The Vikings beat the Eagles tonight, 24-14. I thought I was dreaming until I stubbed my toe on the step up from my family room into my kitchen. The pain reminded me that I was indeed awake and that the team that has made me curse since Week 1 of this season had just pulled out one of the greatest upsets of the season. This, after being stranded in Philadelphia for 4 days after the Sunday night game was moved to Tuesday. This, after trauma and turmoil, not just during the last 3 weeks with the Metrodome roof collapse and subsequent upheaval, but after the cluster that this entire season has been.
I’ve been hoping for the end to this horrific season for weeks now. I can’t remember the last time I was fully engaged in a game. Maybe week 2? I thought I didn’t care tonight either – until Antoine Winfield sacked Vick, stripped the ball, picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown. I launched from my couch, screamed and clapped, sending my 2 geriatric cats running for the hills for the first time this season. While the 2010 season has made me sad, mad, melancholy, infuriated and generally pissed off with a bad attitude – it has not broken my spirit. I can still cheer for my team. They may have sucked all season long – but dammit – they’re my team.
Things that were obviously not working: the 2nd string cornerbacks and their penchant for dropping easy interceptions. Lito & Frank: I’m talking to you both. You sucked tonight. Our o-line for run plays. Adrian Peterson should have had a special shoulder-mounted drill with a diamond tip to create a hole to run through since our o-line looked like the Keystone Cops on those running plays. Sidney Rice dropping 2 passes early in the game. And then being taken out of the game by Samuel.
Things that were working for me. Or rather, people! Jared Allen. Antoine Winfield. Jimmy Kennedy. Letroy Guion. Chad Greenway. Percy Harvin. Adrian Peterson. Sidney Rice (after the 1st quarter and a half). Kleinsasser. And, Joe Webb.
Just last week, I said we should move Webb back to WR. He looked like a different guy tonight. Careful with the ball. Great fades, great deep balls, great laser throws to Percy and Shank. I’m trying to keep calm – but it’s *almost* like we *might* have a long-term QB actually on our current roster. My friend John (an Eagles fan from Philly who feels conflicted when the Vikings and Eagles play because he’s always liked the Vikings and has lived here for 20 years now) called me between the 3rd and 4th quarters and said, “Joe Webb. He’s the next Tom Brady. Mark my words.” I don’t know about all that – but Joe Webb is looking more interesting the more he plays. Something tells me that Brad Childress was watching the game tonight and was thinking, “Damn you, football gods, why wasn’t Joe available in 2006 instead of Tarvaris?” I’m going to say right now that maybe Chilly knew what he was doing when he moved Joe to QB from WR. I hate saying that because it makes it sound like Chilly was a good coach. Let’s be clear: he wasn’t.
Last week I also wanted Leslie Frazier to not get the head coaching job. I said I reserved the right to change my mind – and I haven’t yet – but maybe all of the uncertainty of the last two games was something no coach could have overcome. Let’s see how we do against Detroit on Sunday.
I watched both the Frazier presser and the Webb presser tonight. I like Joe Webb – he’s laid back and a roll-with-it kind of guy. He said that Favre gave him a lot of coaching on the sideline, which I think is terrific. And Brett seemed genuinely pleased for Joe as he cheered for him from the sideline. Donald Driver said that Brett Favre was the best teammate he’s ever had. I bet that’s true.
On to Detroit we go for a non-home game. There will be no Vikings logo decorating the 50 yard line this week. And Detroit is not the Detroit we always counted on to bring up the rear in the division. In fact, if we don’t beat Detroit, we would tie for last place in the division. We haven’t been last in the division by ourselves since 1984 (thanks Les Steckel!) so at least that streak will go on even if we tie for last with Detroit. But we won’t. Right? 7 – 9 sounds pretty good. Let’s do it! Skol!