Julio Jones just made a remarkable
catch out of bounds at the Patriots 22 yard line. The Falcons are up by 8
points with 4:38 left in the 4th quarter. The Pats have all 3 times outs
remaining and the Falcons have 1 left in reserve.
When an organization is searching for that tiny little advantage ... you know,
that small advantage between winning and losing its first Super Bowl ... that
organization has to change it's perspective. Sometimes the answer is just
blurted out by this leagues champions ... because they just cannot contain
Back in Super Bowl IV, the was a comment made by some sports writer about our
beloved Bud Grant. The statement was that our coach wasn't of the caliber
of what could be considered a Super Bowl winning coach. In short, on that
day, he wasn't prepared to play catch-up ball with the chiefs. All that
was known on that day was Viking football and that was no where near the likes
of Bill Walsh's west coast offense. On that day, we may have had the
pieces but we in no way could execute what had evolved into a new stain of
offense. From a coaching perspective ... we were one step behind.
Then we hear it. Troy Aikman blurts it out. The man that has 3 Super
Bowl Championships under his belt. "3-points would be huge
here!" What was the other side of that fence trying to tell us ...
with the fence being franchises that win championships versus the other side
that hasn't? In that one moment of time he recognized something &
every Viking fan on the planet should have realized that crystal clear moment in
time ... as it traverses through the ages.
Someone recently wrote an article about the similarities between today's
Falcon's & our 1998 squad. As it turns out, that thought turned out to
be prophetic ... but not for the reasons stated in that article. What was
clear in that 1998 championship game, if Gary Anderson had made that kick, this
Vikings Franchise would have a 10 point lead in an era before the 2-point
conversion. If made, there would be no way the Falcons could have tied up
the score where that special squad would have punched its ticket to the Super
So what can Mike Zimmer learn from Troy Aikman's prophetic comment ...
understanding that Troy's statement was actually more of a metaphor for
something that had eluded this franchise in its 55 years of
existence? Well, as it turns out ... it was the lacking of a concise
perspective. Think of this perspective like John Wayne teaching Ron Howard
how to shoot his pistol in the Shootist. "The difference, son, is
that I won't (make the mistake of) draw a breath (or hesitate) in any way before
pulling that trigger.
The mistake made by the Falcon's staff was that they were caught up in thinking
they were playing the New England Patriots instead of what they were really
playing against ... THE CLOCK. To be direct, based upon watching Mike
Zimmer's past performances, it is absolutely clear that he doesn't even begin to
understand this concept however it is my hope that he soon will.
it turns out, can be one of the great teachers known to man ... without having
direct consequences. If Mike Zimmer could feel just 5% of what the Falcons
are going through today ... he'd have a chance that one day just might get this
franchise over the top.
It's first down, with 4:38 left on the clock. So that there is no chance
of stopping the clock on first down the Falcon's run the ball off tackle.
And just like in real life, 44 seconds run off the clock making it 2nd & 11
at the 23 yard line with 3:56 left on the clock. Same play is run again
but now the cheating genius has a dilemma instead of getting cute by trying to
throwing a pass. Do I burn a time out or not. Because the Patriots
have to guard against an 11 point lead, the cheating genius has to call time out
as he did but instead of 3rd and whatever it's 3rd down & 10 from the 22
yard line with 3:50 or less on the clock. Run the exact play again picking
up 2 yards on 3rd down but the difference hear is that the cheating genius
cannot call time out this time meaning that a minimum of 46 seconds comes off
the clock. With 3:04 left on the clock the Falcons call their final time
out. Now, the kicker has his chance to achieve his life long dream ... to
make that 36 yard kick in the biggest game of his life. The odds are
heavily stacked in the Falcon's favor as after all they carry the legacy of that
98 kick that sealed our fate. Now they are up by 11 points with under 3
minutes left to play. The patriots only have two time outs left and the
You might think that Tom Brady would have won that game anyway ... no matter
what ... but what it clear to me is that at some point the Patriots would have
had to line up for an on-side kick. No matter how good the cheating genius
might be, in that event the odds would be heavily stacked against the
Patriots. So much so that the Falcon's should be world champions
What Troy Aikman blurted out ... from the mouths of babes ... is that the
difference would be "Intense Clock Pressure", that absolutely no one
could overcome. If you heard Tom Brady's words, he spoke of his team &
the chain of events that needed to happen. If any one of those chains were
to break then it would all fall apart. Time was that key factor in that
Like I said, based upon Mike Zimmer's past performances, we've seen him call
time outs for the other teams offense to get his defense on the same page.
That statement alone is a clear lack of preparation & most importantly the
result of a vague command. It's right up there with Robert E. Lee's
command to take the high ground on the first day in Gettysburg if
practicable. The leaders on the field should have the authority to set the
defense without having to rely upon the direct commands of Eisenhower on
D-Day. Battlefield commanders need to be able to execute split second
decisions on the battlefield and the clock is always your greatest foe.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: February 8, 2017