No controversy this week with the Vikings, no sir, but we'll run a Live Chat with Chip Scoggins anyway starting at noon ... leave questions for Chip and he'll be fielding them before the clock strikes 12.
Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me. Let's get this thing started shall we.
Hey Hoodie. Yeah, some curious decisions. I guess I was most surprised by Patterson's lack of work. He played only five snaps, targeted only once. Leslie Frazier said they want to get him more snaps and the fact that the offense had only 53 plays contributed to Patterson's light workload. But Patterson is very talented and explosive when he has the ball in his hands so I would think Musgrave would want to maximize that and put him in different situations.
ks, you're right. The defense had trouble both stopping the run and defending screen and underneath passes. They obviously missed Kevin Williams inside, especially against the run. We'll see if he's able to return this week. He said he would be shocked if he didn't play. But they also need to make adjustments in terms of defending the screen because I would think teams -- the Bears with Forte -- will look to do the same thing.
Abe, I thought Harrison Smith played a nice game and made some plays. I like the way he runs to the ball and hits. He plays with the kind of edge that you like to see from a safety.
Scooter, this obviously is THE question everyone is asking this week. The Vikings and Les Frazier have shown loyalty to Ponder but you wonder if the circumstances are different know that they have Cassel as a backup. Not saying Cassel is an obvious upgrade, but he has a track record and is a far more attractive option that Joe Webb a year ago. The other element is Frazier's contract. He's essentially in his final year so he can't afford to have too much patience if Ponder continues to struggle.
jimg, I know a lot of fans would love it if they brought Winfield back. I guess I wouldn't be surprised either way. I'm sure players in the locker room are trying to talk him out of retirement. Jamarca Sanford said he would last week. And Frazier said he would welcome the opportunity to coach Antoine again. The thing I don't know is how his knee feels and does Winfield believe he can play up to his high standards.
Eric, Talked to Bishop yesterday and said he's just trying to be patient with everything. He obviously came in behind on everything with the late start and then his groin injury in camp. Bishop said he's healthy and feels comfortable with the defense. Frazier didn't say whether Bishop will get some snaps this week. I would put him out there to see what he can give the defense.
Tommy, I don't think any of the linebackers had a very good day. Reggie Bush is obviously a difficult matchup for most linebackers but the linebackers, actually the entire defense, just looked a step behind most of the day.
rob, Good points. The Vikings need their o-line to control things and be dominant for the offense to function the way they want. Their built to run the ball and control the clock and that didn't happen Sunday. And yes, their defese relies on the front getting pressure with four. But Detroit had a good plan as far as Stafford getting the ball out quick. Teams have done that before to neutralize the Vikings pass rush.
traceys, Locke said yesterday that his steps were off and that he is working to correct that this week. Not sure what that entails exactly, but no, that was not a good debut for him.
Cristy, they certainly were not as strong up the middle. A lot has been said about Williams' decline in recent years but I still believe he can play at a high level if his snaps are managed. But the Lions had too much success running the ball up the middle. We talked about it in the press box, how different the run defense is now versus when the Williams Wall stuffed everything.
Bill, well, I liked the fact that they took a few shots down the field to Simpson. That was a position sign. If they can do that and connect on them consistently, that should open things some for Peterson. But I agree that I thought they might use Patterson on some of the Harvin-like plays in terms of bubble screens and reverses.We'll see if they add some of that this week or sometime soon.
Hoodie, you're right that Kalil doesn't look like the guy we saw last season. Not sure the exact reasons other than Frazier's comments yesterday about his technique and fundamentals being off. Curious to see if that is a quick fix.
ronny, that's a good question. I have a hard time thinking Frazier would make a change without consulting with Spielman. But the unknown is whether Spielman would resist if Frazier wanted to make that move. Again, Frazier has not indicated that Ponder's play is in jeopardy. But that dynamic between Frazier and Spielman, who drafted Ponder, is certainly interesting if it reaches a point that Frazier feels a change is needed.
Abe, yeah that didn't work out so well. The rollout left on third-and-1 was a real head scratcher. Ponder just doesn't look comfortable in those situations.
Greg, I was wondering how much that played a part in their struggles Sunday. I'm sure it was a factor but it starts up front with the line and they just didn't do enough to give Peterson any room to operate. Ellison actually did a nice job on Peterson's 78-yarder to start the game.
greander, Good points, but the Vikings have the best running back in the NFL so the offense is going to revolve around that. It's an old-school approach in today's pass-happy NFL but they have to maximize Peterson's talents. Now, I agree that they should explore ways to get creative in the passing game with Patterson and Rudolph to avoid becoming predictable so teams don't just crowd the box to stop Peterson.
Dale, Let's see what happens this week and then ask me again next week this same time. Again, I want to see if Ponder continues to make poor decisions and turnovers. If so, I think the answer is obvious but I need to see how this plays out a few more games.
DC, you're right in that they need to be able to run the ball effectively to be successful. They did that last season obviously. Now, can they become more balanced with the addition of Jennings and Patterson and a healthy Simpson? Until Ponder shows that he can utilize that talent and not turn the ball over, we won't know what this offense could be. That's why everyone is so frustrated after Sunday's game.
Brad, Ponder obviously. They will have a hard time beating anyone if he turns the ball over four times.
Don, I was interested to see if Kelly's offense could work in the NFL. As a huge college football fan, I loved watching his Oregon teams. Very innovative stuff. The Eagles will be fui to watch as the season progresses to see how defenses adjust.
Dan, is this really you? I actually thought the Vikings had a big advantage last week against a Detroit line that had three new starters. But the Lions did a good job with their quick-hitting passes and their line did a nice job. But yes, Jared Allen and Brian Robison need to be able to get pressure on Cutler so that he doesn't get in a rhythm with Marshall.