The day had gotten off to a good start on Sunday, with the Chicago Bears losing their first game of the season, to the lowly Miami Dolphins, 31-13, in which must be the upset of this football season. This result gave me some hope that a certain Vikings victory in San Francisco would put the Vikes not just in a good position to make the playoffs, but it just might put them back in a position to actually win the NFC North.
Today I witnessed an incredibly lifeless Minnesota team lose to one of the worst teams in the NFL, 9-3. A game in which neither team could score a touchdown, and Sunday's truly embarrassing offensive performance may just prove the Vikings simply aren't a playoff team, and they will go absolutely nowhere with Brad Johnson at the QB helm.
The San Francisco 49ers are last in the NFL in defense, and going into Sunday's game had allowed an NFL-high 34 points per game. This was the type of game the Vikings could get well in, especially after getting hammered by a very good New England Patriots team last Monday.
They drove for an opening field goal, and once again could not get the ball in the end zone. They are simply pathetic in the Red Zone, and are last in the NFL, converting just 24% of the Red Zone chances into touchdowns. Johnson simply doesn't have it any more, and he has thrown for just 4 TDs in eight games. He threw another interception and fumbled twice, and they led to 49er scores.
The only reason to watch the Vikings offense is RB Chester Taylor. He's an exciting back to watch, and he outgained the entire San Francisco offense, 141-133, in total yards. (That should tell you something about how bad the 49ers are as a team.) He caught a screen pass from Johnson and scampered 65 yards for a TD, but it was brought back by a stupid block in the back penalty by Travis Taylor.
And another reason the Vikings are struggling is the lousy play of Troy Williamson. He continues to be a flop, and he dropped two critical passes from Johnson in crucial situations. This is his second season and he continues to show he is not a number one receiver. The Vikings have no reliable deep threat, and it is hurting this club immensely.
I believe it is time to give rookie Tarvaris Jackson a start at QB. The Vikings have the easiest schedule the rest of the way this season, and it maybe time to see what this rookie has. Johnson clearly isn't the answer at QB. It was simply a pathetic display by the offense, as for the second time this year they have had an offensive TD scoreless streak that has reached at least 10 quarters.
The defense has looked marvelous at times, and after 8 games, had allowed 10 fewer points per game than they did in 2005. But the offense is so unbelievably weak, and it is dragging the Vikings down with it. Hard decisions have to be made by Brad Childress and the club, or else this team, which is now 4-4, will see any chance of a postseason berth go down the drain.