Monday, September 24, 2007

Tice Returns to Vikings

Actually, it only seemed like Mike Tice had re-taken the reigns of the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon in Kansas City as the Vikings managed their way to another low-scoring defeat. Or perhaps thats a bit too caustic of a remark--with respect to Tice.

Prior to 2006, it seemed inconceivable that any Vikings' head coach would ever surpass in stubborn commitment to a clearly wrong-headed way of coaching the level of stubborness more often than not exhibited by former Vikings' head coach Mike Tice. In just over one season as head coach of the Vikings, however, Childress has shattered all standards for measuring stubborness in a state that, heretofore, held itself forth as the standard-bearer on stubborness.

Enter the interloper.

After yet another game in which the offense proved incapable of moving the ball in the second half, converting on a meager 4 of 15 third down plays for the game, Childress again banged the drum of missed opportunities. In part, he was right. If only Kelly Holcomb had not played like the journeyman that he is in missing the speedless Robert Ferguson who was inexplicably open in the end zone, the Vikings might have eked this one out. But that sentiment misses the larger point.

More telling were Childress' post-game comments regarding how things work in the NFL. "You know it's always going to come down in this league generally to the last two minutes," Childress said, serious and ponderous as ever, "and some way, you have to will yourself to win."

One can forgive Chilly if he missed Sunday's scores given the return of his obsession with burying his face in his play card only to make horrible offensive decisions in the face of adversity. Had he seen the scoreboard, he surely would have realized the foolishness of his statement. Of the fifteen games played on Sunday, eight even arguably came down to the last two minutes. Seven, meanwhile, were decided well before the fourth quarter, with many of those games essentially decided in the first half.

The point, of course, is that, assuming a solid defense, which the Vikings currently have, and an offense drafted to do no more than not lose the battle of field position, the result, more often than not, will be close games. But that means, absent incredibly good fortune, that one is playing for a .500 record against most teams while conceding defeat against the teams that have not only a good defense but a good offense--teams like Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, New England, Green Bay, and Dallas, to name a few.

While the top teams are holding opponents under twenty points a game and scoring near thirty points per game, Chilly continues to live in his own world where the will to win matters more than having a modern philosophy on how to win--one that matches that put forth by contending teams. Currently on pace to tie last season's average offensive output of ten points per game, Chilly's offense shows no signs of getting better or even aspiring to get better. His post-game remarks suggest as much.

But if Chilly's words do not put a chill in hopeful Vikings' fans, consider Bobby Wade's post-game remarks. When asked about the state of the Vikings' offense, Wade replied that he did not accept the current state and added a gem. "I think our offense can score," Wade stated.

Up Next: Meaningful numbers. Plus, around the NFC.


zebano said...

There were two awful aspects to that game.

1. the pass defense was atrocious. This is two weeks in a row where mediocre to poor players have embarrassed the Vikes. First it was J.T. Sulivan whom we could shrug off because of his plethora of excellent wide out, but this was terrible... Dwayne Bowe???

2. Our offense is so putrid that even Chilly doesn't have faith in it. 3 minutes left in the game, 4th and 7 and we punt? I was quite impressed that the D got the stop, but pull your balls out and try and win a game instead of praying to get lucky. You never know, the boys might just respond well to being given a chance to win, instead of a a chance to not lose.

Sam said...

Just give it some time. New offensive schemes and players take time to gell. Heh. Just kidding.

Yeah, you're being too hard on Tice. It was a blast to listen to the postgame, though, with hosts and callers just lining up to hardcore rip on this pathetic offense. I feel bad for Brad Johnson, as he took much of the blame for the anemic offense last year. By the same token, I also feel bad for Tavaris. For all I know, he could be a stud; but his NFL future is very much in doubt if Chilly remains in Minnesota. I almost wish the Vikes had somehow traded for big-time QBs I hate, like Tom Brady or a 1980s Joe Montana, just so Chilly could ruin their reputation and career. That'd be sweet.

J. Lichty said...

After watching this offense, I am embarrased that I used to quip any time the vikes got into the red zone pre-Randy Moss, that Brian Billick was licking his chops for a field goal.

I now long for the days of settling for field goals.