To steal a phrase from the John Wayne film "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence", I want to "remember back" a little ways in order to describe my feeligns about last week's Vikings win over the Lions. I'm a historian at heart, so it seems as if I'm always looking for correlations to the past. In this case, I'd like to take a look back at the second game of the 2006 season....
After narrowly escaping Washington with a last-second, game-winning Ryan Longwell field goal, the '06 Vikes faced the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. We pretty much farted around for the entire game, until the end when the Panthers made a crucial mistake. I can't remember the exact chain of events, but Carolin atried to do a trickly lateral on a punt return and ended up losing the ball. Either we scored on that very play or eventually converted a TD, but the point is that we won the game due to a mistake by the opposition and little more.
Last week's win over the Lions was very similar to that old Carolina game. Favre didn't look any more comfortable (either with his WR's or within the pocket) than the first two losses, and we already knew that Peterson can dominate a game every one in awhile (althought that doesn't happen much due to the super-athletic defensemen that populate the NFL). We won the game primarily because of two plays: a muffed punt from Detroit that set up an easy touchdown, and an 80-yard scamper from Petery (which likely won't happen again all season, if ever). Without those two plays, this game is exactly like the previous two contests: likely to be decided on the final drives of the game.
Yet, despite the underwhelming effort, the Vikes did gain the desired (or impertive) object--a win-- to head inot the bye week at 1-2, now third behind the 3-1 Bears and Packers. I'll have more to say about the team in the days ahead as they prepare for a difficult schedule in the month of October.