Hi kids! It's Analogy Time, with Uncle Ted. Come over here to my inconspicuous, plain white van, where I have free candy for you.
One of my favorite movies is 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', starring Jack Nicholson. If you haven't seen it, finish reading this and then watch it. Wait, there's a spoiler in the next paragraph, so watch it, and THEN read the SMR. It's awesome. Well, Both the SMR and Cuckoo's Nest are awesome, but Cuckoo's Nest is awesomer. Anyway, in the movie our protagonist, RJ McMurphy, is a guy that is a criminal sent to a mental institution for a psychological eval. He's an emotional guy that is a continual rabble rouser. He's edgy, fiery, and tries to live life to the fullest, despite the fact that he's you know, in a nuthouse.
At the end of the movie, McMurphy is given electro shock treatments, and is essentially a bed ridden vegetable that pisses and shits himself. In a fit of rage, one of the other inmates he has befriended rips a massive marble sink out of the floor, throws it through a window, and walks out of the facility.
And that's the difference between the Vikings in 2009 and 2010. 2009 was a thrill a minute, live life to the fullest ride, and we've paid for it in 2010, as we limp towards the finish line, piss stains in our crotch and a marble sink through our picture window.
But tonight was an island in this Insane Asylum that is the 2010 season, and if I were to continue with the movie analogy, it would be the fishing trip that McMurphy took all the inmates on. It was an afternoon of carefree worries, where no one was nuts, at least temporarily. Reality was suspended, and we all had a good time. Kind of like tonight. We were expecting a massacre, yet we got a Festivus Miracle.
And McMurphy got laid (That's the anaolgy for 'Vikings Win', kids).
Stock Market Report, after the jump.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Antoine Winfield, CB. Ho hum, just another day of awesomeness from the best all around CB in the NFL. He was all over Michael Vick more than this snowplow was all over this SUV. His blitzing unnerved Vick, and he had the defensive trifecta of sack/fumble, fumble recovery, and return TD at the end of the first half, tying the game up. Oh, and he went to THE Ohio State University. And he DIDN'T sell his gold pants, like someone else who won't be named **coughterellepryorcough**. Oh, sorry. Wrong blog. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
Jared Allen, DE. Speaking of putting pressure on the offense, Allen had a whale of a game. He was in Philly's backfield all night long, essentially shutting down the perimeter on his side of the field. Can we shut up with the "we need to trade Allen for picks" talk now, please? These last five or six games have shown why Allen is so valuable to this defense, and why he will be a core guy that the front office will rebuild around.
Percy Harvin, WR. I have decided that I will be grateful for whenever Percy Harvin can play, be it 16 games or 6. I don't know if there were any lingering effects from his migraines to start the season, but to me, he's back to that 'ooh' level. As in, every time he touches the ball I could be going 'ooh' as he turns a simple five yard out into an 80 yard score. He made Joe Webb look good on Tuesday. Or vice versa, I can't decide.
Adrian Peterson, RB. The best there is. I have no more superlatives, unless you want me to start making them up.
Joe Webb, QB. I like this kid. He made some mistakes early, but I've seen more from him in two games than I have from any Vikings quarterback not named Brett Favre since Daunte Culpepper's tremendous 2004 campaign. He's young, and he had a particularly bad play down on the goal line on the opening drive of the second half, but he made two beautiful throws to get to the Vikes down to the goal line. That TD run in the third quarter was ridiculous, and there aren't five QB's in the league that can make that play. Hell, there aren't five RUNNING BACKS that can make that run (one of them plays for the Vikes, heh heh). Oh, and how about the 3rd and 10 pass to Percy mid fourth quarter? He gave a hellacious pass rush the middle finger and flipped a laser to Percy over the middle. First down, followed by a TD by AP, which proved to be the game clincher. Simply awesome. The Vikings will---and must---acquire multiple quarterbacks through the draft or free agency, but if it was me, Webb goes to training camp in 2011 with an opportunity to compete for the starting job.
Phil Loadholt, RT. You know who Phil Loadholt reminds me of? David Dixon. But Ted, you say, wasn't David Dixon a guard? Yes, yes he was...
Bernard Berrian, WR. Not only are you allergic to catching a pass, when you try and help out by blocking for AP downfield, you cause him to fumble. Thanks for the 99 yard TD against the Bears and all, but clean out the locker. And give us a forwarding address.
Buy: Husain Abdullah's Interception. Lito, Frank, that's how you do it. Seriously guys, it's not tough.
Sell: The inability of Lito Sheppard and Frank Walker to make the easiest interceptions in NFL history. Stephen Hawking could've caught those. What, too insensitive? Would you prefer more self immolating monks, or pictures of Benito Mussolini instead? I can go either way on this, boys and girls.
Buy: The 'Release the Kraken' defensive gameplan. Here's been the Vikings gameplan on defense so far this year: sit in a soft cover-2 zone and let the offense do pretty much what it wanted. Yeah, not so much on Tuesday. They blitzed starting in the pre-game warmups, were a bunch of ballhawks, and got Michael Vick out of his groove early. It was the best defensive performance since about week three, and it was nice to see, if only for a night. Frankly, they kicked the shit out of Philly's offense for most of the night, and it was awesome to watch. This needs to be the blueprint for the finale in Detroit next week.
Sell: The interference call on Asher Allen that lead to Philly's first TD. That was just a ticky tack call.
Buy: Joe Webb. See above. I'm not saying he should be annointed the permanent starter, but he definitely deserves the start next week, with an opportunity to win the job next season. He's earned it.
Sell: Playing on Tuesday. All the NFL had to say was "we want to maximize the exposure of our sport and not conflict this game with a big Monday Night game" as opposed to the "we want to get the snow cleared" excuse. Or they could've just played the damn game on Sunday night. The atmosphere felt like a Tuesday night Sun Belt conference game. Until the Vikings came out and punched Philadelphia in the mouth. Then it was awesome.
Buy: Adrian Peterson's running. Do you know how I know that Adrian Peterson has elevated his play to another level that no one else is on? In the third quarter, he made a SWEET run for 7 yards, and it was a cutback and power combo. And Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were 'ho hum, 7 yards by Peterson.' Any other back in the NFL and they go one for two minutes about the vision, speed, and power. But AP? Another 'ordinary' run.
Sell: Adrian Peterson's first fumble of the year. I choose to blame Bernard Berrian for that, so I will.
Buy: The Safety Play. No, not a misprint there. Jamarca Sanford and Husain Abdullah were solid almost all night long. They were good in run support, solid in coverage, and didn't look like they were in third grade when Vick threw the deep ball. Well done.
Sell: Asante Samuel's bullshit cheap shot to Sidney Rice. Football's a tough game, I get that. But Samuel could've--and should've--lead with his shoulder pad into Rice's waist or chest, and made just as devastating a hit. Instead, he went headhunting and in my opinion intentionally tried to hurt Rice, and that's uncalled for. Since Samuel is a repeat offender, as it were, he should be suspended.
Well kids, enjoy this win. They've been few and far between this year, and we have every right to savor it. The Vikings have had to deal with a ton of crap this year, and this feels good. For me, the one over riding emotion I had as this season has drawn to a close and I start looking towards next season was this feeling of hopelessness over next season. Webb's play has at least given me hope that there is an answer at QB, or at least a guy that can provide something above horrible when Favre retires. The defense looked good, and I think maybe, just maybe, Sanford and Abdullah might be an answer at safety.
This season will still go down as the most disappointing and bizarre in Vikings history, and there are still a lot of personnel questions to answer as free agency and the draft come around, but at least we have something to look forward to as we head towards an uncertain off-season strewn with a roster rebuild, a stadium fight and potential NFL labor issues.
Man, things always look better after a win, don't they?
Happy New Year, DN!