The Vikings 0-4 start to the season was especially frustrating because they have a roster that contains plenty of talented players. In fact, many of the players on the roster now we’re with the team in 2008 and 2009, when the Vikings won back-to-back NFC North titles and went to the NFC Championship Game after the ‘09 season.
It’s for the same reason that the 0-4 start was frustrating that last week’s win over Arizona has given the Vikings confidence as they move into a key stretch of the schedule. A lot of times in the NFL it just takes one win to get a team rolling. Whether the Vikings can parlay their first win of the season into a string of victories remains to be seen, but there’s reason to believe it could happen.
“The atmosphere will be a lot different,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier explained earlier in the week. “But the confidence that you gain from winning a football game in a game where both teams desperately needed a win, for our guys to come out and play like they did, it’ll be a big confidence builder for us going forward.”
And the Vikings will need all the positivity they can muster over the next few weeks, as they hit the road to play the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football this week and then return home to play the Green Bay Packers next week. A road trip to Carolina for a bout with the Panthers follows the two NFC North games.
“This gives us some momentum,” Frazier said of the win over Arizona last Sunday. “We don’t want to go on the road without a win, coming from our home venue so it’s a big win for us. It’s a big confidence builder and it’s something that we should build on going forward if we want achieve our goals as a football team.”
A football team sets several goals before a season begins. Certainly one of the Vikings goals heading into this season was to content for the NFC North title. After a 0-4 start and then undefeated starts by a pair of division rivals (Detroit and Green Bay), the goal of winning the division seems far-fetched right now. But that hasn’t stopped the Vikings from continuing their pursuit of that goal, and also from achieving smaller goals along the way.
“I don’t know if I’d use the word selling, but I did talk to [the team] about looking at the season in quarters,” Frazier said, “and understanding that in our league, particularly this season with the way things were this offseason, that there are going to be teams that come back to us. We just have to make sure that we take care of what we have to take care of, and that meant starting this second quarter 1-0 in order for us to have a chance to achieve our goals as a football team because they still are achievable and if the guys took that approach, you just have to know things are going to work out when we get to December.”
Coaches and players insist on taking the season one game at a time, but it’s also important for teams to have an understanding of what’s going on around them. Breaking the season into quarters is a common way for NFL teams to keep a global perspective on the season.
The Vikings finished the first quarter of the season winless. But the second quarter of the season began with a win, and it continues over the next two weeks with a pair of pivotal games. Can the Vikings reverse their fortunes in the 2nd quarter and inch closer to a .500 record? Only time will tell, but if they could accomplish that goal, the third and fourth quarters of the 2011 season could be a lot of fun.
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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