Week 7: Vikings vs. The Pack

- wadE

Much in the same way Ohio State gauges the sucess of their football year on whether or not they beat Michigan, many Vikings' fans do the same thing.

Beating the Packers in the playoffs last year was one of the most satisfying wins against them, until last Sunday.

For the first half, the Vikings played in much the same way they had all season... shitty. I wasn't at the game, and in some ways I'm glad I wasn't. This was the first home game since the boat cruise, and to avoid booing (much in the same way Tice had the defense introduced at the last home game) Tice had no player introductions. That's how fragile this team is... sad, isn't it?

At any rate the first half was pathetic at best for the Vikes, while the Favre of old showed up and nearly went perfect in the first half.

At the end of the half, down 17-0, the Vikings threw up a Hail Mary, which almost worked. Marcus Robinson actually showed off the height and leaping ability he is suppose to have and got his hands on the ball. With it being the end of the half and a Hail Mary, anything goes, and he is mobbed on the way up and down. The ball bounces up, lands on Nate Burleson and rolls around his shoulder pads before falling harmlessly to the ground...where Travis Taylor dives about 20 seconds too late to catch it. Ugh...what if any one of them could have caught that... that could have been the spark they needed to stay in the game. Although they were lucky it was only 17-0, could have easily been 28-0.

At that point I turned to Alex and asked him, "what kind of halftime speech could Tice give to the team?"

He should just walk in the locker room and say, "you suck", and go into his office and close the door.

Well, apparently it worked because the team in the second half was nothing like the first. They went from uninspired football, to inspired football as fast as you could say "Green Bay injuries loses receiver Robert Ferguson (ankle, second quarter) and running back Ahman Green (knee, fourth quarter)."

While the injuries helped, the Vikings really took things into their own hands, for once!

The only controversial play happend late in the 4th quarter when Green Bay set up for the tying field goal. There was about one minute left on the clock, and the Vikings didn't use their last timeout to stop the clock, so Green Bay let the clock run down, and by the time the Vikings got the ball back, there was 24 seconds left.

I was screaming at home, and apparently the folks in the owners booth were screaming too. As it turns out, Tice wanted to keep the time out for the ensuing drive, which obviously worked out in hindsight, but I still think it was a bad decision. Would you rather have 54 seconds to drive to get into field goal range, or 24 seconds and a time out? Especially when the 1 play you used your timeout on was a 14 yard pass. You would think the time out would be worth more than 14 yards...

But as always, winning cures a lot. But beating Green Bay is even better. Nothing makes me happier as a fan than seeing the disappointed mug of Favre in the Metrodome.

Anyway, I'm not pridicting a division win, but the Vikings have held off the executioner for one more week. 8-8 will still win this division, which means the Vikings need to go 6-4 over their last 9 games, which oddly enough seems do-able.

- 10/28/2005

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