I think it usually comes back to stopping the run for this team. They gave up the big run against the Bears and that threw them off. There was a big run in the Lions game on a third-and-long situation. The Redskins overpowered them up front and ran the ball consistently well. The defense has been off-balance in part because the run defense isn't as good as it was early in the season.
Norv said the day he resigned that it just wasn't working out, that there were differences in how to proceed with the offense in its current state. Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz got the drop on the Vikings because he knew everything there is to know about Bradford, who had been in Philly. That, mounting injuries and Blair Walsh's crooked leg have contributed to a slump. Plus, it's tough to go on the road and win. Three of the four losses were on the road.
Against the Lions, when Kendricks was out, Lamur replaced Greenway in all third-and-long situations. He didn't play particularly well and was part of the problem in the prevent defense with seconds left in regulation. Although that was a bad coaching decision to play that soft of a defense against Stafford.
He plays tackle football.
I'd be intrigued by putting Boone there, but it's not like he's having an All-Pro year either. I'd probably go with what they had before Long arrived: Clemmings at LT and Sirles at RT. And wait for the next injury.
Good question. I don't think it's a decline in the defensive line. Part of it has been quicker passing. I also think the Redskins have one of the best and deepest lines in the league. Their backup LT was impressive on Sunday, I thought.
It only comes back with a win. Hopefully, he has the defense awake in time for the first quarter this week. Against Washington, the Redskins had 10 first downs and a 14-0 lead by their 18th snap of the game.
A candidate? Yes. Likely? I would say no.
Don't know. But if it stays dormant, they better blitz, blitz, blitz. Cousins was comfortable on practically every throw he made.
No. If they thought enough of Jake Long to sign him, then they were going to play him at his natural spot. And, in fairness to Jake, he was starting to come around a bit until the injury Sunday. The guy had played 10-11 snaps all last year. His first game was a disaster, but not unexpected. He was improving, but his injury also isn't unexpected. His body is shot.
If he's getting heat, it's unfair in my opinion.
I think him not playing is all the answer you need. He was a long-term project pick. I have no idea if he'll materialize into anything. I've seen a few now like him that haven't, but we'll see.
They aren't to the point of saying they "have nothing to lose." They still have a lot to lose. They're 5-4, the same record as the Lions, who own the tiebreaker in the division. They've run the wildcat a few times. I don't think trick plays sustain success, so, to me, it's not a big deal that they aren't trying gadgety things.
That would be as cool as Bud Grant walking to midfield in short sleeves for the Seattle game last January.
Learn something new every day. I'll make sure the USC guys don't rush the field on the next PAT.
Teams need to convert third downs to distribute opportunities. The Vikings had the ball for five of the first 20 minutes in the second half on Sunday.
No, but Sid has never missed a PAT in his life.
I think people have mentioned him. He is, after all, the first player in NFL history with consecutive 13-catch games. I don't know about uncoverable. Most of the throws to him are either behind the line or just across the line of scrimmage. They're almost like running plays. But, yeah, he's pretty good. People need to remember him (fourth round, 2015) when they say the Vikings have drafted no one on that side of the ball in recent years.
OK, time for one more ...
After years of building the defense through the draft, the time has come to focus on the offense in general and the line in particular. I'm did a story for tomorrow's paper on the Cowboys' offensive line. The Vikings need to start investing that kind of draft capital into the offensive line. Thanks for all the good questions. We'll do it again, maybe even after another win some day ...