Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ugly But Effective

Last night's Vikings' 20-13 win at the Metrodome over the Chicago Bears was certainly not a thing of beauty, but it kept the Vikes' winning streak going at five.

The Vikings turned the ball over four times, three times on interceptions by Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson has shown steady improvement over the course of the winning streak, but last night he took a step backwards. He threw a lollipop up for grabs just before the half ended that was picked off, and the Bears converted it into a TD to make it 13-3. But a really stupid roughing penalty by Chicago helped the Vikings get into field goal range, and Ryan Longwell kicked one from 46 yards out at the buzzer to make it 13-6 and gave the Vikes some momentum for the second half.

The Bears were certainly anemic on offense all night, as the Vikings looked strong, especially against the run. But Chicago also played well on defense. Brian Urlacher had an interception, a fumble recovery and a sack to lead them. It just seemed like the Vikings were determined to keep the Bears in the game, as Adrian Peterson had trouble getting free most of the night. He did rush for 78 yards including two touchdowns.

Jackson did have one shining moment, throwing a pass to Robert Ferguson, who broke free and ran down to the one yard line to set up the first Vikings TD. He threw for 239 yards, but seemed to be rushed a good past of the game, and even appeared to be throwing off-balance at times.

Good teams find ways to win, and the Vikings found that last night. It was a game they really should have lost, but the Bears are pretty awful right now. The Vikings are now 8-6, and face Washington on Sunday night at the Metrodome. A win over the Redskins will just about assure the Vikings a playoff spot, against either Seattle or Tampa Bay.

But they have to get a better game from Jackson. The Skins have played better as of late, and still have Wild Card aspirations. I guess the cliche, "I'd rather be lucky than good" applies to last night. But you can't count on that happening every week, especially with the season about to finish.

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