Yes, the next time Ted sees me, he's probably going to slap me upside the head for invoking Neville Chamberlain on this site, but it really kind of fits.
As fans of the Minnesota Vikings, the last two or three weeks. . .well, it's been pretty rough in the land of the purple and gold. Between having to keep up with the injury list and having to, seemingly, keep one eye on the police blotter, it has been a pretty big downer.
And I don't know about you all, but starting at about 3:30 Central time on Sunday afternoon. . .I forgot all about all of that. Every damn bit of it. I forgot about Adrian Peterson's ongoing situation. I forgot all about Kyle Rudolph and Brandon Fusco and Matt Cassel being injured. I forgot about the fact that, in their previous seven quarters of football, this team had scored all of nine points.
The reason I forgot all about those things is because, early on in Minnesota's game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon, I had the calming realization that this team is going to be just fine.
This team put together one of the most impressive offensive performances that we've seen around these parts in a while, and it was put together, largely, by guys who are barely old enough to have a drink after the game. We finally got to see some repetitions for running back Jerick McKinnon, and he responded by racking up 153 total yards on 18 touches, including a 55-yard run that was incredible to watch.
The team still has young Cordarrelle Patterson, who still might be the NFL's best open-field runner, though it seems they're having trouble working him into the offense. In his stead, Jarius Wright had a career game on Sunday, catching eight balls for 132 yards.
Left tackle Matt Kalil, who we have just been blasting all season (for good reason, for the most part), looked a lot like the old Matt Kalil on Sunday, as he anchored an offensive line that paved the way for a 558-yard performance.
We had players on defense like Gerald Hodges (stepping in for the old war horse, Chad Greenway) and Xavier Rhodes and Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith. . .seriously, the list of safeties in the NFL better than #22 right now is an awfully short one. . .giving us a glimpse of what this defense could potentially be.
And, of course, it was all orchestrated by a young man who, at this time one year ago, was on a week off before getting into the game play to take on Temple University.
I wrote in the Game Thread that I was trying to do what I could to temper my expectations for Teddy Bridgewater, but it turns out I really didn't have to. Bridgewater completed 19-of-30 passes on his way towards setting a Vikings' record for passing yards by a quarterback in his first start with 317. (The record, 281, was previously held by Joe Kapp, a guy who had played in Canada before signing on with the Vikings.) He didn't have a touchdown pass. . .but, more importantly, he didn't have a turnover. And he even managed a 13-yard touchdown run. (Take that, Jon Bois.) Sure, he misfired on a couple of passes, but overall he showed why he probably should have been the first quarterback off the board in this year's draft. He showed poise, he showed a much stronger arm than he was ever credited with during the pre-draft process. . .he was a revelation.
To borrow a line from famed law enforcement official James Gordon. . .Teddy Bridgewater is the quarterback that Minnesota fans deserve and the quarterback that Viking fans need right now.
Sure, there has been a lot of garbage for fans of the Minnesota Vikings to deal with over the past couple of weeks. But today, if you haven't already, just sit back for a moment and allow yourself to think this one simple thought.
The Minnesota Vikings are going to be just fine. Seriously.
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