Sunday, December 2, 2007

Feeling Minnesota

We made the playoffs three years ago and I don’t think we’ve been in a playoff slot this late in a season since then. With the parity in the NFL these days, three years has seemed like an eternity. With our third convincing win in a row and beating the current #6 seed Detroit Lions, these plucky Vikings are tied for the last wild card spot in the NFC.

Holy Shit.

I’m jacked. I had to get that out of the way. They say journalists are supposed to keep an even keel and not let emotion into their stories. Well I’m a volunteer blogger that has no journalism skills. So, I’m can say that I’m real frickin excited. We haven’t sniffed the playoffs in so long and it was looking real bleak at 3-6 after that devastating loss against Green Bay that this recent run is thrilling. Playing meaningful games in December. Who knew?

I sure didn’t. Many will talk about AP’s return to the ring as the story for this game, but the real story I believe was the play of Tarvaris Jackson. I didn’t see us grabbing a playoff spot all year with T-Jack at the helm. I thought he was overmatched and confused. And he was. But, he looked great today. Yes, great. Not Peyton Manning great, fantasy stat great or even Shane Falco great. I’m talking about second year finally getting things great. His final line was 18/24, 204 yards, two TD’s and one INT. It was T-Jack’s eleventh career start and he looked great.

The first eight starts he was horrible to average. The next two he started showing you something. And then today he finally showed everyone that he has a chance to be a quarterback in this league. He played with confidence, ran for first downs and had complete control of the offense. I’m not saying this will be the norm, but for one day he gets a great call from me.

Now about that Adrian Peterson fella. You really didn’t think I was not going to talk about him did you? It’s like ignoring the elephant in the room. With a huge clunky brace and a step slower it still didn’t matter with Mr. All Day. 15 carries, 116 yards and two TD’s. He’s so good.

He still didn’t look the same though. He looked tentative and a little bit slower. But his slower is still a couple steps above the rest of the players and in the end it didn’t matter. I especially liked the second touchdown where he did a double body juke that left the defender tackling air. The defender just guessed as he dove into an empty area while Peterson walked into the end zone. Anyways, he ran at a 7.7 average, a ridiculous stat for a running back. You rarely see such a high number like that but AP seems to do it weekly. It’s good to see our Superman back.

I would like to point out that Childress deserves some credit here. Fans were easy to point the finger at him when we were 3-6 so now those same fans need to give him some props for our resurgence. You can’t say that the players are just playing better now because I wasn’t hearing much player blame back a month ago. It was send Childress packing talk. Look, I’m a Childress supporter and I have given him my fair share of criticism. Especially his decision to roll with an unproven QB and a worse back-up plan. Well, right now he’s looking pretty good. It doesn’t excuse everything because we are still only 6-6, but give the ole ball coach his due for bringing us back in this race.

With the Giants winning today, pulling away with the 5th playoff spot, realistically there is only spot left. We have four games left against opponents with a combined record of 18-30 and not one with a winning record. This is doable. I listened to some post-game interviews and four different players gave the same clichéd sports answer:

“We’re just taking this one game at a time.”

Alright, I’ll bite. It’s only been said 15 billion times before but I’ll believe you guys. Bring on San Fran…



Jeff said...

This is the most I have been excited about the Vikes in a long time! Agree on Tavaris, and AP is in a class of his own.

Dogg said...

I guess the playoff chances keep increasing each week especially given the fact that teams behind us aren't very all. Our schedule is very favorable but we need Arizona to lose at least one of the next 2 games because they finish with ATL and St. Louis at home which should be relatively easy W's. This upcoming game is a big time trap game. They better show up.