Okay, if you would've said, hey Ted, Percy Harvin is out, Steve Hutchinson is out, Ray Edwards is out, Brett Favre will be knocked out of the game after the third play from scrimmage, and Tarvaris Jackson is going to throw three interceptions to include one returned for a touchdown RIGHT AFTER Favre's pick and injury, my initial reaction would be to rifle through my silverware drawer for a really, REALLY sharp knife. I would then plunge it into my eyes, thereby blinding myself so I wouldn't have to witness the abomination of such a horrible loss that the 2-9 Bills would unleash to the Vikings.
Of course, you would stop me at the last moment and say WAAAAIT!!! THEY WON!!! BIg! Like 38-14 big!
I would then stab you for playing such a mean trick on me. Then we'd laugh and skip to Twogamewinningstreakland, where the streets are lined with gold, and rivers flow with German hefeweissen beer. Beer that doesn't make you have to pee every 10 minutes once you break the seal. Oh, and there's a hospital there, because I stabbed the hell out of you, and you might bleed out if you don't get medical attention. You'll need a new spleen, too, because I am an expert with the blade, bitches, but I hear Twogamewinningstreakland's hospital is better than the Mayo Clinic, and the nurses are HAWWWWT. But once you recovered, and you would recover, because no one ever dies in Twogamewinningstreakland, you could play with duckies, bunnies, and puppies all day long.
I love Twogamewinningstreakland. As a matter of fact, I wish...how I wish you were here:
What have we found--the same old fears, year after year. Wish you were here. SMR, after the jump.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Adrian Peterson, RB. Let's agree on a couple of things: Peterson is the greatest back in Vikings history, and probably NFL history if his career continues on the current trajectory, and I can leave him in the 'Blue Chip' category every week. Dude was a gametime decision...which means they didn't know if he was going to play until gametime, and he was a Freak. And not in a John Merrick Elephant Man point and gasp in horror sort of way. But in a reverent, head shaking, Randy Moss circa 1998-2000 sort of way. Can you name me one other back that has his combination of size, speed, power, and want to in NFL history? I can say, off the top of my head, Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders. I never saw Jim Brown play, but my Dad did. And he thinks Peterson is Jim Brown and Walter Payton, combined. Oh. my Dad is honorary mayor of Twogamewinningstreakland, by the way.
SIdney Rice, WR. A couple weeks ago, he was about the only one who gave a damn in the second half of the Green Bay game, and he BLEW UP Sunday against Buffalo. He bailed out Tarvaris Jackson on a spectacular touchdown reception, where he managed to catch the ball, wrestle it away from Donte Whittner, AND manage to stay in bounds while doing so. Vintage Sid. Made great catches all afternoon, and proved what a valuable member of the offense he is. Glad to see you back at 100%, Sidney.
Antoine Winfield, CB. Stevie Johnson is one of the best wide receivers you've never heard of, and although Winfield wasn't on him all day, he was on him a lot, and Johnson's line: 2 catches, 36 yards. Oh, Winfield also had as many yards in interception returns that Johnson had in receptions, and he absolutely BLEW UP Corey McIntyre (along with Ben Leber), forcing a fumble and killing a Bills drive inside the Vikings 30. I just love the way Antoine Winfield plays the game.
Special Teams Play. When they stink, we call them out, so when they're awesome, we need to call them out for that, too. Kick and punt coverage was superb all day long. They not only minimized field position for Buffalo all day, but they broke out the pain sticks when they hit people, causing a turnover and not giving Bills return guys room to breathe. When the offense got rolling, the ST prevented the big return that they've been known for and refused to allow the Bills to gain any momentum. P Chris Kluwe was phenomenal again, and Ryan Longwell made another FG. Great all around performance that deserved recognition.
Toby Gerhart, RB. Another workmanlike performance for the ever improving rookie. He was stopped a couple times for minimal gain, but he ended up with 54 yards on 12 carries, a very respectable day, and also one easily overlooked in view of the Freakishness that is Adrian Peterson. Gerhart seems to really be settling in to his role as the third down back, and is also an adept receiver coming out of the backfield. I really like this kid, and after his slow start, he's really starting to hit his stride.
Jared Allen, DE. Allen is finally coming out of the season long funk that enveloped pretty much the whole team in various levels of suckiness. Allen was so bad early on, I thought his name would have to be changed to 'Sucky McSuckysuck', but it would be too hard to spell on the jersey, seeing as how the equipment dudes can't spell Williams correctly. Uh, sorry, didn't mean to digress there. Allen was a disruptive beast all day long, registering a sack, a strip fumble, and getting into Ryan Fitzpatrick's head all day long. He was hearing footsteps from about the third play on, and Allen and the boys didn't call off the dogs until the game was well decided.
Tarvaris Jackson, QB. Look, if you're a Jackson hater, you'll be pissed about what I'm about to write, so it's probably best if you skipped this and went to the next paragraph. But thanks for making it this far! Okay, you've been warned. So, what do we have, the same old fears, year after year, like the song says? No, I don't think so. I liked what Jackson did Sunday, at least for the most part. Yeah, he threw three terrible, ugly picks, but I have to tell you, I liked what I saw. When he threw that early pick-six intended for Greg Camarillo, it could've been real easy for him to fold. But he didn't. He shook it off and lead the Vikings on five consecutive scoring drives, the first four for touchdowns. Yes, two of them were short fields after a turnover, but how many times have the Vikings gotten into the red zone and only come away with a field goal? No, I liked how he finished drives, and I loved the second TD pass to Sidney--he threw it to the only place where his guy could get it. I saw some ugly things, but I saw a lot of things to like Sunday, too.
Madieu WIlliams, S. Williams just isn't getting it done. He's late on coverage, an average tackler, and seems like he's thinking one thing while the the other 10 guys are thinking something else.
Bernard Berrian, WR. You'd think with Harvin, Hank Baskett, and Greg Lewis, Bernard Berrian might announce his presence with authority. You'd think.
Buy: Leslie Frazier's Vikings. I don't know what Leslie Frazier is selling, but the Vikings have bought it all, and are playing at a level that I frankly thought wasn't possible this season. Had this still been Chilly's team, I think that after TJ's early pick that the team would've folded. Frazier has this team playing with the attitude and intensity of 2009. They'll need it, as they play the Giants, Eagles and Bears in the next three weeks.
Buy: Joe Webb, Kick Returner. So let me set the scene. I pick up my Dad to come over and watch the game, and on the short drive over he asks if Harvin is playing. I tell him no, he's inactive. Well who's returning kicks? I tell him Joe Webb, the third string quarterback. My Dad asks if Frazier is letting Chilly coach the team. Webb returns the opening kickoff for 30 yards, Dad looks at me and says "that Frazier is one smart SOB". I love how my dad can pivot on a dime. He's shifty like that.
Sell: All those damn injured WR's. The reason Joe Webb returned kicks was because every other WR was hurt, it seemed. After Webb tweaked his hammy on that kick return, Albert Young was used. Please, let's not do that anymore, okay?
Sell: Chris DeGeare, LG. I tried to watch DeGeare a lot today, and it's not that I thought he was terrible, it's just that he's not Steve Hutchinson. I think, at least for a good part of their carries, Peterson and Gearhart gained yards in spite of their line, not because of them. I could be wrong, though.
Buy: A gallon of Kleinsauce, please. When Jim Kleinsasser catches a pass, children tremble in fear, because he is like a gored bull heading for the matador--he's seeing red and looks like 1,200 pounds of serious pissed off. He's not pretty, he's not fast, but damn it, I love the dude.
Sell: Turnovers. 38-14 is a great win, but man, those turnovers, against another team, could've been disastrous. It's something that needs to get cleaned up, as the Vikings have some much better competition in the next three weeks.
Buy: TJ's Mobility. I'm not saying Jackson should start over Brett Favre, but TJ has some mobility...well, a lot of mobility. There were two times on Sunday where TJ's mobility got the Vikings a first down, and if Favre had been in there, it would've been a sack. Simple fact.
Buy: Adrian Peterson's Final TD Run. He starts out running to the left, where the play was designed to go. There's a hole there, but it's filled by a linebacker. He stutters right, takes one step, jukes Paul Posluzny, takes another step and is at full speed, running away from everyone off to the right side of the field. The backside safety looks like he might have an angle on AP at about the 15, but AP just goes into 'Ludicrous Speed', and 43 yards later, TD. Unbelieveable.
Well, my friends, the Vikings have their first winning streak of the season and are closing in on .500. Playoff hopes are on life support, but they're still alive. With the way the Vikings have played, I'm beginning to think anything's possible, but they'll have to step up their game against the Giants and Eagles in the nest two weeks before finishing with the Bears and Lions. Les Frazier has this team headed in the right direction.
And if you think Twogamewinningstreakland is cool, wait until you feast your eyes on Threegamewinningstreakland.
It's beyond everything you could possibly imagine.