Earlier this week, in the studios at 1500ESPN, we had a listener of the Mackey & Judd show — our buddy Paul — call us to complain about the lack of dominance from the Minnesota Vikings’ offense in recent games.
Actually, he was merely expressing mild concern. But “complain” sounds better.
Paul’s not alone. Judd agrees with him. And I get the sense that a lot of Vikings fans are very nervous right now with the state of the team’s offense. The defense is great–we know that. But can Case Keenum and the offense put up enough points to win playoff games, even after a couple of forgettable offensive performances?
Yes, they can. And here are 3 reasons why I’m not concerned with the offense’s lack of dominance lately:
The Vikings didn’t put up big numbers against Chicago’s defense. OK, that’s fine.
The Bears are not a great football team. They got their head coach fired. But defensively the Bears are actually pretty good. They held the Panthers, Steelers and Saints to an average of 13 points per game (and won two of those games).
First, there’s the Green Bay game – It was below zero. Rare conditions. The game was never in question. And the Vikings’ main goal was to avoid giving the Packers points, so they ran the ball 33 times. You think that’s going to happen indoors against the Saints in the playoffs?
Second, the Chicago game – Not only were they missing Pat Elflein, but they also called a mostly RISK-FREE game due to their opponent. They ran the ball 36 times, mostly hoping to avoid giving the Bears any shot at scoring points. Again, the game plan reflected the game circumstances and the quality of opponent. That’s not happening agains the Rams.
And in the Chicago game they still scored 23 points – despite shutting it down in the 2nd half, knowing the Bears weren’t going to score.
They can punt once in a while and still win. And they win games 23-10, not 35-17.