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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Dirt Patch Commeth
 Wasn't it just yesterday when a young Jim Harbaugh was directing the Chicago Bears at quarterback under Ditka.  The fond memories of a pick six followed by a neck vein popping, spittle induced, ragging Ditka that sent "The Dirt Patch" AKA Jim Harbaugh back to where he belonged ... the bench.  In many ways Christian Ponder reminds me of the Dirt Patch.  Here's the difference.  Ditka wasn't afraid to expose "The Dirt Patch" as a pretender, in that brief moment in NFL history.  Now, at 1 opening day win and 11 loses under Ponder's belt, with two against the weakest part of the power rankings, we as Viking fans are going to have to continue to endure that set-in-stone 20 start break-in period ... that 20 start measuring stick that we must adhere to no matter what.  After all, Ponder was a #1 draft pick bust and we are too stupid to see it.  At an 8.3% winning percentage ... how much more can we endure?   If you responded ... a whole lot more then I'd say that you were clairvoyant. 

This week, will "The Dirt Patch" return the favor of exposing players for what they are by playing NFL caliber football?  Just like the NFL did for him or will he wear the suit and take on the pose?  As it's witness, what I see is a Dirt Patch bully pulling at the strings of an elite force.

As for the Ponder's measuring stick, stated in my last article, Andrew Luck's opening drive against what I consider is a very good defense resulted in a touchdown.  My claim is that historically Luck will end up being a very good quarterback ... but he will not become an elite championship level quarterback.  In the NFL, there is not such thing as back to back Hall of Fame draft pick quarterbacks.  The NFL is in transition where future championships shall be reserved for players like RG3, Cam Newton & others.  The OLD GUARD is desperately grasping onto Norm Van Brocklin's pocket passer (Eli & Peyton Manning's, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan & Tom Brady), never forgetting that it was our beloved Vikings that innovated that Hall of Fame scrambling quarterback Fran Tarkenton.  Admittedly ... mostly by desperation ... however Van Brocklin couldn't see it ... and neither can you.  The point being, in regard to that Ponder measuring stick ... Ponder has never done what Andrew Luck did in that first touchdown drive.  It's the comparison that is screaming at you.

As for Jim Harbaugh, he fears only one thing.  Our elite force, Adrian Peterson, can quickly be neutralized by the insane maneuvers of our head coaches.  Our brain trust can be counted on to toss AD into the sausage grinder between the 20's having to face either a non-existent or a diminished Peterson between the 20 & the goal line.  The entire team can be allowed to disappear for AD fantasy yards between the 20's.  Our objective should never be to win ... it's all about fantasy yards.  What Harbaugh fears deeply is the repetitive use of Toby Gerhart.  Let me see ... both Harbaugh & Gerhart are products of Stanford.  Wasn't it Herb Brooks that said, "We are going to take the Soviet's game and throw it right back at them."  What he meant was that we are going to beat them at their own game."  Harbaugh's game revolves around Gore.  His two #1 draft pick guards are in place for a reason.  Our key to victory is an aging Gore versus the reincarnation of the A-Frame.  Imagine what kind of stupid you have to be not to be using a Mike Alstott to pound defenses time and again.  No!  No!  Let's put Ponder in the shot gun time and again to scramble for no gain (deer in the headlights).

What our coaches did to Harvin last week was nothing less than criminal.  First, to pad Ponder's stats, Ponder didn't have to throw down field.  How many of Harvin's receptions were made uncontested behind line of scrimmage.  Once again, Harvin is one of our few Viking elite forces.  It doesn't take a brain surgeon to understand that the objective of the defense is to keep everything in front of them so that you can prevent the big play and by all means gang tackle.  So of course, what does our brain trust do ... let's deplete Harvin to the point where he's absolutely useless to us.  Hello!  When you deplete a player like that you expose him to injury.  Was the depletion be so prevalent as to make Harvin completely ineffectual this week?

Carlson secured a 25 million 5-year deal.  To be direct, the money matters not however we cheap seat fans were promised a heavy does of Tight End play (receptions) that "Chucky" Jon Gruden (where's the umlaut) so eloquently stated last night that has transformed the league.  Oh, I forgot, Ponder can't pass the ball down the field.  Oh, I forgot, Ponder can't perform because our offense is broken or we are missing Jerome Simpson or just pick and excuse and insert it here.

Isn't it odd that once again the excuses for maintaining this teams overwhelming burden know as "THE LIE", are once again flowing.  The key statement was in regard to the substandard play of our defense.  Allow me to be direct.  There is nothing wrong with this defense.  Yeah Robison over ran a certain safety/sack in the end zone {Nite-Sweats} that would have transformed this contest into a certain victory.  Yeah, we got nailed out of two (2) consecutive 4th and long that were transformed into 1st & 10 personal fouls by Sendejo & Allen.  Sure a sack in week 1  was transformed into a personal foul.  Sure, Cook looking into the backfield on a hand off, holding his ground, 8 positive ground yards down field instead of attacking as a full speed missile directly at the running backs legs.  Man, do I miss that high speed tackling presence of a healthy Cedric Griffen.  Sure, Marcus Sherels can get held and pushed down field 10 yards or more because he has no understanding of marshal arts to punch, sweep & break hands that grasp onto jersey's.  Sure, to be in our secondary you have to have hands of stone.  Sure, our strong safety Mistral Raymond is better suited to playing touch football in a man's game but absolutely none of this concerns me.  I'm gushing over these guys because they are just a small bit of inspiration away from a championship.
Absolutely none of this concerns me and I'm being 100% genuine in making that statement.  For when I see down lineman Griffen drop into coverage smothering a tight end, or an absolute blur wearing the #22 crossing my screen on a tip drill or pounding someone on the sideline, then I'm seeing nothing but positive progression of a very young defense that's about to explode on the scene.  Wasn't there a time on a 3rd & 2 or 3rd & 3 that we could of dropped down lineman taking away the slant.  It's tough to block someone on a run when they aren't there to block.  Allen, Griffen & Robinson dropping into coverage at the same time.  Wow!  What a nightmare. When I watch that defense on the field, my mouth is agape and I'm drooling.

When the offense does it's job ... the defense can do it's job.  A Viking time out at just about the 2 minute mark.  This follows a punt and a dismal 3 & out.  What follow's ... an Andrew Luck TD with seconds left on the clock.  No measuring stick here ... Ponder never did that.  In eight more starts, Leslie Frazier & this season could be gone forever.  Yeah!  Let me ride this whirlwind. 

I wonder what the "Toad-Man" could have done with that 67 yard punt.  We end up with a penalty.  What I can tell you is that he's not going to seek out the side line.  He's going the attack the inside hip and run it in the alley.  How is it that our runners do not understand that there is an extra tackler ... it's called the sideline.  The "Toad-Man" is not only super fast, he has cat like change of direction quickness.  We are leaving touch downs on the field.  A comment was made, "That was the best performance ever by Sherels".  My response ... "Exactly"!  Hello!  Where's that quick strike scat back that can shred defenses?  Hello!

At this juncture, the ultimate question is, does this frustrated defense want sacks ... Sacks by the boat load?  It begins by dropping Robison, Allen & Griffen into coverage.  That fraction of a second that you're looking for is held within well disguised coverage.  Sacks are meaningless without interceptions, a pass defensed, strips, safeties & of course fumbles.  What was the NFL Iron Man known for ... The NFL's record for recovered fumbles.  Anyone can beat an individual ... no one can beat this team.  

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date:  September 19, 2012