Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's changed?

When Mike Tice was fired at the end of the 2005 season by new owner Zygi Wilf, he was fired because his team was often sloppy, undisciplined and couldn't win on the road.

So what does Wilf do now that the man he picked to succeed Tice - Brad Childress – presides over a Vikings team that is consistently sloppy, undisciplined and can't win on the road?

Like most Vikings fans, I've mostly tolerated Childress during his time as Vikings head coach. It was nothing personal. In my view he did a pretty good job gathering talent. But I also felt (and still feel) that he got less out of that talent than other coaches might have.

Today's 27-13 loss to the Chicago Bears just reinforced that belief. It also makes me wonder what the difference is between Tice and Childress – other than the talent Childress has had at his disposal the past three seasons.

The Vikings performances on the road during the Childress era serves as one example that there probably isn't much difference at all.

Most Vikings fans remember Tice's Vikings teams as pathetic on the road. And they were.

During Tice's four years as head coach, the Vikings went 12-21 on the road, losing by an average of 11.9 points in those 21 losses.

But now into year five of the Childress Administration, the Vikings aren't any better on the road. The blowouts have been fewer (the Viking road losses have been by an average of 8.8 points) but they've still been losses.

The road record of Brad Childress Vikings teams is now 14-23 after Sunday's ugly loss. And they've now lost their last nine road games. Mike Tice's Vikings teams never lost nine straight road games.

If Wilf wasn't considering it already, Sunday's loss should give him reason to wonder if the Vikings are any further ahead now with Childress than they were in 2005 with Tice.

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