Louis Villaume

Louis Villaume, a lifelong Minnesotan, has been a Vikings fan since the late 1960s. He's also the seventh grade football coach in Rockford and works with the school's varsity team.

Villaume: Fans get their way, Cassel to the rescue

Posted by: Louis Villaume Updated: September 27, 2013 - 2:34 PM

We are 0-3. The season's hopes for the playoffs all but gone. The chance of being competitive slipping. An angry fan base. Turmoil. It is all bad.

Matt Cassel to the rescue.

Never mind that in fantasy football corners of the globe owners are stacking up on Steelers' receivers, tight ends, and running backs. Minnesota's defense has surrendered over 30 points in each game. Reggie Bush and Joqie Bell ripped through the team like a hot knife through butter. Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte as well. Last week, Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron were virtually unstoppable. That may be the first time someone has typed unstoppable next to a Browns' player in 2013.

Forget that the offensive line allowed numerous hits to Christian Ponder last week, six sacks, and only a little athleticism helped Ponder escape worse. This line has been unable to create holes for Adrian Peterson. Brandon Fusco, Matt Kalil, Phil Loadholt and friends have taken turns not picking up stunting rushers and/or plain missing defensive ends. Ponder, not a steady quarterback, has fumbled, thrown interceptions, and missed open receivers. 

Dismiss the idea that the secondary is not deep. Was it only I that noticed when Chris Cook went out A.J. Jefferson got torched twice for the length of the field and a TD? Then he was "hurt", and Marcus Sherels came in. Sherels made many tackles, but most only after a first down was usually recorded. Harrison Smith, the golden boy, was unable to stop Cameron on a key play late in the game, eerily similar to the previous week when Smith was late to cover the Bears' receivers.

Pretend that the problem is not with the coaching, because it is the same coaches this Sunday. Whether it is repeatedly kicking to Devin Hester, forgetting to cover players on field goal attempts, calling passing plays a rookie cannot make, or refusing to overuse Adrian Paterson, there is plenty of blame available to the guys that evaluate talent and call the plays. Did they not see that we have no middle linebacker this year?

No. The solution is Matt Cassel. 

It is possible, even probable, that Cassel will play better than Ponder. How could he not? Ponder is ranked 30th in the NFL, only a few were worse. Cassel is a pro, he has taken two separate teams to double-digit wins and playoff visits. He parlayed the first into a big contract with Kansas City from New England. He played under Tom Brady. The second, made him an instant hero and a Pro Bowler for the Chiefs. But KC did not protect him well in 2012, and he was first injured, and then gave way to Brady Quinn in a 2-14 season that was highlighted by the fans cheering when Cassel lay on the ground with a concussion. Chiefs' fans, not Eagles' fans.

Matt Cassel, if protected, will play well. With Jerome Felton returning the running game gets a needed boost, and more likely, the passing game gets a little better protection. Zach Line, while a great story, was not very good at fullback. No one was. This team needs Felton very badly.

There are signs that Chad Greenway is playing better. Sharrif Floyd made a contribution last week from defensive tackle. Brian Robison provided a pass rush. But this Vikings' defense needs Jared Allen to be better. It needs better play from Erin Henderson and whomever they decide is the other linebacker. So far, Marvin Mitchell has not been the answer. Maybe it is time to give Desmond Bishop a try? 

0-3 makes fans angry. We all have the answers. Despite the fact that we do not watch the films, we do not know what coverage or assignments players have, we still (in our anger) assess and complain. We have decided Ponder is awful, Frazier clueless, and the defense suspect.

This Sunday we find out if fans are right or wrong about quarterback. Most of us were dead wrong last year about Joe Webb, but no one is holding fans accountable for being stupid, they are allowed to say whatever they want, and if occasionally right, rant about how smart they are. If Cassel throws for 250 yards, two TDs, and Minnesota wins, we are all geniuses.

If we fall to 0-4 and Cassel is no better than Ponder, well, then we harp on something else, most likely a coach or two...



Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 43 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 71
Baylor 71 FINAL
Memphis 47
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11:00 AM
Western Ky 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11:00 AM
Akron 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Toledo 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




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