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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

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 Kirk Cousins is comfortable, to be on his spot in the shot gun, however that is not what this team needs him 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 ... adjustments!!!!    

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 with this.  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 explanation.        

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 vomit express. 

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 2019 season.     

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 life.  

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