Hi kids, how are we doing? Really, trust Uncle Ted when I tell you it's going to be okay. Because this too, shall pass. Maybe like a kidney stone, which I've heard sucks...but it shall, in fact, pass.
Life is a journey, one that has many twists and turns. Some of those are ones that bring great joy, like having children...or grandchildren. And sometimes, life kicks us square in the teeth, and right when you think you have life by the nostrils, you get slapped upside the head and reminded that HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA like you have control, dipshit. And you find yourself looking for a Kleenex through starry, watery eyes, while spitting out chiclets that used to be your teeth into your hand.
One of those headslaps happened Sunday at US Bank Stadium, where the Minnesota Vikings fell to the Detroit Lions 22-16 in overtime. Because just when you thought you were King Of The Jungle, it turns out the lion has been stalking you all along. Isn't that right, Mr. Mumford?
Weep for yourself, my man,
You'll never be what is in your heart
Weep little lion man,
You're not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself,
Take all the courage you have left
Wasted on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head
But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?
Didn't I, my dear?
Your 'hey this game sucked but Green Bay lost so the Vikings are still in first place' SMR follows.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Stefon Diggs, WR: Diggs was the only consistent offensive threat the Vikings had against the Lions.He didn't have any huge plays that gobbled up yards, but his 13 catches set a team record for receptions against Detroit, and the third most all time in Vikings history for one game behind Rickey Young and Cris Carter. Also, late in the fourth quarter, after he caught a catch on the goal line, the camera cut to him and he was caught yelling 'THROW ME THE FUCKING BALL'. I love that fire, because it seems to be sorely lacking for some players right now.
Chad Greenway, LB: I was looking through the stat sheet, and I expected Greenway to have four or five tackles for loss, but lo and behold, the official stat sheet showed zero. Which had to be wrong, because every time I looked up, my Dad and I were saying something about Greenway having a great game, and making another tackle.
Adam Thielen, WR: Thielen had 4 catches for 68 yards, and once again it felt like every time the Vikings offense seemed like they were going to get untracked, it was a reception from Thielen that was going to get the ball rolling. He made some big catches late, including back to back catches on what most people thought was the Vikings game winning drive.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR: Patterson still continues to impress, hauling in another six catches which was good for second on the team today. I'm not sure what the future holds for Patterson and the Vikings, but based on how he's played through the first half of the Vikings season, I would hope Minnesota is seriously considering re-signing him...which is NOT something I thought I would be typing this time last season.
Ronnie Hillman, RB: So hey, here's something that struck me as funny. Not really funny as in HOO BOY I MIGHT PEE MYSELF I'M LAUGHING SO HARD YO, but more so WOW HOW WEIRD IS THAT FUNNY GOOD GOD MAN THAT IS FREAKING ODD type kind of funny. Hillman had only seven carries, but for 30 yards, and that averages out to more than four yards a carry. While that seems like no big deal for 31 other teams, four yards a carry is like splitting the atom for the Vikings offense, and Ronnie Hillman was a goddamn Albert Einstein today. Maybe...and call me crazy here...maybe some runs to the perimeter might be a good thing.
Jake Long, T: News flash: The Minnesota Vikings offensive line did not suck today. And the head not sucking guy was Jake Long, who has improved demonstrably in three games. For the most part, Sam Bradford had a clean pocket to set up in, with time to go through his progressions and throw the ball.
Sam Bradford, QB: After a 4-0 start as the Vikes QB it seemed like Bradford was in the middle of a career renaissance, but after three straight losses, the team is reeling. I can't say that this is all on Bradford's shoulder's though, as he played well today, for the most part. Although the Vikings offense struggled at time, he wasn't responsible for a missed extra point and a blocked field goal. And he was responsible for what looked to be a game winning drive in the 4th quarter. So for all the issues the Vikings have right now...Sam Bradford really isn't one of them.
Blair Walsh, K: There are a lot of reason s the Vikings lost Sunday, and Blair Walsh isn't the sole reason. But you make that extra point, and at the end of the game the Lions need a touchdown to win, not a field goal to tie. You could also make the argument that the Vikings eschew the field goal and go for a first down on the goal line because of the coach's lack of faith in Walsh. It's not Walsh's fault the Vikings can't get 18 inches...but it is his fault that doubt is there.
Jerick McKinnon, RB: Whether it's a combination of his ankle, the offensive line, or play calling that doesn't play to his strengths, the bottom line is McKinnon has not been able to step up in Adrian Peterson's absence like many thought he would. And unless he does, the Vikings offense will be in trouble for the rest of the year.
Emmanuel Lamur, LB: I would seriously like the actual animal called a lemur play linebacker than Emmanuel Lamur play linebacker. He just isn't good, man. But a lemur? ENTERTAINING AS HELL YOU GUYS HERE LET'S LOOK AT LEMURS SUNBATHING AND FORGET OUR CARES AND WOES:
Buy: Chad Greenway interception. I had just made a not to myself to talk about Chad Greenway being exposed by playing too much in both the base 4-3 and the nickel, but then he made a great play, picking off a Matthew Stafford throw early in the second quarter and returning it to the Lions 18 yard line. it looked like Minnesota was ready to take advantage of a gift from Stafford.
Sell: Ensuing drive by the offense. Only something happened on the way to the end zone. After a four yard run by McKinnon on first down, Minnesota had back to back penalties for 15 yards. Then a ridiculous WTF was that pitch out for a four yard loss to Hillman followed by a Bradford sack, and the Vikings were looking at a 4th and 32. Jeff Locke punted the ball to the 16 yard line...which was eight yards short of what would have been the original first down. Of all the valleys in the Vikings offense, that might have been the deepest one yet.
Buy: Chad Greenway's tackling. This goes back to the 'Greenway didn't have any TFL's, really?' kind of thing, but it seemed like every time the Vikings had a sure tackle, it was Greenway that was making it. He just seemed to be everywhere today.
Sell: Anthony Barr's tackling. But once again... Barr was in the right place, at the right time, but unable to make a play. Look, I think Barr is a great young defensive player, but for whatever reason this year, he has been a step slow, or unable to make the tackle if he meets the ball at the point of attack. Today was not an anomaly.
Buy: The Vikings defense for most of the game. When you only give up 16 points in regulation, to include three points in the second half (minus overtime)...and three straight three and outs to open the second half, it should be good enough to win a game in the NFL.
Sell: The Vikings defense to end the first half, the game, and overtime. It SHOULD be...except three critical drives to lose the game, essentially. The first was a 17 play, 84 yard drive for a touchdown to end the first half, a lightning fast three play drive to get Matt Prater in position to tie the game with no time left, and then the coup de main--an 11 play drive to begin the overtime period that ended in a touchdown, which ended the game. Brutal, completely brutal.
Buy: Pat Shurmur's play calling and the offense execution between the 20's. The debut of Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator, showed some promise. The Vikings came out with more tempo on offense, and seemed, for the most part, to move the ball well between the 20's. They went a long way to get back to what made them successful earlier this season--don't turn the ball over, drive into field goal range, or at worst, flip field position and make the opponent drive the length of the field.
Sell: The execution of the offense in the red zone, which I wholeheartedly support at this point. Between the possession that started off at the Detroit 18 off the Greenway interception that saw the Vikings punt the ball, and yet another 4th and inches on the opponent five that the Vikings couldn't convert, the Vikings red zone offense has more issues than someone who has Alzheimer's, that lives in Minnesota, and wakes up on Sunday with no booze in the house. You got trouble, right here in River City.
Buy: Run to the outside. Look, I'm not a smart man. You know that, and I know that. But it seems to me that the three or four times the Vikings ran to the perimeter against Detroit, they had some pretty positive plays.
Sell: One more goddamn Matt Asiata run up the middle. Again...I am not a smart guy. But I do know that the definition of insanity is doing the same goddamn thing over and over again, expecting a different result. At some point, I am going to give the nickname 'Sisyphus' to whoever the Hell ends up as the Vikings OC if they keep rolling the 'run between the guards' play up the hill, only to see it roll down the same fucking hill for a three yard loss. I mean come on, let's change it up. I WOULD GIVE YOU A STANDING OVATION FOR A ONE YARD GAIN AT THIS POINT!
Buy: Sam Bradford completes one pass to himself. That was kind of fun. It reminded me of Brad Johnson completing a pass to himself for a touchdown back in the day, if I'm not mistaken. Also, it was one of the longest pass plays of the day.
Sell: Sam Bradford completes one pass to Charles Johnson. Johnson has a grand total of seven catches in eight games this year. Today, he had one for none yards. Charles Johnson was touted as WR1 coming out of camp, and has gone out of his way to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is not, in fact, a WR1 in the NFL. Right after his lone catch, I tweeted that 'I am done with Charles Johnson.' A fairly innocuous tweet, I would say, and not terribly out of line. But I did incur the wrath of this person:
Then be done and shut up. https://t.co/zCE189dJ7u— Kalyn (@callmeKALYN) November 6, 2016
'This person' happened to be one Mrs. Charles Johnson.
Well, that was awkward. My point still stands though.
Don Glover Quote Of The Week:
As the Vikings were driving late in the fourth quarter, my father and I had this conversation:
Me: If the Vikings score a TD here, I don't think there will be enough time for Detroit to score.
Dad: They can always hit a Hail Mary, son.
/Lions kick game tying FG to go to OT
/Lions win toss
Dad: This game is over. Over.