Posted By: SuperStatsDave
As Golden Tate avoided the Xavier Rhodes torpedo style attempt of a tackle and then pulled off his flying somersault into the endzone after a failed tackle attempt by Harrison Smith, I'm pretty sure all Vikings fans did the same "Oh Crap" (or any other four letter word of your choice).
Tate landed in the end zone with the gracefulness of a lower level Romanian gymnast and the Vikings had suddenly went from the verge of winning to the sheer pain of an ugly overtime defeat. The Vikings had completed the nearly impossible task of losing to helpless Chicago and poor Detroit in back to back weeks.
As the great John "Cougar" Mellancamp once sang:
"When the walls come tumblin' down
When the walls come crumblin' crumblin'
When the walls come tumblin' tumblin' down"
That's what this season feels like it has morphed into, which is quite a change from when the Vikings were 5-0 and all Minnesotans felt as if we were getting screwed in the national rankings when New England was showing up in the top spot instead of our beloved "Purple and Gold". Now it's going to be an eight week death-match to the finish line between the Vikings, Green Bay and Detroit. One of these teams HAS TO WIN the NFC North despite none of them looking like they want to win it.
The Detroit game was so bad from so many aspects that the hodge podge of an offensive line that the Vikings are rolling out each game was actually far down the list or problems. Speaking of problems here they are:
- Blair Walsh: The blocked FG was not even close to being his worst play. That designation would be the missed XP (indoors) and then Blair messing up the final kick from the 50 and instead of pooching it up, he put it into the end zone for a touchback. The missed XP changed everything as the Vikings had to press for a TD (remember not converting the 4th and 1 with under eight minutes left) along with the execution of the last drive when in what should've been a tied game that ended with a GW chip shot. Instead it played out quite differently and as a result, the Vikings are bringing in other kickers this week to possibly replace BW3.
- Mike Zimmer: The fans love Zimmer and the love is well deserved, but Zimmer did screw up and has been called out on it by fans and media. For the 2nd week in a row, he panicked and challenged a call that had zero chance of being reversed. Then at the end of the game, he called a timeout before 3rd down, with 27 seconds remaining. At that point, with the Vikings near scoring, the game is going to be either won or lost down in that end zone. The Vikings scored on the next play and that left too much time on the clock. Granted... 23 seconds isn't a long time... but it ended up being too much time. To top it off, Detroit needed a miracle, a few seconds and some luck to get into FG range in order to attempt a game-tying FG and they got all of it. The Vikings rushed only a couple of players and allowed Matthew Stafford to complete a bullet of a pass to give Detroit a chance. These errors cost us a game. The timeout with 27 seconds to go was a massive error. Brad Childress or Leslie Frazier would've been fired on the spot for that blunder. We'll give Zimmer a mulligan this time.
- Xavier Rhodes: That missed tackle on Golden Tate was awful. If that tackle is made, the Vikings can still win that game. If the Lions don't score a TD and have to settle for a FG, the Vikings could've had the chance to tie it. That missed tackle prevented any chance of victory.
- Moonwalking: How the Vikings turned a 1st and 10 from the Detroit 18 yard line into 4th and 32 and settling for a punt is something you can't make up. Embarrassing.
So here we are at 5-3 with eight game left. The NFC North is sitting there, just waiting for a team to claim supremacy and it's just a matter of which team actually rises to the top. The Vikings can still do this, it won't take much, but they have to be better. Heck, even a 1st round bye is still attainable as it appears that Dallas is the only team who really wants to be the best of the NFC. If the Vikings can get their act together maybe this thing can flip around and get the wheels back on the playoff path.
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