Where do we go from here?

FELDMAN: The Packers game is in the rearview (thank goodness) and the Raiders coming to town excites me as much as Ryan D'Imperio being on the field. For Vikings fans, there's no significance to the game being played at Metrodome Sunday, so let's not waste much ink on it. The Vikes are 2-7, possibly headed for a Les Steckel-type disaster. So, Helmet Hair, where do we go from here?

LIMBECK:What, we don't get to break down the game against the Raiders in great detail? Bummer. I was all excited about Carson Palmer coming to town. In fact you are the only one of us who will be at the game. I'll be in Iowa covering the RCTC football team. But I'm getting off track and I'm wandering, just like the Vikings' season. I guess I'll throw this back at you: Do you want to see the Vikings win more games this season and lose most or all to get a higher draft choice next April?

FELDMAN: I never want to see the Vikings lose, but, wins shouldn't be a priority at this point. Know what a down-the-tubes season means? AD does not need to get the ball 25-30 times a game. Why run him into the ground for no reason? Give it to him 15 times a game and save those 70 other touches for future seasons. The Vikings used a second-round pick on Toby Gerhart. Let's see if he can justify that. Give him 15-20 carries, throw to him five times a game, give him a chance to prove his doubters wrong. What other players should the Vikings take a long look at?

LIMBECK:Well, obviously rookie quarterback Christian Ponder needs to play as much as possible. This has to be a learning season for him and he needs to learn to read defenses and play at game speed. The Vikings invested a lot in Ponder and they have to make sure he gets the opportunity to play. I would like to say play the younger offensive lineman, but no one wants to see Ponder or Peterson get mauled. On the receiving side, get Kyle Rudolph on the field. Did you see the one-handed grab the rookie tight end made against the Packers. Also give rookie WR Stephen Burton a look. And now is the time to see if Joe Webb can make the adjustment to wide receiver. Who do you want to see play?

FELDMAN: Everyone is auditioning for their job over the next seven weeks. There is a short list of guys the Vikings can't let go: Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin, Kevin Williams, Christian Ponder, Kyle Rudolph, Christian Ballard. All others are up for review. They can go one of two ways: 1. They can cling to the belief that they're still good enough to compete for a playoff spot with the current roster. 2. They can grip reality — unpleasant as it may be — and rebuild primarily through a handful of solid drafts. And it would be nice to see a sliver of emotion from the head coach.


LIMBECK:Everyone wants to see Leslie Frazier be more fiery. But it doesn't appear to be in his nature. Tony Dungy was cool and calm and he did OK. Mike Singetary, the current Vikings linebacker coach, liked to stare through his players as a coach and he didn't do so well. Maybe Fraizer needs to find a mix, but actions speak louder than words. Remember, this is the coach that dumped left tackle Bryant McKinnie prior to the season and receiver Bernard Berrian during the season. I do agree the Vikings need keep their top core of players, but they really need a great draft or two. Do you think the current Vikings brain-trust is capable of that type of draft(s)?

FELDMAN: Rick Spielman has been hit-and-miss, but, yes, he could put together a team capable of competing for a playoff spot. Fortunately, in the NFL these days, teams can turn around in a year or two. Unfortunately, the Vikings look like a team that's going to need three or four years and three or four very good drafts. Look no further than the team that toyed with the Vikes on Monday night. Green Bay built this team through multiple really good drafts. And the Packers showed us just how far away the Vikings are from matching them. As for Sunday ... meh, the outcome won't fire me up one way or another. Raiders 28, Vikings 20.

LIMBECK:Well, I expect you to yell and scream a lot on Sunday. The Raiders have been assessed the most penalties in the league. This is a game that just might hurt Minnesota's draft position in 2012: Vikings 23, Raiders 21.

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