SPOT: The Drunken Minnesota Vikings Chronicles: Week 10
Posted 09 November 2013 - 12:48 AM
At the beginning of the year, the Vikings were expected to be playoff contenders and challenge for the NFC North division title. It made sense after the team rode Adrian Peterson into the playoffs the season before and made several solid moves in the offseason.
The loss to Detroit Lions in Week 1 seemed like a bad game and the loss to the Bears the following week was chalked up to the team's historical ineptitude at Soldier Field.
Then came another loss, a victorious trip to London and four consecutive losses after that. Fans rebelled, called for Leslie Frazier's head and were ready to punch anything with a remote shade of purple.
All the Vikings could do now was to lose as many games as possible and ensure that they could land a cornerstone for their sudden rebuilding project by dropping another nationally televised game to the Washington Redskins.
After coming out and letting the Redskins run, throw and anything else they wanted to in the first half, the Vikings showed fight for their coach on the hot seat and started making stops.
Then, Adrian Peterson started finding the endzone while the passing game came to life. Suddenly, the Vikings were ahead with the Redskins getting the ball with roughly three minutes to go in the game.
This was the Vikings we all knew and loved, and surely they had one more blown fourth-quarter lead in them, right?
The Redskins drove down the field with ease and found themselves on the doorstep of tying the game. Then, a funny thing happened on the way to 1-8: the Vikings made three straight stops and secured their first win in the United States.
The crowd at Mall of America Field was joyous that the Vikings gutted out the win, but this was not the best-case scenario for the team.
The team needs to find gold in next May's draft, and the win puts them closer to falling in the middle of the top-10 and missing out on a franchise quarterback (or any other solid player for that matter).
Sure, the Vikings could go 2-14 and still wind up that way, but there's little hope that the Jacksonville Jaguars will find a way to win a game and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers created a new way to lose by blowing a 24-point lead at Seattle in Week 9. That means Minnesota needs to hold serve and drop some winnable games.
Of course, time will tell if this victory will be as costly as the last time the Vikings faced the Redskins.
That would be Christmas Eve 2011 where Peterson not only tore his ACL, but the Vikings cost themselves the second-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft which landed...Robert Griffin III.
Sure, the Vikings may have decided to stick with Ponder in Green Bay Packers taking Tony Mandarich ahead of Barry Sanders fashion, but that's beside the point.
Franchise quarterbacks don't come around often. Adding Marcus Mariotta or Terry Bridgewater to the Vikings offense could give them instant credibility and help them from completely wasting the prime of Peterson's career.
Let's hope the Vikings don't miss out by winning another meaningless game.
Chris Schad is the NFC North Division Manager for Pro Football Spot. He also writes for the Vikings as a team journalist. You can follow Chris on Twitter @crishad.
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Posted 09 November 2013 - 02:34 PM
Its a practical thought, but I wouldn't wish any team to have to go through a one or two win season...unless it's the Broncos.
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Posted 11 November 2013 - 11:06 PM
At this point, I'm solidly in the camp that wants a better draft pick. It's definitely true that there is no such thing as a guarantee when it comes to drafting a quarterback. And while this draft class is being touted as a deep qb class, the last thing the Vikings want to go through again is drafting a quarterback with a late first-second round grade early in the first round b/c they are so desperate for a qb and spend the next 3-4 years debating if he is the franchise quarterback. I think it's pretty clear that the best thing for this organization now is to be as close to the top of the draft as possible. Just as clear, it's impossible to expect this coaching staff and group of players to try to lose games this year for the greater good of the franchise. Vikings fans who share my position just need to hope that in each game for the rest of the year, the opposition is a better team than the Vikes- which looks to be a reality right now.
Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:27 PM
I agree with Colin. The Vikings are in a position in which they have to hit on a quarterback next May. They can not afford to have another Ponder pick and waste another 3-4 years (which would probably be all she wrote for Adrian Peterson's prime).
I understand that as a fan, I'd love to win games. But you also have to do what's best for business. If the Vikings play well, but lose some close games to get a top QB, I'd be alright with that.
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