So the Vikings won today. The defense looked good, the offense was clicking and they put away a bad team at home in the second quarter by scoring three touchdowns, two of them coming after horrible turnovers by Joey Harrington. So why am I unhappy?
Well, they went from only needing some help to get the #1 pick to needing a LOT of help. I highly doubt the Texans are going to win more than one more game. Same with the Saints. The Packers have to win two more games to tie the Vikings. There isn't a lot of room for victories if the Vikings want that top pick. And, I know, the draft is really deep--a top 10 pick will likely net a quality player. The Vikings need more help then that though, they need all the draft picks they can steal from some sucker who thinks Leinhart is worth mortgaging their franchise on.
Secondly, I'm unhappy because people are going to use this game as an indictment on Daunte Culpepper's ability to play quarterback. Brad Johnson threw for 136 yards today. That's it. He completed one pass for more than twenty yards. Yes, he threw two touchdowns--one was a 5 yard screen where Bennet dragged a defender into the endzone, and one was a jump ball where Burleson did his best Moss impersonation and tipped it to himself (and then followed it with a shout out to Daunte by getting his roll on). The real reason the Vikings were successful on offense today was because they had164 rushing yards for the game and more than 100 yards in the first half. Those 100 yards rushing were more than the Vikings have had in every game except the Saints game. Brad Johnson didn't jump start the offense--the rushing game (and the turnovers by Joey) jump started the offense.
In the end, the Vikings will still need a lot of luck to make the playoffs, even with half of their remaining games against teams with records equal to or worse than theirs. And even if they sneak out enough victories to win the crappiest division in the NFL, they don't have a shot at winning in the playoffs. Which is why I want the Vikings to lose. Getting the highest pick possible means that when the Vikings get a real coaching staff, they can provide them with the talent to win the NFC. Making the playoffs means that Tice might survive (horrors!) and that some lucky team will get to see if they beat the Vikings worse than the Giants did in 2001. I think I'd rather have the top pick.