I honestly thought it was impossible for the 2015 Vikings to look worse than they did in the Week 1 game at San Francisco. But lo and behold, I was proven wrong. The Vikings were decimated by injury today and the Seahawks are a much better team than the 49ers, but this was an embarrassment of epic proportions. The Seahawks pulled the Vikings' pants down, put them over their knee, and delivered a bare-bottom spanking that proved the two-time defending NFC champions are still a level above the purple pretenders.
It's hard to feel anything but down and out after a beating like that.
'Cause no, no, nobody knows you
When you're down and out.
In your pocket, not one penny,
And as for friends, you don't have any.
When you finally get back up on your feet again,
Everybody wants to be your old long-lost friend.
Said it's mighty strange, without a doubt,
Nobody knows you when you're down and out.
Let's get through the stocks as quickly as we can so we can put this game behind us.
Blue Chip Stocks
Are you kidding me?! Absolutely nobody. Don't even think about suggesting anyone on the Vikings that might deserve a spot on this list. When you're demolished at home like this it's impossible for anyone to have a "great" game.
Danielle Hunter. He only got to Russell Wilson once and looked like Rocky chasing after the chickens in Rocky II for most of the game but at least he was creating quite a bit of pressure. The rookie looked pretty decent today.
Cordarrelle Patterson. The only person that prevented an embarrassing shutout. And please, don't complain about Flash's high-stepping and celebrating when the team was still down by four touchdowns. When there is literally nothing else to celebrate and literally no other way for Patterson to affect a game, let the man enjoy himself for a few seconds.
Anyone that watched the entire game. Congratulations, you gluttons for punishment! Sticking it out through a game like that when you didn't have to write about it like I did shows some great dedication. Of course, your stupidity kept you out of the Blue Chips section.
Brandon Fusco. Once again, Fusco was blocking as well as old Saran Wrap, making Frank Clark look like Lawrence Taylor for most of the game. His play falling off a cliff by switching from right guard to left guard remains one of the most baffling storylines of this season.
T.J. Clemmings. You want an explanation of why he's here? Go read any of the Stock Market Reports or game previews from the past month. The rookie is getting outclassed every single week. Suck, rinse, repeat.
The officials. For the second time in three games, the officials made zero difference in the outcome of the game yet were hilariously inept. Don't get me wrong, Seattle was beating Minnesota today no matter what. But that ridiculous personal foul against Brian Robison? The offensive pass interference on Jarius Wright 15 yards away from the play? Many of the nine accepted penalties called on the Vikings were justified but some of them were downright comical. Of course we're just sore losers and whiners when we complain about the refereeing in a loss, so I'll quit here before I start stringing together swear words like popcorn on a Christmas tree.
Teddy Bridgewater. No, I'm not calling him "a bust" by putting him here. No, I'm not putting the blame of all the offensive woes on our quarterback. No, Norv Turner isn't doing him any favors. But the fact remains that Teddy had a poor game today. He missed pretty badly on the interception. He doesn't look comfortable with anything further down the field than a checkdown to Kyle Rudolph. He didn't throw a touchdown for the fifth time this season. And he still cannot throw a deep ball. Bridgewater is only 23 years old and I think he's going to be fine long term, but the Vikings won't beat any of the NFL's best with this kind of quarterback play.
Antone Exum Jr. For weeks we were griping about how Mike Zimmer wasn't starting Exum over Andrew Sendejo. Well, shame on us for ever questioning Zimmer's defensive personnel decisions. The game started out well enough for Exum, forcing and recovering a fumble on Seattle's first drive. But for the rest of the game it looked like he was on skates. Exum ended up with 5 tackles of Seattle players and about 15 tackles of nothing but air. At least Sendejo usually knocks someone down when he launches into a play like a missile.
Chad Greenway. This was a nightmare matchup for Greenway and it showed. The wily veteran and Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate was exposed by Seattle's quickness without the help of three starters up the middle. He looked a lot like 2013-2014 Greenway today, which isn't a compliment.
Norv Turner. This wasn't the first time and it won't be the last time Seattle makes an offense look bad. But it seems like Turner has no Plan B when his original scheme doesn't work. Where were the screen passes and quick slants that moved the ball against Atlanta? Why completely bail out on Adrian Peterson, who is still your best (only?) offensive weapon, even if you're down by a couple scores early? Perhaps the personnel is leaving Turner a little hamstrung but it certainly doesn't feel like he's calling plays that help hide his team's shortcomings.
Buy: Predicting just how bad the Vikings would finish the first half. Just before the end of the atrocious first half, the Vikings' offense sputtered out after another questionable penalty and left 7 seconds left in the half as they faced fourth down. I half-jokingly tweeted this out:
Might as well finish the half with a blocked punt or something right?— Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) December 6, 2015
Less than a minute later, I was tweeting this out:
HOLY SHIT https://t.co/ne34BoA8ud— Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) December 6, 2015
At least when the Vikings are this awful, they're predictably awful, right?
Sell: Tackling. Minnesota is supposed to be one of the best tackling teams in the NFL but they certainly didn't show it today. The Vikings were missing three very important players on their defense and it was painfully obvious throughout the game. Seattle turned paltry gains into big plays at least a dozen times on Sunday.
Buy: Silver linings. It could be worse, right? Blair Walsh didn't miss any kicks! I correctly picked the winner! Adrian Peterson will be well-rested for a warm-weather game in Arizona! We aren't Browns or Lions fans! OK this isn't really helping is it?
Sell: Injuries. The Vikings lost both Harrison Smith and Anthony Barr early in the game. When you throw in the loss of Linval Joseph, it's something you simply can't recover from against a good team. The core of Minnesota's defense was literally ripped out and the outcome reflected it.
Buy: The Vikings are still in great shape to make the playoffs. Even though this game felt like 9 losses, it still counts as only one. They're still tied with the Green Bay packers at the top of the NFC North. Having a .500 record in the NFC means you're in the Wild Card mix and Minnesota is still 4 games over .500.
Sell: The Vikings doing anything in the playoffs. Unless they get a lot better and a lot healthier over the next four games, it's going to be a quick postseason for the Vikings. They haven't beaten any of the "contenders" on their schedule and have been embarrassed in most of their losses.
Buy: It probably can't any worse. The Vikings have nowhere to go but up after a performance like that. They have bounced back to play much better and win after each of their previous three defeats this season. This team has a short memory when it comes to poor performances.
Sell: It probably won't get much better next week. Minnesota is heading to Arizona to face the Arizona Cardinals, on a short week, in prime time, to take on a team that beat these very Seahawks in Seattle. I will be shocked if the Vikings upset the Cardinals on Thursday.
Gemma Thompson Quote of the Day
My usually busy-bodied daughter was unusually subdued today. She has really been into couch forts lately so we built her one to watch the iPad for a bit before she went down for her afternoon nap. She was so quiet for 45 minutes that we almost forgot she was in there. Maybe she knew that watching The Lego Movie for the 583rd time was a much better idea than watching a single minute of the Vikings game. She must have sensed how poorly the game was going because she darted into the kitchen in the second quarter and came running back to me with a couple Christmas cookies in her hands.
"Cookies! Mmm daddy!!"
Good idea, Gemma. Christmas cookies never let you down like the Vikings do. Now if you excuse me, I think I'm going to eat my feelings for the rest of the evening.