As much as Dan Dierdorf attempted to make excuse after excuse for the Colts, the Vikings found a way to hand the game to the growing infirmary report known as the Indianapolis Colts. Throughout the entire game, viewers were subjected to hearing over and over again how detrimental it was for the Colts to be without center Jeff Saturday and tight end Dallas Clark. So why is it that we only heard about the injuries and missing players from the Colts? The home team Vikings had a couple of rather important pieces missing as well. Safety Madieu Williams missed his second game due to a nagging neck injury, forcing the Vikings to start a rookie in his place once again. On the other side of the ball the Vikings were without LT Byannt McKinnie, serving game two of his four game suspension for trouncing a bouncer over the head with a rope stantion. In his place was Artis Hicks, who by all accounts could have not played due to injury so he was nowhere near 100%. So Dan, the next time you try making excuses for the darling network favorite throughout a game, try to at least acknowledge the other team's ailments, and you might want to make sure it's not against a team that's going to blow a fourth quarter lead.
Jackson is not ready; neither is Childress
Tarvaris Jackson is taking a lot of heat for his play so far in his young career. Anyone that watched the game heard the chorus of boo's in the Metrodome after incomplete passes and bad decision making with his feet. At no time has Jackson shown any kind of leadership quality while on the field or the sideline. Sure he's had some misfortune with bone-headed receiver play (Williamson, Berrian, Shiancoe), but when it comes down to it, he's just not ready to be a leader for an offense that desperately needs one. Despite all the inadequacies at QB, the supposed leader holding this team back right now is the head coach, Brad Childress. Not only did he place all of his eggs in one basket with Jackson, he also fails on every level when it comes to making proper in-game decisions. Childress has been with this team long enough to warrant a firing after the first two games. It's not going to happen, but it should. Wilf should do what it takes to bring a winner back to Minnesota, something he needs during his push for a new stadium. Fire Chilly, hire a coach like Cower, and pursue Jeff Garcia and try to salvage this season. While it's improbable for someone like Cower to take over a team part way into a season, I could see at least promoting Leslie Frazier to change things up. This team has loads of talent, but it has the wrong personnel in place to lead it.
Peterson destined to be the next Barry Sanders?
We already know he can run and move like Barry, but he could end up following in Sanders' infamy as well. If Zygi refuses to fire Childress, Peterson will be subjected to being the only playmaker worthy of moving the ball in this offense. He will get over worked and become frustrated. This is exactly what happened to Sanders, a great player that just got tired of losing and destroying his body in the process. Peterson had another remarkable day on Sunday and was responsible for the Vikings 15 points. This team cannot count on him to break the big one and reach the end zone every game. If Jackson refuses to be the leader in the huddle, Peterson needs to step into this role and I don't doubt for one second that he won't.
Don't blame the Defense for this one
Even though the fourth quarter looked like a defensive breakdown, I don't think it's fair to place the blame on them at all. They played outstanding football and kept Manning in check for nearly three quarters before Gonzales barley snuck by the secondary and took a page out of Randy Moss' book with the last second lateral. Last week I said it was time for Allen to shut his mouth and play football, and he did just that this week. Even though he only had one sack, he was in Manning's face all day and put some pads on him several times throughout the game. The other defensive star was EJ Henderson who is on a quest for the Pro Bowl this year, and will get it should he continue to play the way he is so far this year. Had the offense actually punched one or two into the end zone, this game would have never came down to a Manning comeback and the defense wouldn't have become so winded down the stretch.
Doesn't get any easier
The schedule gods were not pleasant to the Vikings this year. If it wasn't bad enough to start the season 0-2, the Vikings must now face a re-emerging Panthers team, followed by a road trip to Tennessee against one of the best defenses in the game. They then find themselves under the Monday Night lights in New Orleans. I know I may have jumped the gun about firing Childress only two games into the season, but should the Vikings end up 0-5 and Zygi still not make a move, I think it's a clear indication that this team will not be in Minnesota after the Metrodome lease ends in 2011.
A bit too much of the doom and gloom in this week's PPP, but that could be remedied with a solid win against the Cats next Sunday.