Week 7: Vikings @ Steelers

Last week I added a comment to my Week 6 review that the Ravens were the victim of the Karma Police. One could say the same about the Vikings this week. After two improbable victories over San Francisco and Baltimore the Vikings were due for luck to swing the other way.

One could complain about the dubious (read: horrible) tripping call that negated a 4th quarter go ahead touchdown for the Vikings. Typically a coach would say that if we lost due to one call we didn’t play well enough to win… but in this case I think most coaches would make an exception.

Instead I’ll chalk this one up to the Karma Police balancing things out in the universe. Out of all the games to lose, this one is palatable (although how the Vikings lost wasn’t). First it was a road game against last year’s champs. Second it was a non-division game. Third, it was a non-conference game. You definitely want to win every game, but we know not everyone can be the ’72 Dolphins (sorry Pats fans).

The defense played a great game for the first time all year, although it is worth nothing that just like the previous game, with time running short before the half, the opponent attacked the middle of the field and drove down for a touchdown. The Vikings weren’t playing prevent defense, but were playing a very soft zone to take away the big play. That might make sense with time for only one or two plays, but against a talented offense, and over 1:30 left on the clock, that was an invitation to make a big play over the middle. And they did. The Vikings need to clean that up and make sure it doesn’t happen at the end of the half or at the very end of close games.

The good news is outside of two bad plays… both of which Favre has some culpability in. The talking heads have left Favre alone on these plays but on the fumble he can’t be that careless with the ball when the pocket is collapsing, and on the interception there’s not reason to fire the ball 100 mph above Chester Taylor’s helmut…. Anyway, outside of two bad plays the offense played pretty well. They were forced into throwing by the Steelers defense and had success doing it. Without that tripping penalty Favre throws 10 fewer passes and Peterson gets 10 more carries; so I’m not concerned about the lopsided nature of the pass vs. run play calls.

If the Vikings play this well next week (minus the turnovers) they should have no problem with the Packers. But as they say… that’s why they play the games…

Skol Vikings!







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