View Full Version : Purple Pain

09-20-2005, 09:47 PM
Here is an article on our Vikes...

Purple pain

Don Banks, SI.com

So it looks like the good people of Minnesota are going to finally get themselves a new $675 million football stadium. Now, if they can only make a new team part of the deal.

Did we overrate the Vikings, with their five new defensive starters and an offense that looked more than capable, even without Randy Moss? On the surface, it sure looks like we did. But that doesn't change the fact that they're still the most talented team in a weak division, and there's plenty of time for them to sort things out.

The team sources in Minnesota I talked to said the Vikings are stunned and doing a bit of soul-searching, but aren't yet in panic mode. At a team meeting on Monday, there was a circle-the-wagons mentality, with some of the Vikings' veterans standing up and apologizing for their shoddy play. Coach Mike Tice, is opting not to kick his wounded, and has expressed support for his beleaguered bunch.

What's gone wrong? Here are three factors that may be contributing heavily to Minnesota's malaise:

1. With eight interceptions, two fumbles lost and zero touchdown passes, quarterback Daunte Culpepper looks lost. Culpepper won't say it, but he misses offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Linehan's in Miami now, and Culpepper has yet to develop the same kinship with either new coordinator Steve Loney or new quarterbacks coach Rich Olson.

2. There have been too many changes on defense for the unit to play with any cohesiveness. While some have faulted Minnesota for bringing in too many older players -- linebacker Sam Cowart, defensive tackle Pat Williams, safety Darren Sharper, et al -- the Vikings didn't get anywhere in recent years when they tried to mold a younger, homegrown defense.

3. The offense needs to establish its own post-Moss identity. With a running game that has been non-existent (it looks as if it's Melwelde Moore's turn given Michael Bennett's fumbling problem), the Vikings have yet to feature the balanced attack that they hoped for in Moss's absence.

A win this week against the itinerant Saints will go a long way toward calming the Vikings' jangling nerves. Another loss and true desperation will begin to set in. It's only Week 3, but in winless Minnesota, that already feels plenty late.


09-20-2005, 10:56 PM
Here are a couple more articles....

Vikings vow to be better
Team tries to rally after two embarrassing losses
Posted: Tuesday September 20, 2005 12:19PM; Updated: Tuesday September 20, 2005 12:22PM

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- Shocked by the manner in which they've lost their first two games, the Minnesota Vikings might have to turn to one of those TV advice-givers for answers to what's gone wrong.

"I can't tell you, baby," cornerback Fred Smoot said. "That's a question you'll have to ask Dr. Phil."

Most preseason predictions had Minnesota winning the NFC North, with an occasional Super Bowl appearance sprinkled in. Even the ultimate cynic could not have foreseen this team being outscored 61-21 and turning the ball over 12 times in two sobering defeats.

So the Vikings spent Monday watching film of their 37-8 loss at Cincinnati, figuring out how to fix their problems, frequently reminding everyone that 14 games remain on the schedule, expressing confidence in the coaches and players they've got and vowing that they'll be better this week.

"I know we're going to stick together and make this thing work," said quarterback Daunte Culpepper, whose eight interceptions have been one of the most glaringly negative surprises so far.



Vikings take a beating
Ted Anderson
The Daily Tribune
Tuesday, September 20th, 2005 01:39:21 PM

HIBBING — What was that putrid stench that was emanating from my television set early Sunday afternoon?

Could it have come from my beloved Minnesota Vikings? Could it have come from a Vikings team that I thought was a lock to win the North Division title this year?

You bet it was.

The beating I saw the Vikes take at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday was demoralizing. The last game I can remember where the Vikings were beaten so badly in all phases of the game came 20 years ago when the Chicago Bears were kings of the National Football League.