Monday, December 7, 2009


Well, that was ugly, on several levels.

* The Vikings' secondary without Antoine Winfield (and, arguably, with him) isn't good enough to shut down opposing passing games without a pass rush. Last night, Kurt Warner barely got a finger laid on him and the results were predictable. Nearly 300 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, no sacks, and 8.9 yards per attempt. Toss in 4.5 yards per carry on 25 rushing attempts, and it's a wonder Arizona only put up 30 points. The announcers hyped the Minnesota defensive line, but it was the Arizona offensive line that clearly won the battle in the trenches.

* Meanwhile, Minnesota's offensive line continues to disappoint, again failing to open up any holes for Adrian Peterson, who was held to a season-low 19 yards on 13 carries. It seems like Peterson's good for one of these awful games every season (here's 2008's and 2007's), so hopefully he's got it out of his system, though I'm skeptical. I'll be writing more on AP's sudden collapse later this week.

* E.J. Henderson. Ouch, ouch, ouch. I watched the play where he sustained the injury but didn't see what happened to him. When they replayed it in slow motion, I had to turn away. This makes two season-ending injuries for E.J. in the last two years, and while we can always hope he'll come back next year and regain his form, he was a step down from his usual dominant self for most of the year, and it might be asking too much for him to come back from another devastating injury. The Vikings should definitely be thinking linebacker in the early rounds of the 2010 draft.

* Finally, Brett Favre had that kind of game we all thought he would have. Admittedly, it's hard to fault the guy when the team is so one-dimensional offensively and he has to air it out 45 times because the score is so lopsided. Still, he could have easily doubled his interception total, if Adrian Wilson had held on to a few more ill-advised attempts. Last week, I mused that Favre's low interception total wasn't just the result of luck and that he'd had only three or four of those "oh shit" kind of throws that should have been intercepted all season; he just about matched that total last night.

On the bright side, Dallas losing keeps the Vikings two games up in the fight for a #2 seed and first round bye, though we'll have to outpace Arizona, who now holds the tiebreak edge. New Orleans is virtually out of reach at this point, though they've shown vulnerability the last few weeks. Here's hoping Cincinnati isn't as good as their record indicates and that the 'dome crowd can help the Vikings get back on a winning track next week.

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