Week 11&12: Vikings @ Green Bay & vs. Cleveland

- wadE

The Thanksgiving Holiday got me off my weekly recap schedule, but I'm back with a double dose.

Things have changed a lot since the last time we talked. While my subtle optimism was derided by many, suddenly the Vikings actually are in the Playoff picture. Granted they still need a lot of help, the most prominent piece of help would be for Chicago to lose a game, but they are in the picture!

Who would have thought 3 weeks ago that the NFC North would no longer be the worst division in football...that title has finally settled on the NFC West where it rightfully belonged from the start of the season. Even Green Bay and the Lions could probably beat the Rams, Cardinals, or 49ers.

So what happened in the last two weeks that has transformed this season?

In a word... defense. Whether it's the jelling of the defense, luck, or a combination of both, the Vikings have played like a top 10 defense in the past 4 weeks. It helped that we played some crummy teams, and caught the Giants on a day where they played like the young team they are, but the defense has been outstanding no matter how you look at it.

It's been at least 10 years since Viking fans could count on the defense to win games, but as the saying goes, what's old is now new again.

I'm still not predicting the Vikings will win the SuperBowl (in fact they could win the rest of their games this year and I still wouldn't predict that), but this team has a legitimate shot of making the playoffs.

So let's take a look at my rambling thoughts from the last two games, first is the Monday night game vs. The Pack.

Why don't they have this game on Monday night every year? These are always better games than the obligatory KC vs. Denver game that is on MNF every season. It's a great rivalry, almost always close, and it features NFL sweetheart, Brett Farve. Isn't that a slam dunk for ratings?

If Farve couldn't retire last year after getting humiliated by the Vikings at home in the playoffs, what about this year? Can he call it quits after the first losing season he's had with the Pack?

Any season in which the Vikings beat the Packers twice, is a good season (hadn't happened since 1998)

Ramblings from yesterday's game which I attended in person:

Checked out the tailgating situation, and it's still as terrible as ever. It probably didn't help that it was a rainy gray dark dank day, but as I've bemoaned before... when you tailgate so far from the stadium that you can't even see it, there is something wrong there.

On the other hand, the Metrodome Plaza isn't as bad as it used to be. It helped that I didn't have to pay 6 bucks for a beer due to some free beer coupons, that might have soured me a bit, but the Lions Tap burger for 3.50 hit the spot. At least when it was time to go inside I didn't have to catch a train or take a bus to get to the stadium.

The metrodome was the emptiest I've seen it... although we were still an offical "sell out" at 63,814. Even though most sell outs are in the 64K range (Green Bay was 64,278, for example). I'm assuming the difference comes from the number of people in the Luxury Boxes... but who knows.

The Browns are worse than advertised. Even with that handsome Trent Dilfer at QB.


Trent vs. wadE - you be the judge

That Darren Sharper sure is sexy in purple. (did I say that outloud?)

$6 for a beer is highway robb<hic-cup> ... highway robb<hic-cup> ... way too much money.

So do you think the reason the Metrodome uses volunteer groups to do concessions is that the share of the money they give the group is less than what the salaries of concession workers would be?

The best time to run to the bathroom during the game, right after an incomplete 3rd down pass by the Vikings when they are in obvious punting territory or questionable field goal territory.

All Marcus Robinson does is catch touchdowns: M. Robinson 3-32 3TDs

Wow... at this rate, Tice might not get fired. I'm not so sure that's a good thing.

The drawback of running to the bathroom before a punt is when you miss a Charlie Frye interception on 1st and 10. (C. Frye 0/1 0 Yards 1 INT) Nice day for the kid!

The crowd really got on Marcus Johnson after his 3rd false start penalty on the opening drive, Tice quickly pulled him. He came back later on to get a holding call against him that took a Mewelde Moore TD off the scoreboard. He also tacked on an illegal use of hands call as well. With all that being said, he's still playing better than Rosenthal.

It was actually refreshing to be sitting in the Metrodome in the 4th quarter and not be concerned with holding a lead on a team...although I was really dissappointed with how many people got up and left after Sharpers last interception. (Oh jeeze dere, gotta beat the traffic dontcha know!) What are we, LA?

Although I left early too, but I think it was safe to leave after Cleveland's onside kick failed.

All in all, not a bad day. A day I was glad to be staring at the gray teflon roof of the Dome as opposed to the gray rainy skies outside.

With the victory, the Vikings moved to 6-5, and if the season ended today...we still wouldn't make the playoffs. We are 8th on the NFC playoff standings, and the top 6 get in. As I said nearly a month ago: "it sure would be something if the division came down to the final game of the season, with Chicago travelling to Minnesota." Yes, I'm still holding on to that dream. :-D

Skol Vikings!

- 11/28/2005

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