Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

Find him on Twitter

Bad day of coaching

Posted by: Jim Souhan under On the road, Quarterbacks, Vikings, NFC, Packers, Vikings coaches, Leslie Frazier, Vikings defense, Vikings management, Vikings off the field, Vikings offense, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin, Vikings draft, Wild coaching, Wild management Updated: December 5, 2011 - 6:54 AM

Big picture: The Vikings are much better off losing these games and landing the second pick in the draft, and facing their shortcomings, than they are winning meaningless games and making themselves feel better as the end of the year looms.

Small picture: That was a poorly-coached team that lost to the Broncos on Sunday.

Writing opinion for a living can make you look pretty silly. My column in the Sunday paper made the point that while the Vikings' coaching staff hasn't distinguished itself, it's a lack of personnel and depth that is the Vikings' biggest problem.

I'll stick with that opinion, but the Vikings' coaching staff failed in pretty much every area on Sunday.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave often left Kyle Rudolph, perhaps his best possession receiver, on the sideline on obvious passing downs. He sometimes even left Percy Harvin, the best player on the field, on the sidelines, too.

It's always hard to tell who's at fault when a unit collapses, but the defensive backs having no idea what their responsibilities were is frightening, considering that Leslie Frazier was a cornerback and defensive coordinator Fred Pagac has plenty of experience in the league and with this group.

And Frazier once again allowed his faith in his players to overwhelm logic. Saying that he didn't allow the Broncos to score because believed his players could block a short field goal attempt, well, that defies logic.

The Vikings probably wouldn't have won the game if they had allowed the Broncos to score quickly, but at least they would have a had a chance, and at least they would have had some control over the outcome. Instead, they played for a block of what was essentially an extra point. How often do extra points get blocked?

Almost never.

Frazier is a man of faith and likes to believe in his players. But the NFL is a game of probabilities. Frazier needs to learn how to play the odds, and he may have to learn within the next four games, to give Zygi Wilf a sign that he's making progress on the job.

Wilf takes losses hard, and I don't know if I've ever seen him more ashen-faced than when he left the lockerroom on Sunday. Frazier should take note.

------------------------------------------------

The Wild had another comeback win on the road last night, beating Anaheim, and Josh Harding was outstanding in the third period.

The Wild now has more points than any other team in the NHL, but what I'm watching is the point total for the eighth-place team in the West. What's really important is for the Wild to make the playoffs, and it has an eight-point lead over the teams tied for eighth in the West.

As far as they've come, that doesn't give them a tremendous margin for error.

Their goals differential is plus-9, the fourth-best mark in the West. They're tied for sixth in the conference in goals scored. To stay near the top of the conference, they'll eventually have to score more goals.

So far, they have far exceeded expectations, and on a team without any true stars, it's hard not to give most of the credit to Chuck Fletcher and Mike Yeo.

------------------------------------------------

About the only criticism remaining of Aaron Rodgers was that he has led relatively few fourth-quarter comebacks in his career, compared with the great quarterbacks with whom he statistically compares.

Did you see that drive on Sunday? It was surgical.

I've been saying all year that I think the Packers can go undefeated, not because they win easily every week, but because their offense seems to be able to score anytime it needs to.

What I wonder is if the mental wear and tear of trying to remain undefeated could cost the Packers in the playoffs. It's hard to play under pressure week after week.

------------------------------------------------

Upcoming: I'll be on 1500espn at 2:05 today and every weekday with Reusse & Mackey.

My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

more twins blogs

See all similar bloggersFull story

Post By Category

Professional baseball (160) Vikings (247)
Gopher coaches (50) Gopher quarterbacks (14)
Gopher recruiting (2) Gopher road games (3)
Gophers disciplinary action (2) Gophers recruiting (3)
Gophers spring football (4) TCF Bank Stadium (24)
The Big 10 (25) NCAA: football (15)
Gophers coaches (63) Gophers players (42)
Tubby Smith (38) Williams Arena (16)
Gophers post season (6) Gophers roster moves (4)
Golf (38) Soccer (4)
Twins news (39) WNBA (8)
Wild news (53) AFC (10)
Bears (32) Ex-Vikings (19)
Football on TV (101) Lions (27)
NFC (85) NFL draft (37)
NFL post-season (39) Packers (58)
Super Bowl (53) Vikings coaches (132)
Vikings defense (66) Vikings fans (47)
Vikings injury report (17) Vikings management (88)
Vikings off the field (32) Vikings offense (75)
Vikings quarterbacks (46) Vikings road games (16)
Vikings rookies (4) Vikings roster moves (3)
Vikings special teams (2) Vikings training camp (6)
Off the field (6) On the road (26)
Quarterbacks (37) Rookies (7)
Roster moves (1) Vikings draft (42)
Ron Gardenhire (121) Target Field (155)
Twins fans (162) Twins management (213)
Twins offense (116) Twins transactions (97)
NBA playoffs (41) Wolves coaches (73)
Wolves draft news (29) Wolves guards (38)
Wolves injury report (7) Wolves management (79)
Wolves players (61) Wolves trade talk (14)
Wolves training camp (11) All-Stars and honors (92)
Fighting (2) Wild coaching (44)
Wild management (55) Wild off-season news (10)
Wild player moves (8) Adrian Peterson (82)
Anthony Herrera (2) Antoine Winfield (16)
Ben Leber (1) Bernard Berrian (7)
Brad Childress (30) Brett Favre (58)
Brian Robison (3) Bryant McKinnie (3)
Cedric Griffin (5) Chad Greenway (17)
Chester Taylor (5) Chris Kluwe (3)
Darrell Bevell (6) E.J. Henderson (4)
Jared Allen (29) John Sullivan (6)
Kevin Williams (6) Leslie Frazier (55)
Madieu Williams (2) Pat Williams (3)
Percy Harvin (28) Phil Loadholt (3)
Ray Edwards (1) Ryan Longwell (9)
Sage Rosenfels (1) Sidney Rice (10)
Steve Hutchinson (7) Tarvaris Jackson (12)
Tyrell Johnson (2) Visanthe Shiancoe (5)
Brad Childress (30) Darrell Bevell (6)
Leslie Frazier (55) NHL news (9)
2010 Winter Games (13) Olympic curling (1)
Olympic hockey (8) Olympic skiing (4)
Olympic village (11)

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT