The Vikings blew a golden opportunity to wrap up a playoff berth in the Metrodome last night as the Washington Redskins handed them a devastating 32-21 loss, and now both teams have similar 8-7 records in the fight for the last NFC playoff spot. (If they end up with the same 9-7 record, Washington gets the berth because of last night's win.)
The Redskins came out slugging, and the Vikings were simply flat. They were torched through the air, as Todd Collins threw one TD, and Clinton Portis threw another as Washington rolled up a 22-0 lead at halftime.
No matter how this season ends, the first priority for the Vikings after this season ends is to go out and get an experienced NFL QB. (Chad Pennington and Donovan McNabb come to mind.)
Tarvaris Jackson just isn't the answer. The guy has raw talent, and great scrambling ability, but just doesn't have the poise to make it as a regular NFL QB. Two more interceptions last night led directly to two Washington TDs, and he put them into a hole they simply couldn't get out of. He made some nice progress during the first four wins of the streak, but has regressed badly the last two.
Adrian Peterson was shut down again, gaining just 27 yards rushing last night. The Vikings came alive late in the third quarter, after falling behind 25-0. Jackson rushed for two TDs on the night, and the first put them back in the game. The momentum was definitely back with the Vikings early in the fourth, but a fumble led to yet another Washington score that basically put the game away.
And now the Vikings need help to get to the playoffs. All they needed last night was a win, as the Eagles beat the Saints yesterday, and that would have set up a first round showdown with Seattle. But now Washington only has to beat Dallas in order to make the playoffs, no matter what the Vikings do in Denver.
Beating Dallas meet be a tall order for the Redskins, but the Cowboys wrapped up everything yesterday, as Green Bay's loss gave Dallas home field advantage throughout the playoffs. So they have nothing to play for, and Washington has everything to play for on Sunday.
Once again, I'm in the position where I have to root for the Cowboys. Otherwise, the great comeback the Vikings made in this second half of the 2007 season will be for naught.
Let's Go Cowboys...