Winning is the New Losing
We finally did it, everyone! We won our first game on American soil in 2013. We won a game on a national telecast. We totally turned the fortunes of this franchise around by winning one meaningless game against another poor opponent at home that we probably should have beat anyway. And now everything is better! The defense is the DEFENSE again! The offense – led by the gritty Christian Ponder – put up enough points to keep RGIII and company out of the win column, and the coaching staff only made a handful of questionable calls, as opposed to an entire game full! What a turn around! What a way to start an eight game winning streak that will get us into the playoffs! I love 2013!
… If you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic. The win was enjoyable, but pointless. Fun to watch, but meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Essentially, we killed our draft positioning and gave people who think Christian Ponder is the answer at quarterback more ammo for their BB guns. Frankly, Thursday night's game against the Redskins was a disaster of epic proportions. And while I facetiously said the win "turned this franchise around", it isn't actually that far from the truth. Except, from turning it around for the better, we lost draft positioning and thus a chance to draft a REAL impact player to turn this team around, and … Well, here we are. We can't even lose right.
Mushroom Stamp of Approval
But that's all super depressing, and I know how much blind, homeristic Vikings fans don't want to hear about how much wins hurt the team. "A WIN IS A WIN YOU MUST ALWAYS CHEER FOR THE TEAM TO WIN DON'T BE A BAD FAN MEEP MORP ZEEP I'M A BRAINWASHED ROBOT.' And so let's talk about happy stuff, like how awesome Kevin Williams was on Thursday night. It was fun to see him play big again like he was in his heyday. He recorded 2.5 sacks (I thought he had like 3.5 though?), with most of them coming from the Nose Tackle position, a spot he has said he doesn't really like playing, but a spot I'm looking at right now and thinking, "I wish you played there more, because then maybe the Vikings would re-sign you and you could retire in purple and you'd see a career Renaissance as Pat Williams 2.0, which would be awesome." Or, that's at least what I hope happens. We'll see.
The Prodigal Son Returns
The other exciting piece from Thursday night was when Christian Ponder got the nod as started again and DIDN'T implode on the field, literally or figuratively. Now, people will look at the meaningless QB Ratings or ESPN's fabricated QBR stat and think he put up a SOLID, awesome night. And while his performance was fine on paper, let's not sit here and kid ourselves that Ponder has all of a sudden turned some corner. He still missed tons of wide open receivers, was late on delivering several passes (specifically, that TD throw to Patterson took him about 37 minutes to develop), couldn't throw deep – AGAIN -, and was only good for 174 yards. I'm not sure why that is any cause for excitement. Maybe if we had Ed Reed and Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp in their primes, we could ride Ponder's noodle arm to a Super Bowl, but this isn't that team, nor will it be any time soon, so I don't understand why we're all happy with a mediocre performance from our quarterback. Did he play better than he has in game prior? Sure. But when you're starting, comparison point is at -14 on a scale of 1-10, that's not exactly saying much.
Of Course, Good Bye Draft Picks Though
Again, here's the real problem. The Vikings were sitting pretty at one win for the year. That put them in the same realm as teams like Jacksonville, and Tampa Bay, both teams which were winless going into Sunday. The Jaguars actually ended up winning a game, and the Bucs have a game to play tonight. So, instead of being TIED with a crap team like Jacksonville for draft positioning, we are now instead lumped together with teams like Houston, Atlanta, Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, all of whom have two or three wins on the year already. Essentially, this win on Thursday night dropped us from a certain top 3 pick in the 2014 NFL draft to – maybe – a top 8 pick. Five spots. I look at those teams and can pick out four, maybe five, teams ahead of us that would be snatching up our QB of the future before they get to us. So one win cost us five spots, a quarterback, and 15 years or relevance. TOTALLY WORTH IT THOUGH, RIGHT FANS?!
News and Nipple Notes
Here are some other items of note from the game:
– We still barely won that game, keep that in mind. In fact, we still barely won both games that have actually turned into Ws this year. Last second holds against Pittsburgh and Washington isn't really saying much.
– The Greg Jennings freak out was completely justified, worth every ounce of energy, and would have been so much more amazing if we would have ended up losing. In fact, the simple truth that the freak out was needed AT ALL should make you feel very bad about where this franchise is at right now, from a coaching and decision making standpoint. Greg knows what a Super Bowl winning team looks like, and it's not here.
– Peterson had some just simply outstanding runs Thursday night, and that produced many boners. If we get nothing else out of that game, then I was at least happy with that.
– Why did John Carlson all of a sudden have a night? Was he running the same plays usually called for Kyle Rudolph? Were the plays called for some reason different plays? If they were, why? What the hell? Do you not think Rudolph can run all of those same plays, but likely even better? Are our coaches actually that stupid (likely)? Either way, Carlson should probably just retire now, because it's never going to get any better for him in Minnesota.
– Andrew Sendejo is fun to have on your team. He hits people hard because he's so tiny (height wise, ladies …) that he has to make up his lack of intimidation somehow. But then he hits you, and you see his biceps up close, and you crap yourself. But I still don't want him as a permanent starter. Nothing personal, Andrew.
– John Locke only punted once. Can that be accurate? With limited turn overs on the Vikings part, how does this team only punt once?? I be confused.
Losing Draft Positioning Haiku
Torn between options,
Should we lose, win, or just suck?
Best to get injured.
Well, we've gone from being on pace to being historically awful for the team to just plain bad. Can we keep it up?! Find out this week when the Vikings go to Seattle to face the wrath of Percy Harvin! *CAN'T WAIT!*