You know, I should be mad. I should be furious at the Vikings inability to hold onto the football. I should be seething that the Purple threw away yet another opportunity to win a game and threw their first chance at clinching the division and any chance at getting a first round bye along with it. But I'm not. I just can't get mad about an outcome I fully expected. And really, as the Star Tribune pointed out on Sunday, the Vikings haven't fulfilled their expectations since the second round game against the Cardinals in 1999 (Also, I'd like to thank the Star Tribune for dredging up that memory for me and in the process messing with the good juju that was surrounding the team. Now go die in fire).
There was a lot to like about this game. The Purple held Atlanta's backs to 3.37 yards per carry, despite the absence of Pat Williams (though you could tell they needed to adjust to life without him during the first drive of the game). Tarvaris Jackson outplayed Matt Ryan, up until he had to run a two minute drill. Brad Childress learned from the Tennessee game and went for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter. Visanthe Shiancoe had the best receiving game by a tight end since Steve Jordan (I'm going to assume that Steve Jordan had a 100 yard receiving game, since he has 6 spots in the top ten for single season receiving yards by a Vikings' tight end, and no one else had one before Pro-Football-Reference ran out of game logs). The Falcons didn't score a touchdown returning a punt (And, now I'm reaching).
But you know what? None of it matters because, at this point in the season, it's all about wins. Nice games by everyone who didn't fumble aren't enough. It is inexcusable for the Vikings to fumble the ball seven times. SEVEN TIMES. Every time I read an article about the game, and it mentions Tarvaris Jackson's three fumbles, my first reaction is "That's not fair--one was Adrian Peterson's fault". Think about that for a second. Yup. Even if you take away a fumble from Tarvaris, he still had TWO FUMBLES. And even with one of his fumbles being credited to Tarvaris, Peterson still had TWO FUMBLES. I'm not saying that Brad Childress should be fired if he doesn't make Tarvaris and Adrian carry around a football with a bounty on it like James Caan made Omar Epps in The Program but, he should be fired if he doesn't make Tarvaris and Adrian carry around a football with a bounty on it like James Caan made Omar Epps in The Program.
And the worst part about the loss? They're the Vikings, and they like to find new and inventive ways to torture their fans, so they've decided to force us to root for the Packers tonight. And I know, it hurts, but does anyone actually trust this team to beat the Giants on Sunday? Even if they aren't playing their starters? I know I don't. So....
Now excuse me while I try and convince an angel to show me what my life would be like if I had never heard of the Minnesota Vikings and the National Football League.