Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winning The North Isn't Enough

Exactly what Minnesota Vikings team was this on the field on Sunday night in Charlotte?

They looked like total crap tonight. They had wrapped up the NFC North just before they took the field, with Green Bay's last-second loss in Pittsburgh. But that of course, is far from enough. A win on Sunday would have moved them one game behind New Orleans for the number one record in the NFC. So there was plenty to play for.

Philadelphia beat San Francisco, and they are now one game behind the Vikings. If both teams end up with the same record, Philly would get the first round bye, and the Vikings would have to play in the Wild Card round (albeit at home). But getting the first week off is huge, and it would also guarantee them a home game in the second round.

The Vikings were totally flat, especially on offense. They could get nothing going against a Carolina Panthers team that's playing out the schedule, and would have to run the table just to finish 8-8.

Jake Delhomme was out for the third straight game, and backup Matt Moore was in there in his place. I figured this was a Vikings win for sure.

Carolina looked like they are the team going to the playoffs, and won 26-7.

But the Vikings gave by far their worst effort of the season. The defense gave up three plays of 40 yards or more. Brett Favre had his worst game of the year and got picked off again, Adrian Peterson had just 35 yards rushing (he's disappeared on the ground the last month) and Favre was sacked four times. Moore threw for nearly 300 yards, and Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart ran for 109 yards, the first to run for more than 100 yards against the Vikings since 2007.

Putrid. Simply putrid. The Vikings have looked awful in two of the last three weeks. Terrible efforts like this will doom them in the postseason. They've got to get their asses in high gear and regroup next week for the Bears next Monday night. Chicago is just playing out the schedule, but hell, so is Carolina.

The Vikings haven't wrapped up the first-round bye yet. And with more lousy crap like I saw tonight, that goal is definitely in jeopardy.

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