The Vikings gave solid efforts in victories over Washington and Buffalo after Leslie Frazier took over as interim coach last month. But the team's most recent performances make it appear that mentally the Vikings have checked out for the year.
The Vikings (5-9) have been outscored 61-17 in losing back-to-back games to the New York Giants and Chicago Bears and it stands to get worse this Sunday night when they play at Philadelphia.
Their season will come to a merciful end on Jan. 2 in Detroit.
Frazier said after the Bears loss on Monday night that he didn't question the effort given by his players but anyone who watched the game saw a team that clearly lacks interest.
That isn't good news for Frazier, considering his hope is to get the interim label removed from his coaching title.
Given how things have gone for the 2010 Vikings, however, it shouldn't come as a surprise they are simply playing out the string.
The Vikings entered the season with hopes of making a run at the Super Bowl — an overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC title game last season cost them a chance to play in Miami last February — but now will have to fight to stay out of the basement in the NFC North.
The Vikings have not finished last in the division since 1990, when they were members of the NFC Central.
It remains to be seen who will start at quarterback to finish the season. Brett Favre started Monday night, despite having been listed as "out" on the injury report two day earlier because of issues with his throwing arm.
Favre, however, suffered a concussion in the second quarter when he was slammed to the turf. Rookie Joe Webb replaced him. Webb completed 15 of 26 passes for 129 yards with two interceptions and gained 38 yards on six carries with one touchdown.
Frazier said Webb will be the starter if Favre can't go.
Ultimately the Vikings are likely better off playing for draft position. This is a team that will have several areas that need to be address.
It has become pretty clear the Vikings' quarterback for 2011 isn't on the roster. Favre has said he will retire after this season and there are no guarantees this team will run the West Coast offense next year, given that at this point it's not clear who will be the head coach.
The Vikings will have plenty of time to focus on resolving such issues in the coming weeks, but right now they are focused on simply getting through what has been a miserable season.
SERIES HISTORY: 21st regular-season meeting. Vikings lead series, 11-9. The Eagles, however, hold the overall lead because they have won three playoff games against the Vikings, including a 26-14 victory in a first-round matchup during the 2008 season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1-5 — Vikings road record this season entering Sunday's game in Philadelphia. Their lone road victory came in Leslie Frazier's first game as interim coach when they beat Washington 17-13 on Nov. 28.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think the fight is still there. I just think we're not executing in some key situations that we need to execute in." — Interim coach Leslie Frazier on if he was concerned the Vikings weren't competing in their 40-14 loss to Chicago on Monday night.
Vikings playing out the string
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