Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

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Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by Mothman » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:47 pm

The Vikings' biggest problem? They're failing when it matters most
Under head coach Mike Zimmer, they’ve been a team that operates on a thin margin. Sure, they’ve had a few comfortable wins. But generally speaking they wear teams down, keep games close and rely on an ability to make a game-changing play — often on defense or special teams, but sometimes on offense — to rack up wins.

With all of their injuries and problems on the offensive line this season, they’ve become a team of even thinner margins. If one thing goes wrong on any down of any given offensive drive — something big like a penalty or sack but also something as small as a dropped pass to make it 2nd-and-10 instead of 2nd-and-5 — it’s likely to bog down and result in either a field goal or a punt.

That puts even more pressure on the defense, which has been largely OK during this losing skid but also has failed to lock down games (the two against Detroit in particular) that it has converted into victories in the past.

It adds up to a team that largely performs the same for the vast majority of each game but FEELS entirely different than it did even a month ago when crunch time arrives.
The first sentence of the quote above really stood out to me because the same statement could be applied to the Vikings last two seasons under Leslie Frazier. Those teams were also operating on thin margins. They came out on the right side of enough of them in 2012 to win 10 games. They ended up on the wrong side of 5 or 6 close games in 2013 and finished with a losing record of 5-10-1 rather than repeating as a playoff team.

There are obviously differences between the teams the Vikes have fielded over each of the past 5 seasons but that razor thin margin of error strikes me as common to all of them.

How much progress have they really made? :(
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by losperros » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:43 pm

Aside from the defense there has been little progress, in my view. And we are currently seeing a decline in the offense for multiple reasons. I find all this disturbing. I also fully agree with Rand's thinking here...
What we can probably see in retrospect is that the Vikings’ overwhelming turnover margin and propensity to score on special teams and defense earlier this year obscured reality. They were still largely a team operating on thin margins. Their big plays just happened to be exceptionally big.
I know I sound like a broken record but the Viking keep operating as half a team. Season after season they just can't get balanced. Yes, the injuries have been devastating but lately there's always something in the way of this team performing in an elite manner.

For example, during the last two seasons in particular I've been getting increasingly suspicious of the planning and handling of the offense. I don't claim to be on the same level as most NFL coaches, if any of them. But from what I can tell, there have been a fair share of questionable decisions during the last few years, with some of them making the offense look as if it's an afterthought. There are unsettling similarities between this offense and the early years of Chili-ball futility. So I think the "failing" began before the middle of this season.
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by Cliff » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:20 pm

"Failing when it matters most" is the freakin' team motto. It's definitely not new to this coaching staff :P
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by The-Purple-Reign » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:22 pm

We're all sounding like a broken record at this time lol

But I appreciate the nuances of each spin of the record.
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by VikingPaul73 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:12 pm

Yep.
Nothing appreciably different than Frazier or chili

Who is the common denominator??????
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by Mothman » Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:59 am

Cliff wrote:"Failing when it matters most" is the freakin' team motto. It's definitely not new to this coaching staff :P
:lol:
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by mansquatch » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:52 pm

2012 and 2013 were much different teams than 2015 and 2016.



In 2012 the issue was the QB and lack of quality WR targets. Defense was good, but not great. Team over achieved thanks to 2000 yd season by #28
in 2013 the issue was the Defense. League worst secondary, couldn't score enough points to overcome that deficiency

Note that in the above years OL was not an issue. QB play, pathetic WR corps, and Defense were.

2014 was a year of transition. We lost AP due to the child abuse scandal and Cassel to injury. Bridgewater ended up having to start sooner than anyone wanted, plus we had a new coaching staff. The defense made big strides towards improving.

2015 Dominant Defense and AP drove success along with just enough plays from TB. OL and Kicker hampered success

2016 Even more dominant Defense, great ST outside of Kicker. WR group emerging. Kicking issue finally got addressed after costing us a few games, OL depleted by injuries. AP also out due to injury.

In 2011 this team was a disaster at LB, Secondary, QB, and WR. Three of those four are now considered a strength. QB seems to be headed in the right direction, but needs to prove it. OL has become a mess in the process of fixing all the other problems.
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by Mothman » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:02 pm

mansquatch wrote:2012 and 2013 were much different teams than 2015 and 2016.


Sure, but they all operate(d) on thin margins. The details differ but that's remained the same.
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by Cliff » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:10 pm

Mothman wrote:

Sure, but they all operate(d) on thin margins. The details differ but that's remained the same.
Aren't "thin margins" kind of the name of the game in the NFL though? Something like 45% of all games since 2002 were won by 7 points or less with 15% of that being victories by 3 points.
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by Mothman » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:38 pm

Cliff wrote:Aren't "thin margins" kind of the name of the game in the NFL though? Something like 45% of all games since 2002 were won by 7 points or less with 15% of that being victories by 3 points.
Sure, close games are common enough but not all teams operate on similarly thin margins. For example, the Patriots average scoring margin over the past 6 or 7 years is usually well over a TD a game, often 10 points or more (it's +9.3 this season). Dallas' average margin of victory this season is +8.8. In contrast, the Vikings are at +2.

To nobody's surprise, the Vikings best average scoring margin in the past 10 years came in 2009, when they were at +10.3. Other than that season, their best average in this category since 2003 came last year, when they were at +3.6.

In contrast, NE has only had 1 season lower than +6.3 since 2003 and they haven't had a negative margin in that period, while the Vikings have had several. In fact, they are often up in double digits.

I know I'm comparing the Vikings to the best but that illustrates what's possible and how much distance there is between a team built to win over a long period of time and a team like the Vikes that continually operates on thin margins.

PS.) Those stats are from https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/a ... 2016-12-08
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by chicagopurple » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:57 pm

The ONLY thing the Vikings should be compared to is "The Best". Being the best is the ONLY goal. If Spielman cannot create that kind of structure then he should be gone. Our owner is NOT cheap. He is investing top market money into the team yet we are nowhere near being the leagues premier organization. THAT is failure in my book.
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by Mothman » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:02 pm

chicagopurple wrote:The ONLY thing the Vikings should be compared to is "The Best". Being the best is the ONLY goal. If Spielman cannot create that kind of structure then he should be gone. Our owner is NOT cheap. He is investing top market money into the team yet we are nowhere near being the leagues premier organization. THAT is failure in my book.
I agree: they should be aiming for the top so comparing them to the best is a great way to see how they're measuring up.

Considering how many teams we've seen get to the Super Bowl, much less win it, since the last time we saw the Vikes get there, I think it's safe to say they're not measuring up as well they could. Heck, the Panthers franchise entered the league in 1995 and they've already made it to 2 Super Bowls! The Bucs and Seahawks entered the league the last season the Vikings played in a Super Bowl and they've both been to and won the big game since then. The Seahawks have been there 3 times.

Over the weekend, a friend of mine mentioned the possibility of the Lions getting to the Super Bowl this year and I just said, "Please, no. I don't think i could take it if the Lions won a Super Bowl before the Vikings"!
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by germannorseman » Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:25 pm

Mothman wrote: I agree: they should be aiming for the top so comparing them to the best is a great way to see how they're measuring up.

Considering how many teams we've seen get to the Super Bowl, much less win it, since the last time we saw the Vikes get there, I think it's safe to say they're not measuring up as well they could. Heck, the Panthers franchise entered the league in 1995 and they've already made it to 2 Super Bowls! The Bucs and Seahawks entered the league the last season the Vikings played in a Super Bowl and they've both been to and won the big game since then. The Seahawks have been there 3 times.

Over the weekend, a friend of mine mentioned the possibility of the Lions getting to the Super Bowl this year and I just said, "Please, no. I don't think i could take it if the Lions won a Super Bowl before the Vikings"!
I agree! I've been a Spielman backer for since he took over completely. But after the last couple of years I'm backing off that support. I really counted on him addressing the o line this year and he has failed miserably imo. We haven't had a decent line in years and this year's troubles are the last straw for me. The guy doesn't know how to build a whole team. He's decent with some picks but can't build a solid complete team in a timely fashion. I'm beginning to think it's time to bail on him.

I wouldn't have any idea who would be better as this is an area where I haven't really paid much attention to NFL wide.

Who would be a better GM?

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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by Mothman » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:58 am

germannorseman wrote:I agree! I've been a Spielman backer for since he took over completely. But after the last couple of years I'm backing off that support. I really counted on him addressing the o line this year and he has failed miserably imo. We haven't had a decent line in years and this year's troubles are the last straw for me. The guy doesn't know how to build a whole team. He's decent with some picks but can't build a solid complete team in a timely fashion. I'm beginning to think it's time to bail on him.

I wouldn't have any idea who would be better as this is an area where I haven't really paid much attention to NFL wide.

Who would be a better GM?
It's hard to say but I listed a few potential candidates in the "Rick Spielman" thread:

Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio
Dolphins G.M. Chris Grier
Ravens assistant G.M. Eric DeCosta
Chiefs director of football operations Chris Ballard

There are others too. I think Caserio and DeCosta are particularly interesting just because they've both been pretty involved with successful organizations and have seen how things are done in those places.
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Re: Rand: Vikings failing when it matters most

Post by chicagopurple » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:55 am

stealing management from the Pats would be quite the coup!
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