The Vikings now have a realistic chance of landing the second pick in the 2012 NFL draft. That should be their goal. The way they played for most of Sunday’s game, they should be up to the task.
The Vikings committed a false-start penalty on the first play of the game. They had a cornerback line up offsides. They threw three interceptions, dropped a field-goal snap and fumbled a kickoff return.
They shot themselves in the feet until they ran out of toes while coughing one up to Oakland 27-21 in front of a bunch of fans who didn't know whether to leave early or show up late. They fell to 2-8 on the season and 8-18 since the start of 2010 while their franchise player limped around on a bad ankle on the sideline, losing to a team that must commit personal foul penalties on the way to the team bus.
To summarize a day of really bad football:
There were times during the 2009 season you could have argued that the Vikings were the best team in football. Today, they are contending to become the worst.
Well before they lost to Oakland, the Vikings, a dubious stew of uninspired coaching and overrated talent, had blown their chance to contend. Beating the Raiders would have been like putting Neosporin on a broken tibia.
When you're as bad as the Vikings have been, winning the odd game accomplishes nothing.
Losing offers hope.
The Vikings now have a realistic chance of landing the second pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
That should be their goal. The way they played for most of Sunday's game, they should be up to the task.
The post-Peyton Colts lead the Andrew Luck Derby with a 0-10 record. That's fine. Quarterback is not the Vikings' chief concern. Christian Ponder, despite his mistakes on Sunday, is a smart, talented kid who will benefit from this experience, and Luck has looked less like a surefire superstar and more like just another talented college quarterback the last couple of games.
The Vikings would be best served by achieving the second-worst record in the NFL. They are currently tied at two victories with Carolina and St. Louis.
If they can pull together and lose the rest of their games, they should have a chance to take USC offensive lineman Matt Kalil, the perfect addition to a team with a lousy offensive line and a stopgap left tackle.
Kalil would be a boost for a roster that, in August, would have led an optimist to predict seven victories, and a pessimist to become a hockey fan.
This team was not set up to win, not with weak starters and a severe lack of depth at offensive line, receiver, cornerback and safety, and the Vikings coaching staff has enabled this mediocre team to play below its talent level.
What Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has to figure out over the next six weeks is whether his current personnel department is capable of making the most of high draft choices, and whether the current coaching staff can get the most out of them.
"We all need to get on the same page and start having a great game as a team," said defensive end Jared Allen.
"It's the mistakes that kill you. The penalties. It's the dumb stuff like that that happens. You would think that we would learn from it and cut it out, but it seems to be contagious around here.
"Week in and week out we keep making the same mistakes, or we have one quarter where we play poorly. That second quarter was terrible. It was probably the worst second quarter I have ever been a part of."
Allen sounds frustrated. So does Adrian Peterson. Athletes aren't supposed to see the big picture. They are supposed to compete.
Anyone with a more well-rounded world view would realize that picking first or second in each round of the 2012 draft is the best way to bandage a roster that just isn't good enough anymore.
"You guys have heard the old saying, 'You are what your record says you are,'" Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "We're 2-8."
They're 2-8 because they are neither talented nor well-coached.
Six more losses could help them fix one of those problems.
Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500ESPN. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. • email@example.com
|Carolina||0||1st Qtr 12:15|
|Detroit||0||1st Qtr 12:45|
|Oakland||0||1st Qtr 13:20|
|Arizona||0||1st Qtr 12:58|
|St. Louis||0||1st Qtr 14:26|
|TBA||1/3/15 2:00 AM|
|TBA||1/3/15 2:00 AM|
|TBA||1/4/15 2:00 AM|
|TBA||1/4/15 2:00 AM|
|Oklahoma City||6:30 PM|
|New York||8:00 PM|
|Central Conn St||48||FINAL|
|Long Beach State||67||FINAL|
|UMKC||68||2nd OT 0:21|
|Coast Guard||41||2nd Half 5:32|
|Thomas (GA)||34||2nd Half 13:42|
|Texas Southern||38||2nd Half 12:01|
|Rutgers||40||2nd Half 11:46|
|NC Wesleyan||39||2nd Half 9:02|
|South Dakota St||47||2nd Half 9:44|
|Central Penn College||40||2nd Half 14:19|
|Bowling Green||53||2nd Half 11:02|
|Harris-Stowe||55||2nd Half 6:31|
|SE Missouri St||74|
|Robert Morris-IL||48||2nd Half 7:52|
|Northland College||52||2nd Half 6:30|
|North Dakota St||67|
|Milwaukee||44||2nd Half 7:50|
|Northwestern St||39||2nd Half|
|Saint Peters||9||1st Half 5:11|
|St Katherine||19||1st Half 10:26|
|Haskell||9||1st Half 11:16|
|Wake Forest||22||1st Half 7:39|
|Fla Gulf Coast||11||1st Half 10:57|
|SD Christian||9||1st Half 8:14|
|Miss Valley St||4:00 PM|
|Delaware State||4:00 PM|
|NW Christian||5:00 PM|
|UC Davis||5:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||5:00 PM|
|Stony Brook||7:00 PM|
|(15) Arizona State||36||FINAL|
|Texas A&M||12/29/14 1:00 PM|
|Oklahoma||12/29/14 4:30 PM|
|Arkansas||12/29/14 8:00 PM|
|Notre Dame||12/30/14 2:00 PM|
|(13) Georgia||12/30/14 5:45 PM|
|Maryland||12/30/14 9:00 PM|
|(9) Ole Miss||12/31/14 11:30 AM|
|(21) Boise State||12/31/14 3:00 PM|
|(8) Miss State||12/31/14 7:00 PM|
|(10) Georgia Tech|
|(19) Auburn||1/1/15 11:00 AM|
|(7) Michigan State||1/1/15 11:30 AM|
|(16) Missouri||1/1/15 12:00 PM|
|(2) Florida State||1/1/15 4:00 PM|
|(5) Ohio State||1/1/15 7:30 PM|
|Houston||1/2/15 11:00 AM|
|Iowa||1/2/15 2:20 PM|
|(11) Kansas State||1/2/15 5:45 PM|
|Washington||1/2/15 9:15 PM|
|East Carolina||1/3/15 11:00 AM|
|Toledo||1/4/15 8:00 PM|
|(10) Oregon State||63||FINAL|
|William & Mary||56|
|(20) Michigan State||57|
|(24) Green Bay||66||FINAL|
|UNC Greensboro||30||2nd Half 17:15|
|Denver||49||2nd Half 7:49|
|VA Commonwealth||51||2nd Half 10:47|
|Huston-Tillotson||22||2nd Half 7:15|
|Lamar||45||2nd Half 10:33|
|Miss Valley St||34||2nd Half 9:15|
|Saint Louis||47||2nd Half 8:46|
|Middle Tennessee||73||2nd Half 7:56|
|Penn State||34||2nd Half 12:47|
|Purdue||43||2nd Half 9:32|
|DePaul||83||2nd Half 11:12|
|Sam Houston St||28||2nd Half 10:24|
|South Dakota||37||2nd Half|
|Fla Gulf Coast||3:00 PM|
|(4) Notre Dame||20||1st Half 9:31|
|Coll of Charleston||13||1st Half 7:00|
|Alcorn State||10||1st Half 8:17|
|Dartmouth||22||1st Half 7:52|
|Colgate||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Michigan||9||1st Half 8:48|
|(25) Arizona State|
|UC Santa Barbara||4:00 PM|
|Long Island||4:00 PM|
|Long Beach St|
|Jackson State||4:00 PM|
|Aug 8 - vs. Oakland||7 pm||X||10-6|
|Aug 16 - vs. Arizona||7:30 pm||X||30-28|
|Aug 23 - at Kansas City||7 pm||X||30-12|
|Aug 28 - at Tennessee||7 pm||X||19-3|
|2014 regular season|
|Sep 7 - at St. Louis||Noon||X||34-6|
|Sep 14 - vs. New England||Noon||X||30-7|
|Sep 21 - at New Orleans||Noon||X||20-9|
|Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta||3:25 pm||X||41-28|
|Oct 2 - at Green Bay||7:25 pm||X||42-10|
|Oct 12 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||17-3|
|Oct 19 - at. Buffalo||Noon||X||17-16|
|Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay||Noon||X||19-13 ot|
|Nov 2 - vs. Washington||Noon||X||29-26|
|Nov 9 - Bye|
|Nov 16 - at Chicago||Noon||X||21-13|
|Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay||Noon||X||24-21|
|Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||31-13|
|Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets||Noon||X||30-24 ot|
|Dec 14 - at Detroit||3:25 pm||X||16-14|
|Dec 21 - at Miami||Noon||X||37-35|
|Dec 28 - vs. Chicago||Noon|