Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Missing Hyde

The glass is still half-full after last night.

In the two bad losses of the year (Cards and Panthers) the Vikes showed their ineptitude for the entire game. Last night they did that a for half, then came out and fought tooth and nail for the second half. On the road. Outdoors. In the cold.

They should have lost on the second Bears score in the 2nd half, but rallied down the field for a score with 8 seconds left. #reasonforoptimism if I were to hash it on Twitter. The team could have rolled over and died along with its purid first half "effort" that looked like a dress rehearsal for the football version of the Bad News Bears. Think Chilly wouldn't make a decent Buttermaker with a Coleman cooler of Schlitz in his hand giving the team pointers on proper beard grooming techniques?

Even down 16-0 in the first half, I girly-chatted with one of the many suddenly very interested Eagles fans and thought the Vikes would still win the game, but not cover the spread. They didn't of course, but again, at least they gave an effort in the second half unseen in the bad losses to Arizona and Carolina. Something to grow on? Yes. Another reason to line Purple Jesus' gloves with rubber cement? Please do. The kid with the iron tight handshake and ability to fumble like there's a contract stipulation for it baffles even the biggest homer of a Vikings fan. How can someone who can crush every bone in your hand with minimal effort hold on to a football?

From what I've seen, most of these fumbles occur when PJ tries to eek out 1 or 2 more useless yards by staying inbounds and gets stripped while being stood-up or poked out on the way down. Whatever it is, it isn't going to stop. No amount of coaching is going to stop the kid from his I-will-run-thru-a-brick-wall-for-an-extra-inch running mentality.

The defense should also bolster a big part of the blame as their pass rush has reverted to 2006's version without the stiffling run D. Jared Allen has been a non-factor thanks to double teams (awesome quote from the mulleted one: “If I could cuss right now, I would. … I mean, we’re playing bad right now. We’ve got to play better”. Pat Williams is hurt. And the secondary is getting burnt more often than the 1997 version of me trying my hand at "clubbing" and "dancing with the ladies". Awkward, tall white guys shouldn't be on the dance floor attempting to look good while Salt N' Peppa's "Shoop" is blaring over the 2 for 1s and glitter filled spaces. Thank god there wasn't YouTube back then or the world may need some serious eye bleach.

This isn't to say the Vikes saved themselves from a quick 1st round exit. Far from it. Without a complete effort against the lame-duck Giants AT HOME next week, the Vikes just might be launching a team they beat twice into the divisional round of the playoffs.

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