COMMENTARY: Vikings' post-game 'like being in a loony bin'
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It was like being in a loony bin. Afterward, Randy Moss talked about how much he misses the New England Patriots and the "greatest coach in this history of football," Bill Belichick. He also chastised his current teammates fo...
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It was like being in a loony bin.
Afterward, Randy Moss talked about how much he misses the New England Patriots and the "greatest coach in this history of football," Bill Belichick. He also chastised his current teammates for not being more appreciative of him during the week, when he tried to outline the Patriots' tendencies.
Brett Favre, eight stitches in his chin, admitted that while he was being carted off the field in the fourth quarter, semiconscious, he wondered, "What in the world am I doing?" When asked if he would undergo tests for a possible concussion, Favre replied: "I don't know; I don't remember." Then he broke into a laugh.
Brad Childress, who made another bad goal-line decision and another bad challenge, sort of brushed off the loss, saying: "We got nine to go."
What didn't happen, however, was owner Zygi Wilf pulling from his coat pocket a press release announcing Childress' dismissal. There were rumors that he might, and I half expected it. That's how he fired Mike Tice, you'll recall. Wilf had a press release all typed up and ready to distribute as the media entered the locker room immediately after Tice's Vikings had defeated the Chicago Bears.
It was a classless, oily thing to do, so naturally I expected him to do it again. This time, maybe he should have.
Even with the upcoming soft schedule, the season appears lost. It's as if the team needs some sort of shock treatment, some sort of jolt. Nothing
would apply a better kick in the pants to this slouching group than a change at the top. Whether Childress deserves to get canned is irrelevant. As Clint Eastwood said: "Deserves" got nothing to do with it. Consider it a tactical move designed to get the team's attention.
There's no need for anything dramatic. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier could take over. The players hear a different voice. And maybe something good comes out of it. What do they have to lose?
"I can assure you coach Childress is getting us prepared," linebacker Ben Leber said. "We, as players, have to step up and play. That's not a coaching issue. That's a player issue."
On fourth and goal from the Patriots' 1-yard line late in the first half, Childress decided to go for it instead of taking the field goal. Adrian Peterson lost 2 yards, and the Patriots took possession. The Vikings ended up losing three points. Childress went for it a couple of times on fourth down in the Miami game, too, and those decisions played a part in that loss.
"I wish we could have had that three at the end of the half," Moss lamented. "Maybe it could have been different, maybe not."
Moss, who was in rare oratory form after the loss, followed with what he called a "salute" to Belichick and the Patriots -- "I love you guys; I miss you" -- before heading to the team bus. Presumably the Vikings' team bus, although the way he was talking I can't say for sure. He might have tried to leap into the Patriots' vehicle.
Now the Vikings are 2-5. Playoffs? This team?
"I'm not going to sit here and talk about the playoffs," Favre said. "We've got to win a game. No secret there."
But Favre also issued what sounded like an ominous warning.
"Hopefully, our guys will not go south in this. I think we've got some good character guys."
Against the Patriots, the quarterback play was fine. Favre actually was very good, broken ankle and all. But there was no pass rush, and the secondary struggled. Peterson rushed for 59 yards on 13 carries in the first quarter. He carried 12 times for an additional 33 yards over the rest of the game. How does that happen?
Only Percy Harvin could get open downfield, in part, because the Patriots doubled on Moss all game. Moss was no factor. In fact, he probably quit on a couple of plays too early. Once when a block might have sprung a runner for a bigger gain. You can see him tick, tick, ticking away en route to an explosion.
"Maybe we can scheme up ways to move him around," Favre offered.
That should have been done already.
Meanwhile, Belichick's team seemed to do everything right, including having Tom Brady run into the line a couple of times to use up the clock near the end. Belichick is an odd one. He really is a dynamic coach but has the personality of a slice of soggy bread. If he ever opened a restaurant, it appropriately could be named Belichick's House of Bland. Today's special: bouillon, white toast and tap water.
"We're happy to win," Belichick noted.
His counterpart, Childress, apparently will live to fight another day. But the clock has to be ticking down on him, doesn't it? With so much at stake, his team can't afford to have an off year.
"All these defeats are bitter pills to swallow," he said.
I just don't know how many more he's going to be allowed to swallow.
Tom Powers can be reached at email@example.com .
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