What an awful Sunday. It began so innocently too, with a great seat at the bar in front of a big screen with the Vikings game on. And as frustrating as the Vikings' game was, it was nowhere near as bad as what went on at my Alma mater's home gym later that night.
I've discussed the events of later in the evening elsewhere, but I haven't had a chance to vent about the Vikings' performance. Before I get all philosophical, however, I'm going to bask in the awesome performance by the defense. I mean, -3 rushing yards? 10 points? Two turnovers, including an interception return to the 3 yard line? That's a dominating performance, and one that the defense can hang their hat on. This is a playoff caliber (and possibly a Super Bowl caliber) defense.
The offense, obviously, is another story. There really is nothing like turning the ball over 3 times, twice for touchdowns. Settling for a field goal after starting out on the three yard line was another nice touch. Though there were bright spots--36 minutes with the ball is a great stat. And the two drives that the Vikings blew with turnovers both looked like they were going to produce points. Not to mention that Brad Johnson wasn't horrible, which was nice. It was the kind of performance that would have been more then enough to win the game, considering how well the defense played, if they hadn't undermined the effort with by giving up touchdowns to Jason Taylor and Renaldo Hill.
So, along with the team, we as fans have come to a crossroads. The Vikings are still in the playoff hunt, and still are very much in control of their destiny, thanks to the overriding mediocrity that is the NFC (I'll have a more in depth analysis on Wednesday). Of course, they have to go 5-1 to finish the season to have a chance. So is it time to abandon all hope or to keep raging against the dying of the light? Is it time to view losses not as a blow to the Vikings' playoff chances, but rather as help with draft position? Why should Tarvaris be starting--to lead the Vikings to the playoffs, or because he needs experience so he can lead them next year? Should we start debating what positions should be prioritized in the off season, or should we be breaking down the must win game against the Cardinals? Optimism or Pessimism? What's the call?