On Monday night, the Minnesota Vikings made a strong case for calling it a franchise. When ESPN's announcers were not shilling for the NFL's and Vikings' stadium drive, the Vikings were making fans wish that that was all that Monday night was about. With bad play on all fronts, Leslie Frazier has moved from a near-certainty to be the Vikings' next head coach to almost a certainty not to be.
Last week's performance at Detroit was putrid. This week's performance against a Chicago Bears' team that had been throttled at home one week earlier was putrid to the nth degree. The performance made Les Steckel's team, Denny Green's Spurgeon Wynn season, and Mike Tice's run in Minnesota seem laudable. In short, it was an utter disgrace.
Even those of us who like Frazier and believe that Frazier might have the makings of a good NFL coach have a hard time defending him in the wake of this performance. Yes, Brett Favre was hurt in the game and Joe Webb looked the rookie that he is, but the Vikings did everything poorly on Monday, when they were even making an effort.
Whether Madieu Williams was taking yet another impossibly inept route to the ball/receiver/neither, Ben Leber was dropping an easy pick (yet again), Toby Gerhart was fumbling, Sidney Rice was going through the motions, Ryan Longwell was giving up on a return by Devin Hester, the entire special teams coverage unit was MIA, Bryant McKinnie was taking another night off, John Sullivan was snapping balls over the quarterback's head or at the quarterback's feet, Phil Loadholt was taking another penalty, or Chris Kluwe was punting both short and to Devin Hester, there was no shortage of inexcusable miscues from this group of misfits.
Those who earned at at least some of their salary tonight, included a very small group of players--Antoine Winfield, EJ Henderson, and Percy Harvin. The rest should mail their weekly check back to the team or, better yet, to those who shoveled out the stadium so that the Chicago Bears could clinch in Minnesota instead of in Detroit.
It's very difficult to shake the stink of one putrid loss and virtually impossible to do that with two such losses--particularly when they are back to back. This will be a difficult hole out from which for Frazier to climb.
In Frazier's defense, the Vikings have an awful offensive line, a limited play caller in Darrell Bevell, no safeties, sub-par corners, and no receivers, after Harvin. Those limitations, albeit mostly of his making, were not enough to save Brad Childress' job in Minnesota and now seem unlikely to give Frazier the opportunity that he might deserve.
Up Next: Time to Discard Tampa Two.