It sure would have been nice had the Minnesota Vikings shown up to play the Tampa Bay Bucs at the Metrodome last night.
It was without question the worst game the Vikings played all year. This was my first opportunity to see a full Vikings game live (I see the live updates on NFL RedZone on Sundays), but by the third quarter, I was more interested in Game 2 of the World Series that was going on at the same time.
It was another rough outing for Christian Ponder, and his only highlight was an 18-yard TD pass to Percy Harvin late in the second quarter. They started the night with two three-and-outs, and you had a feeling right there this was going to be a bad night.
However, it was another strong game for Adrian Peterson. His 64-yard TD run was a thing of beauty, and he rushed for 123 yards on 15 carries.
But the defense was totally flat. Doug Martin ran wild, and for 214 total yards on the night. Tampa Bay moved the ball up and down the field, and with a 20-10 lead to open the third quarter, Martin caught a 64-yard TD from Josh Freeman out of the backfield.
The Vikings barely threatened after that, with the exception of Peterson's TD as the third quarter was about to end. The Bucs cruised in to a 36-17 win.
People have asked me about the great opening to this Vikings season, winning 5 of the first 7 games. I always expressed cautious optimism, but I still had a feeling they might be a bit over their heads. I would still think that an 8-8 or 9-7 season would be a success. Last night's totally flat performance should temper those who thought this Vikings team is a sure bet to make the playoffs.
Their next game is a week from Sunday in Seattle. Let's hope they show more life than they did last night against the Bucs.