Everyone said the Vikings couldn’t win this game. All the analysts, all the commentators, people on the street… everyone.
I thought we’d win this game.
And we could have. We had this game within our reach. What I didn’t expect was that Adrian Peterson’s inability to hang on to the ball would cost us the game (although given his history, I don’t know WHY I didn’t expect that) and I didn’t think that Blair Walsh would fail to deliver at the end.
So – for one final time this season, let’s break it down.
- Seattle muffed a punt and the punter took off and ran but the Vikings were able to prevent him from getting a 1st down, giving the Vikings excellent field position. As I type this, my question will always be: can the Vikings turn Seattle’s mishap into points? The answer: kind of. 3 points.
- Stefon Diggs caught a pass from Teddy on the 7 yard line to secure a first down and goal after the Seattle muffed punt.
- The Vikings defense was extremely stout during the 2nd quarter.
- Trae Waynes came up with a critical interception in the 3rd quarter, preventing the Seahawks from converting a 4th down. The Vikings weren’t able to do much with it – another 3 points – but it gave them 6 points more than the Seahawks had at that point in the game.
- In the first quarter, Teddy’s decision making was suspect.
- Adrian Peterson was completely shut down and our running game suffered for it. Part of me wonders why Asiata and McKinnon don’t figure into the running game more in these instances. They have a different style and it’s pretty clear that the Seahawks have Peterson completely figured out.
- Xavier Rhodes needs to figure out how to cover without getting a PI flag.
- The Vikings defense needed to pressure Wilson. Instead, they let him convert 3rd downs even when his o-line failed. You can’t beat a team like Seattle when you let the QB run around and make plays.
- The Vikings have to figure out how to get a passing game going. As of the 4th quarter, they are still struggling.
- When Wilson missed the snap the Vikings defense completely broke down and they missed an opportunity to really stick it to the Seahawks. The result? TD for the wrong team. Not good.
- The o-line was a complete mess at too many points during the game. Teddy was sacked 3 times – but he was pressured a hell of a lot more than that and, as we’ve seen, he doesn’t cope well when he’s pressured. Net result: the Vikings offense was completely shut down and (per the usual) we had to resort to field goals – all of which Blair Walsh made… with the exception of the one we really needed.
- Round up of bad stats: 58 yards rushing. Third Down Efficiency: 23%. Third Down Efficiency for Seattle: 35%. Seattle net rushing yards: 97.
- Mike Zimmer challenged the field position in the 2nd quarter – which served to cost us a time out. He’s been burned on this particular challenge before.
- Adrian Peterson. He costs us EVERY time. When is the last time he’s actually WON a game for us? And how many has he actually cost us? He cost us home field advantage in 2009 on Soldier field. He fumbled in the NFC Championship Game. And now today. Unbelievable.
- Blair Walsh. Nearly the hero of the game. Instead? He couldn’t deliver the one time we needed him to.
So the season’s over. I know most of us didn’t expect the Vikings to get this far in Zimmer’s second season as head coach. He’s developed a team that would be outstanding IF we had a really good QB and an RB who could hang onto the ball. I have high hopes for the Zimmer-led Vikings in the future and I expect the team (Spielman & friends) to address some of our short-comings in the draft and free agency.
So, focusing on the future… how far do you think the Vikings will get next season? Vote below.
For the last time this season, I will shout “Skol” to my Vikings brethren as I go back into hibernation until training camp.