Short Week/Mattison Anomaly
It's time to start whining. The Vikings have to travel back from The Big
Easy, to get some home rest & work, then travel to San Francisco to play the
first playoff game out of the gate in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Well
... maybe you haven't noticed the last 5 years but absolutely nothing is ever
easy for this franchise. In short, all of it leading up to this event has
been your preparation for handling this short week. The 49ers, as this years
NFC 1st seed, has been handed this years stacked deck, for yet another missed pass interference call (Seattle vs. 49ers) that
screwed the Saints out of that 1st round bye. Congratulations!
So we are coming off another playoff high only to have to face the eventual crash & burn
... predicted by all the prognosticators, once again ... as we lick
the wounds of all our wounded warriors. The question is ... will some
higher being step in on our behalf to make the impossible ... possible?
Is it any wonder why Cleveland is interested in the not yet ready for prime time
Stefanski - Don't do it Coach. It's 3rd & 2, and they've got Kirk Cousins in the shot
gun. Are you kidding me? Kirk Cousins is clearly the best play
action passer in maybe a generation with two of the best runners available (Cook
& Mattison) & we're not in some sort of running formation to get all
those lovely linebackers ready to bite on either a run or play action pass. Sure
Cousins is comfortable, to be on his spot in the shot gun, however that is not what this team needs
to do ... is it? Is it any wonder why this has failed ... over and over
again? Keep in mind that every time you run the ball, it counts as a 2% gain toward a
victory regardless of the outcome, where it is no sin to run on 3rd & 3. Why
Once again, we have to question the inexperience of the late play calling of
Coach Stefanski. The Aint's are clearly in a defensive scheme to
take away our outside running which is exactly what Dalvin Cook wants to do
rather than in what this team needs to do. If you're leery about
subjecting cook to this workload, for whatever reason, you'll have both Mattison
& Boone that are willing to showcase their prowess against a depleted 8 man
box to bank role that additional 2% for each attempt. When we did finally get on track we
understood that our running success would came from running between the tackles
(See Cooks touchdowns).
Those outside runs at many times throughout the day resulted in several severe losses, one of
which almost ended up as a touch down if not for Cooks well placed
knee. We played right into the Aint's hands running outside over and
over again. What were we thinking?
Do you want to come to grips with an obscured fact that presents an anomaly on a scale
that is much much greater that Kirk Cousins unexplainable Monday Night won/loss
record or his record in playing prime time games which is now clearly a bunch of
irrelevant tripe, however impossible it is to deny the facts of lost opportunities.
This is a very deep & dark secret that has been swept under the rug &
hidden deep within the depths of the NFL. The Anomaly in this case is in
regard to Alexander Mattison and to be direct ... what it presents is absolutely
outrageous in that not one
franchise representative or one sports commentator has taken the ball and run
In other words, we all should collectively be ashamed of ourselves.
Alexander Mattison's official stat line is 100 carries for 462 yards, sporting a
4.6 yard average per carry with one touchdown. What has been obscured from history is the number of yards that have been taken away from him due to
all those rarified offensive holding calls tabbed to his ledger this year. If
all those non-carries were totaled up, he's probably be close to 1,000 yards.
With all that overall
success, he most certainly would have been given even more carries. Now add in
the liquorish whip of applying a ten yard penalty each time after his yards were
liquefied into oblivion & it becomes clear that this Vikings franchise was being punished
severely for even thinking about using Mattison. It happened again last
night when Adam Thielen was called for some sort of phantom holding call on one of
Mattison's masterpiece runs. Are you paying attention? Anomalies are
not to be ignored ... they are to be scrutinized ... the facts defy
So what's the net effect. Well, if the franchise is being punished every time
we use Mattison (another little hanky hear, then there, and then of course here), it forced us to use Cook
instead which in and itself isn't a bad thing except that it exposed him to excessive wear
& tear over this long season. The result was a shoulder injury which
clearly limited him at seasons end.
Now, what's my beef? Well ladies & gents just look at what passes as
run blocking in this league, that is turned to a blind eye, & it becomes
overwhelming as to the outrageousness of the calls applied to Mattison's running
skills & abilities. In other words, what should clearly be in the running for rookie
of the year has been stolen from the eyesight for our public consumption.
Unless you watch NFL films religiously, the average Joe outside of this
franchise has no understanding of Alexander's prowess. In short, the NFL
viewer-ship has been robbed of being entertained ... the very thing for which
they are paying.
Now put this in perspective. We face the Hawks & we get a double dose
of Carlson & Penny. We get almost a repeat performance in playing the
Packers at home for the division title.
So what does this Vikings franchise get, we get to have one of our hands tied
behind our back. Don't believe me ... add up the numbers.
Alexander Mattison is running the ball. He isn't holding a thing but all
those holding calls were thrown onto his cart. Add up all those penalty
yards & you'll clearly see my point ... the league says you can't use
Mattison. Now add up all those impressive running
numbers that were wiped clean from all of history ... and prepare yourself for the
Someone's got to do their homework on this. An Anomaly of this magnitude
needs to be thrown out there for public consumption because it's as if some nefarious
entity has us by our snarlies.
You want entertainment ... run Alexander Mattison between the tackles and get
him involved both early & often. You do this, and regardless of the
number of Cook touches ... Cook will become unstoppable. Along with that
... Kirk Cousins enters rarified air.
Just so you are aware, I can no longer even listen to a Minnesota Vikings
broadcast ... I can only view it ... again, as its witness. To put this
into perspective, I had been in ear shot of the opening broadcast versus the
Saints ... right up to when Theilen fumbled. I'm entertaining the Viking
faithful. I turned off the sound & no one utters a word. The
rest is history. I haven't been able to listen to any Vikings broadcast
without my beloved franchise losing. A good example was in traveling in
during the first Packers game where I couldn't watch & drive a car but
instead listened. Since them ... deathly silence ... at least as best as I
could control. Having no choice, I watched the Seahawks broadcast in
a sports bar ... again without control over ear shot ... loss. Yesterday,
I had agreed to turn on the broadcast right after the conclusion of the Saints
playoff contest. When I turn the sound on, the first words uttered by the
announcers - Rudolph pushed off - Immediate Review - Followed by muted
silence. This is not a joke. This pattern has followed the entire
It is now screaming in my ear. I must travel to Eagan, Minnesota &
wait for a 5 minute interview with Head Coach Mike Zimmer. I am not
invited and for all purposes I am maybe the most reviled within the Viking
faithful that walks the planet. For some time now I've held the secret of
transforming the outcome of any game into the favor of this Minnesota Vikings
franchise. The secret may be out as it was used by the Chicago Bears this
year only once however it can only be unleashed in the most desperate of
circumstances ... so it has been shelved ... for now. The result of this
paradigm shift will result in an immediate change to the NFL's rule book &
it will soon be referred to as the Mike Zimmer rule, like the time run-off will
be referred to as the new Belichick rule.
Here is my dilemma. Do I allow my beloved franchise to once again scuttle
this 2019 season or do I face my greatest fear? That fear is to travel to
Minnesota to face all that I have done. To go to a venue that I've always
dreamed of but can never visit. To weep in the stands throughout America
to watch the opening ceremonies of each foe that we were to face ... all the
while knowing that I could never ever actually witness the same for my
beloved. I've been writing since 2007 ... since the arrival of Adrian
Peterson & the things that I've said in many ways have been too harsh for
even me to face. Nothing from that point would ever be the same to which I
take solace but with it a responsibility to keep it all at arms length.
What I realize, if I take this on is that I will have to face the Minnesota
elements without a coat, without a roof over my head, & without food until I
am finally granted access into the lions den for those precious 5 minutes ...
followed by the unknown. I will be made to wait standing in the cold ...
the elements ... lashed to that deck like the Viking warrior that I've always
dreamed to be. So close to what has become something that I can never
visit... my Mecca ... home plate in the mall of America.
I must go alone ... which is not a problem though ... as a defensive back must
prepare his entire life to stand alone ... on that pitching sea of
How do I beg my wife to allow me to do something so foolishly stupid?
Tell me ... how badly do you want to win this thing and
is it worth 5 minutes of your time? Survey says .... NAAAANNNT!
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: January6, 2020