Winless on the road. Our Vikings were the only team in the NFL this year to not win a road game. Sad. So very sad. We were drilled by the Cincinnati Bengals today and thoroughly outclassed by a team that is undefeated at home and very, very well balanced.
We could/should have won at Chicago, Dallas, Green Bay and/or Baltimore but were not good enough. From 4-10-and-1 it's impossible to look back at a few scenarios that cost us a shot at the postseason, and we have been blown out far too many times for my liking. When we played the best three on our schedule -- Carolina, Seattle and Cincy -- we were waxed each time.
Rubes want to talk change and sadly I have no answers. I have tapped on people to gain leads but am getting nothing. Two seasons removed from a 3-and-13 LESLIE FRAZIER'S job very well could be in jeopardy. Next season is the final year of his deal, and it would be awkward having him operate with little security. Off this season, though, there's no way he gets an extension.
Defensively, there are some things playing out that are as bad as the team has endured in franchise history. The Bengals amassed 20 first downs today via the pass. This was the first time this year we had zero shot at stopping a quick-fire passing game, and amazingly we sacked ANDY DALTON two times. This passing mix the Bengals have is very impressive. We. Had. No. Chance. Cincinnati threw for four TDs which means we have allowed 36 this year, which is worst in the game.
Given the late-game letdowns and the fact we allow the most PPG in the league, yeah, the defensive staff may be on the way out. Offensively, up until today we were averaging 444 YPG and 30 PPG the last month and are an upper echelon team in the NFL with plays of 20 yards or more. If the HC goes, though, that most likely means everybody is out.
Our special team have been pretty good all year, save the debacles in the Cleveland game, DEVIN HESTER'S huge game at Soldier Field and the foolish short kick to JACOBY JONES at Baltimore. Coordinator MIKE PRIEFER is one of the best at his job in the game in my opinion, and received rave reviews following his interview for the Bears HC spot last year. We have as many return TDs (six) and anybody in the game since 2011, LOCKE and WALSH are finishing well, and PATTERSON and SHERELS have been top three at their jobs all year. No matter what transpires after the season I very much think Priefer should stay.
It's such an emotional game. After the blowout win over Philly it felt like many if not all could be safe at the end of the year. After today, though, I don't quite feel the same. I don't know, I'll just let it all play out and react accordingly.
Whomever leads the team next season has to find a way to close on the road (7-25-and-1 since 2010). They also have to clean up the defense, continue to achieve better balance offensively and handle the change of playing at TCF Bank Stadium, our home the next two years.
For now, though, I will savor the day that is next Sunday, the final game at MOA Field. It, too, could be the final game in our colors for JARED ALLEN and KEVIN WILLIAMS, two greats in the history of the team. Jared has had at least 10 sacks six consecutive years and has 9 1/2 into the Lions game. He'll get there, and I also hope Williams closes the season with an interception TD, meaning he would set the Vikings record for defensive TDs (five) and the NFL record for INTs by a DT (six).
We'll have plenty of time to analyze the 2014 personnel this offseason, and there is much to be discussed. At this time, though, it's time to appreciate the good we have in this team, the fact we have a NFL team to sweat on a weekly basis and the fact we have and always will love Minnesota Vikings football, no matter the record.
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