Mailbag: Can Coaches Help Stop Mistakes?

What can the coaching staff do to stop the knuckleheaded lulls? If it’s not interceptions, it’s penalties. If it’s not a leaky run defense, it’s questionable play-calling. Will we ever see a complete game again? – Grant Thomasson/Tyler, TX


Nick: To answer the last question, no you will never see a complete game again, just like you probably have never seen one in the first place. And that’s coming from me, you compared the Vikings’ win to a “complete game” in baseball. But the reality of it, nothing is ever truly complete, at least not by your definition. There’s always going to be questionable play-calling, or turnovers or penalties. It’s the nature of the game that is designed for all teams to be created equally. So, if that’s the bar, I would lower it. Honestly, this is a pretty good football – one of the Top 5-10 best teams in the NFL, and that alone gives you a chance to compete for the ultimate goal. I’m sure that didn’t exactly answer your question but I think the coaching staff should be praised far more this year than being criticized.Patrik: I’ll say it’s impossible for any NFL team to have a perfect game, in all aspects, every single week (look around the league for evidence of this, even with contenders) so, to me, that’s not the issue. The problem is in the consistency of certain problems, if that makes sense. First, it was the rash of penalties. That got cleaned up. Then it was the run defense and, Jacksonville notwithstanding (LVE loss hurt in a big way), that got cleaned up (post-Green Bay) — so forth and so on. The good news is the team is showing you they can fix their issues, otherwise this season would’ve been over in early October.


The frustrating part is when the issue(s) re-emerge at the wrong time, and that simply can’t happen if they want to make a playoff run. The time is now to fix it, and it starts with players looking in the mirror (as many have) and dedicating themselves to chasing perfection as if it’s attainable. When you aim for the stars, if you fail, at least you’ll land on the moon. There has been only one perfect team in NFL history, which means every other champion has been imperfect, just less imperfect than the other 31.

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