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Digesting A Disgusting Defeat

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 22, 2009 – 1:28 pm

The Vikings disappointing 26-7 loss at Carolina last Sunday was notable enough for several reasons, but now all of the Brad Childress/Brett Favre talk has given the Vikings performance an even higher profile.

The Childress/Favre situation is a legitimate distraction, but I’m still amazed at how some observers are still getting the situation wrong. I don’t have the time or space to get into specifics, but I think it’s important to note that Favre didn’t defy Childress on Sunday night by staying in the game and I also think it’s important to note that although this is a legitimate distraction, some of it is being blown out of proportion to some extent.

But in order to fully digest Sunday night’s gross loss, we need to go over some of the details and deficiencies that made everyone sick. Then we can move on to the Chicago Bears.

– Going into Sunday night’s game, the Vikings offense was 3rd best in the NFL with a 48.1% conversion rate. After Sunday night’s 1-10 performance on 3rd down, the Vikings have dropped to 5th. The Vikings loss to Carolina was completely out of character and it’s no surprise that their 3rd down conversion rate was also out of character.

“That’s not good enough,” Childress said of the 1-10 third-down conversion rate. “We’ve been strong all year long in that category, but for whatever reason we weren’t very good at it last (Sunday) night.”

Here are the results from each of the Vikings 10 third-down plays: sack, penalty-short pass, incompletion, negative rush, 7-yard Chester Taylor reception for a conversion, incompletion, sack, sack, incompletion, incompletion.

– If Favre is given time in the pocket, he’ll pick apart even the best defenses in the NFL. On Sunday night in Carolina, though, he wasn’t given time to scan the defense and thus he wasn’t able to pick apart Carolina’s 6th-ranked pass defense. Favre was sacked 4 times on the night and was pressured and hit many more.

In addition to QB sacks and pressures, Carolina was also able to drop the Vikings for negative plays too frequently. Not including penalties, the Vikings had 7 plays of negative yardage or no gain.

– All things considered, the Vikings defense didn’t perform as poorly as the numbers indicate. Ultimately, they didn’t get the job done, but consider this: Carolina totaled 397 net yards, but the Vikings held the Panthers to just 116 in the 1st half while also allowing just 6 points in the first 2 quarters.

But then the game caught up to the Vikings defense. Although CB Antoine Winfield told Paul Allen on KFAN Monday morning that fatigue was not an issue, the Vikings defense was simply on the field for too long. Carolina ran 75 offensive plays to just 45 for the Vikings. Minnesota’s offense had 9 drives of 4 plays or less, P Chris Kluwe came on to punt 8 times and the time of possession battle was won by the Panthers 37:59 to 22:01. Those are decided advantages for the Panthers offense and it wore down the Vikings defense.

– While Carolina’s defense was able to put pressure on the Vikings offense all night, the Vikings defense wasn’t able to return the favor. Jared Allen recorded the Vikings only sack of the night and Panthers QB Matt Moore went on to have a career game – 21 of 33 for 299 yards and 3 TDs. On top of that, the Vikings couldn’t make a big play when they needed it most. Allen forced a fumble on his sack but his teammates couldn’t recover it and the Panthers had 2 other fumbles that they managed to cover back up. The Vikings also dropped a potential interception and displayed poor tackling throughout the game.

– Lastly, the Vikings defense couldn’t get off the field enough on 3rd downs. Carolina converted 8 of 17 third-down tries, including a 3rd and 26 play that resulted in a 42-yard TD pass to Steve Smith that gave the Panthers a 12- lead early in the 4th quarter.

Sunday night’s loss in Carolina was certainly disappointing for the Vikings and their fans. But Childress, who discussed the loss candidly with reporters, also put some perspective to the situation during his day-after-the-game press conference.

“I think it is important for us to be mindful that we’re an 11-3 football team and we have won the NFC North here,” Childress said. “That doesn’t fall on deaf ears, hopefully. I know at the end the night that if I’m the Carolina Panthers, that was a great win, but they would like to be in our shoes right now.

“So we have two games to finish the regular season here, which obviously are important football games.”


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 46 Comments »


46 Responses to “Digesting A Disgusting Defeat”

  1. By Michael Andre on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    It was a tough loss, too much Peppers and not enough Assault (offense)! I know Chef Favre will dish it out better next game!

  2. By Pat on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Need work on getting Viking’s OL Coaching – if Favre calls a different play at the line – RUN that Play – The QB is the general on the field and knows what play to run for the defense. He (Favre) will WIN more games than he will lose for your team. Nobody perfect, but as the most game runs down, he will make the opportunity and win the game.

  3. By Josey on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Question for you, as far as this he said, he said on the table with Childress/Favre – did anyone see T.Jack warming up on the sidelines? The cameras almost ALWAYS show a back up QB warming up as a sign of him going in. That was nowhere to be seen. Childress & Favre had a convo and it was caught on camera. You can bet that if TJack was told he was going in on the next series, he would have been warming up and those cameras would’ve been all over that, speculating the change of QB. But, that was not the case.

  4. By Mike on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    When I heard of “dissension” I pictured a big arguement with spit flying. When I saw the video it was obvious it was just a discussion. Leave it to the media to try and create “dissension” and “schism”. Now Favre is getting grilled all over the sports world for a lack of offensive line in the Panthers game. Hopefully this doesn’t become a distraction going into Chicago. They gotta keep their on on the prize that is within reach right now. Enough BS. Everyone needs to do what they get paid to do.

  5. By Fontana Al on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Good Point Josey,had the #1 seed not been on the line,it probably would have been good to see a little more mobility at QB.I have confidence in T-Jack.If a head coach and a quarterback get into a heat convo it will surely distract the QB,emotions are not easy to get over if someone rubs you the wrong way.I really think our O-Line isn’t ,lets just say seasoned enough,3 of the 5 have less then a total of 5 years exp..Even Peterson needs some holes to run through.

  6. By Josey on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    nfl.com just put up a new article about this. Don’t Blame Brett is the caption. Guess they got tired of bashing the QB and are moving on. Hopefully this will light a fire under the team and they will take it out on the Bears and then finish the Giants.

  7. By John on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    The press is having a ball with this!!! The team just did not show up for the Carolina game. It’s actually amazing Favre did not get killed!!!

    What’s really bothersome, however, is that I was at the Arizona game- and they did not shop up for that game either. Something is drastically wrong with this very talented team, and I can’t put a finger on it. Help anybody??

    My first two choices would be Childress and the offensive line.

  8. By Josey on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Can a player refuse to speak to the media after a game? Or be forbidden to speak to the media? Or is it in their contract to immediately following a game, report to the podium? Just wondering, since it seems it is always the Coach ( understand that one ) and then the QB ( on most teams ).

    If they can refuse or be held back, perhaps with Favre being his own worst enemy as far as the media hounds go, the Vikings should not allow any player to address the media. Leave that to the Coach.

  9. By brettfavrevikings on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    I personally think the offensive line let down the vikings and not let favre perform and complete plays because their defense was not stopped the entire night. Although the vikings defense wasnt great, they look much better than the O line

  10. By Kent on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Ok, there are problems…life go’s on. We are looking good on paper, better before last Sunday night.Be nice if we had a choice in playing at night,outdoors in 30 degree weather.My real point is this..why move away from what got us to this point. When the running game isnt there most teams move to passing. That would work if our star players would be a part of the play calling. Did Percy Harven get a pass in the first half??Why get my hopes up that he is back, and let him freeze body parts the whole first half??Hope we get the kinks out right away, NO time to waste!

  11. By Lowell on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    The O Line was one a several issues that night. McKinney could not handle Peppers and the coaching staff was to slow to adapt to that. When peppers was rushing against Loadholt, it even took the coaching staff to much time to bring in the TE’s to help out. A good coaching staff will plan for a good rush defense as we have scene all year others trying to slow Jared down. Opening some holes for the running game might be nice as well. Our backs are getting hit in the backfield and that will make for a long game. Then there is out typical first and ten and a run to the right side. Maybe we should kind of mix it up a bit. The offensive play calling was to conservative and had no imagination at all. How about opening it up, we have the players. TRUST THEM.

  12. By Dan on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    I have been saying all season our o-line has noy been pulling its weight. Peterson has been held in check all year and Favre has been getting hit way to much. With Peterson he don’t need much of a hole but lots of plays he is getting hit in the backfield. If Chilly don’t figure out how to get the o-line blocking better the Vikes will be 1 and done in the playoffs. It is 1 thing to lose a couple of games but to be dominated the way we did in the cards and panthers game should be sending up huge red flags to the coaching staff. And on the defense if teams are going to double Allen the coaches have to come up with a way to burn them on that. I would think if they are doubling Allen they should be short a man for picking up blitzes and maybe we need to cut loose with more of those on Allens side and try pull the double team off him.

  13. By Tro on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Dont worry fellow fans, after we hammer the Bears on Mondaynight, then the Giants at HOME, everybody will see the REAL Vikes. Let this one go and look at the big picture. Were dealing with some injuries, all teams do. Im prdicting a great ending with a Super Bowl VICTORY. GOOOO VIKINGS

  14. By Dan on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Favre wasn’t getting time to open things up. You are very limited in what you can do when they are getting quick pressure on your qb with only 4 guys. Pass routes have to be short and quick and with 7 guys in coverage everything has to be perfect.

  15. By Stu on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Passing routes short and quick? Absolutely! If you were to play back the Arizona or Carolina games you’d probably notice there seemed an attempt to relax too much starting out~ an over compensation for nerves, most likely. Brett has his reasons for using the long count so much, reading the defense, pulling them off sides on 3rd,etc…but! That lazy pace is killing them on the road! They need to take the field with a sense of urgency. Take command! We’ve seen 2 Minnesota teams this year: the hard hitting, almost unstoppable version and conversely, the dear in the headlights, scared, confused version. Pick up the pace guys! Lay off so much with the long count Brett. And start defending and tackling like there’s no tomorrow guys, if you please.

  16. By Derek on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    The one thing we have to get back to is running the ball will Adrian Peterson. The ofensive line has to create holes Peterson to break through. In my opinion the Vikings defense has to find new ways to get pressure on the opposing quarterback, and get some sacks, because the last few game our defensive line has not had much pressure on the quarterback. We have the Super Bowl team, but we have to clean things up. Peterson has had 224yds, 121yds, and 5 touchdowns. So Soldier Field is a good place for Peterson. Hopefully this week isn’t no different from the first 2 times. Go Vikings!

  17. By AussieViking on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Spot on Dan, o-line is definately becoming a worry, here’s hoping they can turn it around before the po’s.

  18. By Stu on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Is running the ball the real problem, or a symptom of the underlying problem with the system? Rewind to how many times AP has either been caught behind the line or been stopped at the line of scrimmage.DO other backs in the league find a hole faster? Are they starting Peterson back too far? Have these occasional trick reverses worked that often? Should Chester and Adrian be lined up together in more series?The inability to run the ball seems more of a lining up format and play calling problem, but you decide.With all this talent it’s a marvel and a mystery that the running game’s not getting done.

  19. By Nate F. on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    I think they should involve Tavaris Jackson a bit more in the games. Possibly a wild cat or a bootleg option. Brett’s the man but when even he can’t get things going throw in your back up. Tavaris should’ve played the second half of the Arizona game and even when the Vikes knew they had no chance against the Panthers (I believe they were up 2 or 3 touchdowns in the 4th quarter) they kept Favre in the game. You need your back up to get his feet wet a bit because if favre decides he can’t play in the playoffs or the super bowl you would want Tavaris to be ready!

  20. By Nate F. on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    I also think their play calling is way too traditional. They run on first down with one back (AP) and then they take A P out throw on second. Then Chester Taylor comes in but they only use him to block. They need to keep both of them in at the same time like Miami does with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. They should have percy doing some flea flickers and all types of trick plays because he can throw he can catch and he can run. They need to start destroying teams like they did against the Bengals and the Seahawks

  21. By ohioviking on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    It was adissapointing performance all around. From the O-line, play calling, defense. Mckinny was consistantly beaten the whole game. Leber out of position. Play calling was methodical and predictable once again.The team as a whole only had 137 yards of offense in the 3rd quarter. Things need to change in a hurry or the Vikes will be 1 and done in the playoffs. This game was full of ramifacations that favored the Vikes. If they would have won, 1 game behind the Saints for home field throughout the playoffs. Now if they lose 1 game and the Eagles win there last 2 they go from a 2 seed with a bye week to a 3 seed playing a wild card. The running game has been almost none exsistant .No blocking. Passing game the same. Favre has no time to throw. Childress got a nice extension and why? because his team has talent, not because of his coaching or play calling. Its just to bad that Childress never reads these blogs. Pathetic loses 2 out of the last 3 weeks.

  22. By Rod on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Mckinney had a bad night. Why didnt they get Jim Klinesasser over there to help out? I think a lot of the blame should be pointed at the coaching staff.

  23. By paul on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Favre and the Vikes each have one thing in common, they both start to fade late in the season.
    Good luck in the wind and cold at Soldiers Field, Monday Nite.

  24. By Derek G on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    We’re not going to the Superbowl as long as Childress is still the head coach. It doesn’t matter if we had Randy Moss, Champ Bailey, Darelle Revis, Julius Peppers, Ray Lewis, DeSean Jackson, Matt Birk, Josh Cribbs, Larry Fitzgerald, Demarcus Ware, or even Chris Johnson. Until we get a new coach, we’ll never truly be a successful team. Until we get a better defensive coordinator, we will never be a successful team. Until we somehow get a good defensive secondary, we’ll never be a successful team. THE END

  25. By Nate F. on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Derek G is right. Childress did do some good things by getting Percy Harvin, Adrain Peterson, Jared Allen, and of course Brett Favre. But he’s doesn’t have the mentality to drive this team to the superbowl. Minnesota got caught up in the win/lose record. If they were playing like the saints by destroying teams and playing their hearts out then I would understand his extension. The only loss I could accept from the Vikings was the one against Pittsburg. They had a chance to win the game but Chester couldn’t keep it in his gloves. but losses against Carolina And Arizona were just embarassing. I would love to see Favre come back next year and after that call it quits but i truly believe they will make it to the super bowl next year if Favre returns. Hopefully they can focus on their secondary and their offensive line.

  26. By Nate F. on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Everyone go to this link to check the playoff picture

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d8147d1c0&template=no-right-rail-with-comments&confirm=true

    If the season ended today. Packers and Cardinals would have to face each other to play Minnesota. We already seen what the Cardinals could do to the Vikes. Should we hope for the packs to beat them so we can face them since we already beat them twice? By the way, Arizona and Green Bay face each other for the last game of the season.

  27. By Viking-ology on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Peterson ran only 12 times in the Carolina game. Thats a big problem. Remember it was 7-6 going into the 4th. quarter. It was a defensive battle, why weren’t we running more. Panthers D keyed on us in the passing game, and we fell right in their trap. Chilly can really tick me off, if things are tight, he loses control. We’ll see how the playoffs go.

  28. By Vernon on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Why are we not utilizing Greg Lewis more oten? It is obvious the guy can catch a cold in the jungle!

  29. By patrick thomas on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    Well its our third loss…all outdoor losses. We play better and our athletic advantage over teams shows up indoors on solid turf. We will play better when the ground is solid. I see a narrow loss outdoors to bears and a win indoors against the giants. We finish 12-4 and get a first round bye. Hopefully we get to compete indoors during playoffs! And superbowl! It makes a huge difference for our team. It shouldn’t so much..but it does. Our age..athleticism and level of comfort depend on an indoor floor and environment.

  30. By purplehorn on Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

    I hope the whole league focuses on this non story. Favre wanted to stay in a win the game and Childress wanted to protect his QB from an injury in a game that wasn’t that important. Next story- can the Vikings get pumped up for the Bears on a grass field after the sun sets?

  31. By PAVikesFan on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    Interesting quote I want to write in here…I was just watching bits of the Lakers game, and during a commercial on NBA TV, they replayed an interview they did with PG Derek Fisher. They asked how hard has it been coming off their championship year to refocus and continue to play good ball…He said they started out slow, but, once they realized the committment level they needed to bring, everyone brought it. Then they went in studio to get an opinion from Kevin McHale. They asked him if u veer get bored being so good. He said that it never gets boring, b/c playing b-ball is what they all love to do, but, that teams get complacent. They think that just b/c they are a great team or any good team for that matter, when they step on the court, they assume they are can just go through the motions and win, he said that the toughest part of winning and showing up everyday is the mental side. You have to be mentally ready to handle success and to face challenges. You can have all the talent in the world, but if ur not mentally ready, that doesnt cut it in professional sports, b/c ur going against players with greater or equal talent as u and ur teammmates, I thought that could be true for our guyz. I think we got complacent, we lost our drive and determination. How can we beat a 9-win CIN team by 20 then get trounced by CAR the very next week by 19. If we dont change our attitudes, this season can go quickly. We are going to see what kind of leaders we have on this team, who steps up and refuses to lose, takes control of our season. If noone can, all is lost

  32. By VikingsDefenseFan on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    Chilly needs a fire under his ass. Seeing him pregame at Carolina made me think of a guy who had just hit a lottery and is on his way to blow it on dope and strippers. Wisen up there COACH, get it in gear, and most of all… GET HUNGRY!!!! Your fair and mutual attitude will not win the big ones for us. We don’t need you to change yourself, merely change your perception of the situation. GET HUNGRY GET HUNGRY GET HUNGRY!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. By Tom Tenhoff on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    I haven’t read a lot of the comments, so I might be doubling up. It is apparent to me that defenses have figured out how to stop the very predictable Viklngs “O” by penetrating the B and C gaps on first down. AP is the single back and he is going to run off tackle on first downs. It’s now 2nd and 9 and after offering no protection to Favre, we end up with 3rd and 9 and Chester comes in. He gets 5 yds with a draw or a check-off throw underneath. Enter Kluwe. The staff has figured out that we need to get AP the ball in the open field by throwing to him, but we can’t seem to connect. How about going to a 2 back offense, or even put Taylor in the slot. Make 2 linebackers have to worry about AP AND Taylor on the same play. Use screens and swings.

  34. By steven on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    its better for this to happen know than in the playoffs

  35. By OLD SCHOOL on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    They will lose the monday night game…..look just as bad as they did Sunday night……the media will continue to tear the team apart from the inside out…and then we will drop against NY Giants. 4th seed…..lose first game in playoffs, on the road of course! If you would have told me 5 weeks ago this is where we would be, I would have told you that you were crazy! Most experts 5 weeks ago were all saying what I was thinking….the Vikes were the best team in the NFL from top to bottom ! On paper…they still are…that’s why it’s so hard to take this right now !

  36. By Dennis on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    After 40 years of supporting these clowns, believe me….get used to it! It’s really weird how the players come and go, the coaches come and go, even the owners come and go but the problems with this team always remain the same.
    Like i said before, they are the Chicago Cubs of football!

  37. By CA Norwegian on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    I like the Vikes to win the final games now. Somehow humiliation and anger go together, and anger complements play in the pits. All the other guys need to step up. We need our guys to have less predictable play, and to make catches. Lets try some wildcats, sweeps, reverses. The O needs to work with no-huddle sets to establish rhythm and get the defenses winded. We have great speed and we need Chester out there in a slot or H-back. A good downfield block is worth a bomb from Brett on the right play. Maybe a wildcat play is a good reason to put in Tjack, as a wideout. If in the thrid you are not succeeding, try something different!

  38. By CA Norwegian on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    As much as Coach has built a great team, I wonder if Birk were in the middle, still would there have been better pocket integrity or blocking calls. I cannot help but remember Sully came from some very weak Notre Dame teams. And what about loosing Sharper? Would we have had the turnover for touchdown that he cashes in regularly had he been there? How bout dem Saints and our Sharper?

  39. By rap99 on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    vikes were GUTLESS sunday, no heart! also saw how much EJ is missed! O line and D line should be ashamed!

  40. By Tro on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    OLD SCHOOL dont give up so easy, they will hammer the Bears and take care of the Giants at home. Go Vikes

  41. By TexasViking on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    I have been saying this all year. They need to fire Childress. He is the weakest link on this team. As long as he is the coach, the Vikings will never truly be the team that they are…..

  42. By OLD SCHOOL on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    Only thing to cure this problem with Favre and Chilly is to finally go out on national t.v. monday night and beat the bears…and I mean beat them! Not a 17-14 game….I mean a 37-10 type game ! All will go away…and then, because you got to now, is go play your a@# off against the Giants! We need that second seed ! period !

  43. By OLD SCHOOL on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply

    We need to see the o-line open some holes, have AP rush for about 150 on Monday night!!!!!!! Favre has about 200 and 2 td’s !!!! would like to see jared get going for about 2 or 3 sacks !!!!! has been getting doubled and tripled teamed…..other guys have to get in there !!

  44. By HANK on Dec 24, 2009 | Reply

    ALL QUARTERBACKS WHO ARE COMFORTABLE IN THE POCKET HAVE GOOD TO GREAT GAMES FAVRE IS NO DIFFERENT AND RUNNINGBACKS CAN’T BE GETTING HIT BEHIND THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE PETERSON INCLUDED…A FOOT NOTE:IF I WAS THE COACH AGAINST CAROLINA I WOULD HAVE WENT TO A 2 TIGHT END FULLBACK FORMATION AND POUNDED JULIUS PEPPERS AND THE CAROLINA D LINE INTO SUBMISSION

  45. By rap99 on Dec 25, 2009 | Reply

    HANK, i wish you were our coach that game!

  46. By crazyhorse on Dec 26, 2009 | Reply

    O: 5 man line, 1 tight end, 2 backs, 2 quarterbacks, 1 wide receiver.
    Hike the ball from wildcat formation to any of the backs.
    win like crazy.

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