Hi kids, happy Monday. Wait, that's an oxymoron, my bad. I hope you guys don't mind me taking up the next few minutes of your time, because Uncle Ted wants to talk about signature wins and the like.
I am a big believer that life is made up of events and moments. What's the difference? I think the definition can be different for each person, and what makes up an event or moment can be different for different people, and that's okay. No two people are alike, and what is a moment for one person might be an event for another.
Why do I say this? Well, for a couple of reasons. After the Vikings beat the Lions 28-19 in come from behind fashion in Detroit yesterday, there were a fair amount of fans, be they Vikings fans or NFL fans in general, that wanted to discredit this win as 'just the LOLions'.
Well yeah, the Lions are bad; you'll get no argument from me. At 1-6, the Detroit is a hot mess, and there's not any getting around that. This is a team that the Vikings should have beaten, and they did. But in the course of doing so, they put together several moments that became an event.
An event that might have changed the direction of the franchise for the better.
When the Lions scored touchdowns on their first two drives, my Dad looked at me and said 'well son, this looks like the same old Vikings, doesn't it?' And he was right. They looked unprepared, unmotivated, and on the verge of getting their doors blown off. On the road. In the division.
Again. He actually told me to take him home at halftime if they didn't approve.
Then, something different happened, and the script was flipped. The Vikings defense, which was gashed on seemingly every play in the first quarter, dug in and said 'no more.' And the moment where it changed came from LB Chad Greenway, as he came in on a blitz and sacked Matthew Stafford, and took him down hard.
It turned the tide for the defense, and stopped the bleeding. On offense, the Vikings couldn't get into the end zone until the second quarter. Minnesota was on the goal line, and desperately needed a touchdown. A moment, if you will. They were down 17-6, and another field goal would be a huge letdown. With under two minutes to go until halftime, a touchdown would be a huge momentum builder for the offense heading into the locker room. And with the Vikings getting the ball to open the second half, a touchdown there coupled with a good opening drive to start the second half could give the Vikings the lead.
On third down at Detroit's one yard line, Teddy Bridgewater faked a handoff to Adrian Peterson, and Kyle Rudolph broke free on the right side of the end zone. Bridgewater hurried his throw, and it was low and wide. Rudolph made an impressive one handed grab for the touchdown.
Once again, another moment that helped reverse the tide of the 'same old Vikings' theme, and these two moments helped build to an event. So, what was the event?
The Vikings winning on the road, in the division, after being down by double digits. It's something that this team in recent seasons simply didn't do, not even last season, in Mike Zimmer's first year as head coach. So yes, this was an event, as a result of collective moments, where the Minnesota Vikings played inspired football on both sides of the ball, for 45 minutes.
So was this a signature win? Yes, I think so. To hear Mike Zimmer talk in his post game press conference, he sure seemed to think some of the elements of a signature win were there, citing everyone saying the team couldn't win in the division, and couldn't win on the road, and fighting back like they did.
To me, this game was more than 'just the Lions'; it felt like that when it was over we did witness a signature win. Consider the following:
- The Vikings overcame deficits of 14-3 and 17-6
- Teddy Bridgewater threw for over 300 yards
- The Vikings, at least for awhile, had both a 100 yard rusher and a 100 yard receiver
- The defense only gave up 274 yards passing to the Lions, a season low. Detroit had 119 after the first two drives, meaning they only gave up 155 passing yards for three quarters. That's incredible.
- Speaking of incredible...Stefon Diggs.
There are several other key things we could talk about, like the seven sacks, the adjustments both the offense and defense made to turn the game around, Adrian Peterson's 75 yard run, or Blair Walsh nailing five field goals. I'm sure there are things I'm missing, but when you add up everything--recent history, the in game performances, and the overall attitude---dare I say swagger this team seems to carry themselves with--I would argue that what we witnessed was more than 'just a win over Detroit'.
It was a signature win, and an event, one this franchise has had very few of in recent seasons, and it's a moment we should all step back from and appreciate, if only for a day or so.
Skol Vikings, beat the Bears. Give us another event. A signature event.