By Michael Rand
Every week, we recount the magic and the agony of Vikings games with Drew Magary, a Purple fan living in the Washington D.C. area. Drew is the kind of guy who doesn’t think you can every have too much of a good thing. He’d like a side of wings with that side of wings. And don’t skimp on the sauce! Also, buy his book. Here we go:
RandBall: Well, that was certainly one of the most exciting and intense games I’ve watched in a while. Add to it the fact that I was watching it with an equal group of Vikings and Packers fans at a house in Hudson, Wis., and you can see how critical it was that Mason Crosby pushed that kick just a little wide.
Drew Magary: What I loved was that Purple Jesus basically willed that win. I loved him bitching out Childress to go for it, even if he did fumble on the ensuing attempt. That just made him even angrier, and he freaking OWNED the field on that last drive. Just 100% awesomeness. We seem to actually be developing an offensive identity. Peterson handles the bulk of the rushing work, and then Chester Taylor makes the big 3rd down plays. Frerotte played badly yesterday. But even so, you can see now that the offense is “working,” so to speak. They know how to move the ball. That wasn’t always the case.
RB: I worry terribly about the “little things” such as the fact that the Vikings have already tied a [redacted] NFL record by giving up 6 special teams TDs this year, and they’re only 9 games in. Seriously, that is infuriating. They are brutally lucky that it hasn’t cost them more dearly (think New Orleans and yesterday).
DM: Absolutely pathetic. And why was NOTHING done after the New Orleans game about this? It’s hard enough to get this offense moving, and then turnaround and give enormous returns after a punt or kickoff. It’s insane.
RB: Jared Allen cemented his place in Minnesota yesterday.
DM: Agreed 100%. Worth every damn penny.
RB: Gus Frerotte was absolutely terrible. Sometimes you see a QB with three picks in a game, and one can be explained by a bad read, one by a tipped pass, etc. Those three throws were absolutely abysmal and they, too, could have been the difference in the game. Maybe we’re seeing why the Vikings don’t throw those delightful intermediate passes very often. Because every time they’re picked off!
DM: That’s true. And yet, I wouldn’t bench him for T-Jack in a million years. I’ll take the turnovers as the price of doing business in return for an offense that actually, you know, does stuff.
RB: Purple Jesus: From goat to hero. Son, if you are going to lobby the head coach and openly get after him to convince him to go for it on 4th-and-1, then you fumble on that play when a first down is definitely in the works, then you have to atone. And wow, did he ever atone. Outside of that kick return last year in Chicago, I can’t remember him previously putting the team on his back in a close game.
DM: Totally justified my cheap replica jersey purchase. By the way, was Peterson wearing a condom on his head yesterday? I kept watching him come off the field, and all I could think was “reservoir tip.”
RB: I was surprised by how undisciplined the Packers are (leading the league in penalty yards coming in). Also, thanks to Mike McCarthy for 1) that stupid challenge on the Peterson TD and 2) deciding that the 34 was close enough for a FG try and not attempting to get it to, say, the 25 or something like that. Those extra few yards would have made all the difference on that kick.
DM: Yeah, but the Childress challenge before the 4th down attempt was equally dumb. My guess is that Childress was going to take a time out after Peterson bitched him out so he could send in the offense. Only he said, “Hey, if I’m gonna call timeout, I may as well challenge the spot for fun.” If he seriously meant to challenge that spot, he’s an idiot.
RB: Aaron Rodgers had happy feet all day. Ten more years of that, please.
DM: Yeah, but it was justified. He got absolutely MURDERED out there. If they can pressure the QB like that the rest of the way, the Vikes can win the division.
RB: 5-4, tied for first in the division, and we’ve had to sweat out each and every game. Tough way to live. This one could have been a lot easier. Up 21-10, they should have gone for the throat. They let up, Longwell missed a FG, and it almost cost them. Better special teams. More creative passing plays. A killer instinct. These are the things upon which the final seven games will hinge.
DM: Yep. The giveaway of the lead was juuust brutal. And that’s the real problem with this team. they can go right into the dumper like that at any moment.