Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Vikings Continue To Disappoint

The Vikings had one goal going into Monday night, and that was to beat a struggling Bears team that they had destroyed once already that season. Of course, as every Vikings fan expected, they fucked it up, and now the two seed is out of their hands. Thankfully, they are going to be playing a bruised and beaten Giants team in the dome next week, a place where they have yet to lose this season, simultaneously watching the scoreboard to see if Dallas can beat Philadelphia. In a perfect world for us, the Eagles lose to the Cowboys, the Giants go down a la this past weekend, and Wild Card Weekend becomes R and R weekend.

Personally, I think that after the dismal first half, the Vikings did not deserve to win Monday’s game. The Bears played them like a fiddle from the beginning, running up and down the field and preventing anything from materializing on defense. Peterson was no where to be seen, Favre was floundering, and the scoreboard had a nice goose egg for the Vikings at the half. In true Favrian fashion, Minnesota storms back, scores 17 unanswered points and tied it up late in the fourth. At 23-23 with less than five minutes to go, Danieal Manning returns the ensuing kickoff into Vikings territory, and Cutler engineers a score two plays later. This is where it gets interesting, because in the next couple of drives, the Vikings should have ended up “game over” on a few separate occasions instead of forcing OT.

First, after the kickoff, a holding penalty and a sack puts them at 2nd and 20 from deep in their own end. Sure enough, they get a first down on a long pass play and short run. Second, Favre overthrows Percy Harvin while on their way to a touchdown, and Zachary Bowman drops a tipped pass that was in his hands. Instead of a game ending interception with less than a minute on the clock, the Vikings score on a sweet touch pass to Sidney Rice in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. Third, on the first drive of overtime, the Bears’ MVP of the game, Devin Aromashodu, sets them up with a field goal from inside the 30, but Robbie Gould could not seal the deal. Luckily for the Bears, the fourth time is a charm, and after a crippling Adrian Peterson fumble, Aromashodu catches the game winner with Favre watching helplessly from the sidelines.

Regardless of Peterson’s fumble, or Antoine Winfield’s poor decision to underestimate the player of the game, the loss was eerily reminiscent of the Saints overtime loss to 2-12 Tampa Bay. Both losses came to bad teams that should have been killed, and both losses could have very large playoff implications. The Vikings no longer control their own destiny to lock up the two seed in the NFC, and it has become probable that 40 year old Brett Favre will have two extra games to play in the 2009 season. Instead of sitting out for week 17 and resting up for the playoffs, he will have to play full speed ahead for the game against a team that has nothing to play for. It could also add in a new hurdle for the week after, where the Vikings now have to play instead of having the bye. For an aging body that has been beaten mercilessly over the past month, it could spell disaster for a team that once looked infallible.

As a lifelong Vikings fan, I have trained my mind to expect the worst in every situation. However, this time, having Favre is definitely better than not having him. I guarantee you that the 2007 and the 2008 Vikings never would have even made it to overtime last night, or have been in a position where the game actually mattered as much as it did. That is where Favre makes his magic happen, and I am eager to see what he has up his sleeve come next week and beyond. Although I doubt the Vikings have a Super Bowl run in them without linebacker EJ Henderson, I do think they have enough gas to make it to the second or third round of the playoffs. I think the Eagles have a great shot at beating the Cowboys to win the number two seed, and at this point its almost better that they do. That way the Vikings don’t have the time to think about what could have been, and they wont go soft watching others bang it out on Wild Card Weekend.

As we saw this week, anything can happen any given Sunday in the NFL, and maybe that “anything” spells a few more victories for the Vikings. Maybe that anything also means that Devin Aromashodu gets a flat tire on his way to the stadium, and gets stuck on the side of the road in 10 degree weather for week 17 as “payback” for his ridiculous game.

Who knows?

It could happen, right?


  1. I still think the Vikings will win the NFC this year, but they will have a tough time going up against the Colts or Chargers in the Super Bowl. They really need to find a way to dominate early. This last minute comeback stuff doesn't work against the big boys. After my Patriots get knocked out in the first round, I'll start backing Minnesota.

  2. Typical Vikings blowing a chance to get a bye! I don't see the Eagles losing this week at all, they are playing very good football right now and Deshaun Jackson is playing out of his mind for a second year pro!!

  3. The Vikings problems are on their offensive and defensive lines from what I can see.

    Their offensive line has had trouble protecting Favre the last couple of weeks, and even Peterson hasn't been as proficient as he was early in the season.

    Similarly their defensive line is having some trouble getting to the opposition's QB and they aren't stopping the run like they were earlier in the season.

    Unless they can fix those they aren't going anywhere in the playoffs - Favre or no Favre.

    That's my 2 cents worth on where the Vikings are at

  4. Be happy your team is playing meaningful games in December. As a Lions fan, I am relegated to rooting for draft position...again.