Primetime was quite poignant
when he stated that, "Norv Turner's crew failed in not establishing the
pass early in this game." There was also a specific alignment that
Norv Turner missed that failed him in regard to Adrian Peterson ... and that
lies in not having Adrian Peterson play the Packers at all last
The Packers are known to have a particular weakness against Adrian Peterson and
it has shown up historically in his numbers versus the Packers. In other
words, there is a price to be paid for not having continuity in having years of
service with the same coach. Green Bay, on the other hand, has had steady
success for well over two decades, where they've adjusted for Peterson since
2007. I think with Zimmerman and Turner we may have solved that problem as
we have certainly found a coach.
Norv Turner played exactly into the Packers hand in stopping Peterson on first
down and he fell into the trap. To stop Peterson, the defensive line has
to stack along the line of scrimmage. The line cannot get vertical into
the backfield when Adrian is scheduled to tote the rock. This, compounded
with Norv's decision of not using double tight ends and a full back ... doomed
Peterson for the day. In the first quarter, if you're going to run the
ball ... then run it with power. The Packer's defensive line alignment
opened an opportunity for Teddy to exploit as when the offensive line doesn't
get north-south, it offers Teddy the time to exploit 1st down 1 on 1 throws down
the field. Don't expect Norv Turner to make the same mistake. What
was also clear is that Green Bays defensive line aligned and pressured
north-south, pushing into an irregular pocket on passing downs, causing Teddy's consternation.
Of course, this alignment by the Packers was exposed years ago, which we failed
to learn from. In one year, in our first match up with the Packers Adrian
Peterson shredded them, where the Packers aligned in our second contest to shut
Adrian down. At that time, the problem was that neither our coaches nor
Ponder was capable of exploiting this new alignment scheme. Neither Norv
Turner or Teddy Bridgewater will fail under the same illusions in our January
There was also another fact that Green Bay exploited. In almost every
contest, there is a genuine fear to develop Teddy's arm early and often.
Of course we're not referring to the dink and dunks but the vertical 15 to 18
yard play action strikes that changes the defenses mind set. If this is
established early, a defense facing Adrian Peterson may never recover from
it. There is no question that Teddy is as tough as they come however it is
not clear if Teddy has a fear, or a mental obstacle ... that just doesn't
exist. In other words, it is easier to take what they give you ... rather
than to demand what is warranted. It is time Norv demands that Teddy
pierce through his fears to reach the next level. Until then, he's going
to take a pounding as they stack along the line of scrimmage ... something that
no one would do facing Rodgers.
Yesterday's game versus the Packers wasn't as bad as you might think although it
is clear that we broke down in just about every aspect of the game. Our
special teams were pitiful ... one of the prior strengths of our team, but don't
expect that to happen again up in Lambeau. At some point, Zimmerman will
awaken from his slumber, where he will get over both his fear and mental
obstacles, where he will go for two rather than to rely on kicking a very
uncertain extra point. This goes beyond statistics where real action will
drive his kicker to excellence rather than allow him to wallow in dole drums.
Zimmerman's mentors were men of action ... where the field of play must be
changed and it must be unexpected to change the field. "Expect me to
take risks." Green Bay also established great opening field position
on just about every kickoff which resulted in a plethora of short Rodger's
drives which resulted in field goal opportunities that resulted in points.
Our offensive line play, as bad as it was, lies at the feet of Norv Turner who
failed to antisipate and take advantage of defensive alignments as already
stated. Of course this doesn't explain the entire offensive line shifting
either right or left allowing free runs of their corner and safety
blitzes. Green Bay took excessive risks yesterday on defense and it paid
off exposing a still inexperienced quarterback combined with a lack of adequate
protection. We had a great deal of difficulty anticipating Green Bays next
move and Teddy bore the brunt of it.
Why is it that in one week Newman is the defensive player of the week and the
next ... the leagues biggest goat. Yesterday, it was as if he was wearing
the name tag Dishman on that touchdown throw. There was no way Rodgers
makes that high risk pass without knowing that Dishman isn't setting it
up. As remarkable as that pass was ... it doesn't happen without
cooperation. Neither Wallace nor Dishman II originated as Vikings and both
cost us critically yesterday. The point here is that Wayne's is a true
Viking and that play simply doesn't happen with him on the field. Is that
direct enough for you? What would Charles Johnson, combined with Wright
and Diggs bring to yesterdays field? It may be time to open up that box of
intangibles as Johnson may have something to prove that trumps the size of a
useless mega-contract. Can Johnson, along with a rekindled bonding with
Teddy ... once again ... bring us to the next level? We don't need speed
... we need size and reliable hands. The hope of over the top just doesn't
fit with either this scheme or the limitations of this offensive line.
When are we going to wake up to this fact?
Then of course we see the game open and we see a smiling commissioner in the
stands where they're talking about how he was visiting the new stadium.
Yeah right! We haven't received a break from this guy ... ever!.
Then the laundry starts flying. The game had the feel of that 2009
championship game in New Orleans ... as if that officiating crew was hand
selected by the big guy himself. Maybe it's shades of things to come.
Now take a moment to select and remove three or four plays yesterday. Now
remove at least three or four penalties. What you see is a very different
Packers team that will not dominate down the stretch without the big guys hand
in the pot figuring things out on their behalf. Will Lacy be there on
January 3rd? Will James Jones be making that sideline catch? Will
Adrian Peterson be running in the 3rd & 4th quarter? Will Adrian
Peterson be willing to fumble away another championship ... when he may never
have another chance? Will Norv open with double tight ends and a full back
to dish it up directly into Mathews face? Will Teddy be throwing the ball
on 1st down in the 1st and 2nd quarter? Will the Vikings be an outdoors
team playing in Lambeau? It is time to render both Aikman and Buckhead
So does Zimmerman get off the hook? Hardly! No one punished Rodgers
on this day. Rodgers got out of that pocket way too often. Even
though Griffen didn't jump off sides ... Barr did ... and it was as crucial as
any other play. Maybe Zimmerman's team was incapable of doing it as two of
his key defensive ends were banged up pretty good. On January 3rd ... on
the day that it counts ... Rodgers is going to be thinking that he will be able
to take it easy ... taking the day off with another Division Championship
already under his belt. He won't be expecting to be hip deep in a dog
fight and he won't be expecting the punishment heading into the playoffs.
To get there ... this team has to take care of business.
Sometimes things happen for a reason. Up to yesterday, this team was
feeling good about itself. They now know that they need to break through
to the next level. The mistake is in thinking that in time things will
take care of themselves. It doesn't. You have to both face and then
dominate your fears. You have to seize your opportunities. Again, it
feels like you've lost 10 games again ... just like when you lost to the 49ers
... but you're still tied for first place in this division. Things could
be allot worse ... and then again, they are ... as you had an opportunity of
stepping on the throat of Rodgers and you let it get away. The Packers
didn't win ... they escaped!
Everyone needs a focal point. Take a good look at the commissioner smiling
yesterday. Focus and see the look on his face when he is forced to hand
over that Lombardy on the worlds greatest stage. There is only so much
control that he can wield before it all becomes way to obvious. At some
point, you might have pondered why this organization has endured so much
adversity, especially recently under Zimmer's regime. It was to prepare
for the adversity that is sure to come from beyond the simple 11 that you will
face. Keep in mind that the greatest steels are forged from the fires of
the eternal. You were graciously given a glimpse of that yesterday.
The time to strike is when the iron is hot. Now ... how do you feel about
that ... and what are you going to do about it?
He who has the last laugh
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: November 23, 2015