It's as if all people need to do is read a particular statistic or know the value of some players paycheck ... and it gives them all the ammunition that they need to say stupid stuff. People ... it's a team game ... where one persons sacrifice can result in a "small-battle-victories" somewhere else.
For example, we talk about Adrian Peterson's struggle running the ball this year. The hole opens ... Adrian runs to it ... and the hole is filled by a defender on a run blitz. Somehow, the frustration builds, and someone says something about his age where everyone tends to forget ... he's an old dog being made to new learn tricks. In other words ... AD has no full back blasting defenders on the second level to clear the way for small, moderate and big vertical gains rather than losses.
How about when they say that "This is Adrian Peterson team" or "This team revolves around Adrian Peterson" or "Let's be candid about this ... it all revolves around Adrian Peterson". Sure AD is an integral cog, or better said ... gear, in the machine however, everyone knows that one cog doesn't make a machine. Said another way, what would this team be without "Teddy's Bridge over so much Troubled Water". They've are becoming a matched set. We can now do well both with and without Adrian Peterson presents upon the field. We are a developing team where AD now has the luxury of being able to appreciate this fact which means trouble to allot of other teams.
The world it now lit up with the word ... "Diggs" ... you know ... fantasy fanatics. Of course we are all happy that one of our own is taking that next step towards what could be immorality but before we do this, we need to take a closer look at what's really gone down to this point. Mike Wallace has had to alter himself from his very successful vertical game of the past into being more of a possession receiver ... securing 1st downs in the process. Each week this offense faces what could be at least once exceptional shut down corner. If Diggs is tearing it up ... is it happening because someone else has taken on a higher risk burden, to open the field up for Diggs. Does this diminish anything that either Diggs or Wallace has accomplished so far? No, but neither Teddy, nor Norv Turner, is going to force the ball into a bad situation. In fact, the way we all should be looking at it, when any one of our six (6) wide receivers makes that catch ... it's an accomplishment of that on-field receiver core ... as they are opening doors that would otherwise might be closed.
Maybe you hadn't noticed but Everson Griffen had two sacks last week versus the Lions but that wasn't the real news. He actually played an entire game without jumping off sides. Now that's a news story however can he do it versus "A. A. Ron Rod Gers"?
What we are talking about here is a vast change from our past where our prior teams have been full of "ME" guys ... looking out only for their big payoff. To drive this point home, how many Vikings are in the Hall of Fame. Now compare that overwhelming statistic to the number of Minnesota Viking NFL championships ... an equally overwhelming statistic. So how important is this distinction? Well ... it's monumental. In fact, next year we'll be talking to both Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith about their long term deals telling them that they will both be well paid but there is no way this Viking franchise can afford to pay them what they are actually worth on the open market. Seattle's salary cap reality is now in full effect which is due to players contracts versus a finite salary cap. In other words, just because the money is available doesn't mean that you deserve it all as other have to eat too. The difference here is that they will both know that they need to be in Minnesota ... to be apart of the "Selfish Unselfishness". Sure, in that past that meant absolute diddly squat but they both can now see what it takes to be apart of a dynasty. The Patriots, and until recently the Seahawks, wrote that book.
It's interesting to hear them speak so highly of our defense and Mike Zimmer's system. The same will soon be said of Norv Turner's crew but to be direct, there is a reason why Norv's crew isn't at that level yet and it takes nothing away from either Mike or Norv and their respective crews. Everyone knows that all it takes is one great action by one defender to blow up any particular play. Yes, it is still a collective effort however 10 defenders can be a fraction of a second late, or be slightly off their assignment, where it all corrects itself with one defender making an outstanding play. The same cannot be said on the offensive side of the ball. In fact one blown assignment could typically results catastrophe. Now look at the reality of the situation. Teddy and Adrian have played a grand total of six games together. Kalil, Fusco, Berger, Harris & Clemmings ... six games. How many games did Jerry Rice play with either Joe Montana or Steve Young. How many games did Peyton Manning play with Marvin Harrison. It's remarkable that we've even gotten close to where we are today.
Now we see people calling out Xavier Rhodes as penalty prone and grabby. Really! Is this a joke? Sure, we can all read the stat sheets but you've got to be wondering ... are we all watching the same games? Xavier is by far one of the top five defensive backs in the entire league. He's always playing the best defender and when there is a call against him, we all get to watch the replay (hopefully of the entire route). In more times than not the first thought is that the official might be making some sort of make up call for some other previous play because the bulk of these calls are just outright wrong. It's almost as if they are tossing the other team some sort of bone because that teams greatest offensive threat just hasn't been able to produce against Rhodes. To be direct, the Bulk of calls against Xavier are just not showing up on tape. On almost every call this kid is forced to take a bite of pubic hair sandwich and there's nothing that can be done about it as arguments with the officials get you nothing. Sure, the officials are graded but like all great elections ... it's not who you vote for ... it's who's counting the ballets. Yup! Some teams count and some don't. The only saving grace, if there is one out there, is that players vote for the best defenders for the Pro Bowl. Now that it's a choose up game ... players want the best because after all ... your going to want Xavier on your team. Why? It's because players watch a ton of tape, over and over again, where they tend to overlook blown calls.
There was one more odd item that has to do with the overall state of the team. Many have tried to qualify it with many variants but they just seam to miss the mark ... over and over again. This is now an outdoor team. It has been for some time now. So what's the difference. Spirals aren't as tight in blowing winds and neither is that place kick so an outdoor team doesn't take things for granted. In other words you have to generate that statistic today because tomorrow you just might be playing in a gale, dealing with rain, or you might be slipping on snow & ice. What is most certainly true is that a greater attention to detail comes from being an outdoor team which might explain why A. A. Ron Rod Gers spirals were always so tight in the Metrodome. With our upcoming brutal list of outdoor games, coming to a theater near you, we should be well seasons for that final conflict up in Green Bay.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: November 1, 2015