By Michael Rand
Every week, we break down the Vikings’ most recent game with Drew Magary, a man who once flunked out of clown college (not really). He IS a talented blogger and an author of a book about professional athletes. If you would like to buy it, he would be your best friend. Here we go:
RandBall: Well, yesterday was like reliving the housebreaking of our dog about five years ago. There were plenty of opportunities to get upset, but they were tempered by the predictability of the whole situation. If I could have written down a final score before the game started (well, actually I could have, but shut up), it would have been almost identical to the 19-13 real-life final. The only mild surprise was the strong first half played by the Vikings. I would have seen the score getting closer late, rather than the gap widening at the end. Otherwise, everything went according to plan.
Drew Magary: I thought they played pretty well in the first half. I even thought the play-calling was pretty solid. I thought the fourth down call on the Peterson pass was ballsy in a good way, even if it failed. But then the second half came and they just couldn’t get Garcia off the field. He just killed us yesterday. God, good scrambling quarterbacks can be so annoying.
Two things again killed us yesterday. 1. Poor defense on the tight end. Why do we continue to allow retreads like Jerramy “Hidin’ In the bushes” Stevens to roam free like the majestic bison of the Great Plains? Can’t they bump him? Or alert police that he’s still wanted before the snap?
Second thing: another horrible special teams mistake with the Hicks fumble. I hate Paul Ferraro now. I really do. Why not fire him? I’d rather have no special teams coach than this guy.
RB: Jeff Garcia would have fit absurdly well into the Vikings’ offense. Can you imagine him at the helm over the past three years? Guy is perfect for the West Coast Offense, and he killed the Vikings with his ability to escape trouble and improvise.
DM: Yup. Tim Ryan noted that the Vikings didn’t have a spy defender on Garcia during the game. And my reaction to that is: WHY??? GOOD GOD MAN, PUT A SPY ON THE GUY GAHHHHHH!!!!
RB: I’m not sure what to make of the second weekend in a row of Adrian Peterson barking at coaches on the sidelines (this time Eric Bienemy, presumably because he wanted to be on the field for every play of that final drive). I like that he wants to win and wants to lead. I worry about his frustration level. Remember, he has dominated for a team that is now 13-13 since he joined it.
DM: I don’t blame him for either instance. He should have been on the field that final drive. Not that it probably would have made a difference. There’s a camera on him at all times. If he gets fired up during a game, I don’t really think it’s a big deal.
RB: It was nice to see a special teams blunder (Hicks’ fumble). That was something new.
DM: Unreal. FIRE FERRARO, PLEASE. I’d rather have ADAM Ferrara coaching the special teams. “The Job” was an excellent show.
RB: Is there anything more maddening than watching Gus Frerotte run Brad Childress’ two-minute offense?
DM: Yeah, watching Tarvaris Jackson run the same offense.
RB: It might be time to try Artis Hicks on the right side. Ryan Cook is just too often overmatched.
DM: Yeah, but I’ve seen Hicks play. He’s a saloon door.
RB: Does Daunte Culpepper look a little, uh, heavy to you?
DM: You’d never know Thanksgiving was still over a week away watching his fat [redacted] waddle down the field.
RB: Pop quiz, hot shot: At the end of an NFL overtime, when teams are still tied, what happens? Donovan McNabb wants to know.
DM: They play cribbage until a winner is declared. Everyone knows that.
RB: Must-win game next week at Jacksonville. That’s the season, right there. Win that one, and they have a decent shot to go 9-7 and maybe even 10-6 to squeak out a division title (if the Giants’ keep winning, they could have the division and a bye locked up by the time they get to the Dome in week 17). Lose that one and anything is possible, up to and including a loss at Detroit. Jacksonville is vanilla and imminently beatable. It’s going to be another game with both teams in the teens.
DM: Yep. Should be another three hours of agony. Can’t wait!