Sunday, December 21, 2008
2008: VIKINGS LOST TO THEMSELVES, NOT ATLANTA.
The Vikings started the fumble-rama early, and rode it through the whole game. Soon after our offense drove the entire field and scored, our defense causes a three and out for Atlanta. On the ensuing punt, Bernard Berrian fumbles. The fumble set Atlanta up deep in our territory for an easy score. This set the pace for the entire game. On a positive note, the Vikings let us know how the game was going to play out from the beginning. Adrian Peterson fumbled twice, yes twice(even though one was charged to Jackson on the exchange, but it was the fault of AP). He put it on the ground again but thankfully it was recovered. Jackson also had his own solo fumble. Every football fan knows that you cannot win games in which you commit multiple turnovers. Brad Childress has always said the most important stat in the NFL is turnovers, and today proved it.
The Vikings played pretty decent all day on both sides of the ball, getting plenty of opportunities to make the game close. Tarvaris Jackson played his role sensationally. He passed the ball well, picked up yards with his feet, and made good decisions. For the second straight week Jackson showed he is our starting QB. Jackson moved the ball for the offense almost by himself with the help of his pass catchers, especially Visante Shancoe. The running game never got moving, Tarvaris Jackson led the team in rushing. Who can trust a running back who keeps fumbling?? Brad Childress' biggest mistake of the day was leaving Adrian Peterson in the game, period. I would've sat him at the end of the bench, put a football in his hands, and told him to learn to protect it. Sure he is an MVP candidate; but his play is INEXCUSABLE, and needed to be punished. Chester Taylor is a fantastic backup, and deserved an opportunity to carry the rock. Probably the worst play of the day by the Vikings comes in their own end zone. Matt Ryan leaped foolishly from the three yard line for the end zone and fumbles. Two, TWO Vikings players had a chance to recover the fumble and PREVENT A TOUCHDOWN! Instead Darren Sharper and Cedric Griffin went on to NOT recover the football, resulting in Atlanta falling on it for a touchdown.
All in all, typical Vikings in critical games. We don't lose to the other team, we beat ourselves. It's strange to think that the Vikings play this terrible against this team, in this dome. A short 10 years ago was when I learned as a fan of sports, never to put your heart in it. (Vikings lose to Atlanta, NFC Championship Game.) Especially if you are a Minnesota sports fan, because your heart will get crushed. Thankfully I went into this game not expecting much, thanks 1998, 2001, 2003, and 2004 Vikings. Vikings still have hope for the playoffs, but they have to step up against the Giants. Again, next week I won't expect much...that way I can't be disappointed.