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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Now choose.  Would you rather have your team peak throughout the season in order to be a top playoff seed with a first round bye.  In doing so, you'd end up missing your key runner, oh say someone like ... Kareem Hunt.  Or how about a dinged up & potentially ineffective Todd Gurley to go along with not having Cooper Kupp both of which were key in shredding our Viking defense.  Or would you rather have a team that really hasn't peaked & hit on all cylinders for the entire season, that finds itself sliding in the back door on the NFL's big year end tournament ... with something that I don't recall ever ... a practice team sporting full participation at the end of the season.  Before you answer this question, can you still remember John Randle colliding with one of our own on the last play of the game versus the Arizona Cardinals in our 1998 year end tournament, which made him almost completely ineffective versus the Falcon's in the championship game.   
Do you think that the LA Ram's brought forth the same intensity versus the Philadelphia Eagles in last nights Sunday night contest, that they unleashed versus the Vikings on that Thursday Night Prime time event?  Do you think the Green Bay Packers brought forth the same effort versus the Bears yesterday that we faced in both of our contests with the Packers?  Well, obviously these may be different teams, matching up against different opponents, but what can clearly be extracted from these events, is a clear & pristine picture.  Every possible effort is being made to manipulate the tournament to either remove this franchise from the playoffs, or to ensure that this franchise doesn't pass on to the number one seed in the upcoming NFL tournament.  There are now three teams that could potentially finish with a 9-7 record to eliminate the Vikings from playoff contention, which means that this franchise must win its final two games, but after our brutal schedule ... nothings really changed.  Now consider that Chicago has clearly demonstrated it's ability to dispatch the Vikings in Chicago, where the only other "unlikely" outcome that we might face would be for the Vikings getting to travel to Los Angeles, if the Rams ended up being the NFC's 3rd seed (Bears achieving the #2 seed).  Why, might this conspiracy theory be evident & of controlling concern?  Well that's easy.  It's because as of this very moment the franchise is now sporting the most dangerous franchise on the planet ... and to a man, it is now clear that every member of this franchise now knows it.  In addition, there is no other franchise as devoutly focused on ambushing New Orleans in their complex in revenge for that lost 2009 season of unsavory acts.      

Irony is a truly fickle mistress.  Here we have before us maybe the greatest liability that the NFL has ever known in our franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins.  He's given up the ball at what is now beyond an alarming rate.  Now combine that liability with having the best play action passer in the league, on a team that is statistically almost dead last in running.  In steps Kevin Stefanski, wielding his blind (1st opportunity) "Field Generals Baton" in his hand, and he pulls off his rendition of "Pat Shurmur".  Stefanski didn't do his best to cram a round peg into a square hole by making the team accommodate his grand plans.  No, instead coach Stefanski reaped the rewards of utilizing what his personal did best.  The most important aspect of every Kirk Cousins play action look was that it forced his lazy ass to move & shuffle his feet, which doesn't sound like much, but it, in almost every case, changed his launch point.  Now just think about the number of 3, 5 & 7 step "straight-back" drop backs into our flawed pocket that occurred this year & you get some idea of why our offense was so dysfunctional.  In effect moving the launch point by moving & shuffling his feet will be the most useful tool in Head Coach Mike Zimmer tool box & it will be devastating for each & every future opponent.  

Now they are asking, "Is Kirk Cousins this franchises greatest liability?"  Well, compare the following. When Robert Smith was foolish enough to put the ball on Denis Green's carpet ... each & every time he immediately thereafter found himself picking splinters out of his hind quarters until he didn't have that type of problem any more.  The exact same issue almost derailed Tiki Barber's career.  Every member of the Viking faithful is well aware of Adrian Peterson's two key playoff fumbles in the 2009 championship game as well as in the Blair Walsh playoff debacle at the University of Minnesota.  And if you're a little salty, you might remember Brent McClanahan's fumble on the 1 yard line in the Super Bowl XI, or Fran Tarkenton fumble at the goal line in Super Bowl IX and let's not even talk about Charlie West fumble at the X in Super Bowl IV allowing the Chief's to gain a 16-0 lead.   So, sure a quarterback giving up the ball at an alarming rate is without doubt our greatest liability.  So, in regard to our greatest liability, what is it's greatest cause.  Well it is due to the definition of the word "PLACATE".  Due in part to their franchise quarterback stature, both Kirk Cousins, & Fran Tarkenton have been handled entirely differently than how everyone else had been handled.  You can ignore it, or you can correct it.          
After throwing the Miami pick six, you could say that Kirk just didn't see it, which is the most obvious response that every member of the Viking Nation clings to in hope ... but hope is a very bad thing, as the word "HOPE" can only be used against us.  From Kirk's reaction, you could also say, he just didn't care.  You could think that he's been carefully trained to quickly clear his mind of any & all bad events (to have no short term memory) ... so that you can successfully get on to the next play.  One could also deduce that this particular play was a statement from him to the entire franchise ... don't screw with me because I can make all your dreams go bye bye (Vindictive, Vindication, Vitriol ... all hidden).  So, after all that history, as well as the continuation of all this substandard play, is there a solution to this franchises #1 problem?  Absolutely. 

The following must be made clear to the entire team as neither General Patton, nor I, aren't going to Placate a G-d Damn thing going forward.  Trevor Siemian is our backup quarterback and will only play only if Kirk Cousins cannot go {As this franchises number 1 liability, even the opposing team has an interest that Kirk Cousins will not be injured}.  In regard to my abilities at enhancing & correcting any outstanding issues in regard to the protection of my rock ... Kyle Sloter will dress for all future games ... which means just about anything is possible & is on the table.  This is our plan going forward.  The message here is clear.  Any attempt to PLACATE anyone or anything ... will stand to inject a crippling effect within the men that I'm entrusted to Sheppard through this very difficult process.  We, as an organization, are willing to do anything to help each & every one of you ... be successful.  Unfortunately, what it also means is that as a team we are all need of raising our level of play ... or else.      

In regard to Daniel Carson, what this organization did for him was truly remarkable.  He has been taken out of the pressure cooker & been allowed to assimilate himself within the NFL.  At present, his number & efficiency reflect this but keep in mind that the Raiders are not playing for anything other than to upset their opponents.  It's unfortunate Daniel was unable to do that here but he now has the time to develop into the player that we knew he would be.      

You can count the number of players of Chad Beebe's ilk on one had which include Wes Welker & Julian Edelman (and to a much lesser extent Cole Beasley).  The cat is out of the bag.  This kid is a flat out baller & if he dresses ... he will become an invaluable weapon for Kirk Cousin's.  In my opinion, if Beebe dresses it may mean that Treadwell will not, unless we can find some other option.  Treadwell's is clearly suited as being a hybrid tight end.   Oh, by the way, did you know that Kevin White wears the number 11 too (how's that working out for him).     

When facing either Kamara or Tarik Cohen, you have to recognize that their big back (like Jordan Howard) isn't their primary threat.  In other words, the big back is forcing Zimmer to counter with Anthony Barr.  The key to Trubiski, whether at home or in Chicago, is to shadow Cohen in man coverage with your hybrids.  Kendricks has to shadow Trubiski as a continual running threat.  Barr, Brothers & Gedeon are useless in coverage versus both Kamara & Cohen and the later is suspect in trying to corral Trubiski on the run.  To counter the Kamara/Cohen threat you may need to play both Alexander (slot) & Kearse (man on Cohen or Kamara).  You won't stop either of them but the hybrids are capable of being very physical with them which will reduce their overall effectiveness.

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: December 17, 2018