I haven't written much about the Vikings this year in part because they've been hard to get a handle on. Didn't want to judge them much during pre-season because it was obvious that they were waiting on Favre to rush in and save them. In the first few games the offense looked rusty and the defense was just good enough for them to lose closely. They've had so many injuries and turnover at wide receiver that it seemed like a few good weeks of practice and they could get back to being a high powered offense. But it never happened.
Instead they continued to start slowly and sputter along, still losing close games. Never really out of it, but never in control either. They looked like they were playing the third game of preseason. Every week, they looked like they were playing the third game of preseason.
At the same time it seemed like every tipped ball was ending up in the hands of the other team. Penalties would happen at the worst time. Never did they look like the smartest or best prepared team on the field.
And now after today's loss to Chicago, they're pretty much out of it. They could theoretically win their last seven games to finish 10-6 and have a shot at the playoffs. But there is no reason to think that the team that has played so far would actually do so. If anything they look ready to quit on the coach and let the bottom fall out. A 5-11 season is looking more and more likely. I don't know about the rest of you but I've officially given up hope for them. I want one more win next week and after that . . . it really won't matter.
So what's next? For the 2011 Vikings I want two changes at the top. Head coach of course, first and most importantly. Childress has grown wearisome here and it's time for a change. The top of my wish list is a veteran, established coach. Someone who has a history of taking talented teams and doing something with them. Bill Cowher would be my first choice. (True fact, of the two teams that I follow the most closely, Vikings and White Sox, both have always had first time coaches while I followed them. Every single one spent time getting his feet wet.)
The second change will obviously be at the quarterback position. This won't be a hard one to face up to because Favre looks like they playing desire is being beaten out of him. I have no clue what direction they'll go here. Jackson doesn't seem to be any kind of long term answer. Probably a veteran QB in the short term while some better option is drafted and groomed. While we're at it, get some depth on the offensive line, for crissake! And some players in the secondary who can cover would also be a plus.
It's a strange year in the NFL and very few teams have looked dominant. That should make the playoff race especially interesting. It would be better if the Vikes were part of that . . . but that just doesn't seem to be in the cards this year.