If you're anything like me, a lot of your time on Sundays. . .post-Vikings game, of course. . .is spent watching various highlight shows to see what happened around the league, as well as what they have to say about the Beloved Purple. Naturally, after a victory like yesterday's, I wasn't going to change that viewing pattern a great deal.
But a funny thing happened yesterday on the way to highlight nirvana. A common theme seemed to emerge when the various networks showed the highlights of yesterday's Vikings/Giants tilt. Usually, it sounded something like this:
"The Giants played a terrible game today."
"How could Eli Manning have a game like that against a pass defense that's last in the National Football League?" (Gotta give credit for consistency, though. . .despite yesterday's performance, everyone manages to throw that stat out there.)
"What's wrong with the Giants?"
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. . .don't make the mistake of thinking that the Vikings won yesterday's game. According to the media at large, that simply isn't true. The Giants just played a bad game yesterday, and the Vikings really didn't have anything to do with it.
Look, I realize the Vikings are a 5-6 football team, and that that sort of thing usually doesn't garner a whole lot of respect. But to act like Eli Manning had "throw four interceptions" penciled into his day planner for 25 November is even more disrespectful than the treatment we're used to seeing from the national media towards this team. "What's wrong with the Giants?" Why is the assumption immediately that something was wrong with the Giants?
Why can't anybody simply acknowledge the fact that the Giants spent four quarters yesterday getting their heads stomped in by Minnesota? Because that's what happened. There was never a point in the football game where Minnesota trailed. With thirteen minutes left in the game, the score was 41-10. You don't get to 41-10 just because one team is playing badly. It's a combination of one team playing outstanding football AND one team playing badly. Yesterday, the Vikings played a great football game in every aspect.
The offense, while not spectacular, was efficient. Tarvaris Jackson had another building block type of game, as he went 10/12 for 129 yards and the play that set the tone for the entire afternoon with his 60-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice (sponsored by the Daily Norseman). At no point in the course of the entire game did the Vikings even come close to turning the ball over. Chester Taylor, though unspectacular, helped the Vikings to control the clock, and chipped in a touchdown run that was a true thing of beauty when he turned what should have been a 2-yard loss into an 8-yard score.
And really, what else can I say about the defensive performance? Eli Manning has two 4-interception games in his career. Both at home. Both against the Minnesota Vikings. The pressure was coming from everywhere, and the Vikings added three more sacks to their tally for the season thus far. . .one from Ben Leber, one from Spencer Johnson (who?), and one from Fred Evans (who?). They threw in three more defensive touchdowns, including the greatest safety in the history of the Green Bay Packers (aka Darren Sharper) getting his 10th career touchdown, making him one of five defensive players in National Football League history with double-digit touchdowns. Why can this team not apply pressure like this every week?
Yesterday wasn't a bad Giants loss. . .yesterday was a great Vikings victory, and the media folks out there would be well-served to learn the difference.
That's all for now, folks. . .I'm sure I'll be back with more later on today.