as well as the backups.
It does not mean the end is near; it just means there is reason to worry. I am also concerned about the lack of depth on the team. The Vikings need to get depth players up to speed. Of course, some players will not even be on the team come the start of the season, but I would have liked to have seen a little more from depth players - as well as Ponder, the offensive line, and the defensive secondary.
So now we have gone full circle from sick and tired of used up retread QB's , to drafting a franchise QB, and back to wanting a veteran.
Originally Posted by tastywaves
I think the coaches and GM are quite aware they may be saddled with a lemon and a questionable back up this year. Without the expected improvement by Ponder, they are forced to ride on AD's back.
It would appear, options are limited this year, but it wouldn't hurt to consider a third stringer from another team that gets cut or placed on their practice squad, if MBT isn't considered good enough to ever be a starter.
I think this team will play better in the regular season. Their brand of football is a physical style you aren't likely to see in the pre-season. Downhill running and wearing out the defense is what this team is about.
They aren't asking much of Ponder and he struggles to be simply a game manager. But he may get it together.
If not, the Vikings can draft a new QB next year or bring in a veteran.
Either way it seems the Vikings reach into the bag of available QB's and consistently draw out a washed up veteran, a never has been, or a never will be type QB.
Cunningham and Favre being exceptions.
At this point It appears that Singer may be right about Ponder and Cassel appears to be no better.
But it is only pre-season, so I will reserve final judgment, but the optimism I had after the draft has been tempered considerably by the pre-season play of the offense.
I think the Vikings are a running team due to poor QB play as much as or more so than because they have the best running back. A great QB always trumps a great running back in the quest for the Lombardi, it seems. And having both is better yet.
No reason to simply look for a game manager because you have AD. Let AD have less rushing yards, and more super bowl rings, I doubt he would complain.
Makes it very hard to get excited for the season when you see the low quality pre-season play, but I agree that it will more than likely pick up when the regular season starts. Physical play is much higher when the biggest concern isn't avoiding injuries. Some coaches will still push their teams in preseason, but obviously not the Vikings.
Originally Posted by smegmavike
Don't disagree on the why we are a running team comment either. I'm sure the coaching staff would love a great QB, but they have to play with the hand their dealt and part of their grading will be on how effective they can make our existing cast of QB's. We regress this year, and I would suspect we will see multiple coaching changes. You can throw it all on Ponder, but then if Cassell comes in and doesn't look any better, than I think you need to start questioning more than just the QB position.