Two plays cost us the game

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Texas Vike
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Two plays cost us the game

Post by Texas Vike »

PROTECT THE BALL!

1) JJ's fumble into the EZ = instead of 1st and 10 on the 1/2 yard line, Philly runs through us at the end of the half and kicks a 61 yard FG = 10 point swing.

2) Powell looks to have a great punt return, putting us at the Eagles' 35 yard line and positioning us to score and control this game. Instead of protecting the ball once he got into traffic, he had it swinging around wildly, exposed and coughed it upon first contact. At the very least, that's 3 points we lost.

Lastly, if we LEAD in this game, does Philly really dare to run the ball like they did? It would have played right into BFlo's strategy. 7 TOs in 8 quarters?
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

Post by makila »

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Powell in my post in the Eagles thread.

Not impressed at all. One good return he doesn't protect the ball. Shortly after that fair catches the ball when no one was within 8 or so yards.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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Texas Vike wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 8:10 am Lastly, if we LEAD in this game, does Philly really dare to run the ball like they did? It would have played right into BFlo's strategy. 7 TOs in 8 quarters?
Devils advocate...they were having plenty of success hitting Smith on deep balls. No one in our secondary was hanging with him.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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Texas Vike wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 8:10 am PROTECT THE BALL!

1) JJ's fumble into the EZ = instead of 1st and 10 on the 1/2 yard line, Philly runs through us at the end of the half and kicks a 61 yard FG = 10 point swing.

2) Powell looks to have a great punt return, putting us at the Eagles' 35 yard line and positioning us to score and control this game. Instead of protecting the ball once he got into traffic, he had it swinging around wildly, exposed and coughed it upon first contact. At the very least, that's 3 points we lost.

Lastly, if we LEAD in this game, does Philly really dare to run the ball like they did? It would have played right into BFlo's strategy. 7 TOs in 8 quarters?
Great analysis. Since we lost what will be missed in this game is our Offense is freaking explosive. Even with the O Line devastated by injuries we moved the ball with ease against one of the best Ds in the league.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

Post by Texas Vike »

makila wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 8:16 am
Texas Vike wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 8:10 am Lastly, if we LEAD in this game, does Philly really dare to run the ball like they did? It would have played right into BFlo's strategy. 7 TOs in 8 quarters?
Devils advocate...they were having plenty of success hitting Smith on deep balls. No one in our secondary was hanging with him.
That's because Kwesi only secured ONE NFL worthy CB for BFlo (Murphy), who shadowed (and frustrated) AJ Brown all night. The Eagles were not having success early on offense. The crowd was booing them (gotta love Philly fans). Hurts looked befuddled. I like our chances if had taken the lead.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

Post by VikingLord »

Turnovers are killing the team, sure, but I think on a more fundamental level two things stood out about last night's game, one specific to the Eagles and one to the Vikings and both of them could be season-defining.

For the Eagles, that team doesn't look like the same team that went to the Superbowl last year by a country mile IMHO. Hurts is completely ineffective scrambling and running and presented no real threat to do so, and overall I thought the Eagles looked incredibly ordinary, really on both sides of the ball compared to what we saw last year. Maybe a Superbowl hangover? Not saying their chances of repeating are doomed or anything but if the Vikings had any semblance of a run defense (more on that in a minute) and, I don't know, actually didn't turn the ball over and repeatedly blow scoring chances the Vikings would have likely won the game.

For the Vikings, this season is shaping up to be the Tale of Two Lines, both of which appear to have fatal flaws that I expect future opponents will take advantage of all year. The inadequacies of the defensive line were on full display and continued what we saw the Bucs do in the first game while running it. The DL simply lacks an interior anchor who can hold the point. The ends are not big or athletic enough to disrupt the blocking scheme, and the LBs behind them are too small to take on and shed the big OL who get to the second level. That leaves gaping holes that RBs can run through all game. There is no way to fix this. Harrison Phillips can't be that anchor. Dean Lowry or Wonnum aren't suddenly going to be able to do something they've never demonstrated they can do which is stand up and defeat an OL who gets latched on quickly. Hunter can defeat that kind of block, but too often I see him play like he's already got his mind made up that he's pass rushing no matter what and he ends up out of position and out of luck. I love the way Pace plays. Truly love it. But he's not a big guy, and his speed and chutzpah aren't going to be enough to defeat a big NFL OL who is running free and can lock on to him.

KAM made a serious error in not ensuring the DL had a strong anchor in the middle and it's too late now to change anything. Not every team has the OL the Eagles have, but pretty much every one can field an OL equivalent to what the Bucs trotted out, and future OCs of such teams, if they have brains at all, will understand these realities and just likely pound it. This Vikings defense might end up the year ceding an NFL record for rushing yards against.

And the situation isn't better on the OL. True, the OL had a lot of injuries (hope Udoh is OK), but this situation was also allowed to continue without change over this offseason (KAM even resigned Bradbury to ensure it did), and the outcome is predictable. Cousins got knocked all over the field yet again and was under extreme duress most of the night. No semblance of a running game either because as against the Bucs, the RBs are getting contact at or even before they reach the LOS. It's brutal, and I don't see how that changes this season either.

The fact the Vikings stayed in this game despite the above deficiencies is amazing to me. I give Cousins and his teammates a lot of credit for not giving up and continuing to press, and nobody should take my comments to suggest I believe the Vikings are somehow lazy or incompetent or don't want to compete. I think they all do and they all want to win and they're doing the best they can. But without bigger and better lines, this team isn't built to win in the NFL. They managed to do it last year by winning 11 one-score games, which was unprecedented. That will obviously not be repeated this year. That was luck, and luck runs out. They could be well into October before they finally see an opponent that can't take advantage of their obvious flaws on both sides of the ball. Guess where the Chargers rank running the ball? Yup, you guessed it - first in the NFL with 233 yards per game. Sure, it's one game, but that isn't going to be an offense that will be shy about running it. And the Panthers? Not far behind at 154 yards per game. Those are their next two opponents, followed by the Chiefs who don't really need to run it. One would hope the Bears were a weak running team, and they might be weaker than these others, but even they piled up 122 yards against the Packers, and that game is in Chicago. Then the 49ers and then finally they will face a team that doesn't appear to have a strong run game which is the Packers.

Not that the run game is everything but if the offense isn't getting ahead of the sticks and the game and the team continues having to play from behind, this is shaping up to be one of the longer seasons in Vikings history...
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 9:54 am Turnovers are killing the team, sure, but I think on a more fundamental level two things stood out about last night's game, one specific to the Eagles and one to the Vikings and both of them could be season-defining.
Fundamental level? What's more fundamental than protecting the football? Nothing. If you routinely lose the turnover battle, you're likely to lose. Without 7 turnovers, we'd be 2-0.
VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 9:54 am For the Eagles, that team doesn't look like the same team that went to the Superbowl last year by a country mile IMHO. Hurts is completely ineffective scrambling and running and presented no real threat to do so, and overall I thought the Eagles looked incredibly ordinary, really on both sides of the ball compared to what we saw last year. Maybe a Superbowl hangover? Not saying their chances of repeating are doomed or anything but if the Vikings had any semblance of a run defense (more on that in a minute) and, I don't know, actually didn't turn the ball over and repeatedly blow scoring chances the Vikings would have likely won the game.
The Eagles lost OC Shane Steichen to the Colts and NFL insiders were whispering before the season that he was a major reason why Hurts had so much success last season. I had the 2nd pick for a Fantasy Football Superflex draft so I studied the heck out of Josh Allen vs. Jalen Hurts situations and went with the former due to this. I'm not surprised to see Hurts struggle early.
VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 9:54 am For the Vikings, this season is shaping up to be the Tale of Two Lines, both of which appear to have fatal flaws that I expect future opponents will take advantage of all year. ....

KAM made a serious error in not ensuring the DL had a strong anchor in the middle and it's too late now to change anything......

And the situation isn't better on the OL.....
More succinctly, as I've been saying for some time now, we aren't built right. We suck in the trenches. The real contenders are strong on both OL and DL. We aren't among the real contenders and won't be until we devote more capital to the trenches. We are a soft team, despite adding a superior blocking TE and that being the only real offseason commitment we made to our desire to run the ball better. It's a joke and an indictment on Kwesi.
VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 9:54 am The fact the Vikings stayed in this game despite the above deficiencies is amazing to me. I give Cousins and his teammates a lot of credit for not giving up and continuing to press, and nobody should take my comments to suggest I believe the Vikings are somehow lazy or incompetent or don't want to compete. I think they all do and they all want to win and they're doing the best they can. But without bigger and better lines, this team isn't built to win in the NFL. They managed to do it last year by winning 11 one-score games, which was unprecedented. That will obviously not be repeated this year. That was luck, and luck runs out. They could be well into October before they finally see an opponent that can't take advantage of their obvious flaws on both sides of the ball. Guess where the Chargers rank running the ball? Yup, you guessed it - first in the NFL with 233 yards per game. Sure, it's one game, but that isn't going to be an offense that will be shy about running it. And the Panthers? Not far behind at 154 yards per game. Those are their next two opponents, followed by the Chiefs who don't really need to run it. One would hope the Bears were a weak running team, and they might be weaker than these others, but even they piled up 122 yards against the Packers, and that game is in Chicago. Then the 49ers and then finally they will face a team that doesn't appear to have a strong run game which is the Packers.

Not that the run game is everything but if the offense isn't getting ahead of the sticks and the game and the team continues having to play from behind, this is shaping up to be one of the longer seasons in Vikings history...
Totally agree with you here. The Eagles just gave the league the blue print on how to kick our backsides all year and our schedule looks brutal for our weak run D, as you point out.

Good post, I always enjoy reading your observations.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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Texas Vike wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 10:24 am Fundamental level? What's more fundamental than protecting the football? Nothing. If you routinely lose the turnover battle, you're likely to lose. Without 7 turnovers, we'd be 2-0.
I agree, but that isn't the point I was trying to make. When I wrote about fundamentals, I'm referring to a bridge that has a structural issue. It structurally is built to carry normal commuter traffic, but put a couple of semis on it and it will collapse. The turnover issue is equivalent to the same bridge lacking guardrails. When it rains or there is ice on the bridge, it's possible for a few cars to lose control and go over, and yes, that is a big problem for those cars and their occupants, but the structural weakness is a big problem for every car on the bridge and the overall viability of the bridge itself.

To me, I see the weaknesses in the lines as the structural problem that, under load, will cause total failure 100% of the time. The lack of guardrails is definitely a problem, but one of a different order of magnitude.
Texas Vike wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 10:24 am Totally agree with you here. The Eagles just gave the league the blue print on how to kick our backsides all year and our schedule looks brutal for our weak run D, as you point out.

Good post, I always enjoy reading your observations.
Yeah, this is going to be a rough stretch even against the supposedly weaker teams. They have a chance if the offense can get ahead and force other teams to throw, but if they keep getting behind early it's going to be brutal.

I also enjoy reading your takes on things and always appreciate how respectful you are.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 11:34 am
Texas Vike wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 10:24 am Fundamental level? What's more fundamental than protecting the football? Nothing. If you routinely lose the turnover battle, you're likely to lose. Without 7 turnovers, we'd be 2-0.
I agree, but that isn't the point I was trying to make. When I wrote about fundamentals, I'm referring to a bridge that has a structural issue. It structurally is built to carry normal commuter traffic, but put a couple of semis on it and it will collapse. The turnover issue is equivalent to the same bridge lacking guardrails. When it rains or there is ice on the bridge, it's possible for a few cars to lose control and go over, and yes, that is a big problem for those cars and their occupants, but the structural weakness is a big problem for every car on the bridge and the overall viability of the bridge itself.

To me, I see the weaknesses in the lines as the structural problem that, under load, will cause total failure 100% of the time. The lack of guardrails is definitely a problem, but one of a different order of magnitude.
Good analogy. It brought back the tragic collapse of I 35 in MPLS though! We're essentially talking about the same things that are inextricably linked (turnovers and lack of competence in the trenches).

Several of our lost fumbles are from immediate QB hits on Kirk due to incompetent OL play. Another was our Guard swatting the ball of our QBs hand. Similarly, the fact that we haven't produced any fumbles reflects our overall incompetence on the DL.

They knew our lines were a weakness and did almost nothing to improve there. Can you imagine if we hadn't resigned Hunter? And the big offseason acquisition on DL has yet to play a snap. I wish I could say that was just flukey, but Davenport has an injury history.

Thanks for the kind words! What do you think our record will be this season? Any chance we trade Kirk to the Jets? Seems unlikely to me since I don't think the Jets have the draft picks to get us interested and I have a hard time imagining the Wilfs giving approval on that.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

Post by Cliff »

A lack of fundamentals lost the game. Ball security all over the place is a problem. Dropped passes. Penalties at the worst possible times even if they mostly play clean otherwise. Arm tackles everywhere. This is a team that clearly spent a lot of time coming up with good strategy and not enough time on the details. I keep hearing Denzel Washington in my head "You drop a pass you run a mile, you miss a blocking assignment you run a mile, you fumble the football and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts ... and then you will run a mile ...". They've got to get back to basics or the game planning doesn't matter.

I'm not too down on Mattison yet but I'm getting there. He only ran the ball 11 times so it's difficult to know. The fumble wasn't pretty but it happens. He certainly runs hard. Running backs need opportunities to make something happen. What would Adrian Peterson's stats have been like if he only got 11 attempts a game?

KJ Osborn is frustrating to watch. The dropped passes have got to stop. He is not making the most of his really good opportunities. KJ is basically the most likely to get the least attention from the other team of the receivers on the field. As a result, he's been targeted 12 times, which is good for 8th highest in the league, but only caught 6 of them for 65 yards.

The defense is the only reason the team was even in the game at all so the fact that they got brutalized in the 2nd half I'll let slide but something needs to happen to counteract that. I think the defensive gameplan couldn't adapt rather than didn't. This team has no answer for Smashmouth football other than to hopefully have the lead early so they don't have to defend against it.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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I believe JJ's fumble cost us the game. I know all the TO's were equal, but JJ's was a few feet from the dam endzone, just trying to stretch the play out. But then he knew just how pathetic of a run game KOC has adopted. :wallbang:
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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Texas Vike wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 10:24 am
VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 9:54 am Turnovers are killing the team, sure, but I think on a more fundamental level two things stood out about last night's game, one specific to the Eagles and one to the Vikings and both of them could be season-defining.
Fundamental level? What's more fundamental than protecting the football? Nothing. If you routinely lose the turnover battle, you're likely to lose. Without 7 turnovers, we'd be 2-0.
VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 9:54 am For the Eagles, that team doesn't look like the same team that went to the Superbowl last year by a country mile IMHO. Hurts is completely ineffective scrambling and running and presented no real threat to do so, and overall I thought the Eagles looked incredibly ordinary, really on both sides of the ball compared to what we saw last year. Maybe a Superbowl hangover? Not saying their chances of repeating are doomed or anything but if the Vikings had any semblance of a run defense (more on that in a minute) and, I don't know, actually didn't turn the ball over and repeatedly blow scoring chances the Vikings would have likely won the game.
The Eagles lost OC Shane Steichen to the Colts and NFL insiders were whispering before the season that he was a major reason why Hurts had so much success last season. I had the 2nd pick for a Fantasy Football Superflex draft so I studied the heck out of Josh Allen vs. Jalen Hurts situations and went with the former due to this. I'm not surprised to see Hurts struggle early.
VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 9:54 am For the Vikings, this season is shaping up to be the Tale of Two Lines, both of which appear to have fatal flaws that I expect future opponents will take advantage of all year. ....

KAM made a serious error in not ensuring the DL had a strong anchor in the middle and it's too late now to change anything......

And the situation isn't better on the OL.....
More succinctly, as I've been saying for some time now, we aren't built right. We suck in the trenches. The real contenders are strong on both OL and DL. We aren't among the real contenders and won't be until we devote more capital to the trenches. We are a soft team, despite adding a superior blocking TE and that being the only real offseason commitment we made to our desire to run the ball better. It's a joke and an indictment on Kwesi.
VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 9:54 am The fact the Vikings stayed in this game despite the above deficiencies is amazing to me. I give Cousins and his teammates a lot of credit for not giving up and continuing to press, and nobody should take my comments to suggest I believe the Vikings are somehow lazy or incompetent or don't want to compete. I think they all do and they all want to win and they're doing the best they can. But without bigger and better lines, this team isn't built to win in the NFL. They managed to do it last year by winning 11 one-score games, which was unprecedented. That will obviously not be repeated this year. That was luck, and luck runs out. They could be well into October before they finally see an opponent that can't take advantage of their obvious flaws on both sides of the ball. Guess where the Chargers rank running the ball? Yup, you guessed it - first in the NFL with 233 yards per game. Sure, it's one game, but that isn't going to be an offense that will be shy about running it. And the Panthers? Not far behind at 154 yards per game. Those are their next two opponents, followed by the Chiefs who don't really need to run it. One would hope the Bears were a weak running team, and they might be weaker than these others, but even they piled up 122 yards against the Packers, and that game is in Chicago. Then the 49ers and then finally they will face a team that doesn't appear to have a strong run game which is the Packers.

Not that the run game is everything but if the offense isn't getting ahead of the sticks and the game and the team continues having to play from behind, this is shaping up to be one of the longer seasons in Vikings history...
Totally agree with you here. The Eagles just gave the league the blue print on how to kick our backsides all year and our schedule looks brutal for our weak run D, as you point out.

Good post, I always enjoy reading your observations.
Losing the OC is a very good point. When we lost Brian Billick after 98 Randy Moss was asked in 99 what happened to the offense and he said it's in Baltimore now.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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Texas Vike wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 11:58 am Thanks for the kind words! What do you think our record will be this season? Any chance we trade Kirk to the Jets? Seems unlikely to me since I don't think the Jets have the draft picks to get us interested and I have a hard time imagining the Wilfs giving approval on that.
It's hard to say what the final record will be. If they clean up the mistakes and the offense can get ahead, they can win games. Just like last year where they didn't win by much, this year they're likely to not lose by much either, so the breaks will be critical as to which side of the ledger they come out on. But if they continue to play like they have been, this is a 3 win team. Last year they managed 13 wins with 11 of those one-score outcomes, and some of those needed mini-miracles to happen. This year karma is less likely to be kind to them. I'm not great at predictions (witness my performance thus far in the Pick 4... :ripple: ), but I think this is likely a 6 win team. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing, as that might make it more clear to the GM what aspects of the team need to be prioritized next offseason.

There is always a chance a player will be traded if the value is right. I'm not sure what the Vikings would demand in return for their starting QB, though, because if they did that they'd be more or less giving up on the season and I don't know how the team would view that. Personally, getting anything for Cousins at this point would make sense, because Cousins is not the future of the team and I want the team to get off the treadmill they've been on now for what seems like forever and actually try to put themselves in a position to get a franchise QB and get things going to where they could compete for a Superbowl and not just a playoff spot. I'm OK with taking a step back to take two forward, the Jets are probably pretty desperate and might overpay, and any honest assessment of this year's Vikings will conclude they are not competitive for a Superbowl appearance whether they have Cousins or not. KAM just has to get enough out of that deal for it to materially matter in the coming draft. And while he's at it, if he can swing something for Hunter while Hunter still has trade value that might make sense too. Look at the future, look at the next draft and offseason and understand the real issue is finding a legit prospect at QB for the future along with buttressing the offensive and defensive lines.

That will probably be controversial and I would understand a lot of fans not liking that, but it's harsh medicine. It tastes terrible going down but in time we'll all feel a heck of a lot better.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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JJBreaksRecords wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 1:15 pm I believe JJ's fumble cost us the game. I know all the TO's were equal, but JJ's was a few feet from the dam endzone, just trying to stretch the play out. But then he knew just how pathetic of a run game KOC has adopted. :wallbang:
JJ’s fumble hurt because it took sure points off the board, which would’ve given the Vikings a highly improbable lead at halftime.

But Kirk’s fumble led directly to 7 points. I know that Ole’ Udoh mattadored a pass pro rep and Kirk got crushed on the blindside, but for the Vikings to start the half with the ball, hoping to take the lead, only to suddenly find themselves down 20-7 … it was a killer. And Kirk would be the first to tell you that.

(The spelling of Udoh’s first name is intentional, BTW.)

Not blaming Kirk for the loss. But BOTH turnovers were backbreakers. If neither turnover occurs, the worst off the Vikings would’ve been was leading 14-10 and punting after the first possession of the second half.
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Re: Two plays cost us the game

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VikingLord wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 1:53 pm
Texas Vike wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 11:58 am Thanks for the kind words! What do you think our record will be this season? Any chance we trade Kirk to the Jets? Seems unlikely to me since I don't think the Jets have the draft picks to get us interested and I have a hard time imagining the Wilfs giving approval on that.
It's hard to say what the final record will be. If they clean up the mistakes and the offense can get ahead, they can win games. Just like last year where they didn't win by much, this year they're likely to not lose by much either, so the breaks will be critical as to which side of the ledger they come out on. But if they continue to play like they have been, this is a 3 win team. Last year they managed 13 wins with 11 of those one-score outcomes, and some of those needed mini-miracles to happen. This year karma is less likely to be kind to them. I'm not great at predictions (witness my performance thus far in the Pick 4... :ripple: ), but I think this is likely a 6 win team. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing, as that might make it more clear to the GM what aspects of the team need to be prioritized next offseason.

There is always a chance a player will be traded if the value is right. I'm not sure what the Vikings would demand in return for their starting QB, though, because if they did that they'd be more or less giving up on the season and I don't know how the team would view that. Personally, getting anything for Cousins at this point would make sense, because Cousins is not the future of the team and I want the team to get off the treadmill they've been on now for what seems like forever and actually try to put themselves in a position to get a franchise QB and get things going to where they could compete for a Superbowl and not just a playoff spot. I'm OK with taking a step back to take two forward, the Jets are probably pretty desperate and might overpay, and any honest assessment of this year's Vikings will conclude they are not competitive for a Superbowl appearance whether they have Cousins or not. KAM just has to get enough out of that deal for it to materially matter in the coming draft. And while he's at it, if he can swing something for Hunter while Hunter still has trade value that might make sense too. Look at the future, look at the next draft and offseason and understand the real issue is finding a legit prospect at QB for the future along with buttressing the offensive and defensive lines.

That will probably be controversial and I would understand a lot of fans not liking that, but it's harsh medicine. It tastes terrible going down but in time we'll all feel a heck of a lot better.
We've been drinking the harsh medicine for decades and we are still sick. I don't even know what a franchise QB is. Is Fields a franchise. Winston? Mayfield? Foles/Wentz won a Superbowl which is the only true winner. How did Foles win? Luck? Franchise QB? You need a solid team first. Drafting stiffs like Ingram who will sit here for four years is not the way to build.