Yesterday's loss was definitely a swift kick to the breadbasket. We should have won at home against a division rival. We did the one thing we WEREN'T supposed to do (score offensively), and then, our team's foundation crapped the bed. There are few positives to this game, but even they are tainted with stupidity and ineptitude. Let's start with those positives, because after that we are all just going to be angry.
Everybody has been saying all year that Devin Hester (81 yard TD catch) and Greg Olson (5 catches for 63 yards) have to be involved in our offensive in order for it to be successful. I couldn't agree more, and before this game the play of Olson and Desmond Clark (3 catches for 48 yards) have kept us in, or straight out won us games. We have seen Hester, for the most part, as a decoy on offense. This game he was in for a good amount of snaps, was thrown a bad pass early in the second half, but gave us a chance in the fourth when he hauled in a perfect pass from Brian Griese (26/45 385 3TD 2INT) for the TD. This was a huge play for our offensive, and now more than ever, defensive coordinators will have to spend time planning for when Hester is on the field. How good was it to see our offense preform to its highest potential? Let alone to see our offense perform against a stout Vikings defense. As it was mentioned in an earlier thread we put up 86 total rushing yards against a team that has allowed 62 a game on average. I thought this was Benson's best running game this season. It was hard for our team to run inside against their huge DT's but they tried other plays ran him outside on quick pitch routes, and he capitalized. He also was making better decisions by waiting for holes, and following his blockers better. Finally, our offensive scored 24 points against a team that has been averaging 14.8 and out total output was 31 points. 31 points should beat almost any team.
It was great to see our offensive perform well at the end of the game, but for the entire game it was looking bad. Why do we have to wait until things are desperate to try and fully open up our offense? I want to see us use a spread more often during the game. I want to see us more committed to the running game. If we are committed to the run and we are trying to use more options on offense there is no reason we should run over some bad defenses in this league. Griese has been productive and given us big plays, but he still needs to be more consistent. There are too many plays where he just plain doesn't throw the ball to the intended receiver. It's over their heads, in the turf, or too far out of reach. However, our wideouts have to do a better job of catching the ball.
Give Turner credit for trying some new things, but punch him in the face if you see him on the street for not using our offensive to its fullest potential throughout the whole game. We have solid veterans who can plan in Muhsin Muhammad, Desmond Clark, and Bernard Berrian. We have young athletic game breakers in Olson and Hester. Let's get them the ball and work them into the offensive and stop with this foolishness. Our offensive turned out a great performance against a great defense, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. We should have won with 31 points on the board, but that is a different story. I will bring the scathing review of our Defense and Special Teams around lunch.