Has There Ever Been a More "Vikings Game" Vikings Game?
OK, so we all just suffered through a stupid Vikings game on Sunday afternoon. The Vikings lost to the Bears 31-30, and it was pretty embarrassing. But ask yourself WHY it was embarrassing. I mean, we all knew the Vikings were going to lose the game, right? Did ANYONE legitimately pick them to win going in to it? No, of course not. So losing to Chicago wasn't the problem. That was the cosmic world setting things right. We didn't disrupt the balance of the universe by winning this week, so you'll probably find a $20 bill on the ground this week as reward. Just take it and roll with it.
No, we were suppose to lose, so that's fine. This game was embarrassing because it was lost in a fashion that only the Vikings can do. After a half of craptastic football in which the offense looked as attractive as the Miss American contestant from Wisconsin, Vikings QB Christian Ponder came out in the second half and actually looked the part of an NFL rookie QB in his first game. Forget the fact that he's not actually a rookie, but you get me. Everything was finally starting to come up MINNESOTA, with strong and unexpected QB play, a return of amazing Adrian Peterson, a stingy defense that was getting three and outs, and then … Vikings football! Giving the opposing team just enough so that we can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
All things considered, it's nice to know that some things never change.
Mushroom Stamp of Disapproval
Boy, who do you blame for this one? There were so many break downs across the entire team that it's hard to pin it all on one dude. For no other reason than because he was the defender in on the last play of the game where the Bears scored to take the lead, we're giving it to Chris Cook. On the other hand, Cook had several nice plays as well, including some Winfield-esque tackles where he pretty much shivved a guy in the guts. But I also can't get over him Chris Brown-ing people, and so am admittedly not a huge fan of his, but whatever. Sorry, Chris, you get the poop honor this week.
The SHIT List
Every week during a recap we're going to take a look at the IT List (a list of awesome people who did awesome things during a win) or the SHIT List (a list of shitty people who did shitty things during a loss). You know which route we're going today, so here's your weekly SHIT List:
Matt Kalil: Played better as the game went on, but he continues to get beat up this year. False starts don't work to endear you to people, either.
Vikings Special Teams: Why the hell are you still kicking to Devin Hester? I'd rather you just kick the ball out of bounds on kickoffs and start them at the 35. It'd be better than that romantic necking you called return coverage.
Chad Greenway: He's been having some good plays and some bad plays, and this was a bad game for him. He got juked, dodged, and was found out of position more often than a straight guy at an orgy. You're paid too much for that, Chad.
SEE TOLD YOU PONDER WAS GOOD! Just Kidding
And these are the types of games I hate for the Ponder lovers trying to make their case. To a degree, sure, they'll have an argument. After Ponder through his pick-six (Don't forget that happened!), something seemed to click with him and he started playing competently. He looked sharp on his throws when he needed to, and likewise showed nice touch to fit the pass into tight corners. He also was more willing to go to his wide open check down right in front of him for three yards instead of an incomplete, which was a huge reason why the offense found a rhythm and moved in the second half. He stood in the pocket strong as well, stayed looses, bounced around, read his receivers, and took off when he had to. I was totally all fine with that, and think it was pretty good. If he played like that all the time, I'd have pretty little concern.
But that's the problem. The dude played like this for a HALF. He's been playing like he did when we were skewering him for dinner most of his career. And this is his third season. He doesn't get a pass because he played one DECENT half. And he still didn't do great in that half! That's the dumbest part. I've been seeing his deep post pass that he "threaded in there" to Greg Jennings (which should have been a helmet-to-helmet call by the way), and how AMAZING it was, but – Jesus Christ – if he would have looked 20 degrees to the right, he had a receiver breaking off his defender and slanting towards the end zone where no safety was in sight. Could have been an easy touch down, extra points, and we never get into this bullshit 4th quarter come back. On his pick-six too, he had Rudolph 10 yards deeper with NO ONE around him. But why throw to our good player? Same thing with about four minutes left in the game. He blows another pass to Rudolph (should have dropped it down over his shoulder, easy TD) and the Vikings settle for a field goal, allowing the Bears to remain within striking distance. It's infuriating, and with him on the short end of his rookie contract now, there is still no reason for him to be this inconsistent, incompetent, and ineffective. So many I's!
Point being: Don't let a Ponder-pologist push you around this week. He's still not off the hook, and he won't be until he puts up games better than his second half for several games in a row.
Nipples and Notes
Here are some other things about this game we'd probably like to forget:
– Harrison Smith, NFFFF, feels good man. On this defense currently, I like him, Xavier Rhodes (only because the jury is out and he had a nice play), and Everson Griffen because he seems crazy. That's about it, actually.
– After the game, Peterson talked about being "a little hesitant" during the game, and god dammit, what is this franchise doing to him? The best player ever is feeling down on himself because he didn't run for 200 yards this game and lost because players around him suck? STOP HURTING BABY PURPLE JESUS!
– Apparently when you get the ball in Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson's hands, they do impressive things. Who knew?
– John Carlson! Get off my team! You don't field a ball with 10 seconds left, a bunch of time outs, and run around like a squirrel! Take a knee and run a play, idiot! God dammit, you are awful.
– Nice work Letroy Guion. That was a big time turn over.
– Speaking of defensive tackles, I don't want any arm chair cheerleader telling me they know that Kevin Williams isn't a good player any more. I hate all of your stupid faces, so shut up.
– So, the lack of linebacker talent is a serious issue. Marvin Mitchell was getting tons of burn out there, that's how bad it's gotten. I was wrong about Desmond Bishop. He looked bad out there. And Erin Henderson ain't getting it done either. It's going to be a season long nightmare of tears, bros. I mean, more than usual.
Oh and Two Haiku
Who we play this week?
Those cry babies the Vikings?
Best get out the tarp!
So, the good news is that we face Cleveland next week, in our first home game of the year. If we lose that one, I think it's safe to say we can blow this ship up and start looking at Timberwolves basketball, or start talking NFL Draft 2014. If we win, we've staved off infection for one more week, but are probably just treading water still. Pretty exciting stuff, huh?! Return to PJD all week for more positivity! *guns face*